Pros and Cons of Border Collies: Must Know Before Owning One

Pros and Cons of Border Collies. Photo of a Border Collie owner with her Border Collie doing a trick.

Owning a border collie does not have to be hard with the right preparation and understanding beforehand.

But, owning a Border Collie is definitely not easy, and with that in mind, I’ve compiled the Border Collies pros and cons and some of the most important things to know before adopting this kind of dog.

This is because this breed can be considered “high maintenance.” They are energetic, intelligent but like any dog, they require proper care.

A Border Collie is not for everyone, but if you want to give it a shot, make sure you read up on all the information below about them before taking the leap.

What’s It Like to Own a Border Collie?

Owning this kind of dog can be considered hard work. All the work comes from their need for a lot of training and exercise. They can be very stubborn with their owners, so consistent obedience training is necessary for you to earn their respect and trust.

It’s a job

It’s a full-time job, and it will require your attention and time to do it right. This might not be for everyone, but if you think you can give them the care they need, then go for it!

If you are not ready to give an active dog enough attention, I recommend getting a less demanding breed.

Border collies are very active dogs and require a good amount of exercise to keep them healthy and happy.

What’s more, border collies need mental stimulation just as much as physical activity, or this breed can become destructive, which is why they need a lot of toys and mental games to keep them occupied.

If you do not have the time or energy to give a border collie the amount of exercise and mental stimulation it needs daily, you will eventually have problems in the long run.

They misbehave and act out whenever they are bored and need stimulation. They are simply too energetic and intelligent to not be given enough attention, and when that happens, they become destructive.

Affection is an understatement

Border Collies are very affectionate and love to cuddle up next to their owners. They are very loyal dogs and want to spend as much time with you as possible.

Their love for being around people is incomparable. This may be a good thing, but it might cause them to develop problems such as separation anxiety, especially if you are the kind of owner who, once again, doesn’t have the required availability to dedicate to the breed.

But if you do, Border Collies love to cuddle and will keep you warm on cold nights. As I mentioned before, loyalty is their special trait.

Owning a Border Collie in the city

It’s important that you know what it’s like to own a border collie before taking one into the city. Owning this kind of dog in an urban environment will require you to have more patience than if you had it in, say, the countryside.

This is because they are high-energy dogs and need room to run around and play. Owning a border collie in the city is doable, but make sure you keep them active and stimulated throughout the day with lots of walks and preferably lots of training.

If you are willing to provide this dog with constant activity and attention as well as be patient with their training, then owning a border collie in an urban environment is possible!

What does owning a Border Collie say about you?

Owning a Border Collie means that you are a responsible pet owner. At least, it should. As stated, this breed requires patience and skill, which not many people have. It says that you are willing to put in the time it takes to be a good dog owner. You should consider all these conditions beforehand.

It also means you are a very active person. The BC breed requires daily exercise and training, which no one would do if they did not like to be active. Hence you are willing to spend at least 1 to 2 hours exercising your dog each day.

Finally, owning a Border Collie shows that you are patient with your pet’s needs. To have a well-behaved dog, you will need to provide it with decent training, which can be hard to do. It also means that you are willing to put in the effort it takes to train your dog each day.

Pros and Cons of Border Collies

Border Collies do have some cons, but their pros outweigh the cons. Owning a Border Collie can be challenging, but I would recommend them to anyone who is up for the challenge!


  • Border Collies are very intelligent and very eager to please, which means they are fast learners and easy to train;
  • Border Collies make great family dogs if raised with children from puppyhood, as they enjoy spending time with the whole family;
  • Border Collies have a great work ethic and can excel in a variety of dog sports;
  • Owning a Border Collie will allow you to enjoy time outdoors more often;
  • Having a Border Collie is like having another family member.


  • Border Collies are heavy shedders, as they will require to be groomed at least once a month;
  • They require a lot more exercise than other breeds, and if not exercised enough, they will become destructive;
  • Border Collies if not properly socialized, can become aggressive towards other pets;
  • If your Border Collie gets bored, you might find yourself with chewed-up shoes or other items around the house.

What Other Owners Say About Border Collies

I Owned a Border Collie for 9 Years

“If you are not ready to make your life revolve around this dog, then I would not get one. Owning a border collie is like having another child; they will take up the majority of your time and energy.”


I Owned 2 Border Collies, one for 12 years and another for 14

“Border Collies are very friendly and work-oriented, which means they love to play fetch or run around.”


I Owned a Border Collie for 15 Years

“Don’t buy one if you are not prepared to spend at least 2 hours of daily exercise with him. Owning a Border Collie means that you must be mentally strong enough to give them the amount of exercise they need.”


I Owned a Border Collie for 13 Years

“They have lots of love to give to their owners. Owning a Border Collie means that they will always love you no matter what.”


The cost of owning a Border Collie

Owning a Border Collie costs about $500 to $1,500 a year. Owning a Border Collie will require a significant investment of time and money.

With this breed, you must be willing to spend the money on medical care, training classes, grooming tools, food, food bowls, etc.

How to Make Sure a Border Collie Is the Right Pet for Me?

Answer the following questions, and you can decide if owning a Border Collie is right for you.

  • Are you willing to provide your dog with lots of mental and physical stimulation? Having a Border Collie means that you must be ready to keep them occupied and stimulated throughout the day.
  • Are you willing to train and groom your dog regularly? Owning a Border Collie will require daily training and at least monthly grooming.
  • Do you want an intelligent, active, and playful dog in your life? Owning a Border Collie means that you must be willing to put in the daily time it takes to train, exercise, and interact with them.

If so, then Owning a Border Collie may be right for you.

How to Choose the Right Border Collie Puppy

Choosing the right Border Collie puppy will make your life easier. Make sure you know what to look for in a puppy before visiting the breeder.

Evaluate the litter:

  • Visit the breeder’s home;
  • Ask to meet both puppies’ parents;
  • Make sure they are pure-bred and well-socialized;
  • Look for healthy, friendly, curious, and playful puppies;
  • Pick out your favorite puppy.

Look for the calmer puppy, play with the puppies but pay attention to the one who is more interested in interacting with you. Avoid the aggressive ones, the shy ones, and the hyperactive ones.

In Conclusion

At the end of the day, Owning a Border Collie is not like owning any dog. They require some extra attention and training beforehand, but they are fast learners and considered the most intelligent breed in the world.

If you are willing to put in the effort it takes to be an owner of one of these wonderful dogs, owning one won’t be hard at all.

Photo of author
Andre Neves

Hi, I'm Andre and I'm the owner of Sula the Border Collie. I love writing about this amazing dog breed here. I joined the Council to be able to reach and educate more people on the joy of having a pet dog.