The Border Collie is a very intelligent breed of dog. The breed is also very active. That is why most articles and online reviews of the breed warn that Border Collies are not for everyone. This is the type of dog that needs to be mentally and physically stimulated each and every day. Border Collies have been bred as working dogs and can excel at animal herding on a farm as well as in sports that require agility, such as navigating an obstacle course or playing catch with a Frisbee™. The key to raising a well-behaved Border Collie is proper training as well as a commitment from you to provide mental and physical stimulation on an ongoing basis for as long as you own the dog.
In addition to general obedience training, many articles about the breed recommend that you provide your Border Collie with a “job” to do. You do not have to live on a farm with animals to be herded in order for your dog to be given a “job.” Jobs are really just activities to do which engage the dog both mentally and physically. For example, your Border Collie will enjoy a game where you hide a tennis ball and they seek it out. In fact, many Border Collies are employed for real in Search and Rescue Operations. Your dog might like to play catch or run obstacle course or fetch items for you on command. Because the breed is so smart, you can use your imagination when training a Border Collie to do a job.
Border Collies are not the type of dog that you can stick in a cage while you go to work from 9-5. They do not do well if left alone for long periods of time with nothing to do. It is also not recommended that you leave your Border Collie home while you go on vacation. This is another reason why the Border Collie is not the breed for everyone. They really do need constant and consistent mental and physical activity to be well-behaved and content. Use common sense as your guide when you are considering whether or not to bring home this breed. That is, if you do not have the time and physical wherewithal to meet the mental and physical needs of this breed, then don’t bring one home!
If you search the internet, you will find countless online reviews that extol the beauty and intelligence of the Border Collie. It’s all true! With consistent effort, you can guide a Border Collie along the path to becoming a truly wonderful working companion.