How to Care for a Border Collie Mix


The border collie is a high energy herding breed. The personality of your dog depends largely on the mix but many of the border collie traits will remain. Expect herding tendencies, high energy and in some cases neurotic behavior. Caring for a border collie mix requires an active and dedicated owner who is willing to invest time in training.

Indoors vs. Outdoors

Determine if your dog is an indoor or outdoor dog. Border collie mixes are often hardy dogs who are capable in either environment. Keep the dog indoors as a family dog or outdoors as a working dog. If you own a large property, the border collie mix is a good outdoor dog that will patrol your property. Border collies mixed with other herding breeds are high energy so an engaging outdoor environment is ideal. They are natural escape artists and may require an enclosed run. Keep shade and water available at all times for outdoor dogs.

Training the Dog

Border collies are very intelligent and respond well to training. The intelligence of the breed typically comes through when mixed with other breeds. This includes Labradors, Australian shepherds, Great Pyrenees and Bernese mountain dogs. Without training, they are sometimes neurotic, aggressive toward other dogs and mischievous. Start with the basic sit, lie and stay commands until the dog is proficient. Use a rewards system with treats during the training process.

Socializing Needs

The border collie is a social breed, especially when mixed with a Labrador or poodle. They will work as herding dogs in teams and they like to play. Take your dog on play dates and visit dog parks to encourage play and socialization. Play is stimulating and provides a mental workout. The dogs will engage in games of chase and many also will play fetch.

Exercise Requirements

Exercise is critical for border collie mixes and owners must make time for daily activity. Take your dog hiking, jogging, snowshoeing or for playtime in a park daily. Young dogs often require multiple activity sessions each day. Winter is no exception: Take your dog out every day of the year. Socializing is a great method of exercising your dog without wearing yourself out.

Common Mixes

Border collies are often mixed with mild-mannered dogs such as Labradors and poodles to make an intelligent dog with a calmer demeanor. They are also mixed with Great Pyrenees and Bernese mountain dogs to herd and guard livestock. The purebred version is often too intense and will run livestock too hard. Herders utilize the mixed breeds as a compromise that retains the intelligence and skill set with a calmer mentality.

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