People like big energetic dogs that show a lot of love to their family members. This is why the border collie is so popular with dog owners!
Still, is this the right pet for you?
Border collies have plenty of energy and they look beautiful, of course.
But what are these dogs like with their owners?
These dogs were specifically bred to herd sheep and other types of livestock and animals. In addition, border collies are also used as hunting dogs.
So, as you can imagine, these dogs require the right type of training and environment.
This doesn’t mean that the average dog owner can’t own this breed, but it does mean that you have to be more considerate of your dog.
Furthermore, herding behavior does include nipping and biting. These behaviors are not inherently dangerous. But, you need to be aware of the border collies tendencies before you buy one.
I’ll talk about whether or not these dogs can be dangerous or aggressive in the rest of this post.
This way you can figure out if this is the right dog breed for your home!
Are Border Collies Dangerous to Own?
So, are border collies dangerous to own?
To sum things up quickly, these dogs are not dangerous to you and your family. Border collies are not truly vicious or aggressive animals.
In fact, they are quite loyal and obedient. However, in order to get these dogs to listen to you, you have to show them that you are in charge.
And, their training needs to be handled early on for the best results!
These pets have a lot of personality, and if you aren’t careful they could end up bossing you around.
So, make sure to assert yourself with your border collie pup as soon as you can. In addition, you need to consider their herding instincts.
Herding Instincts In Your Border Collie
I mentioned this briefly, but border collies do nip, bite, and even run after people and animals.
Your pet is not doing this to be aggressive or mean, this is just their instincts. And, luckily, you can train your dog to not do this.
But, when you are first train your dog, keep a careful watch on them.
Especially if you have children or infants, you don’t want to leave them alone with your pet. How much your dog will try tho herd will depend on the border collie.
Some dogs have a much more pronounced herding instinct than other dogs.
Again, your pet isn’t trying to be mean, this is their nature. So, it can be a major challenge trying to train these pets.
Just keep this in mind.
It’s best to have a border collie that has less of these innate instincts. But you can’t always control this aspect of your dog’s personality.
Some breeders might have fewer border collies with less of these inborn instincts.
How To Reduce Herding Instincts In Your Border Collie
Still, be prepared to train your dog and handle their energetic personality head-on.
Some ways to do this include being able to distract your dog:
You want to have toys and other items to distract your collie with.
Especially if they start nipping, you can give them a toy to play with instead.
Another method you can try to reduce herding instincts is through barriers.
If you have kids or babies put up gates this way your dog won’t wander towards them and nip them when they are untrained. Once your dog is trained, you can put away the gates.
Finally, to deal with nipping and biting, you should show your dog that this is not okay.
This does not mean that you can yell or hit your dog. What this means is that you pull them away. You keep pulling your dog away every time they try to herd. And, over time they will stop.
I’ll get into more specific techniques for training in a later part of this post.
But, on the whole, know that these dogs are not dangerous to you and your family.
They simply require a lot of care and training to keep in your home!
How Protective Are Border Collies Exactly?
Another thing to know about your dog is that they can be pretty protective of you and your family. In some cases, they will even be territorial over the space they live in. This is not an issue for you.
But, if you have guests over your dog can get fairly protective over you and their home. This is not uncommon for many dogs really.
But border collies can be especially protective over you. They want to keep you safe!
This is not a bad thing. In fact, you might feel safer in your home with this breed of dog in your house. However, you want to make sure that your dog won’t attack your friends and family.
The best thing to do for your dog is to make sure that they have plenty of contact with people and other dogs early on.
This means that you don’t isolate your dog and you socialize them so they are used to other people and pets.
The sooner you do this, the less aggressive your dog will be to other people. They will still be protective, but they won’t feel the need to attack.
Can You Train Border Collies to Be Less Aggressive?
The key to keeping your dog calm and less aggressive as they age is through training.
You can indeed train your dog to be less aggressive. But you need to deal with this early on, as I said before.
Again, most border collies are not aggressive. They are really just letting out herding tendencies.
However, if you are not letting your pet properly channel those instincts, this can quickly turn to aggression.
So, take care of this early on, and don’t neglect training with your border collie. Because, if you do, then your dog could become a danger to you and other people.
It’s rare, for your dog to really outright attack anyone. And, they will usually give some kind of indication that they are upset and ready to attack.
I recommend looking out for warning signs to see if your border collie is prone to aggression. This would include things like them not listening to you and any kind of barking or growling when you tell them to do something.
If your dog bares their teeth at you a lot and likes to bark loudly at other people, be aware. This can also be a sign that they have an aggression problem.
Again, this is pretty unusual behavior for a border collie. But this could crop up for some people who have never handled this breed before.
Overall this breed is perfectly safe and nice to own. However, they need to be properly brought up. I’ll talk about this more in the next section.
What To Do
But, if your dog does have a serious problem with your authority and acts out, you need to do one of two things.
Your dog could be acting this way because they are sick. So, go to a vet and get your pet checked out.
If there is nothing wrong with your pet, then you need to see a dog specialist who deals with animal behavior. You can do this or you can take your dog to classes to train them.
Regardless this problem needs to be dealt with as soon as possible.
How Exactly Should You Train Your Pet Border Collie?
So, how can you train your dog and curb their instincts for herding and aggression effectively?
There are many ways to do this and get your dog to be loyal and obedient. But, I will outline some general advice here so you can understand the best way to train them.
To begin with, you don’t want to be overly harsh with your dog. This means that you don’t yell or physically punish them for acting out.
Instead, you want to praise your dog when they do something right.
You can even give them treats when they are on their best behavior. This is known as positive reinforcement, and this is one of the best ways to get through to border collies and other dogs.
Some dog owners like to punish their dogs when they do bad things. But this can actually lead to aggression and more misbehavior. You can definitely say no to your dog, to get through to them.
But you need to be careful about how you use this command. The more you use it, the less effective it will be.
And, under no circumstances should you use corporal punishment with this breed of dog.
How To Train Your Border Collie The Right Way
Collies will only get worse with this type of treatment; they might even fight back. This is not the way to win your dog’s loyalty.
Instead, gently correct them and give them treats for good behaviors.
This will help them a lot more in the long run! Of course, you can be stern with your dog.
You just don’t want to blow your lid. If you notice you are getting really upset, I personally recommend cooling off a bit.
Then, let them know that you are in command. Don’t keep repeating commands over and over again for your pet. But tell them something once and be firm.
If your dog isn’t listening to you the first time you are saying something, this means that they aren’t properly trained yet. You might need to take them to pet classes to get them trained.
Or in more severe cases you might need the help of a pet behaviorist. This is up to you. Once again, remember that training your dog, especially a border collie, will take a lot of patience and time.
So be calm and try not to lose your cool. It takes effort, but these dogs can be trained!
Other Methods to Keep Your Pet Border Collie Calm and Happy?
In this final section, I’ll talk a little bit more about how you can keep your dog calm and happy. Training your dog is important, but there are a few more steps that you need to consider.
Most importantly, you want to keep your dog busy and active.
Border collies are not dogs that like to lay around and do nothing. They need to have plenty of playtimes to be kept content. This can make this breed fairly demanding, especially for new dog owners.
But, if you like playful and energetic dogs this is probably the right breed for you.
Make sure to take your dogs on plenty of walks, and make sure they have plenty of backyard space to roam in. These dogs are built for big open spaces and they want to run around.
So, don’t keep them locked up in a small apartment or home, all the time. Otherwise, they might start showing some behavioral problems.
Many people wonder whether border collies are dangerous pets to own.
Throughout this post, I went over this question in detail. Your border collie will not outright attack you or your family. In truth, these pets are actually quite safe to own.
However, you need to take care of them properly and make sure to train them. Border collies are not inherently dangerous, but they can get aggressive. Especially if these dogs are not given the right outlets to let out their aggression.
In addition, some of this aggression comes from the border collie’s innate herding instincts. Border collies were bred to herd animals and hunt. So. keep this in mind.
But, if you train your pet the right way, and give them plenty of time to play, you can keep them calm.
Overall, most dogs will show some form of aggression. This is not something that you need to get stressed out about. Just make sure you take the time to love and train your pet!