Border Collies often end up in rescue shelters because of behavioral problems. These behavioral problems come from being taken home as a pet. Many Border Collies which become the family pet cause problems because their natural herding instinct and desire to work conflict with a family surrounding.
Border Collies will occasionally nip or even bite a child or adult if it gets worked up. Quick movements can excite the dog so children running, bicycles, skateboards or other fast moving objects can trigger the herding instinct and the dog will react. This instinct is really impossible to control as it is exactly what the breed has been bred to do for hundreds of years. The breed is the best at working livestock and that is quite different from being locked up in a house all day.
Media has portrayed the Border Collie as the most intelligent dog, which is true. However, people confuse intelligence with being a good pet. Yes, the dog is a quick learner and can figure out things on his own. Learning quickly can be both a blessing and a curse because bad habits can be formed quickly and are often hard to break. Barking, chasing, biting, chewing on furniture and other items, chasing shadows, chasing glares of lights, jumping on people, and herding pets or children are just some issues that regularly occur in Border Collie pets.
We recommend another breed for most people unless you are fully informed about the dog's needs and are willing to commit a considerable amount of time and effort everyday to your dog. Again, the Border Collie is a working dog and will develop very unwanted problems if the dog is put in the wrong living situation. Inevitably and unfortunately the Border Collie owner will decide that the dog is not compatible with their family and will try to contact a rescue.
The problem now is rescue organizations often refuse to take Border Collies because they know of the many behavioral issues and that placing one in a new home is difficult. Ones that have bitten someone will almost certainly never be replanted in a new home so many of these dogs are euthanized because of this and that is just a tragedy.
If you are interested in a Border Collie, then choosing one from a rescue is a great option as it really is saving the life of a dog that may not have any other chance.
The popular Animal Planet TV channel shows border collies winning agility competitions because of their lightning quick reflexes and unmatched stamina. This attention has promoted the ownership of these dogs away from the farm and into the homes of families living in suburban and city areas. By nature, border collies are not content just hanging around the house, but conversely they need a regular job that keeps them active and their minds challenged. Without this mental, emotional and physical stimulation on a daily basis border collies will problematic behaviors that are difficult to deal with in a family setting. Despite their loyalty, their unconditional love and their strong bonding border collies will exhibit obsessive, neurotic and destructive characteristics if not properly trained, exercised and challenged on a regular basis.
Many border collie breeders and dog experts do not recommend this breed of dog as a family pet. Despite their remarkable traits, the high energy level and their need for mental stimulation does not often coincide with the standard life of a family pet. Certain owners and families can make this work if they themselves are the type of people who enjoy doing almost everything with their dog and are outgoing, outdoorsy people. The families who are more likely to hang around the house watching TV are the ones who often give up their border collies to a rescue organization. The families who like to take their dogs hiking, camping, to the beach, for long runs, play Frisbee, train for agility and go to flyball events are the ones who have a long and loving relationship with their border collie pet.