Are Border Collies Good Family Dogs?

The Border Collie is one of the most popular dogs within the UK, and they are widely kept as pets as well as still being used for working roles as herding dogs in farming. The Border Collie is highly intelligent, eminently trainable, full of energy and good with people, which are just a few of the reasons why many people consider Border Collies to be a good choice of family pet. But, is the Border Collie a good and safe choice for families with children or other pets?

Read on for our thoughts.

General Temperament

The Border Collie is one of the most lively and active dogs in the world, and is always on the go! They are extremely tenacious, quickly bored, and like to spend plenty of time running around. They are very quick to pick up training commands, and providing that they do not get bored, are extremely biddable and responsive to training and responding to commands.

They can be unruly if not provided with enough entertainment, or if not properly trained.

Exercise requirements

The Border Collie needs to spend several hours a day outdoors and getting exercise, and if you have a lively, active family or live in a rural setting, the Border Collie might be a good match for your family. Do not discount owning a Collie if you live in suburbia, but bear in mind that you may have to make more of a concerted effort to find places and opportunities to give your dog the exercise he will require.


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Living with young children

Border Collies are affectionate, not prone to being snappy and generally friendly with children of all ages, but they can be rather boisterous and lively, and make no distinction by age when trying to get someone to play with them! The main issue that may crop up from keeping a Border Collie with younger children is that the dog might accidentally hurt the child by being too boisterous, but training and management can often address this.

Another potential area to bear in mind if you have young children, is whether or not you will be able to fulfil the dog’s exercise requirements while you have your hands full with a young family that might not be able to walk too far.

Living with older children

Providing that your older children actively enjoy having a dog around, older children are a good match for the Border Collie, and the two will be able to go some way to keeping each other entertained, particularly if your children like to spend lots of time out of doors. Having a lively dog such as the Border Collie can also help to keep your children fit, and perhaps consider getting involved in some form of canine sports with your dog if they enjoy training the dog and encouraging them to learn new skills.

Living as part of a busy home

The Collie is energetic, lively and easily bored, so living as part of a busy home with children of different ages and lots of comings and going can in fact be the perfect environment for a dog such as the Border Collie, and they tend to be friendly to visitors and not overly territorial when properly introduced. Having lots of people around will also provide the dog with plenty of chances to make friends, get attention and possibly bribe someone into playing with them or taking them for a walk too, which is a win-win situation!

However, if you have a busy household or a generally busy life, it is important to consider whether or not you will also be able to devote enough quality time to your dog, ensure that they are exercised enough, receive enough attention, and are not left out or allowed to get bored.

Living with other pets

Collies work well with other dogs, and in working roles, are used to living and working as part of a team. The Border Collie will therefore live quite happily with another canine pack mate, but bearing in mind how demanding one Border Collie alone can be, be sure not to bite off more than you can chew!

Border Collies can also live happily with smaller pets such as cats, providing that they are introduced to each other while the dog is still young or carefully introduced over time if the dog is older. Border Collies may have a tendency to herd or boss smaller animals around, although most cats will soon put a stop to this on their own! Kittens and cats that are used to dogs and have no fear of them may also in fact make a good playmate for the inquisitive, fun-loving Border Collie, and help to prevent them getting bored within the home when left alone.


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