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Is a Border Collie a Good Breed (Is It the Right Dog for Me)?

Many dog owners regard Border Collies as the best dogs they ever had and it is easy to see why. People around the world love this breed due to its intelligence, work ethic, loyalty, and more. But they are a challenge to own and in the wrong hands, they can be destructive dogs. So you need to know more about these dogs and their quirks to see if they suit you.
Is a Border Collie a Good Breed

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Border Collies are such a ball of energy and watching them do their thing is such a delight. Have one in your home and you will never have a dull day in your life anymore. But it is not all sunshine when you have the pleasure of taking care of this breed.

This is a demanding breed and providing for their needs takes a huge chunk of your day. Figuring ways to drain their energy levels can also drain you in the process. This is necessary for them to be happy, but this is not for everyone.

Before getting a Border Collie, you need to make sure that you can handle them. This breed needs a certain lifestyle, but does yours blend with theirs?

Caring for them is a big responsibility, so a careful decision is a must. To help you decide, this article will give you a glimpse of what it is like to own them.

How Popular Are Border Collies?

Border Collies have garnered wide popularity around the world. Almost everyone has seen or heard of Border Collies because this breed is everywhere. You see them on the fields, obstacle courses, on TV, and more.

This premier sheepherder has many talents and skills. But many people box this capable breed into their original job.

If they are not working in a field, they can also be athletes, actors, search and rescue dogs, and more.

Their natural athleticism translates well into dog sports. Border Collies excel in various types, but they dominate agility the most. Look up dog agility contests and chances are, you will find more than one Border Collie competing.

And being so intelligent and biddable, Border Collies can be actors as well. They have entertained millions of people around the world through TV shows and films. Some of these are “Babe”, “Animal Farm”, and “Mad About You”.

Because these dogs are flexible in what work they can do, you will see them serving the community as well. Border Collies are also used as search and rescue dogs, service dogs, and more.

So it is no surprise that Border Collies have made headlines for breaking records.

Chaser knows the names of over a thousand items. Jumpy has a Guinness World Record for skateboarding 328 ft (100 m) in 20 seconds. Sweet Pea also balanced a can while walking the same distance in about 2 minutes and 55 seconds.

These are only some examples of why many people hear about this wonderful breed. But if you look at the AKC’s most popular dog breed rankings, Border Collies are not the top dogs this time.

Here is the Border Collie popularity ranking in the last 8 years:

  • 2013: 44th rank
  • 2014: 38th rank
  • 2015: 38th rank
  • 2016: 38th rank
  • 2017: 38th rank
  • 2018: 35th rank
  • 2019: 33rd rank
  • 2020: 32nd rank
  • 2021: 31st rank

These numbers are less stellar compared to their achievements. But the AKC’s popular breeds list depends on the number of dogs registered last year.

What this tells you is that the registration statistics of this breed are less than others. But the trend in their ranking tells us that they are getting more and more popular with time.

When Did Border Collies Become Popular?

It is hard to pinpoint exactly when Border Collies became popular. Their popularity came in waves, getting stronger each time. With every wave, they reached new audiences further until they had the world’s eyes on them.

Border Collies first became popular on the border of Scotland and England. They were the biggest asset that any flock owner could have.

Queen Victoria became a huge fan of Border Collies and she got her first one in 1866 named Sharp. This boosted the breed’s popularity in Scotland and England. She immortalized her companion in various paintings, proving her love of the breed.

But among the local farmers and herders, they already admired the breed for a long time. They held informal sheepdog trials, with the first formal one occurring in 1873 in Wales. This opened many doors for Border Collies, further gaining them recognition.

In the succeeding years, more and more sheepdog trials took place, and this lives on today. The popularity of this among farmers continues to be evident at present time.

Great Britain then exported this hardworking breed throughout the world. Border Collies became a hit on farms and ranches and so they now had a global audience.

Dog organizations then officially recognized the Border Collie. They became registered with the Kennel Club in 1976. While American Kennel Club fully recognized this herding dog in 1995.

The popularity of Border Collies is on a rising trend today. More and more of them get registered in these clubs as they now making their way into loving homes as pets.

What Country Has the Most Border Collies?

It is quite difficult to figure out which country has the most number of Border Collies. But they are the most popular breed in several countries in Europe. Border Collies are the king in the following countries:

  • Andorra
  • Belgium
  • Czech Republic
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Spain

Are Border Collies Rare?

Border Collies are superstars in their own right, so you will see a lot of them almost everywhere you go. This is not a rare breed because they have a plethora of qualities that many want to have in their dogs. And so, countless dog lovers around the world have this highly capable breed.

They continue to be astounding herders, maintaining their champion herder status. Many also use them as service dogs as Border Collies are quick and eager to learn. There are a lot more jobs that this breed can do, but many of them create a warmer home environment as family pets.

Are Border Collies Good for First-Time Owners?

Border Collies are not usually recommended for first-time dog owners. This is because they often do not realize the amount of work needed in taking care of this breed. But whether you have experience with dogs or not, you can get this breed only if you put in the effort.

Thus, the most important thing to keep in mind is whether a Border Collie suits you. This breed needs a certain lifestyle. If you cannot give this, they can develop destructive behaviors.

To figure this out, you first need to get to know the breed and understand its quirks. Then you decide if you are up for the challenge of giving them a loving new home.

So if you are keen on getting a Border Collie, you must do extensive research first. To help you with this, here are some factors that make them hard to handle for unprepared owners.

Their Intelligence Comes With a Price

Border Collies are widely known to be the most intelligent dog breed in the world. Sure, this can mean that they learn the ropes of their new home fast. But you always need to make sure that you are smarter than them.

Your Border Collie may know the rules, but they will figure out ways to get around them. If you get too laid-back, they will take advantage of you without a second thought.

For example, your Border Collie can only go out and play in your yard at specific times during the day. But they will learn how to open a door and let themselves out without you knowing!

They keep a watchful eye on you and your family all the time, learning how to do things. Border Collies also take advantage of the pushover in the family. And your furry friend will know how to manipulate them.

Their high intelligence also means that they need a ton of daily mental stimulation. If they do not get this, they can get bored and become destructive.

So you always have to figure out ways to mentally exercise them and make this a part of their routine. You need to invest a lot of time, attention, and training for this.

But if you are confident in your training abilities, Border Collies are great for you. They are always eager to learn and you will soon find out that they are quite the people-pleaser too.

They Demand a Lot of Exercises

Border Collies seem to have an unlimited supply of energy. Each day, you need to drain their energy levels to keep them happy. But since they have a ton of this, they have huge exercise needs.

So you need to make their exercise session a priority. They need a daily routine that includes this and you need to follow through.

This will shock many unprepared Border Collie owners because they cannot keep up. If you cannot dedicate a few hours of playtime for them, this breed is not for you.

But there are some ways to get around this if you are a busy bee. You can hire a dog sitter, enroll them in doggy daycare, and more.

If you mostly stay at home and live an active life, Border Collies are perfect for you. They can join you in all sorts of fun outdoor activities like biking, jogging, and hiking.

They Need an Assertive Yet Gentle Owner

Border Collies are high-energy and smart dogs and they may push boundaries from time to time. This independent thinker may test your patience, leaving you frustrated.

So they need constant instructions from you. You need to be consistent yet nurturing in letting them know what you expect of them.

They will bark at the sight of a bike passing by your house, this is their instincts kicking in. But they need to learn that barking is not what you want them to do. So teach them to stay calm whenever they see one.

You should always set expectations for your Border Collie and make them follow them. Otherwise, they will act out.

They Need a Big Area to Play in

This is not to say that you can only have a Border Collie if you have a massive yard. Many Border Collies live a happy life in small homes and apartments. It is only when they need to play that they need ample space.

With such a high exercise need, your Border Collie needs room to stretch its legs and spend energy. Have them play in a small area and they are likely to destroy something in the process.

Where they live is not the issue, where you take them to play is. If you do not have a big yard, you can take your Border Collie to a nearby park and spend time with them there. Your Border Collie needs time outdoors every day to stay happy.

If you cannot keep up with this arrangement, then you are looking at the wrong dog breed to get.

They Need a Sense of Purpose

Border Collies have been herding dogs for centuries, this is their purpose. But if you get one as a pet, they may struggle to have one.

This breed is a working dog at heart and they always need to find something to do. Their workaholic quality can drive their owners nuts. Especially if the owner does not understand the Border Collie’s history.

Even when you do not have sheep for them to herd, you can still give them a job to do. All you need to do is to get a little bit creative and train them.

You can train your Border Collie to do simple chores around the house. Teach them the names of items and have them fetch them when you need something. You can also teach them to clean up after themselves and return their toys to the box after playtime.

You can hone their agility skills by setting up an obstacle course at home. It does not need to be elaborate and they are not fussy about this. This is a great way to strengthen your bond with your furry friend.

You can also simply tap into their herding instincts. Buy several balls for them and have your Border Collie herd the balls!

They Have Strong Herding Instincts

Border Collies have a strong eye for movement. They will herd anything and everything that moves! This includes you, cars, and even small children.

Some herding methods of theirs can be annoying to you. Others are unacceptable, especially around small children and pets.

Border Collies will begin herding by staring at anything that moves. But if the stimuli do not obey them, your furry friend will resort to other measures.

For example, they will see a group of children running around. The kids will not respond to your Border Collie’s stare and so they will begin to bark. If this still does not work, your frustrated dog will start nipping at the kids!

They do this behavior with cattle in an attempt to herd, so this is never done with ill intentions. But their pearly whites can hurt a small child. So this behavior needs some correcting.

You can never get rid of their herding instincts. So your job is to constantly correct and especially discourage this behavior. This is not an easy task and can be difficult for a first-time owner.

They Cannot Tolerate Being Alone

Border Collies work by having a strong relationship with their owner. This is what they have been doing for centuries. With this, your Border Collie will always want to be by your side.

A large yard to frolic in is nothing to them if you are not in it. You are their world and if you leave them alone a lot, they will be miserable or depressed.

If you spend a lot of time away from home, this is something you should heavily consider.

Border Collies are emotionally sensitive dogs. Being alone a lot will affect them in more ways than you can imagine.

Are Border Collies Good Family Dogs?

Border Collies are wonderful family dogs for the right household. They are even-tempered, affectionate, and get along with everyone with the proper introduction. This breed also loves forming strong connections with their humans, so they are also quite loyal.

While they have the necessary qualities of a great family dog, they also have their quirks. So it is better to rephrase the question. You need to reflect and ask yourself if a Border Collie fits well into your family.

Here are some qualities they have that may create friction in your home:

  • They are very active dogs that need plenty of daily exercises
  • They have huge mental stimulation demands
  • They can outsmart you and work around the rules
  • They always need something interesting to do
  • They have strong herding instincts and may nip you
  • They cannot handle being alone a lot
  • They need to spend a lot of time outdoors

If your family is active and loves to spend time outdoors, Border Collies will fit into your home well. Of course, you need to be consistent with training and firm with your rules too.

An owner who provides for their needs and understands this breed will be successful. Many Border Collie owners can attest to how these dogs make a great addition to their families.

Do Border Collies Do Well With Kids?

Border Collies are great with kids, but they need proper training and introduction. While they are usually responsible around kids, their herding instincts may kick in.

So it is up to you to teach your Border Collie how to behave and play with kids. But you should also teach your children how to do the same. Their relationship is a two-way street and they should work with you to make this possible.

If you want to add a Border Collie to your family, you should make an informed decision. You can then decide if the positives outweigh the negatives.

Why Border Collies Are Good With Kids

Border Collies Are Always up for Playtime

This breed is playful and they do not discriminate against who their playmates are! This benefits both your child and your Border Collie. But this can also benefit you.

If you are a little busy around the house, your children can fill in your shoes. They will entertain your Border Collie and keep each other company. But this will not fulfill their daily exercise needs, so you still have to do your part.

Energetic and older children are the perfect buddies for your Border Collie.

This athletic breed will enjoy the time they spend with an equally active playmate. Watching them play can be one of the most enjoyable things for you. Older kids also know their limits, so they know how to play with your Border Collie.

If your Border Collie plays with smaller and younger children, you need to supervise them. Young kids tend to get rough in handling dogs. Your Border Collie will not appreciate this.

This is why you need to teach both your furry friend and kids how to behave during their interactions.

Border Collies Will Love the Attention They Get

While they are wary of strangers, they love being affectionate with their family. Kids often love paying attention to their furry family members. They also have more time to cuddle up with their buddy.

Border Collies Are Fiercely Loyal

Border Collies have a very strong pack instinct. They spent centuries working with humans and forming healthy relationships with them. Once they form a bond with your children, they will protect your kids with all they can.

This works well with their very alert nature. Border Collies are excellent at sensing anything unusual or any threat. They will be wonderful watchdogs beside your children.

Border Collies Can Teach Your Kids How to Behave

Border Collies are very observant dogs, watching your every move and learning from it. In time, they will learn how to behave in various situations.

A well-trained Border Collie can be a role model for your kids. Your furry friend will nudge them in the right direction whenever the kids misbehave.

Why Border Collies Are Bad With Kids

Border Collies Have a Strong Instinct for Herding

Border Collies are herders by nature, so they get attracted to all the kid’s movements. It can be hard for them to ignore their instincts when untrained. They may decide that your children are theirs to herd as part of their household duties.

This is an even bigger issue if your children love to run around or chase dogs.

Your Border Collie will chase your kids in an attempt to gather them like sheep. This can scare your kids and they may run away from your Border Collie. The faster they run, the more frustrated your furry friend will get.

But your kids can never outrun this speedy breed. Once your Border Collie gets to the kids, they will nip their ankles. This is not to hurt them but to move the children in the right direction.

Even if your Border Collie means well, they may injure your kids especially if they are younger.

This is the most challenging part of having a Border Collie and kids under one roof. But with patience and consistent training, you can prevent this from happening.

Border Collies Can Be Boisterous Playmates

This highly active acrobat likes to show off its physical prowess. They move around a lot, jump as high as they can, and more. But in the process, they may hurt your kids by accident.

A very playful Border Collie may not be aware of its strength and size. They need to learn who they can be rowdy with and whom they need to be careful with. But if you put in the effort for this, your smart furry friend will learn fast.

How to Teach Border Collies to Be Around Children

Early socialization is the best way to teach your Border Collie how to behave around kids. You should start while your Border Collie is still a young pup and have them meet as many kids as you can.

At around 3 to 12 weeks old, your Border Collie is most open to new experiences and people. They still have their puppy courage to get them through playtime with children.

By doing this, you are teaching your Border Collie that kids are not a threat. Instead, they are friendly playmates!

This is also the time to discourage any bad behaviors they may display around kids. If they get too boisterous, let them know that this is unacceptable.

And even at this young age, your puppy will already try to herd kids. Make sure to stop this right away as soon as you see this.

A great way to socialize your Border Collie puppy is to take them around the neighborhood and the park. They will meet all sorts of people, including children. This will desensitize them and make them better-behaved adults in the future.

But is it too late if your Border Collie is already an adult? Adult Border Collies are still very trainable dogs, it is not too late to teach them!

Border Collies are the top dogs for obedience skills and working intelligence. It is a bonus that this workaholic loves to please their owners.

With this, here are some ways you can train your Border Collie to behave around kids:

Test Their Obedience

Make sure they know and follow their basic commands such as sit, stop, and down. This way, you can get better control of them if they misbehave.

Teach Them the House Rules

Border Collies may misbehave if they do not know what you expect of them. So lay down the rules and make sure they know it.

Let Them Know That You Are the Alpha

Do this in a kind manner with lots of positive reinforcement. Being harsh will only make them fear you and this is not a healthy relationship. Your Border Collie will obey you if they see you as their leader.

Command Them Around Kids

If they are in the same room use your commands. Ask your Border Collie to sit or drop whenever the kids are around. Make sure to always reward them whenever they follow and supervise them.

In time, you have your Border Collie stay closer to your kids. You can also let them spend more time.

Give Them a Time-Out

Whenever your Border Collie gets too excited, remove them from the room. You should also do this if you notice that they are getting frightened.

Give them time away from the kids until they calm down. Then you can try again, this time with a leash. Keep them with you so that you can spring into action when this happens again.

How to Teach Kids to Be Around Border Collies

The important thing here is that your kids should know your furry friend’s limits. They should not pull, tug, or poke your Border Collie as they do not like this. Kids should also know when your Border Collie needs space.

As much as this breed loves to play, they also love their alone time equally. Sometimes, kids may not understand this and they will force your poor dog to interact.

Your children should respect your Border Collie’s boundaries. Teach them not to bother their furry friend while they eat, nap, or when they do not feel like playing.

If the kids force your Border Collie to interact, this can lead to a disaster. Border collies are not an aggressive breed. But they may bite your kids out of fear.

Are Border Collies Good With Babies?

Well-trained Border Collies can be good around babies but only when you are around. No dog, no matter their breed, is completely safe around fragile infants. You can never expect what they may do, even if they had proper training.

So take extra precautions whenever your Border Collie interacts with your baby. Never leave them alone without someone to watch over them.

Other than that, your baby may not like your dog’s loudness. Border Collies know they have a loud bark and they will use it. They may wake your baby up or startle them and they are most likely going to cry.

Your baby’s cries are not the most pleasant thing for your Border Collie. They have sensitive ears and often have a noise phobia. No one wins in this situation, especially you as you try to pacify everyone.

Are Border Collies Good With Toddlers?

Your Border Collie can be a wonderful companion for your toddler. But your furry friend should undergo extensive training and proper socialization first. They must understand that small children are not for them to herd as they may hurt your toddler.

Remember that Border Collies will try to herd anything that moves. As you know, toddlers can be rambunctious and this triggers your buddy’s instincts. And if they get frustrated, they will nip your toddler to steer them in a certain direction.

If you socialize your Border Collie at a young age, they will get used to the sounds and movements of a toddler. They will see their human playmates as part of their everyday life. This desensitization is necessary for them to ignore their herding instincts.

But it is never too late for an adult or senior Border Collie to learn as well. You need to supervise their interactions all the time though while training them.

When you train your Border Collie around toddlers, you need to teach them what you expect of them. Being calm and gentle around the kids is what you want and you should reward them whenever they behave. But whenever they get too excited or rowdy, you need to remove them from the situation.

This teaches them that they do not get to interact with your kid whenever they get overexcited. That would mean that the fun is over because you cut their playtime short. This, in itself, is enough punishment for a Border Collie.

You may get frustrated at times, but it is important not to punish your furry friend. Border Collies are sensitive to their emotions. They will fear you even with the slightest raise of your voice.

As a result, this may make their interactions with your toddler negative. They may avoid your toddler altogether to avoid any punishment from you. You are not going to teach them anything this way.

Are Border Collies Good for Old People?

They may be delightful to own, but Border Collies may not be the best option for older people. It takes a lot to keep this breed happy and they suit a lively and active lifestyle best. So they need an intense daily routine that seniors may struggle to keep up with.

It is understandable why Border Collies attract many older people.

Border Collies always need the company of their humans. So they are well-suited for those who always stay at home, like retirees. This affectionate dog will keep you company, making you feel less lonely.

You will find a devoted companion in a Border Collie. They are also protective and alert, making them great watchdogs for you.

This workaholic is also eager to learn and do their duties. They are happy to assist seniors around the house. Many find success in teaching them to fetch items, clean up, carry garbage, and more.

But their wonderful qualities come with a steep price. Border Collies can only be great for seniors if you can do the following:

  • Give them a job that stimulates their mind
  • Spend at least two hours of your day for their intense exercise needs
  • Constantly teach them new commands and rules
  • Handle their strength when walking them
  • Brush their coat at least thrice a week

These are only some of the care that a Border Collie needs. The first four points are tasks that you need to do daily.

If you cannot provide for your Border Collie’s needs, they will feel miserable. They will also become ill-mannered dogs because they do not know what you want them to do. Your Border Collie will end up looking for fun and that may mean making a mess and destroying your home.

Are Border Collies Good for People With Anxiety?

If you suffer from anxiety, Border Collies can be great for you. But only if you understand the daily work that owning one entails. They love to get active and they will push you to do the same.

With this, your Border Collie can push you to become more productive with your time. You will spend a lot of time with them daily, playing, training, and going outdoors.

Your furry friend will give you a sense of responsibility. Caring for them can distract you from your anxiety.

But this can be an issue on days when you do not feel your best. Your Border Collie will not allow you to mope around. Not making time for them will make them destructive dogs.

Border Collies need someone who enjoys being as active as they are. If this is not you, other more mellow dogs are great for people with anxiety.

But if you can dedicate time to their needs, Border Collies can be wonderful companions.

They are intelligent, biddable, and devoted to you. Once they bond with you, they can be quite affectionate. But keep in mind that not all Border Collies are cuddlers, they show their love for you differently.

Your Border Collie will stick by your side through thick and thin. They are incredibly perceptive, picking up when something is wrong right away. They will also follow you wherever you go, so you will never have to feel lonely again.

Are Border Collies Lapdogs?

Border Collies are not suitable as lapdogs and they will not be happy with being one too. Lapdogs are gentle, obedient, and affectionate dogs, like a Border Collie is. But cuddling with you all day is not what this workaholic wants to do.

Lapdogs have a long history of providing companionship to their owners. They are content with snuggling up to their owners daily. Thus, low-activity dogs are the best choice for this.

While a Border Collie will nap beside you from time to time, they need to get up and get moving most of the time. They are most content when they carry out tasks, not when they are sedentary.

Border Collies are a ball of energy, waiting for a chance to release this whenever they can. Centuries of work made them used to uncomfortable situations. They worked in unforgiving terrains, and harsh temperatures, and they can run for miles in a day.

This proves just how intense Border Collies are and they are happy to put in hours of tireless work. These are not the qualities of a good lapdog. And if you use this breed as one, you are not maximizing their capabilities and potential.

So if you want a lapdog, you are better off with a more mellow dog breed.

How Are Border Collies With Strangers?

Border Collies are often reserved around strangers. This has a lot to do with their history as herding dogs. But they can become extra friendly if you make an effort to socialize and train them.

Even if they do not live on a farm, Border Collies still have their herding instincts intact. They must have a “flock” to protect and as pets, you are their flock. This alert dog has an eye for sensing anything unusual, that includes strangers.

If your Border Collie has not interacted with a lot of people, they will misbehave. They will be wary and untrusting of the strangers that they will encounter.

As a result, they will use tactics to move people away from you. This includes barking, lunging, and even biting them. Your Border Collie does this to protect you from strangers because that is all they know.

A dog’s friendliness does not rely on its breed. Instead, it depends on how well you socialize and train them.

This is why socializing your Border Collie while they are puppies is important. At a young age, they are more open to accepting strangers. This will teach them that they are not scary, so they have no reason to get defensive as adults.

Training your Border Collie is as crucial so they know how to behave around people. Discourage unwanted behaviors whenever you see them, such as barking. And do not forget to reward them whenever they are calm during their interactions.

These will help your Border Collie to become a social butterfly in time. You may end up with a dog who demands pets from every stranger they meet!

Do Border Collies Pick a Favorite Person?

A Border Collie tends to form a strong bond with one person in your family. This instinct is due to centuries of working closely with one person while herding sheep. They tend to choose a favorite person they relate to the most or spend the most time with them.

This attachment to one person can create issues when their person is away. Your Border Collie may develop separation anxiety if you do not spend a lot of time with them anymore. They may also act out, disobeying other family members and misbehaving while you are gone.

So if you are your Border Collie’s favorite person, it is up to you to train them. Teach them to accept other household members when you are away. Also, take this time to train them how to be a more independent dog in your absence.

While Border Collies stick to one person, this does not mean that they cannot bond with others. But their bond with their favorite person is special, stronger, and irreplaceable.

Why Do Some Border Collies Attach to One Person?

Border Collies do this because it is their instinct to work with one person as a unit. They have worked tirelessly for years on the field herding sheep with their master by their side. This led them to be generally a one-person dog breed.

How Much Attention Does a Border Collie Need?

In general, Border Collies will need around 2 hours of your attention per day. But this is only for their exercise needs. You also need to spend time on grooming, training, cuddling, and more.

But that is the thing with Border Collies, they often need more of everything compared to other dogs. Even when you are through with your daily routine, they may still try to grab your attention. Whether it is them telling you that they are hungry, bored, or anything else they need.

This is why Border Collies are often known to be high-maintenance dogs. They want you to be with them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Is It Expensive to Own a Border Collie?

Although this breed is not fussy, Border Collies can be expensive dogs to own. There is a lot to spend on them and the costs quickly stack up. If you are eyeing this breed, a breakdown of all the expenses should help you decide.

The first year of your Border Collie ownership is the most expensive. You have a lot of initial costs to keep them healthy and happy in their new home.

In the succeeding years, you will have some financial upkeep to do. This may cost you less, but they are still expensive.

The Initial Cost of Owning a Border Collie

In your first year, expect to pay anywhere around $500 to $2,000 on your Border Collie. Your exact expenses will depend on a lot of factors such as your location, the quality of your tools, and more. There are also optional expenses here that you may not need, bringing the price down. The bulk of your initial expenses goes to their necessary supplies and vet visits.

Below is a list of what your Border Collie needs in their new home:

  • Dog Food and Treats: $80 to $100
  • Water and Food Bowls: $10 to $30
  • Dog Bed: $40 to $180
  • Crate: $50 to $370
  • Leash and Collar: $15 to $50
  • ID Tags: $15
  • Grooming Supplies: $40 to $160
  • Toys: $30 to $40

And here are their initial vet costs:

  • Vet Visits: $100 to $300
  • Vaccines: $75 to $200
  • Deworming and Tick and Flea Prevention: $50 to $200

You may also want to consider these optional expenses:

  • Microchip: A lot of pets get lost every year and a majority of them never get found. Microchipping will help protect your furry friend from this. The average cost of one is around $40 to $60.
  • Dog License: This is an extra step in helping to identify your pooch when they get lost. With a dog license, your dog gets an identifying number to help them come back to you. This will cost you around $10 to $20.

The Recurring Cost of Owning a Border Collie

You will continuously spend money on your furry friend for as long as they live. The average monthly cost of owning a Border Collie is around $125 to $500. Even the lower end of this range is pricey to many, but a breakdown may help you understand where this is coming from.

Your Border Collie’s Food

Border Collies rely on a healthy body for them to do whatever they want without restrictions. This all starts with making sure they get a nutritious and balanced diet. Their food expenses are around $25 to $50 per month.

Invest in high-quality dog food for your Border Collie. It does not matter if you feed them dry food, wet food, or raw food. It is the nutrition that they get from their meals that matters.

This can help you save money in the long run as they will not need a lot of vet visits down the road. Poor-quality dog food often contains all sorts of fillers that may make them ill.

You can buy their dog food in bulk to keep your monthly expenses down. The extra money you have left can go to quality treats for training them.

Your Border Collie’s Medical Needs

Border Collies may love the great outdoors, but this exposes them to parasites. So you need to invest about $20 a month for flea and tick prevention. Neglecting this can mean a lot of pain for them and if their condition worsens, you will need to shell out more.

If your Border Collie has maintenance medication, you will of course spend more. Other routine care expenses, such as yearly checkups, will bring this cost higher too.

Your Border Collie’s Health Funds

Not every dog owner may feel the need to do this. But saving up at least $40 a month for medical emergencies is good practice. This will ensure that you have enough money for their immediate care when something comes up.

Even if you have pet health insurance, vet costs can stack up. It is better to secure your finances so that you will not hesitate to bring them to the vet in the future.

Your Border Collie’s Pet Health Insurance

This will give you more financial security for your furry friend’s health. Pet insurance will go a long way in the future because dogs often get sick as they grow older. But it can also help in covering unexpected vet bills so they can get the help they need right away.

The earlier you get pet insurance for your Border Collie, the better. One reason is that you will get a much better rate. Another reason is that companies hesitate to give pet insurance to older or sick dogs.

If your Border Collie is on the older side, the monthly costs will be more expensive. If your Border Collie has an existing health issue, they may not get health insurance.

This can cost you around $20 to $150 per month. The price will depend on their coverage, age, and more.

Your Border Collie’s Grooming

This breed does not need the help of a professional groomer as much as other breeds. Border Collies do not need haircuts, but they do need some level of grooming.

Your Border Collie will be fine if you groom them at home. A big chunk of their routine includes brushing their coat and their teeth.

Most of their grooming supplies were already covered in the initial cost. But you need to buy new toothbrushes and toothpaste from time to time. You may also need to get them a dog shampoo.

With this, you will only spend around $5 to $15 a month on their grooming.

Your Border Collie’s Toys

Border Collies need a lot of play and exercise, so their toys may get worn down in time. Invest in high-quality dog toys that can withstand your Border Collie’s rough handling.

Make sure to give them a variety of toys for stimulation. Otherwise, they can develop destructive behaviors, leaving your home a mess.

Is a Boy or Girl Border Collie Better?

A male Border Collie is not better than a female one, or vice versa. The better option for you will depend on what you are looking for in a dog.

Male and female Border Collies have differences. But these are often subtle, so their gender should not matter as much in choosing your buddy.

But in some instances, their gender is an important consideration. If you already have a dog at home, pick a Border Collie of the opposite gender. Male and female dogs get along better than male-male or female-female duos.

To help you decide, consider their differences in the following:

  • Price
  • Size and weight
  • Health
  • Personality
  • Trainability



Buying a male Border Collie pup will cost you around $600 for a pet-quality one. If you want a show-quality pup, expect to pay anywhere between $1,300 to $4500.


A female Border Collie puppy costs more than this. A pet-quality one is around $800. Show-quality ones are around $1500 to $5000.

Like other dog breeds, females cost more because you can breed them and sell their puppies. If their price matters to you, then a male Border Collie may be better for you.

Size and Weight


Male Border Collies are larger and heavier than their female counterparts. They have a height of 19 to 22 in (482 to 588 mm) and a weight of 40 to 55 lbs (18 to 24 kg).


Female Border Collies have a height of 18 to 21 in (457 to 533 mm) and a weight of 30 to 45 lbs (13 to 20 kg). This is not a big difference, so this may not matter as much to you.

Health Issues

Both genders are prone to the same inherited health issues, so this will depend on their genetics. Some common medical conditions Border Collies have are the following:

  • Collie eye anomaly
  • Osteochondritis dissecans
  • Epilepsy
  • Progressive retinal atrophy
  • Hip dysplasia

But each gender may be prone to certain health issues. This may be due to their habits, but the real reason behind them is unclear.

Take the information below with a grain of salt. There is no real proof that their gender plays a part in their likelihood to develop health issues.


Male Border Collies may be prone to injuries, joint diseases, and fractures. This is because they usually do more intense physical activities. With their bigger size and bone density, this can be hard on their body.

In connection to that, this may make them more prone to developing hip dysplasia. Along with their rigorous exercise, their rapid growth plays a part in this.


Female Border Collies may be susceptible to more health issues. They manifest more skin irritations and infections. Females can also be more likely to have digestive and intestinal issues.

Again, there is no real proof to back this up. Both genders can have the health issues mentioned. Your Border Collie’s health will depend on their lifestyle and genetics.



If you want a more lively and outgoing dog, go for a male Border Collie. They are warmer, more affectionate dogs who are easier to socialize with other people.

They tend to be happier dogs, with the energy of a puppy even after reaching adulthood. With this, they can be better dogs for various outdoor activities.

A male Border Collie is more likely to grab your attention because they want it all the time. They often have no regard for your personal space, always looking for chances to cuddle with you.

But they also have their downsides.

Males have a strong personality and they may get in your face a lot more than females. This leads to them clashing with you a lot as they are pushy dogs. They will try to test your authority, so they are the more stubborn gender.

On the bright side, male Border Collies are usually more food-motivated than females. You can use this to train them and turn them into well-behaved dogs.


If you want a more polite, courteous, and independent dog, go for a female Border Collie. It takes time to earn their trust, but once you do, they become extremely devoted to you. Their loyalty surpasses a male Border Collie’s once you have earned their trust.

Their independence can be a downside for you though. Females are not as warm as males, they can be aloof and reserved. They are space-conscious and they like to keep their distance.

They may want to cuddle with you from time to time, but they get to decide this. They come to you for some pets but they leave as soon as they had enough of them.

A female Border Collie means business. They like to be in control and are more likely to compete for their supremacy. If they feel inferior or threatened, they will be out for blood.

And since they go through heat cycles twice a year, they can be unpredictable. If you want to curb this, spaying them will help.

Now that you got to know females a bit more, they may sound scary. But keep in mind that they can be well-behaved dogs with your effort.

Females are not as stubborn as males and they are the better listeners. Once they learn what you expect of them, they will follow the rules.



Since males are more stubborn and have strong personalities, it may be trickier to train them. This will take up more of your time and effort to do.

Maintaining their focus is another thing. They are more energetic dogs who want to goof around more. Instead of putting their energy into training, they may try to convince you to play with them.

But there is a trick to training these troublemakers. You can use treats as leverage to get them to listen to you.


Female Border Collies are often known to be easier to train. They are responsive to training and are respectful enough to listen well to you.

It also helps that they mentally mature faster than males. They are ready to take on responsibilities at a younger age than males.

Is a Male Border Collie More Dominant?

Both genders have dominant tendencies, but females are more likely to fight for the crown. They will fight tooth and nail to be the top dog. This is why female Border Collies usually get to be the alpha of the pack.

Is a Male Border Collie More Territorial?

Like all dogs, Border Collies can be territorial, no matter their gender. Male Border Collies are more territorial when they are younger and still intact. While females remain territorial for the rest of their lives.

With this, your female Border Collie will display more territorial behavior. Especially when it comes to their family and home. They are more serious with this too, not hesitating to draw blood to protect their territory.

But with proper training and socialization, you can curb this behavior. This goes for your male Border Collie too.

Is a Male or a Female Border Collie Better With Other Pets?

A male Border Collie may be better with other pets right off the bat. This is because they are more sociable and accepting of others in their territory. But you may have issues with another male dog in your home.

The same can happen if you have a female Border Collie and there is another female dog at home. Fights between two female dogs are more gruesome. Neither of them will back down to show their dominance until one draws blood.

But their gender should not be an issue unless you already have a dog at home. Both genders will learn to accept another pet in the house. Although they need socialization, training, and a proper introduction first.

Any Border Collie can do well in a mixed-pet household as long as you do your part.

Is a Male or a Female Border Collie Better With Kids?

There is no definite answer to this as they approach kids differently. But keep in mind that both genders can be good with kids if you train them. A Border Collie will try to herd kids, no matter their gender, so you need to deal with that first.

Males have their puppy-like energy throughout most of their lives. They are playful dogs who are always up for fun with your kids. It also helps that they are generally more sociable dogs, so they are more accepting of kids.

But males can be quite the boisterous playmate. They get clumsy around your kids and they may end up hurting them. A male Border Collie means well during playtime, but they may not know their strength.

Female Border Collies though are more reserved and may not be up for play all the time. You need to teach your kids to respect her alone time.

But when a female does play with your kids, their motherly instincts kick in. A female Border Collie is more careful in interacting with your kids and they can be very protective too.

Is a Male or a Female Border Collie a Better Family Dog?

The better Border Collie for your family will depend on what you are looking for in a dog. Both can be a wonderful addition to your family. But their key differences can make you lean towards one more than the other.

Male Border Collies are larger, stronger, and more robust. They are better outdoor dogs not only because of their physical capabilities. But also because they are more energetic, playful, and open to meeting new people.

They are also a fun companion to have on your travels. Take them on a hike, go for a swim, and have them on a marathon with you. Anything that relates to the outdoors will be fun for them.

Since they are always up for fun, your kids may like a male Border Collie more. They have a lot of funny antics that make them a joy to be around with. You can trust a male Border Collie to entertain you, making your home more lively.

While a female Border Collies is lighter, thinner, and sleeker. This helps with their agility and they make a great option for dog sports. Females are easier to train, which is best for the discipline that dog sports needs.

Their trainability is also what makes it easier for them to learn the ropes in your home. You can trust a female Border Collie to be a responsible family member once they are well-trained. They are more obedient and better listeners than males.

If you have kids, a female Border Collie will be careful and compassionate around them. This is their motherly instincts kicking in.

A female Border Collie is more likely to have a strong devotion to your family. They are fiercely loyal, and protective, and are also powerful dogs. They are more perceptive of their surroundings, so they will be your eyes and ears in public places.

One of these dogs will fit your family more. If you want a goofy and active playmate, choose a male Border Collie. If you want a protective and more serious dog, choose a female Border Collie.

Is a Male or a Female Border Collie a Better Watchdog?

In general, Border Collies are great watchdogs, no matter what their gender is. This breed is alert, perceptive, and hyperaware of its surroundings. These qualities blend well with their protective nature, making them excellent watchdogs.

But there each gender has its advantages as a watchdog. These may play a factor in your decision to pick a gender for your Border Collie.

A male Border Collie may be more alert than a female Border Collie. Their edge is their strength and more muscular build, which may come in handy.

If there is a threat, your Border Collie will use their assertiveness to their advantage. The alpha card will play well when they intervene in the conflict. But their goal with this is to shield and protect you from danger, not to hurt anyone.

A female Border Collie is more vigilant with its surroundings. They are more reserved and prefer to keep an eye on any threat that may pop up. In general, they are more protective when you take them to unfamiliar places.

So if you take them on an adventure, they are better at picking up directions. They are polite to whomever they meet. But the moment they sense anything unusual, they become loud dogs to scare the threat off.

Is a Border Collie the Right Dog for Me?

Border Collies can be the best dogs you can have, but only if you can handle a high-maintenance dog. The deciding factor here is if you can spare a few hours of your day for their needs. Even after your daily routine they still need you to teach them the rules of your home.

To be well-behaved dogs, they need firm yet gentle instructions around the clock. This, along with proper training and socialization.

Other than their needs, you also need to understand their long history of being herding dogs. They have herding instincts that you cannot get rid of. Thus, you need to constantly discourage and correct behaviors that relate to this.

Border Collies are fast learners due to their intelligence and biddability. But they are not easy to train because they have a lot of quirks.

This can frustrate you, but you need to be careful around this emotionally sensitive dog. Once they fear you, they will avoid you. This takes away their opportunities for training so they become misbehaved dogs.

Taking care of a Border Collie is a lot of work. They need more attention, training, and exercise than other dog breeds. Your daily life needs to run on a routine, and it should run like clockwork.

If this feels like a chore that you cannot bother doing, you should not get a Border Collie. Do not underestimate how demanding they can be, you may give up on them. And you do not want to contribute to another dog getting surrendered at a local shelter.

The right owner should never have to feel like it is a chore to take care of this breed. They should enjoy spending time with their Border Collie and handling their quirks.

If this sounds like you, then a Border Collie can be the right canine buddy for you.