Are Border Collies Good Family Dogs?

Aaron Rice Expert Dog Trainer
Written: April 15, 2022

Overall, Border Collies tend to be an incredibly popular choice of dog breed. They have a long record in history and there are so many reasons behind them being such a popular dog breed. From their personality, their famous movie personas, their intelligence, their demeanor, and more, there are many, different reasons that Border Collies are so very beloved. You may find yourself wondering, however, whether Border Collies are a good choice for family dogs. This article will list out all of the reasons that Border Collies may or may not be a good choice as a pet for those with families and children.

Border Collies on the Big Screen

You might be familiar with Border Collies based on seeing them on tv or in movies. Two of the most famous movie dogs that there have ever been, were actually two Border Collies in the movie Babe. In the movie, two Border Collies named Rex and Fly, helped the pig and main character, Babe, throughout the whole movie. Yes, there have been several famous Border Collies throughout the years on television screens throughout the world. This helped to bring attention to the breed overall throughout the years.

Brief History of Breed

Historically, Border Collies were bred to be herding dogs. They were especially useful in herding farm animals such as sheep. Parts of their ancestors’ personalities are still pretty prevalent in the personalities of modern Border Collies as well. This means they will tend to chase and herd a little more than other breeds of dogs.


Border Collies originated in countries like Scotland and England which have large expanses of farmland with many farm animals. The farmers needed help with the animals and herding them across the large expanses of land. Due to this history, they are an incredibly smart breed of dog. Border Collies were regarded as incredibly useful dogs beginning in the 1500s and 1600s, based upon their incredible ability to herd farm animals such as sheep with such intelligence and ease.


In the late 1800s, sheepdog trials began to be held in Wales. At the beginning of the 1900s, an international society was formed and dedicated entirely to sheepdogs. Since the formation of these societies and trials for different sheepdogs, Border Collies have pretty much reigned supreme over other breeds used as sheepdogs. Due to their popularity, the ownership and use of Border Collies on farms and ranches to herd animals spread all over the world, not just in Europe. They are now in homes all over the world, as both pets and farmworkers still today.


Due to their historical uses as sheepdogs and the reliance of humans on them for these purposes, Border Collies are incredibly smart dogs. They actually usually rank very highly on the lists of most intelligent dog breeds. The Border Collie has been ranked as the best, most intelligent dog for obedience/ability to be trained as well as for work intelligence. This means that Border Collies are usually very easily able to be trained in a variety of different areas, not just in sheepdog work.


Border Collies have an abundance of energy most of the time. They tend to have incredibly cheerful and happy personalities and are always up to play with you at pretty much any time whatsoever. They love to run around outside and play at all times as well. This energy, happiness, and playfulness make them an excellent choice to be family dogs, especially for families that already have, or plan to have children.

Border Collies also tend to be an incredibly curious breed of dog. They will more than likely want to get into and discover everything within your home and house, simply to know what is there. They usually do not want or try to damage anything, though. they are just naturally curious about their surroundings.

Border Collies, with their extreme intelligence, have an innate and incredible ability to read or discern the emotions of those around them. This includes other dogs and animals as well as the humans that they are around as well. This means that they are able to quickly read or discern certain moods or situations around them or that they are walking into.

Border Collies also tend to be very loyal dogs. They are very loyal to their owners and to their families. They want more than anything to please and protect their families. Sometimes this can result in aggression towards those that they might view as a threat to their loved ones. It is important to let them get used to strangers before allowing the strangers to try to pet or love on them due to this protective, loyal streak in them. This quality also makes them an incredible choice to be a watchdog. They will quickly alert you of any intruders in your home or on your property.

Border Collies are also a very social breed of dog. It is very important to start socializing early in their lives. If one is bred for or meant to be a family pet, this socialization with humans and children should begin very early in their life. Due to their natural and historical uses as herding dogs, this socialization can help in teaching them not to herd children or other pets. It is important that they begin to learn this as puppies.

Border Collies can usually be trained very well. Due to their intelligence, though, sometimes it does take a bit of patience from their humans during the training process. They can be stubborn during training, but with a little patience, they will eventually learn to obey you and retain the training that you are trying to instill in them. Once they learn, they usually will not forget their lessons.

A common question that many people tend to have is whether certain breeds of dogs tend to get along well with other pets. While they can get along with other dogs in some cases, they mostly get along well with other Border Collies. If you already have a dog or have a Border Collie and plan to add another dog to the family, please know that it is very important to allow the dogs time to get used to each other. It is also a good idea to introduce them before adding another member to the family to ensure that they will get along well. Due to their breeding as herding dogs, they tend to try to herd other small animals such as cats so perhaps it is not the best idea to get a cat if you have a Border Collie. This is also true in not getting a Border Collie if you already have a cat.

Physical Qualities

Border Collies’ fur can be in a variety of colors. They do not tend to grow to be huge dogs and usually grow to be a maximum of about forty pounds. The average size for them is about thirty pounds. They also tend to live a fairly long time, usually between ten to seventeen years, depending on a number of individual health and lifestyle factors.

Border Collies are a fairly easy dog breed to groom. They do have longer fur that does need to be brushed. This can easily be done a few times a week to keep their coat clean and free of tangles. This will also prevent their long fur from getting matted fur pieces in it.

As Border Collies have been used historically to herd farm animals, it is important to note that they need a decent amount of exercise. It is recommended that they get around an hour of exercise per day. You can do this by taking them on walks or runs, playing in the backyard with them, playing fetch with them, and through a lot of other, various methods. If you are a runner, jogger, or bicyclist, Border Collies are a great breed of dog to take along with you. They will love the exercise and should not tire very easily during these outings. It is also important to note that if Border Collies do not get the recommended amount of exercise for their breed, they usually become bored. This boredom can actually lead to destructive behavior, especially with physical objects and their destruction. Try your best to keep your Border Collie exercised regularly s that they are happy, entertained, and most of all, healthy.


It is very easy to say that Border Collies are an excellent choice for a family pet. They are fiercely loyal, cheerful, happy, full of life, full of love, and an abundance of qualities that make them incredible pets. They are an excellent choice for families and especially for children. If you are looking for a great family dog, then look no further. A Border Collie would be an absolutely incredible choice. Please keep in mind, though, that they might not be the best choice if you have other pets in the house, especially smaller ones such as cats. Overall, Border Collies make great companions and great family pets.