Is a Border Collie the Right Dog Breed for You?

Border Collie Playing With Ball
Anna Pozzi, Animal Photography
If you're a couch potato, the Border Collie probably isn't the best choice for you. This breed usually likes to be busy and active.

The Border Collie is generally an intelligent, intense workaholic; he is considered by some to be the world’s best herding dog. He can be high energy, and he is typically happiest when he’s got something to do. Learn more about this focused dog and whether he might be the right breed for you.

They’ll often herd just about anything.

Expect that your Border Collie will probably want to herd you, your family and other pets. (And he can sometimes get along well with other animals, including cats, provided they’re tolerant of being herded.) Just be aware that he may also want to herd or chase cars or bikes.

They can be wary of strangers.

Most herding breeds have an inborn protective streak, and the Border Collie is no exception. This tendency toward protectiveness, combined with a propensity to bark, can frequently make him a good watchdog. However, early socialization is key to help prevent him from becoming shy or aggressive around people he doesn’t know.

They can be serious competitors.

The Border Collie (overall health permitting, of course) can excel at just about any performance activity, including sheep herding, agility, obedience, flyball, freestyle and Frisbee. He can also do search and rescue work.

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What to Know About the Border Collie

They can be like canine Einsteins.

The Border Collie is among the smartest of all dog breeds and needs an outlet for his intelligence. He usually likes to learn. It's important to give him a job to do, like chasing a tennis ball or training for something like obedience or agility, unless you want to find yourself outsmarted — a bored Border Collie can wreak havoc.

They might just give you the “eye.”

Did somebody say “focus?” One feature of the Border Collie is his use of the “eye,” a hypnotic stare that compels sheep to move and turn. The “eye” is actually considered a measure of how much the Border Collie can concentrate on the sheep.

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