Are you thinking of bringing a Border Collie puppy into your family? Do you want to know more about their personality? Here’s everything you need to know about the most common Border Collie traits!
The 15 most common Border Collie traits are:
- Border Collies Are Intelligent
- Border Collies Are Herders
- Border Collies Are Responsive
- Border Collies Are Energetic
- Border Collies Are Alert
- Border Collies Are Sensitive
- Border Collies Are Loyal
- Border Collies Are Problem Solvers
- Border Collies Are Workaholics
- Border Collies Are Starers
- Border Collies Are Obsessive
- Border Collies Are Focused
- Border Collies Are Affectionate
- Border Collies Are Escape Artists
- Border Collies Are Athletes
Read on to get the lowdown on your Border Collie’s intelligent, alert, loyal and focused personality!
Never use the advice in this article as a substitute for professional veterinary advice or treatment. I am NOT a Vet, qualified dog trainer or dog behaviourist. This article is based on research, personal opinion and experience of owning dogs over the last 12+ years.
The most common Border Collie traits are:
1. Border Collies Are Intelligent
It’s no secret that Border Collies are intelligent, they’re actually the cleverest out of all the recognized dog breeds!
They’re incredibly eager to learn and keen to please, which can make them easy to train. They’re swift learners, so they can quickly pick up new things.
However, if they’re not consistently trained from a young age, they can pick up bad behaviors just as rapidly.
So, you need to keep on top of your Border Collie’s training and not just expect them to know how to behave appropriately.
2. Border Collies Are Herders
Border Collies have been bred for centuries as herding dogs. They’re naturally gifted livestock herders that excel when herding sheep and cattle.
Even if they’re kept as pets and not as working dogs, a Border Collie’s herding instincts are still exceptionally strong.
So much so, they can try to herd anything that moves! This can include them trying to chase other dogs, vehicles, bicycles or even the human members of their family.
3. Border Collies Are Responsive
Border Collies respond remarkably well to commands. When trained correctly, they’re responsive to verbal commands, hand gestures, and whistles.
Because they’re so clever and observant, they can quickly work out what you’re about to ask them next. So, they may do what you want them to before you’ve even asked them!
And because they’re so switched on, your Border Collie will always be listening out for the next command from you and will be ready to execute it quickly.
4. Border Collies Are Energetic
Border Collies are hugely energetic! They want to be on the go all the time.
Adults need at least 2 hours of physical exercise per day. However, many Border Collies can exercise for much longer than this with ease.
It’s essential your Border Collie gets enough physical activity each day. This ensures they’re satisfied and don’t have lots of pent-up energy, which can contribute to behavioral problems developing.
In short, they’ll need more than a quick stroll around the block or a game of fetch to keep them happy.
5. Border Collies Are Alert
Border Collies are constantly watching what is going on around them. They’re highly alert and don’t miss anything!
They’ll notice even slight changes to their environment and alert you. They make excellent watchdogs too and will bark if someone approaches your house.
They’re also excellent at reading human body language and emotion, so they’ll know how you’re feeling and what you’re about to do – even before you do sometimes!
6. Border Collies Are Sensitive
Border Collies are a sensitive breed. They often don’t like loud noises, so they can be scared by thunderstorms or sudden bangs.
They don’t respond well to harsh handling or training methods either. Instead, they do better when trained using positive reinforcement.
There’s no need to shout commands at your Border Collie or raise your voice at them. They’re sensitive and intelligent enough to respond to subtle commands and gentle handling.
7. Border Collies Are Loyal
Border Collies form close bonds with their owners. The epitome of ‘one man (or woman!) and his dog’, they’re bred to work closely with a shepherd and do what they can to please them.
This is still seen in Border Collies living as pets, who are often extremely loyal to the member of the family who spends the most time with them.
This can mean your Border Collie may seem to be aloof with strangers. Most won’t actively approach people they don’t know to greet them because they can be naturally cautious of new people.
This strong sense of loyalty can also mean they might suffer with separation anxiety if you need to leave them during the day.
8. Border Collies Are Problem Solvers
Border Collies have been bred to think for themselves and solve problems efficiently.
When working as herding dogs where they may come across a lone sheep, they need to think quickly to get them straight back to the flock.
They don’t always work close to their shepherd, so they can’t always rely on them for direct commands.
Pet Border Collies have this fast-thinking ability too, so they’ll love to get their brain going by solving puzzle toys.
9. Border Collies Are Workaholics
Border Collies absolutely need a job to do! They excel at dog sports and enrichment activities.
If they’re not working sheepdogs or herding livestock each day, you’ll need to find something else for your Border Collie to do.
Without something to occupy their mind and body, they can quickly look for their own ‘job’ to do, which can result in destructive behaviors developing.
10. Border Collies Are Starers
Border Collies are infamous for their intense, hard stare. In fact, this is a natural trait for most Border Collies, especially if they’re from strong working bloodlines.
They use it to move sheep where they want them to go, and stare them out if a sheep tries to challenge them. Very few sheep will take on a Border Collie who’s giving them the hard stare!
Your Border Collie may stare at their toys or at moving things like traffic, joggers or cyclists – and so on.
11. Border Collies Are Obsessive
Border Collies can be prone to developing obsessive behaviors.
They can quickly become obsessed over a particular toy and often can’t stop playing fetch, even after they’re physically exhausted.
Obsessive compulsions can also be caused by a lack of stimulation. This can make your Border Collie become obsessed with lights, shadows, movement, cats, tennis balls, toys – or anything really!
12. Border Collies Are Focused
Border Collies are incredibly focused! Whatever they’re doing, they’ll give it their all.
Nothing a Border Collie does is ever half-hearted! When they set their mind to something, it can be tough to break their intense focus when they’re concentrating.
13. Border Collies Are Affectionate
Border Collies love to be loved! Some are very cuddly and will happily sit on your knee, despite their size!
Others will prefer a gentle stroke and verbal praise, but either way, they enjoy receiving affection from their owners and family.
14. Border Collies Are Escape Artists
Border Collies can be masters at escaping, especially if their needs are not being met.
They’re agile and strong dogs, who can quickly jump over fences and open doors to get out and explore.
You’ll need to ensure your home and garden are secure, and that your Border Collie has got a reliable recall!
15. Border Collies Are Athletes
Border Collies often excel at dog sports like flyball, agility, hoopers, obedience, rally and flying disc.
When they’re in peak physical condition, they’re like doggy athletes who can compete in high-level competitions in their chosen sport.
Whether you do them just for fun or want to enter contests, your Border Collie is sure to be fantastic at whatever sport you choose!
Their drive, determination and eagerness to please, create a winning combination when teaching your Border Collie a new dog sport.
So there you have it! Border Collies are intelligent, responsive, energetic, obsessive and focussed. They need both mental and physical stimulation to feel content, but make wonderfully affectionate and loyal dogs!
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