After years of herding dogs, this breed has gotten used to having other animals around. But this may not always translate well into a mixed-pet household.
A Border Collie’s heart is at the fields, herding and protecting their livestock. So when there is another pet at home, they may try to do this even if they do not have to. This can create friction in your home and lead to a stressful environment for everyone.
You cannot take the herder out of your Border Collie. But this intelligent dog can learn how to act accordingly around other animals. Training is always a must, especially if your other pets are smaller than your Border Collie.
This is tricky to deal with and sometimes you may feel lost in the process. But in this article, you will learn how to suppress your Border Collie’s strong instincts.
Are Border Collies Friendly With Other Dogs?
Border Collies can get along with other dogs, but you must work to achieve this. They are not the friendliest breed towards other dogs right off the bat. This is due to their strong herding instincts, which you can never take out of them.
It took centuries of breeding to keep all the characteristics that make them who they are today. Border Collies have been and continue to be herding dogs. So even as a pet, they still display these behaviors that do not make them friendly with other dogs.
One is their overprotectiveness. Part of their responsibility of being herding dogs was to protect their livestock. Border Collies had to be alert day and night to ward off any predators that may harm their flock.
This translates into a home setting, they are overprotective of you and your family. They consider you as part of the pack and they may see other dogs as a threat to the pack.
Other issues can arise in your Border Collie’s relationship as well. This breed tends to nip at other dogs, as part of their herding instincts. This can also be their way of being assertive, especially at the beginning. This is something their new canine companion may not like. So there may be a rough start to their relationship.
Other than that, Border Collies do not like it when the other dog barks too loud. This breed is sensitive to loud sounds, they often get scared by them. Border Collies may also not like it when the other dog gets too close for comfort too.
Border Collies are generally not known to be aggressive dogs. They are not known to start a fight, but they will let the other dog know that they are not happy.
In their interactions, you may see your Border Collie snarl or show their teeth. This is them trying to tell the other dog to back off.
So the key here is a slow and gradual introduction. Have both dogs take the time to get used to each other and understand the other’s boundaries.
In time, your Border Collie may grow to like the other dog’s company. You may see them play around and do some silly antics together. With this breed’s playfulness and high energy, they will appreciate a playmate.
Or your Border Collie may learn to tolerate the other dog. This is not the worst-case scenario because they can live peacefully together.
Keep in mind that these are all generalizations of the breed. This should not define your Border Collie and the outcome will vary from dog to dog.
Can Male and Female Border Collies Live Together?
A Border Collie pairing gets along best when you have a male and a female. This will give you an easier time getting them to warm up with each other. Their personalities will not clash as much, compared to a same-gender duo.
But there are always some exceptions to this rule, so it will depend on your Border Collie. There are other variables to consider other than their gender. Some to keep in mind are the following:
- Their Age: A puppy may annoy an older Border Collie as their energy levels do not match.
- Their History: Rescued Border Collies may have a rough past. This will affect how well they will share a home with another dog.
- Their Health: A Border Collie who suffers from health issues may not be suitable to live with another dog.
There are many other factors to consider other than these. Another is to make sure that your existing dog is already obedience trained. This will help you get better control of them during the introduction period.
Can Two Female Border Collies Live Together?
Two female Border Collies can live together, but it is riskier for both dogs so it is best to avoid this pairing. If you put two females together, they are more likely to fight for dominance compared to males. They never settle on who is at the top of the pack, because none of them want to admit that the other is better than them.
A fight between two female Border Collies is often more dangerous. Neither one will concede unless they draw blood. Sometimes, this may even lead to death.
You should also consider you will have to deal with two female dogs in heat. Hormonal changes during the heat cycle can make them more aggressive. This can make their situation even worse.
Also, when they are in heat, they may compete with each other for a partner. If they sense that a male dog is nearby, you can expect some fighting to happen.
Other than that, you should also consider their age. Border Collie females who are about the same age will fight, but this can be worse with a bigger age gap. A younger female is more likely to get dominant over an older one because they see them as weaker.
If your existing Border Collie is a working dog, this can affect their working ability if you plan to make them a working duo.
Do Male Border Collies Get Along?
By having two male Border Collies at home, you give them a reason to fight with one another. Though they can get along, more often than not, they will live in an unhappy situation. This causes more stress for you as well, seeing them fight all the time.
The biggest issue with having two males together is that they will want to have an order in the pack. To do that, they must assert their dominance over the other by fighting. Unlike females, they settle on who the better dog is faster, which is still an issue.
While fights between male dogs are not as brutal as female fights, they can still be scary. Border Collies become very aggressive when they get frustrated. They may break some stuff while settling on who is the more dominant dog.
Once they decide on who the alpha of the pack is, there will be an imbalance in their relationship. The dominant dog becomes more dominant than usual. While the submissive one becomes even more submissive.
This is a tough situation for the one pushed further into submission. In the wild, they can get out of this situation. But since they live with you, they do not have a choice.
In the end, they become unhappy and you may notice a change in their personality.
There are other reasons why two male Border Collies may fight, all listed below.
Fighting Over You
This breed has worked closely with one person for centuries as herding dogs. Once they become attached to you, they get very protective over you. With this, your Border Collie may see another dog as competition for your love, time, and attention.
Both of them will fight for those in an attempt to be your favorite dog. They are also quick to jealousy since Border Collies are emotionally sensitive dogs. While you try your best to give them equal affection, they may want to settle it themselves.
Fighting Over Food
Even the friendliest Border Collie can turn nasty if another dog is a threat to their food resources. Sometimes, giving them separate food bowls will still not solve this issue.
You may need to feed them at separate times to avoid any fighting from starting. This is not the most practical solution, but it is what you have to deal with.
Fighting Over Toys
Border Collies love to play with their toys, so they can also be protective over them. With this, they will not like it if the other dog plays with their treasured toy. If they see this, your Border Collie will fight the other dog to get their toy back.
What Dogs Get Along Well With Border Collies?
Some dog breeds, like German Shepherds and Australian Shepherds, are compatible with them. This breed is smart and active so they can be a great friend for your Border Collie. But other dog breeds also make a great companion for your Border Collie.
The main qualities to look for in your Border Collie’s companion are the following:
- Energy level
Border Collies are an active and intelligent breed, so they need a companion that can keep up as well. This makes for a better playmate so both dogs can live happily. With this, they will form a bond that only starts with enjoying each other’s company.
Another thing to consider is that Border Collies like to play rough. So you need a furry companion that can handle this without resorting to aggression. Larger dogs are an obvious choice here, as smaller dogs cannot hold their own against this breed.
To save you some time, here are the top dog breeds that get along with Border Collies.
This dog breed is often considered the best companion for your Border Collie. They are also intelligent and hardworking dogs, much like a Border Collie. With proper training, they are also obedient, disciplined dogs.
As much as they love work, this breed also loves lengthy play as exercise. They need a daily exercise routine to release their high energy levels! This is great news for your Border Collie as they will have a new workout buddy.
German Shepherds are also medium to large in size. This means they can handle rough play with your Border Collie.
As another highly intelligent herding dog, this breed is a great match for your Border Collie. Australian Shepherds are responsive to training and are great with commands and obedience. Other than that, they also have a ton of energy packed in their furry body!
To top it off, Australian shepherds have the same instincts as a Border Collie. They have worked the same job for years, so they will complement each other well. But two herding dogs in the household is challenging, so you have to make sure you are ready.
This popular breed is one of the friendliest dog breeds you can find. They are lovable goofballs who will enjoy playing with your Border Collie! They have the energy, intelligence, and obedience to work well with your Border Collie.
Labradors are a friendly and active breed that loves a lively environment! They can keep up with your Border Collie during rough play very well. They are also intelligent dogs that have a good grasp of commands and obedience.
Poodles are one of the most intelligent dogs as well. They can keep up with your Border Collie’s obedience and the commands that they know. With good stamina, they will enjoy lengthy play with your Border Collie each day.
Remember to look into standard-sized Poodles and not the smaller ones. A smaller Poodle cannot handle your Border Collie’s roughhousing. But a standard Poodle is large enough not to get hurt during play.
English Pointers have big brains and big personalities packed in their medium-sized bodies. They are also biddable and hard-working dogs, like your Border Collie.
This breed also likes putting its physical abilities to use. They will tag along on hikes, long runs, bike rides, and more. With their qualities, there is a good chance that your Border Collie will like them.
Much like German Shepherds, this dog breed is intelligent and quite obedient. They are larger than your Border Collie, but their trainability makes them manageable.
Belgian Shepherds are very playful dogs too, with the energy to boot! Your Border Collie will find a compatible playmate in this breed.
This high-energy, medium-sized breed loves a lot of play sessions. And it may come as a surprise, but they need more exercise than your Border Collie. But this is what makes them compatible with your furry friend.
Although they have a lot of energy, Dalmatians can be stubborn dogs. So you need to put in extra work in training them to be obedient dogs. Otherwise, they can be big troublemakers, which your Border Collie may not like.
Like Dalmatians, Boxers also have more exercise needs than your Border Collie. They are smart, full of life, and always ready to play! Boxers can also hold their own when playing rough with your Border Collie, which they will both love.
The issue with a Border Collie and Boxer pair is that the latter is quite a rebel. This naughty breed is often known to encourage other dogs to follow them. Many dog owners also say that this is the reason why Boxers are tricky to train.
So if you choose a Boxer companion for your Border Collie, you need to train them well.
Are Border Collies Better in Pairs?
Border Collies can be better in pairs, as this gives them the chance to be part of a pack. They exercise each other, keep each other company, and more! They may even calm each other down when you are not at home as a bonus.
This high-energy and playful breed will always appreciate having a dog to play with. They are each other’s source of entertainment, preventing boredom. In the process, you get entertained watching their silly antics as well.
Your two Border Collies will have a canine bond that you can never understand or provide them. So by having this breed as a pair, you fulfill this connection that they may long for.
But having two Border Collies is not a walk in the park. If you already have one, you can only enjoy these benefits if you prepare well before the second dog arrives.
You can do this by making sure that your existing dog underwent proper training. Your Border Collie should not be a troublemaker as this will teach the other dog how to be one too. This can add to your stress seeing two dogs rummaging through the trash together.
Other than that, they should also be well-socialized first. If you have not, your Border Collie will not know how to interact with the new dog. They become unpredictable and they may become aggressive out of the blue.
And while having two Border Collies is wonderful, you need to make sure that you are up for the challenge.
Border Collies demand a lot of your time and attention, even one of them can be a handful to many people. Now if you have two, this will double your responsibilities. If you cannot keep up with this, your duo may become unhappy and rebellious dogs.
You also have to consider the costs of keeping them happy and healthy. Their vet costs, flea and tick treatments, and vaccines are the tip of the iceberg. Costs can further stack up with their grooming, food, toys, treats, and more!
Why Does My Border Collie Not Like Other Dogs?
Border Collies may not get along with other dogs due to dominance issues, fear, and more. Other dog breeds also face this, but one possible cause may be unique to herding dogs. Your Border Collie’s strong instincts can also make them wary of other dogs.
It can be frustrating when your Border Collie goes off at the sight of other dogs. You have to be extra careful taking them out on walks, in dog parks, or even doggy daycare. But you need to pinpoint the reason first before you can seek help for this problem.
So here are the possible reasons why your Border Collie appears to dislike other dogs.
They Think the Other Dog Is a Threat
Border Collies are protective of their territory and humans. This is due to years of herding, gathering, and even protecting their livestock. Their overprotectiveness then translates into their home and people.
So when your Border Collie sees another dog, they perceive them as a threat. This breed is wary of strangers, whether it is another person or an animal. So their protective nature kicks in and they will bark and growl at the other dog to widen the distance.
They do the same if another dog gets too close for their comfort. Border Collies are not a fan of another dog getting in their personal space. They will not hesitate to snarl and show their teeth in this case.
They Find the Other Dog Scary
Your Border Collie will display behaviors that appear aggressive when they get scared. It could be that the other dog is larger and intimidating. Or this could be due to a lack of socialization or a past trauma with other dogs.
Once the fear kicks in, your Border Collie will bark and lunge at the other dog. They are not trying to fight, instead, they are trying to get the other dog to back off. Your Border Collie wants to increase the distance between them so they feel more at ease.
They Are Asserting Their Dominance
Both genders of this breed may want to be at the top of the social hierarchy. They will establish their dominance to prove themselves as the alpha of the pack. With this, they will not hesitate to growl and even bite the other dog.
They Have Barrier Frustration
You always have to look at the events that lead to your Border Collie’s reaction to other dogs. Sometimes they get frustrated that they cannot come up to other dogs, so they bark. This is barrier frustration, which is far from them not liking other dogs.
This may come up when you are walking your Border Collie outside on a leash. They see another dog and get excited seeing a playmate, but they cannot since they are on a leash. Your Border Collie then barks to express their frustration about the situation.
If this is the case, your Border Collie has no problem with being friendly with other dogs. They may display their great social skills once you give in and have them meet each other. The issue is that they do not know how to control their frustration.
Barrier frustration is often due to a lack of social skills and proper training.
They Have Strong Herding Instincts
Border Collies have a strong attraction for anything and everything that moves. Sometimes, they get attracted to other moving dogs.
As a herding dog, their instincts kick in and they want to herd the other dog. Your Border Collie may use “the eye” and stare at the other dog in hopes that they may listen. But this only works for sheep, since this mimics what wolves do when they choose their dinner among the flock.
The other dog will not fall for your Border Collie’s tactic. So your furry friend will get visibly irritated that they cannot control the other dog.
As a result, they will bark and lunge at the other dog as a last resort. You cannot get rid of your Border Collie’s instincts. But this tells you that they do not have enough outlets for their energy and instincts.
They Have Their Quirks
This is not for all Border Collies, but many of them have their quirks. This includes a low tolerance for rude doggy behaviors. So when a dog gets too rowdy and in their face, your Border Collie will not appreciate this.
To deal with this, they will tell the other dog to back off. This includes snarling at the other dog to get their message across.
You may see this as them being aggressive. But this is their way of preventing that from happening. The other dog is getting on their nerves and they want the dog to back away before things get ugly.
How Do You Introduce a New Border Collie?
There are several steps you need to take when introducing a new Border Collie to the one you already have. This needs to be a slow and gradual introduction. Otherwise, they will not learn to like each other.
First, you need to pick a neutral meeting place for when they first meet. This should be somewhere none of them feel territorial in, like a park. But there should be no distractions around, such as other dogs nearby.
Now have both dogs on a leash and have them close beside the handler. Make sure the leash is not too tight, since this can make them more likely to be aggressive.
Each dog should only focus and interact with its handler. Keep their attention while walking each dog slowly towards one another.
The handler should keep calm throughout the whole process. No pulling or tugging on the leash as this will increase the dogs’ anxiety and can make them aggressive.
Be prepared if either one of them displays aggressive behavior. They will start growling, showing their teeth, and more. A fight may even be on the way so that they can establish who the dominant dog is.
If you see any of these, separate the two dogs and keep them away from each other for now. Next time, try to walk them side to side instead of walking them towards each other face to face.
Whenever they ignore each other as they are close together, give them rewards. Shower them with treats, pets, and verbal praise! This will keep them relaxed and make the whole process positive for them.
A positive association with the situation will help you down the road. This will encourage them to keep behaving around each other.
Have them do this for several weeks until they get used to each other. In time, you can let them play unsupervised without a leash.
How to Introduce a Border Collie to a Puppy
The key to introducing your Border Collie to a puppy is to get them used to each other’s smell. Take your time doing this, as dogs get to know each other through scent. It is not a great idea to have them sniff each other face to face, so here is a step-by-step process that you can follow.
Step 1: Let the New Puppy Explore Your Home
Keep your Border Collie behind closed doors as your puppy walks around your home. Have the puppy take in the sights, smells, and sounds of their new home. But do not force them to do anything and have them walk around on their terms.
Later on, introduce the puppy to their items, such as their dog bed and toys. Have them rub their scent on it for later on.
During this step, your Border Collie may sense that there is another dog in your home. You can also let the puppy go to the door of your Border Collie’s room. They can sniff each other under the door to get familiar with each other’s scent.
You can also opt to take your Border Collie outside instead of keeping them in a room. This will prevent them from freaking out due to another dog’s presence in your home. Think of which option is better for your Border Collie based on what you know about them.
Step 2: Switch Their Places
You should still keep both dogs separated during this step, but the next step depends on how you did the first step. Either take your Border Collie out of the room that they stayed in. Or bring them inside after spending some time outdoors.
Now keep your new puppy in a room, it can be the room that your Border Collie stayed in. Or, you can have someone take your puppy outside to explore your yard.
Then have your Border Collie inspect the puppy’s bed, blanket, toys, or any item that may have the new dog’s scent. This step is crucial for your Border Collie as it helps them have a positive association with the scent.
Step 3: Do Your Regular Routine
Continue your usual daily activities with your Border Collie. Go for a walk, play outside, give them their meals, and everything else. Do not act cold or distant towards them, shower them with love and affection instead. This will help them feel more at ease during the whole process.
Step 4: Swap Places Again
After every 20 to 30 minutes, swap the dogs’ locations to get them used to each other’s scent. One dog should stay outside or in a room, while the other has free reign over the rest of the home.
Encourage both dogs to play with each other’s toys as well. Again, this is for them to have a positive association with each other’s scent.
Take your time with this step, it may take you a few days before you can move on to the next step. A slow and gradual process is always better. This will help in preventing any negative reaction from them once they meet.
Step 5: Have Them Meet in a Neutral Place
By alternating their places for some time, you are preparing for their meeting day. Make sure not to have them meet at home, as they may get territorial and the meeting can be unpleasant. Instead, you can have them meet at a local park, which is a neutral area.
First, settle on a route to the park with someone who will walk your new puppy. Then have them walk to the park ahead of you. You should follow behind with your Border Collie as well.
Most Border Collies love going on a walk as they get to put their body to work. During the walk, each dog will get a whiff of the other’s scent. This will further help both of them have a positive association with each other’s smell.
Make sure you keep both dogs leashed at the park. This will give you better control of them on their first encounter.
If they get too excited or agitated, separate them and calm them down first. Use up their extra energy by playing with them or going for a lap around the park.
After that, you can slowly walk them towards each other. Make sure their focus is on their person, so give them constant treats as you walk towards each other. Do not forget to shower them with praise and pets as well, this will make the experience more positive for them.
Keep a close eye on each dog and watch out for their body language. If your Border Collie does not like the situation, you can separate them, play for a bit, and try again.
Once they are comfortable with having each other nearby, have them sniff each other out. Oftentimes, they will smell each other’s rear as their unique scent comes from their anal sac. This is their way of saying hello to each other.
If one dog poops or pees, have each other smell it. Take the time to do this step so that they know where the weird smell in your home comes from.
Step 6: Allow Them to Interact at Home
Supervise their interactions at home with a leash on to start. Make sure to play with both of them at the same time so they see each other as a playmate.
Watch out for negative behaviors, especially aggressive ones. If you find that one displays aggression, discourage the behavior right away.
An older Border Collie may have a low tolerance for the younger puppy’s antics. So if you see that your Border Collie does not want to engage anymore, separate them. This will help in preventing your older dog from lashing out at the poor pup.
When feeding them, be sure to give them their food bowls. This will establish each other’s boundaries and teach them to respect them. Make sure the puppy does not go to your Border Collie’s bowl or a fight will happen.
One of the most important things here is to give each dog equal attention. Dogs can get jealous of each other and this can cause a ruckus in your home. Play and cuddle with both dogs equally so that they know you love them both.
Do Border Collies Get Along With Cats?
It is not uncommon for Border Collies to get along with cats, but this depends on the situation. The issue here is your Border Collie’s herding instincts. Although they mean no harm to the cat, their feline friend will not appreciate their behavior.
Your Border Collie has an eye for movement, they get attracted to anything mobile. If there are cats around, they may decide that their feline friend is part of their herding duties. So they will try to herd your cat by starting and chasing them. If they fail at herding your cat, they will start barking at them and even nipping.
These behaviors can cause injuries to your cat. Even having a dog staring at them can put them in a stressful home environment. This stress can lead to health issues, such as dehydration.
Most cats are independent and do not enjoy the company of another pet. But if your Border Collie always gets in their face and pushes them around, the can will be unhappy.
Some factors make it easier for you to have a mixed-pet household, such as:
- Your Border Collie grew up with cats
- Your cat grew up with dogs
- Your Border Collie got introduced to your household as a puppy
In these scenarios, your Border Collie and cat had enough time to get used to another species in the house. A good relationship between the two goes both ways. So you also need to consider how your cat will react to your Border Collie.
But not all households have this headstart. If this is the case for you, what can you do then?
If you plan to have a mixed-pet household, you need to put in extra work to train and socialize your Border Collie. You need to teach them to leave the cat alone and set and follow firm rules. The goal is to drive their focus away from the cat and divert it into training and play. As tedious as this may be, this is not an impossible task.
Once they get along, your Border Collie and cat may be excellent playmates. Especially if your cat is just as playful and likes a fun game of chase.
But even if this may turn out well, you always need to supervise their interactions. There is no guarantee that your cat will not get harmed, even if your Border Collie means well.
But if you have put in so much work and there is no progress, you can seek the help of a professional. They can teach you how to control your Border Collie’s herding instincts.
How to Introduce a Kitten to a Border Collie
There are many ways to introduce your Border Collie to their new feline friend. This includes using their scent, managing their behavior, and more. The key is to take baby steps and to take your time in letting them get used to each other.
Your resident Border Collie may get alarmed with the presence of a kitten at home. So you should keep in mind that having them meet right away is not a great idea. Give them at least 3 days to warm up to each other first.
With this, here are tips on how you can do a slow introduction for your furry friends.
Set Up Barriers
Before you bring your kitten home, you need to put up some gates around the home. This will prevent your Border Collie from chasing your cat. So this will help in making your cat feel safer at home in places where they can stay.
You can use pet gates and install them in strategic places at home. Make sure that your barrier is durable as your Border Collie may barge right through it.
Use Their Scents to Your Advantage
As you may know, letting dogs sniff each other’s scent is a great way to introduce them. You can do the same thing in introducing your Border Collie and kitten!
Swap their blankets, beds, and toys from time to time. You can do this daily as well so that the scent remains fresh. Your Border Collie and cat will soon find the scent of the other pet familiar.
Smelling the other’s scent on a toy is also a great tactic. This will help them form a positive association with the scent so that it will be easier for you once they meet.
Keep Testing Your Border Collie’s Obedience
You need to make sure that your Border Collie knows their commands and follows them to no fail. Their obedience is crucial in managing their behaviors around your cat. So while you are getting them used to each other, you need to test them constantly.
One of the more important ones is the recall command. They should be able to go back to you whenever they are messing with your cat. If you cannot control your Border Collie, the situation can get ugly.
Give Your Border Collie Something to Do
As mentioned in the previous section, your Border Collie’s focus should not be on the cat. Their focus should be on training and other fun physical or mental activities. This is your goal for them to cohabitate in peace.
To do this, you need to give your Border Collie a sense of purpose. Not all Border Collies are herding dogs, but you can get creative with this.
A fun job you can give them is to make them your jogging or biking buddy. You can do this daily so that they have something to look forward to each day.
You can also train them to be an athlete. Border Collies excel in dog sports, agility and herding trials are something they do best in.
If you do not want to join competitions, you can do these at home as well. Create an obstacle course for them in the yard and go through it with them. You can also get big bouncy balls and have them herd those in your yard.
Other than that, you can take them on fun outdoor activities such as hiking. If you live near a body of water, you can also take them out to play there or swim.
The sky is the limit for this wonderful and capable breed. They can learn to love and enjoy a lot of activities as long as they do them with you.
If they have these fun activities to look forward to, their focus will not be on the cat. So there is a lesser chance of them pestering their feline companion.
Assess Your Cat’s Temperament
In general, cats enjoy their own company with no other pet to bug them from time to time. You need to be careful if your cat has this temperament. They often have a low tolerance for other pets, such as your Border Collie.
You should also consider that the cat can be the problem. Do not force your cat to like your Border Collie in this case. This will only create a hostile environment for them.
But a lot of kittens are playful and love to have fun with other pets that you have. In this case, they can be a great playmate for your Border Collie. But make sure that your resident dog knows that they are bigger and that they can easily hurt the kitten.
Keep a Watchful Eye on Their Interactions
Make sure to do the steps above for at least a week. This will set you up for success once they finally meet.
After that, you can introduce them to each other in the flesh. You can hold your kitten in the beginning so it is easier for you to separate them if things go out of hand. Also, have your Border Collie on a leash and let someone else hold your resident dog.
Have them sniff each other for a while so they finally know where the weird scent is coming from. Whenever your Border Collie gets too excited or rowdy, tell them off in a firm and loud voice. A simple “no” will do, or you can give them other commands to follow.
A crucial thing to do is to reward your Border Collie whenever they behave around your kitten. Give them treats whenever they are gentle. Or you can continue telling them how good they are behaving.
Keep repeating this process for at least another week. This will help both pets feel more comfortable with each other’s presence.
Remember to never stop teaching your Border Collie how to behave around a small kitten. You should also continue to brush up on their obedience skills.
Do not punish them if they become too disruptive, this will only make them have a negative experience. Keep teaching them what you want them to do with positive reinforcement instead.
How to Stop a Border Collie From Chasing Cats
You cannot get rid of your Border Collie’s instinct to chase, but you can suppress this desire in many ways. The goal here is to divert their focus to something more productive. In the process, you are teaching your Border Collie to ignore their feline friend.
A Border Collie chasing your poor cat around the home will add to everyone’s stress. The cat will always be on flight mode and your Border Collie will get frustrated since they cannot herd the cat. Also, you will not get peace of mind because you always have to play as a referee.
To ease the tension in your home, below are tips that you can follow to stop this. In time, your Border Collie and cat can cohabitate in peace without adding to your stress.
Use Your Border Collie’s Obedience Skills
The basic commands that your Border Collie already knows will come in handy for this. Whenever they chase the cat, command them to sit and stay. They should stop in their tracks and focus on following you instead.
If your Border Collie has a high prey drive, a “down” command is better for them. Once they lie down on their tummy, they will forget about the cat and think of you instead.
You can also send them to lie down on their bed or let them go to another room.
Remember to always give them a reward whenever they follow your commands. This will encourage them to continue obeying you.
Distract Your Border Collie
This puts your Border Collie’s focus on a task instead of fixating on chasing your cat. Border Collies love to work or play, so this can be to your advantage.
Whenever they want to chase your cat, give them a fun activity to do. You can play tug-of-war with them, fetch, or other games. This will channel their energy into something more productive and will let off steam.
Give Your Border Collie Plenty of Exercises
Your Border Collie has a surprising amount of energy packed in their furry bodies. Sometimes, physical exercise is not enough to get them tired. Mental exercises are often overlooked, but this is what drains them out more.
So other than physical activities, make sure to provide them with brain games too. You can use puzzle games to get their minds working. But continuing to train them is also great mental stimulation for your Border Collie.
Make sure they get their daily exercise to deplete their energy. A tired Border Collie will not have the drive to chase your cat around the house anymore.
Provide Your Cat With a Safe Space
This will give your cat somewhere to retreat to whenever your Border Collie chases them. Make sure that your Border Collie knows to stop whenever your cat is in their haven. Discourage your dog from trying to get into the cat’s space.
When creating a safe space for cats, make sure to choose an elevated spot. Cats love to climb and feel safest when they are in a high area. You can use cat shelves and drill them on your walls so they are far from your Border Collie’s reach.
Provide Your Dog With a Safe Space
Like your cat, your Border Collie also needs a space to call theirs. You can also learn not to trespass your Border Collie’s safe space. Especially when your furry friend is sleeping.
Cats like to invade another pet’s bed, this is part of their quirk. But this can cause friction between the two and so you should discourage your cat from doing this.
Get a Crate for Your Border Collie
This is especially important when you have to leave the house. Border Collies are den animals and they consider their crate as their haven. So they do not have any problem with staying in their crate.
This is a good thing, as your cat can get a break from your Border Collie if the latter is in their crate. Crating your furry friend is an effective way to prevent any chasing from happening.
Separate the Two Pets
Sometimes, everyone just needs a break from each other. Trying to get your two pets to get along will also take a toll on you. So you can separate them so that everyone can take a breather.
You can let your Border Collie stay outside a few times daily. Be sure to give them something to do while they are out, like providing them with toys. Playing with them and training them outside is also a great option.
This will allow your cat to roam the house freely so that they can catch a break.
Are Border Collies Good With Small Animals?
Border Collies can be good with other animals if they undergo extensive training and socialization. Your Border Collie may display unacceptable behaviors in the presence of small animals. So they may end up hurting the poor little creatures, even if they do not mean to.
Much of their behaviors are due to their strong instincts. Other than herding instincts, they are others that you should consider as well.
So here is why it can be dangerous for an untrained Border Collie to be around small animals.
Border Collies Have a Strong Herding Instinct
The movements of small animals can drive a Border Collie into herding mode.
They will chase the poor creature to no end as a result. Since this breed has great stamina, they will run the poor thing to exhaustion. Your Border Collie will do this all day, which can cause stress to the other animal.
Another concern here is that your Border Collie’s herding method includes nipping. They resort to this behavior if the other animal does not respond to “the eye”. This makes your Border Collie frustrated, so they start nipping at the poor animal to get them to listen.
Even if Border Collies are medium-sized dogs, there is still a big size difference. They can hurt the small animal without much effort, even if it is not their intention to do so.
Border Collies Have a Strong Predatory Instinct
This does not apply to all Border Collies, but some may see small animals as prey. They will have an intense desire to chase the animal and catch them. Smaller animals are more likely to get hurt in this scenario.
Border Collies Have a Strong Protective Instinct
Border Collies are not fond of strangers, whether they are humans or other animals. Although you have a smaller creature, your Border Collie may still see them as a threat. Anything unusual to your furry friend can drive them into protective mode.
Their overprotectiveness applies to your home and you and your family. Bringing a new pet at home ticks all those, so they will chase the intruder away and out of your home.
Border Collies Have a Strong Play Instinct
This delightful breed is hyperactive with an almost unlimited supply of energy. Sometimes, instead of chasing the small animal, they want to play with their new friend. Unfortunately, the size difference is still an issue here.
Border Collies can get too excited and boisterous during playtime. They also like to play rough with other animals so they can hurt the small animal in a second.
As you know, you can never take away these instincts from your Border Collie. But you have one of the most intelligent dog breeds in your hands. So use that to your advantage!
Your Border Collie can learn to get along with other animals that are tiny compared to them. This entails a lot of constant learning and relearning for them. In time, they will know how to handle their smaller friends without hurting them.
But never let them play without your watchful eye. Even if your Border Collie knows and follows the rules, accidents can happen. This is not a guarantee that your small animal is safe in the hands of your Border Collie.
Are Border Collies Good With Rabbits?
Your Border Collie needs rigorous training before they can get along with rabbits. They may see rabbits as something to herd or something to have for dinner. Both of these scenarios are bad news for a fragile animal like a rabbit.
Rabbits can die if they get startled. This is an issue because Border Collies are hyper and can get boisterous at times. Even your Border Collie’s loud barks can cause them to have a heart attack and this can lead to sudden death.
The situation can turn worse since Border Collies have a strong instinct to chase. They will fixate on your rabbit’s movements and this puts them into herding mode.
Your furry herder may even nip your rabbit and this can lead to serious injuries. This may also cause the poor rabbit to die of fright.
This herding instinct may be an advantage at times, like when your rabbit escapes their pen. Your responsible Border Collie will herd them back into their spot. But their method of doing this may not be safe for such a sensitive animal.
They may also chase your rabbit because they see the small creature as their prey. It is not likely that this is why your Border Collie will chase them because they are herders and not hunters. But this is still a possibility that you should consider.
Still, how your Border Collie behaves around other animals is a product of your training.
If you dedicate a lot of time to training your Border Collie, they will learn how to behave around your rabbit. This takes a lot of work on your part and theirs. They have to suppress their desire to herd and this is what got hardwired to do.
How Do You Introduce a Border Collie to a Rabbit?
Your focus on introducing your Border Collie to a rabbit is to teach them to ignore the small animal. So for their introduction, there should be no interaction between the two at first. In time, you can gradually increase their time together.
For a positive experience, you need to keep a watchful eye on their body language. If your Border Collie barks or gets too excited in any of the steps below, separate the two. You should do the same when you sense that the rabbit feels uneasy.
It can be tricky to introduce a hyper dog like Border Collies to a sensitive animal such as a rabbit. There is a lot that can go wrong here. To help you with this, below are steps on how you can acquaint the two.
Step 1: Set Up a Secure Spot for Your Rabbit
This is a crucial first step, as your Border Collie should not get to the rabbit as they wish. Your furry friend can startle your rabbit to death and this is not what you want to happen.
Make sure your new rabbit feels secure in their space too. Once they feel comfortable in their designated area, they can warm up to your Border Collie.
Step 2: Do Not Let Them Interact At First
While your pets are warming up to each other’s presence, do not have them say their hellos yet. Have your Border Collie on a leash and pass by the rabbit’s area a few times daily. Do not have them sniff each other yet, that will happen later on.
After passing by your rabbit’s spot, take your Border Collie to another room or outside. Give him a treat and verbal praise as soon as you do. This will teach them that ignoring the rabbit is what you want to see from them. But this can also make the whole experience positive for them. As a result, you are further encouraging them to do good behaviors.
Do this process daily for at least a week. The longer you do this step, the better. This will ensure that your Border Collie understands and follows the rules.
Step 3: Keep the Leash On and Approach the Rabbit
In time, your rabbit will warm up to the idea of having your Border Collie nearby. You can tell by seeing if they come near your dog as they try to sniff their canine friend. These are all good steps and are a sign that you can finally let them meet.
Have your Border Collie on a leash and approach the rabbit’s spot, still keeping a good distance. Your rabbit should approach your Border Collie and not the other way around. Be strict with this, as you are teaching your furry friend how to behave.
Make sure to give your Border Collie rewards when they stay calm. This will help in ingraining what you are teaching them in their minds.
Any time they get too excited, leave the area and have them go out or to another room. Try to take them to the rabbit again once they mellow down. This lets them know that they should always stay calm around their smaller friend.
Do this for another week or so, until you are confident in your Border Collie’s behavior.
Step 4: Take the Leash Off
There are two things you need before you proceed with this step. One is that your rabbit should feel happy and secure enough to be around your Border Collie. Another is that your Border Collie always stays calm around the rabbit without fail.
Now you can take your Border Collie to the rabbit without a leash. Again, only the rabbit can approach your furry friend. Supervise their interaction from start to finish each time.
As a herding dog, your Border Collie may stare at your rabbit. But you should not allow them to do this. This means that they get fixated on the rabbit’s movements and this can lead to trouble down the road.
Soon after, they may start getting rowdy. This can startle your poor rabbit, which can be dangerous. Glancing once or twice is fine, but staring at the rabbit is unacceptable.
So any time they focus on the rabbit too much, take them to another room or put them on a leash. You need to go and do the previous step again. Stay in step 3 until your Border Collie learns to ignore the rabbit’s movements.
If your Border Collie passed this step with flying colors, the two pets can stay in the same room. Still, you should not leave them alone without your supervision.