Are Border Collies good with kids? This is the question I keep hearing from friends, so I decided to research and find out just how safe this dog is to have with little ones…
Border collies make fantastic pets to keep at home with babies, toddlers, and older kids. That said, to encourage this good behavior from your dog will require training from as early as 12 weeks of age.
Read on to find out why some Border Collies seem hostile to children while others flourish into bosom buddies for life.
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Are Border Collies Good with kids?
The Border Collie makes a fantastic family pet. Playful and energetic, it is easy to see why many kids enjoy the company of Border Collies and grow up to become best friends for life!
However, this healthy relationship is not possible if you skip out on socialization and training. Vigilance is also key to successfully raise young children and Border Collies together. Equally important, you need to teach your child to provide the same affection and respect towards his canine companion.
In the next section, I’ll cover the various ages that Border Collies best suit, what to be are of, and the benefits of having this breed as an addition to your family.
Potential Problems When Keeping Border Collies And Kids
Most Border Collies will never harm children. Regardless, caution is always advised as there are a few problems you may encounter with this instinctively intelligent breed.
📌 Border Collies Will “Herd” Small Children
Born to be the world’s premier herding dog, it is impossible to get rid of the herding instincts that have been deeply ingrained into this breed. That is why Border Collie will always have a strong urge to group the clumsiest and tiniest pack members, the toddlers.
A puppy trying to herd small children may seem innocent and hilarious, but the situation becomes nerve-wracking when the pup grows into a 45-pound land shark. What’s more, Border Collies often resort to barking and nipping if the “woolless errant sheep” is showing resistance.
Therefore, you need to nip this unnecessary behavior in the bud. Your pooch will otherwise grow thinking he is doing a fantastic job.
📌 Swift Movements and Noise Triggers Them
Border Collies can get quickly excited by the fast, awkward movements and interesting noises small children make. Thus, you should never allow dogs and tots to be together unsupervised.
📌 Border Collies Are Not As Tolerant With Children
Border Collies are not aggressive by nature but hyperactive and impulsive. Then again, even the most patient Lab can fly into a rage due to certain circumstances. The fact of the matter is: Border Collies don’t enjoy a child’s company the way some breeds do, such as Labrador and Golden Retrievers.
Don’t get me wrong; these dogs love to play and cuddle. I have heard a lot of stories about Border Collies sleeping beside the youngest child and looking after their sick siblings, among others. On the other hand, these dogs aren’t the “nanny type.”
Border Collies, in general, are quite sensitive and responsive. Playing a prank on them, mindlessly pulling their tails, stepping at their paw — anything that will hurt these pooches can scar them emotionally for life. A few collies may forgive and forget, but most of the time, they keep their distance.
Also Read: >> How good are Border Collies with other breeds?
Why and when Do Border Collies Bite Children?
Children rank the highest in dog bite statistics and some of these reported cases are caused by Border Collies. So, why do Border Collies nip or bite children?
Here are the most common reasons Border Collies bite and behave aggressively towards children:
Guarding objects a dog considers to be of high value, such as a smelly sock and a delicious chew, is a behavior domesticated pooches have inherited from wild canines. While this behavior is normal, it can become a potential problem for young children who don’t respect boundaries.
It is important to teach your child not to approach a dog that is happily gorging its food. Nor should he take away Doggo’s prized possessions that are stashed under his bed.
Any dog that is recuperating from surgery or a medical condition is under a lot of stress. So, it is best that your child leave the dog alone.
Kids act up and misbehave, but a Border Collie will not do anything drastic even when he has been harassed by rowdy youngsters. As mentioned earlier, collies prefer to keep their distance. But if the kids continue to pester the poor pooch, he may bare his teeth to scare them off or bite them out of fear.
It isn’t always the canine’s fault. As with most dogs, Border Collies will not inflict bites out of malicious intent. Some youngsters are just too naughty, while others are too young to understand that dogs also need to be respected.
Are Border Collies Good With Babies?
Yes! Doggo will learn to understand that your baby is part of the pack and he will also become protective of his newest sibling. However, this ideal does not happen overnight. While it can be done, it is definitely hard work!
If this is your first time bringing a newborn home, it is best to ask your folks or closest relatives to take care of Doggo during the first week. The arrival of a baby is a stressful event for everyone, including the four-legged members of the family. There will be a ton of different noises, smells, and so on. Not to mention, the whirlwind of activities that frazzle Mom and Dad.
Border Collies are wicked smart! So, you will want to introduce your dog when this bubble of tension has subsided. Doggo will otherwise associate your little cherub as the hairless imp that caused this great mayhem. He will make it a mission to get rid of the obstacle that brought an abrupt change in the pack’s attitude.
It may sound comical, but it does happen even to Border Collies that showed no prior aggression.
Can A Newborn Be Around This breed?
Yes, but the bigger question is: can you trust your dog with a baby when they are alone? The short answer is no.
Babies have a unique scent that is different from children and adults. Canines cannot immediately recognize this scent, which means even the smartest pooch will fail to identify a baby as a human being right off the bat. Furthermore, a baby squeals and makes other high-pitch noises that sound like prey to a dog.
Read Also: >> How much do Border Collies Drool?
When Border Collie Meets Baby: What To Do?
So, how do you safely introduce your newborn to your Border Collie?
👍 Have Your Border Collie Sniff Your Baby’s Belongings
A cousin of mine, who happens to be a pediatrician, suggested that parents give their dog the infant’s used clothes, particularly the ones worn by the baby right after birth. Have your Border Collie check those clothes out until he familiarizes the scent. By the time Doggo meets the newest pack member, he will be able to recognize the little bub right off the bat.
👍 Calm Your Overexcited Pooch
Your Border Collie will be downright ecstatic with your return from the hospital (or his comeback from his short “vacation.”) Make sure he settles down a bit before he enters the house because he will, without a doubt, have another bout of euphoric curiosity once he knows something is up.
👎 Don’t Make A Huge Fuss When Doggo Approaches Your Baby
For the first couple of weeks, Doggo will linger close to your baby, make a quick sniff, and be gone. Don’t make a big deal about it. As long as you are holding the babe, you should allow your Border Collie to approach him so that he could perform his little investigation. Don’t hold his collar or do anything weird and out of the ordinary.
👍 Include Your Border Collie In Everything
The last thing you want to do is casting your furry pal aside. The problem with many parents, however, is they tend to neglect their dogs once the baby is out.
Dogs get jealous, too! So, don’t make your Border Collie feel left out. If your dog wants to watch you change nappies, let him. Allow your pooch to accompany you wherever you go.
Any dog that has been used to follow you around the house will become insecure if some areas have become out of bounds or when he is no longer to participate in certain activities.
👍 Consider Using A Baby Gate
You need to keep pets out of the baby’s room when you are not around. To stay on the safe side, Doggo should only come inside the nursery when he is invited. Likewise, do not allow any pet to approach your baby unless he is being held.
Lucky are those who have the opportunity to spend their childhood with Border Collies. These smart doggies are not assertive or innately aggressive. A huge bonus is that they are faithful and full of fun.
That said, if you have toddlers or infants, you should never ever leave them alone with your pooch. Babies tend to make sudden noises and movements that can cause any pet to react negatively resulting in constant overseeing being always necessary.
The bottom line is that parents should always stay vigilant and educate their children on how to interact with the furry members of the family.