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Is a BC right for me?

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I live in a house w/a medium/small fenced in back yard. I jog about three miles per day, so when my BC is ready, I hope to take him with me. I have a reputable BC  trainer lined up. I have no doubt that my family can jog and or play with him in the morning and play with him a minimum of 2 hours in the afternoon. We’ll probably shoot to get him involved in frisbee. My son. Age 8 has played with his aunts BC, and has been obsessed with getting one for months. He’s put in the work; researched the breed online, read books about training puppies and BCs, etc. 

Now the cons. I have a 2 year old. I work a minimum of 8 hours 5 days per week. With my work schedule and small child, can I make a BC happy? Any suggestions if we move forward? Anybody think this is going to be a disaster for my family or the BC?

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Have you had a border collie before? Just wondering.

You can make a good life for a border collie even if you work full time; I have done so and many others have as well. The main thing to ask yourself is: do you really, really want to spend a good portion of your time doing things with your dog?  Not just, are you willing to do so...do you want to? If the answer is yes, you can be a good border collie owner. If you are more likely to get distracted, perhaps by your kids,  and your kids get distracted by other activities, and end up not having enough time for the dog, then get a less demanding breed or mix.

Please read all of the "Read This First" on these forums. Be very careful where you get the dog, if you get one. I strongly recommend getting a dog from a BC rescue, and not from a breeder. But if you go to a breeder, please be certain that it is a reputable breeder, who breeds only for working ability and doesn't show dogs in AKC events or other dog events and shows that are about physical appearance and not ability. There is lots of info here about why.

Finally, be aware that a border collie doesn't need to be entertained all of the time. They need a lot of attention, training, fun, play, and exercise, but they also need down time. You don't have to have a schedule that allows for many hours of work with the dog daily. A good rule of thumb for a young border collie perhaps 2 years old is about 2 hours every day and longer times  such as hikes or long walks in nature once a week or so. If you get a dog under a year old, be sure not to over-exercise the pup, as you can damage the dog physically as well as "creating a monster", who will then demand attention a great deal of the time.

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What D'Elle said, plus I'd add that you should be aware that not all border collies do well with toddlers. In fact, it's one of the most common reasons border collies end up in rescues. Toddlers' unpredictable behavior, movements and screeching can be wildly overstimulating to border collies, plus they can have the propensity to try to control movement (it's what they were bred for after all) and may sometimes nip in the process. Many border collies are fine with toddlers, but it's most definitely not universal and it's something you need to be aware of.

There's really no way to predict with a puppy whether it will be a dog who's overstimulated by children or not. You can do everything right in raising the puppy and still end up with one who can't live comfortably and/or safely (not necessarily the same thing, but both equally important for the well being of the dog and the family) with young children. So, if you're still thinking you want a border collie, I'd recommend looking for an adult rescue whose temperament and tolerance for children is known.

Best wishes.



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Great advice. Thank you. I’ve never owned a BC, but my dad raised American Bulldogs, so I’m pretty comfortable with dogs.

I met the BC puppies today and their mom and dad. I brought my two year old along to see how he’d do with them. The meeting couldn’t have gone better. The parents were extremely laid back and gentle. The puppies couldn’t have been sweeter. One in particular licked us the entire time.

I met with a trainer though, and he expressed a lot of concern over the two year old. Also, we want to get the BC or some other bigger dog that my boys can play with, but in a year or two, my wife wants to get a toy dog for her. The trainer and the breeder had a lot of concerns about how the BC might treat a smaller dog.

After meeting with us and hearing our situation, the trainer (who owns and absolutely loves BCs) pushed us to consider a golden retriever. Personally, I think a golden would be a safer bet for our situation, but the dog is for my 8 year old and he’d be crushed if it was anything other than a BC. 

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I predict that your son will fall in love with the Golden and all will be well.

It would as I am sure you know, be unwise to get a breed of dog that would really not be suitable for you because that is what an 8 year old wants. Goldens are wonderful dogs; I like them a lot, and they are notoriously good with children of all ages. You of course need to train, and they require a lot of brushing, but there's no way you would get one and your son would not like the dog. It sounds as though that needs to be your choice. Border collies are really not the dog for everyone. Your son has a whole lifetime in which to grow up and get his own BC when he is ready for the dog as an adult and the golden will give him some dog experience in the meantime.

 Best of luck to you!

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