Border Collies are loving animals that are normally protective of the household. They tend to be independent dogs who like their own space, but can for short periods of time lay on your lap or sleep on the bed. Their high level of intelligence makes them very analytical, to the point where they can learn how to open doors.
Border Collies are known as the most intelligent of dog breeds and this makes them extremely instinctive in their desire for mental stimulation. Therefore, this instinctive desire makes the Border Collie one of the best type of dogs to work alongside a human handler.
Originally the breed was primarily used as working dogs with the responsibility of herding livestock, Border Collies are becoming increasingly popular pets. For some families this transition to pet goes smoothly while for other families the Border Collie is often given up to a rescue organization or the pound. Successful Border Collie owners tend to understand the dogs’ needs when it comes to mental stimulation and physical exercise. Daily exercise and play with humans for at least an hour is necessary to satisfy a Border Collies needs. Without daily exercise and human involvement, the energetic and demanding Border Collie can become problematic.
Border Collies need a job to do. Not everyone lives on a farm and owns livestock, but that is not necessary. Any job that involves the herding-working position is a perfect activity for a Border Collie. The herding-working position is when the Border Collie crouches down, tucks the tail between its legs and focuses both eyes in a prolonged stare straight at the activity. Working a border collie as a pet can be done by catching and retrieving a frisbee or a ball. Taken a step further, Border Collies make excellent dogs for agility competitions that reward their natural speed, agility and concentration.
As for a pet, Border Collies are great if the owner is an active person and is willing to commit to regularly working the dog. On the other hand, if insufficient activity becomes the norm most Border Collies will develop problematic behaviors. For example, motion sensitivity is common which means bicycles, skateboards, cars or young children can trigger the natural herding instinct. If not given a job, a Border Collie will find something to do on their own. Digging up gardens, chewing on shoes, attacking the vacuum cleaner and aggressive barking at bikes, skateboards or rollerblades are all common problems that occur in Border Collies who live a sedentary lifestyle because their owners do not give them the daily exercise they need.