People with small children often wonder what breed they should choose when adding a dog to the family. However, some dogs are better suited to households with children. Border collies are beautiful, intelligent dogs, but their herding instinct makes their adaptability to children debatable. These energetic dogs were bred to herd sheep and they may view children as livestock that must be contained. Mishaps may occur, but that is possible with any dog.
Border collies are typically black and white although they do come in a variety of colors. They are medium-sized dogs weighing 30 to 60 pounds. Border collies have an abundance of energy and are not content with lounging around an apartment. A family with a baby may be somewhat constricted by the infant's needs and unable to provide a border collie with the attention it requires. This breed needs room to run and plenty of daily exercise. The border collie is a sensitive and athletic dog that needs physical and mental stimulation.
Border collies are typically good-natured dogs. They are hard-working and eager to please. Border collies form strong bonds with their human family members, but they are wary of strangers. They are good watchdogs and easy to train. Border collies like to dominate, so they need to be trained in a firm and friendly manner. The border collie can be a good family pet if it is trained properly and socialized from a young age. However, if left alone too long, these dogs can get bored and become destructive. The arrival of a new baby can cause stress and anxiety in a border collie. The dog may snap or bite if it feels threatened.
The behavior of border collies can be altered through proper training, but the herding instinct will remain. Border collies were bred to herd sheep and it is a part of their nature to herd anything that moves, including children. The dogs will nip at the ankles of livestock in an attempt to herd them and may do so with children, says BorderCollieTraining.net. Children run and border collies run after them. The dog is doing what comes naturally and so is the child. Border collies are not dogs you can let run with your children, states BorderCollieRescue.org. Border collies may view running children as escaped livestock and try to herd them by chasing, barking and nipping. Parents can teach older children to stop if the dog starts to chase them, but toddlers and preschoolers don't usually halt on command.
Is a Border Collie Right for You?
Infants aren't running around yet, but they will grow into toddlers and become more active. However, since border collies are sensitive to sound and highly reactive, a crying baby may stimulate their curiosity. Border collies that haven't had enough socialization may be a poor choice of dog breed for families with young children, according to DogBreedInfo.com. No one can completely predict how any breed of dog will react in various situations, but do some research of your own if your heart is set on a border collie. Talk to veterinarians, dog trainers, reputable breeders and families with children that have a border collie as a pet. According to RescueEveryDog.org, border collies are not recommended for children under the age of 12 years. This breed is not best suited for families with babies or young children. Border collies can be overprotective and may inadvertently injure a baby or small child. Babies and young children should not be left unattended with any dog.
- Photo Credit Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images