Collies are loyal, loving, and good with children. They are some of the most intelligent dog breeds in the world ad have a high work drive, however this means they can be hard to manage and unfortunately collies often end up in animal shelters when their owners can’t cope with them.
Collies make great pets for people with an active lifestyle and who have the time to dedicate to exercise and training. Collies have some specific training and exercise requirements compared to other breeds, so it’s important to know what you’re getting in to before you get one!
What makes a collie a good pet?
Collies can make excellent pets if paired with the right owner. Here are a few reasons why they make such great pets:
- They are excellent exercise buddies.
- They have a low maintenance coat that requires minimal grooming.
- They are great with kids.
- They are wonderful watch dogs.
- They are super loyal and will provide you with lots of love.
- Collies are capital companions and help combat loneliness.
What kind of people are collies good pets for?
Collies are not for everyone. They require A LOT of exercise and mental stimulation.
If you’re not able to provide adequate stimulation for them, your collie will find less favorable outlets for their pent up energy, often resulting in destructive or compulsive behaviors.
Collies are good pets for people who love the outdoors and have the time in their schedules to exercise and play with their collies every day. Collies don’t do well when left alone, and they generally get on well with other animals and children so they make good pets for families where someone will be in with the dog for most of the day.
Collie owners must be willing to go out in all weathers. A collie not getting a walk is far worse than a walk in the rain! Missing even one walk with a collie will result in them driving you up the wall as they look for other ways to release their energy.
Collies bond more strongly to their owners and family unit than other dog breeds because of their history to work so closely with their master.
Because of this, people without other pet dogs would make good collie owners as some collies can get jealous of other dogs, especially within the family home.
They are very emotional dogs and can feel left out or even rejected if they need to share your love an attention.
Owning a collie requires the patience of a saint. They are highly emotional beasts and some collies come with ‘issues’, especially if adopting one from a shelter.
Collies need a gentle touch and lots of reassurance. They will not respond to a heavy hand or harsh tones so if you can not commit the time for training your dog, a collie is not for you.
Who is a collie not good for?
Collies are not for everyone. They require a minimum of 2 hours off leash exercise daily and lots of mental stimulation to keep their minds active and occupied.
There are a few categories of people who should probably avoid collies as a pet. These are outlined below.
1: inexperienced dog owners
Collies require a lot of training, mental stimulation and physical exercise. They are a high energy breed and without proper training will wreak havoc on your life.
Collies require a ‘job’ to keep them busy all day, everyday and 30 minutes of playing fetch in the park just wont cut it. They are a handful and if they don’t receive ample stimulation they will often become destructive.
Collies are not suitable for inexperienced dog owners.
2: non active people
Collies were originally bred to run for miles over the rugged hillsides of Scotland and Wales. Their love for running and rampaging off leash is bred into them.
They need a minimum of 2 hours off leash exercise everyday and don’t even think about skipping that walk because its raining… your day will be ruined with all your collies whining and moaning to get outside!
Non active individuals should avoid collies at all costs.
3: people who work long hours
You should never leave your collie alone at home for more than 4 hours at a time. Collies especially are an emotional breed and in addition to needing potty breaks they will start to feel lonely and isolated if left alone for long periods.
Collies are more likely to suffer from separation anxiety as they were originally bred to work so closely with their human masters and so they have a burning desire to remain close to their ‘pack’.
Collies can become very distressed if left alone for long periods and can literally become a canine chaos cyclone destroying everything in their way.
It’s not fair on your collie if you work long hours regularly and can not give them the attention they require. People who regularly work long hours should avoid collies as pets.
4: people with apartments
Collies don’t cope well in apartments. They ideally need a large yard where they can have regular off leash access. Think of a balloon filled with air ready to pop at any moment.
Now think of your collie as that balloon but instead of air, its full of energy! If your collie doesn’t have a yard where they can drain their energy then they may very well ‘pop’.
Of course, a collie can live in anywhere but that doesn’t mean they will be happy.
There is nothing worse than a cheerless collie so unless you are willing to commit to giving a collie its best life with the majority of time spent outside the apartment then people in apartments should avoid collies.
Are collies friendly dogs?
Collies are super friendly to their own family unit. They’re great with kids and oblige willingly for all the cuddles and snuggles available.
However, out with their usual family unit, collies can display caution, especially towards men.
In general though, collies are friendly and are legendary in being loyal towards their owners (Lassie springs to mind).
Do collies get on with other pets?
Collies are not aggressive and will generally get on with other pet dogs in the house. They are tolerant of other pets in the household and can even make great cat companions but it really depends on the individual dog.
Something to consider is that collies are highly emotional and often don’t like to share their ‘pack’ with other pooches. They can become upset or jealous if they don’t feel like they are the centre of your attention so be sure to give your collie extra attention if they are not the only pet in the household.
Do all types of collie make good pets?
All collies generally have the same needs and wants. Regardless of which type of collie you may be considering, they are all equally demanding as a pet. Every collie type has the potential to make a great pet but also in equal measure the potential to wreak havoc and cause chaos.
Do border collies make good pets?
Border collies are energetic, intelligent and thrive on having a ‘job’ to do. If you have the time to commit to owning a border collie and fulfilling all their needs it will be the best pet you’ll ever own.
Their crazy quirks and zest for life are infectious and their sensitive and loving nature means their love for you will be unrivaled. However, without adequate time for a border collie they could become a painful, perilous pet.
Do bearded collies make good pets?
Bearded collies are popular family pets. Their friendly nature and patience make them great with kids and adults alike. They’re easy to train and their positive upbeat attitude make them fun to be around!
Be aware though, these collies are exercise freaks and without adequate stimulation their energy will come out in troublesome ways.
Do rough collies make good pets?
Rough collies are extremely loyal to their family and make perfect pets if you can provide enough mental stimulation and physical exercise for them.
Their long glossy coat requires weekly grooming but these dogs like to be pampered and be the center of your attention. Great with kids, the rough collie will give you love and affection back ten fold.
Do welsh collies make good pets?
Welsh collies love nothing more than a day herding sheep in the Welsh valleys. They thrive on ‘working’ and require a lot of physical exercise and mental stimulation.
However, their easiness to train and loving loyal nature also make them great family pets if you have ample time to take them on adventures where they can run free and be at one with nature.
Should you get a collie? My advice
I would definitely say if you have a hectic schedule a collie is not for you.
They require a lot of training, exercise and mental stimulation and if you’re adopting one from a shelter you can double that time commitment.
In saying that, collies make great companions and will change your life. It’s so rewarding to see their personalities grow. They are great dogs and they always try their best.
Luna’s Story – What it’s like to own a new collie
Luna was adopted from an animal shelter and came with a whole host of quirks (massive issues). Despite having owned dogs all my life, Luna was a different ball game altogether!
In the beginning, Luna refused to walk past parked cars, ran away from other dogs and was extremely scared of people. Add in to that her boundless energy and crippling anxiety and here we have the recipe for a problem pet.
The first few months were tough. I was starting to wonder if she would ever be allowed off the leash without having a constant fear she would run away. Every walk was stressful!
Luna would scrape herself along walls to get as far away from parked cars as possible and I even ended up just avoiding walking on streets I knew had lots of parked cars for some time. I really thought I had made a mistake adopting Luna and felt like she would never get over her issues.
She would pull and pull because she just had so much energy to burn but was restricted to her leash. However, that’s not the worst part….
Luna also had some toileting ‘issues’ and refused to go potty outside. Another delightful quirk. Lets just say I went through 5 different rugs and have never been so grateful for hardwood floors!
Fast forward 7 months….. Luna became unrecognizable. It took lots of hard work, training and extraordinary patience but we got there! Luckily, my job allowed me to commit the time Luna deserved to help her build her confidence and slowly she started to realize the word wasn’t as scary as she thought.
I make no exaggeration when I say it took months of work! However, if anyone asks me do I regret adopting a collie? Absolutely not.
My lifestyle is suited to an active dog, one who I can take long walks, teach neat tricks and have cuddles on the couch with. Luna really has changed my life in ways I didn’t even imagine!