Are Border Collies Good Family Dogs? (Yes Or No)

Looking for answers to whether Border Collies make great family dogs?

Great! As today in this Digdoggy guide, you’ll learn:

  • How easy this breed is to train
  • Pros and cons to Border Collies with children and other pets
  • Unforseen costs that you need to know of
  • How much excercise this dog will need
  • And much more!
DO Border collies make good family dogs image of family with a dog

Are Border Collies good family dogs? Border Collies make fantastic family dogs, although you may find difficulty in your dog uniting with other pets. That said, they will encourage you to take part in regular walks, runs, hikes, and outdoor games. This breed is loyal, hardworking, easy to train, and remains focused on the task at hand, even if that’s you!

Keep reading to dive into further detail on whether this breed will make a great addition to your family.

What's In This Guide?

      What are the Pros To Having a Border Collie as a family dog?

      Let’s explore a few reasons why Border Collies make a great addition to the family. Then we will dive into a few of the cons to consider with a highly intelligent breed like the Collie.

      In hurry? No problem, watch this quick video to get all the golden nuggets in no time!

      How easy are Border Collies to train for your home?

      Training a Border Collie should be an easy task with consistency. Being a naturally anxious breed will mean training is essential to avoid behavioral issues further down the road.

      The training most commonly used for domestic Border Collies include:

      House Training

      House training is used to help your dog familiarise themselves with their new home. Here, you would teach them where to go potty, play outdoors, sleep, and location to feed.

      Crate training

      Crate training is specifically used to help your dog learn the times and locations for sleeping. For Border Collies, this shouldn’t be too hard as they tend to follow instructions, listen well and implement with ease.

      Obedience Training

      Lastly is obedience training which is best used to iron out bad behavior or even avoid it appearing in the first place. Being that you’re dealing with a highly energetic breed, it is essential you first socialize your dog, then train them to be on best behavior at all times.

      Not to mention that this will help maintain high levels of stimulation too!

      How protective are Border Collies of their owners?

      Border Collies have a protective temperament that can be distrusting to strangers. This makes them excellent watchdogs as they will alert the family at any time something is unusual of the sort.

      That said, from research, I discovered that Border Collies do not make for great guard dogs, as whilst they can intimidate sheep, they are not equally as scary to humans.

      How much outdoor time will a Border Collie Need?

      The Border Collie is nothing short of an inherent workaholic which means you will need to exercise them regularly for at least 2 hours per day. If you have an active outgoing family this breed will be the perfect match as they will consistently encourage you to go fr long walks, runs, swimming, hikes, and games.

      Brain stimulation toys can also be a great way to keep your dog stimulated when at home, but they will only last so long both mentally and physically especially with aggressive chewers.

      In order to increase resistance during short walks, you can use weighted vests or backpacks that will help intensify muscle growth. This should however NOT exceed 10% of your dog’s body weight and is recommended to use only after 17 months of age.

      Read Also: >> What are the best games to play with Border Collies at home?

      What are the Cons To Having a Border Collie as a family dog?

      While a Border Collie is a fun, loving, and intelligent breed they also have characteristics that may differ from what your family is looking for in a family dog.

      Let’s dive into the dark side and reveal the not-so-good of a Border Collie!

      Will a Border Collie herd in a domestic environment?

      Whilst not aggressive the Border Collie tends to herd around small children, pets, and anything that they feel needs to be put back into place. They have natural OCD tendencies that give them the need to keep everything and everyone in line at all times.

      This behavior may pose a problem for some, due to you not being able to leave your dog with other pets for the most part. However, with the right training, this should not be an issue as your dog will learn what not to do when left alone.

      Working dogs need a lot of attention which means constant stimulation that the family will need to be ready for before bringing home your new pup.

      Can you trust your border collie around small children and babies?

      The first thing to note is that no dog be it a Border Collie should ever be left around small children or babies at any time alone.

      Border collies can be great around kids if they are well trained. Usually, they are recommended for families with older children because of their hyperactive nature. 

      An untrained Collie may be reactive to sudden sounds or movements, have a low tolerance with children, and even nip in circumstances too.

      To avoid this behavior it is recommended to begin socializing your dog with others at the earliest convenience along with training to help avoid the above. A dog with as much energy as a Border Collie can quickly become dangerously aggressive when untrained.

      Also Read: >> How do you warm your Border Collie to a small baby?

      How friendly are Border Collies with visitors of your home?

      Just like the very cliche video clip we have all seen, your Border Collie may indeed chase the mailman the first few times he or she shows up. That said, you can expect your dog to be very friendly with visitors of your home when trained to do so.

      Babies and small children of others may pose more of a threat when stealing attention and in some cases will need warming too before the threat level is reduced.

      The Border Collie is commonly known to chase cars and motorcycles, delivery boys, and just about any other living being that turns up.

      A consistent effort of training will be required in the event of this behavior you will need to look for signs of aggression to identify how your dog is feeling and help them develop and positive attitude toward others.

      Read Also: >> How do you spot early signs of Border Collie Aggression?

      Can border collies be left at home alone?

      When dealing with an active breed it is essential to avoid leaving them alone for long periods of time. Anything longer than 3 -4 hours may well develop separation anxiety that can later become aggression.

      A few things you can do to keep your dog occupied when at home include;

      • Switching on the TV for a nattural sounding envorment
      • Provide access to the yard if you have one
      • Give your dog a game or task to complete
      • Leave plenty of toys to play with
      • Hire a dog walker

      How much maintenance will a Border Collie need?

      to help you figure out how much owning this dog will set you back. We have put together a list of the most common expenses involved with owning a Border Collie.

      Note: The average amount of owning a Border will cost about $1,395/year (or $116/month) which will average at $20,635 over your dog’s entire lifetime.

      How much will it cost to own a Border Collie?

      A few of the costs you can expect to incur when owning a Border Collie include:

      • Training
        • Obedience Training – Group obedience Classes ($120 – $175 per class)
        • Agility training – ($500 – $635 for entire six week course)
        • scent detection and tracking Training – ($1500+)
      • Food
        • Puppy – $105-$220/year (for around 140 lb. of dry food)
        • Adult – $115-$360/year (for around 230 lb. of dry food)
      • Medical Care – ($595 for the first year and ongoing $330 – $825 per year)
        • Influenza medication – ($70-$90 for two doses)
        • Lyme vaccination – ($60-$80 for two doses)
      • Pet insurance – ($190 for accident olnly plan)
        • or ($560+ for accident + illness plan)

      Do Border Collies require frequent grooming?

      You can expect moderate to high shedding from a Border collie depending on your specific dog. Grooming costs will involve the following:

      • Home Grooming Tools – ($80 for a kit On Amazon)

      Some essential tools you will need in your kit include,

      • A deshedding tool
      • undercoat rake
      • blow dryer
      • Shears
      • shampoo + detangling conditioner
      • Nail clippers
      • toothbrush

      A few other items you may want to purchase include:

      Note: all costs are based on averages

      • Pooper scooper – ($20)
      • Dog collar – ($20)
      • Leash – ($10)
      • Puppy training pads – ($25)
      • First-Aid Kit – ($20)
      • Dog Bed (36″ or 42″) – ($50)
      • Plastic Poop Bags (900-1080) – ($55)
      • Food & Water Bowls – ($15)
      • ID Tag with Phone Number ($10)

      All in all, you can expect to pay around $225 to $250 in total. Note: these are all one-time purchase items.

      Frequently Asked Questions

      Are border collies prone to diseases?

      Yes. Like other dogs, border collies are prone to diseases. They are very susceptible to viral and bacterial infections. Examples include distemper, parvo, and rabies. Ensure upon purchase you collect all information on previous vaccinations and book them in with a vet if anything is missing.

      Do border collies Like to Cuddle?

      Yes! Border collies do love to cuddle a lot. They feel so good when their owner gets attached to them. Their extraordinary energetic personality prevents them from appearing as cuddly dogs. This is not the case because after engaging them in many exercises, they will love you to snuggle them up.

      Are border collies indoor or outdoor dogs?

      The Border collie is by no means a yard dog, although he loves the great outdoors. Considering that this breed of dog is bred to work together with people, you need to allow him to live indoors. This will prevent him from being destructive, bored, or lonely.


      Due to high energy, Border Collies make fantastic family dogs for encouraging outdoor activities and fun playing games all the time.

      Whilst not being allowed to be left with small babies alone, they certainly possess brilliant family tendencies as they love to take part, learn, play, protect, and alarm you of dangers.

      To find out more about if a Border Collie will be the perfect new family member for you, read the above and leave comments below of your experiences having a Border Collie in your family.

      Picture of Rachael Summers

      Rachael Summers

      Rachael Summers is the Founder and Senior Editor at Dig Doggy. She is a lifelong canine enthusiast and adores dogs of all shapes and sizes! Rachael also loves iced coffee, hammocks, and puppy-cuddling!

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      DigDoggy® is a free resource for dog owners, with everything from expert product reviews to trusted pet care advice.

      All of our reviews and recommendations are based on unbiased research by our editorial team. Read more about us.

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