Are Border Collies Good With Kids? A Clear and Knowledgeable Answer

Border Collies are a beloved breed of dog that have become increasingly popular as family pets throughout the years. However, as an owner of future owner of a Border Collie dog, general safety is always a top concern.

One of the most common questions asked by people considering a Border Collie is whether or not they are good with children and toddlers.

So are Border Collies good with kids? 

Well, the answer to this question, is yes. Border Collies are great with kids. They can make wonderful companions for children and kids of all ages, as long as they’re properly trained and socialized. They’re loyal, easy-going and non-aggressive dogs that bond with their owners and care for their safety and well-being.

These dogs are known for their high intelligence, strong work ethic, and sweet affection, making them a great fit for families who are looking for a loyal and loving pet.

Although every dog is different, (and thus it’s important to consider the individual temperament of the every dog) if they consider someone part of their group and tribe, they’ll be extremely protective of them and won’t harm them.

In this article, we’ll dive deeper into answering the question of whether or not they’re good with kids.

Are Border Collies Good With Kids

Understanding Border Collies


Generally speaking, Border Collies are known for their loyal, affectionate, and energetic nature.

They are intelligent and sensitive dogs that are eager to please their owners.

They are also very protective of their family, but they can be somewhat reserved around strangers and may require socialization to be comfortable around new people.

With that said, Border Collies are extremely sociable, and getting them accustomed to new people and children, is fairly easy to do with some training.


Border Collies are considered the number one most intelligent dog breeds on the planet.

They are quick learners and excel in obedience training, agility, herding competitions and other physical competitions.

They have a strong desire to work, which makes them an excellent choice for families who want a dog that can perform a variety of tasks.

Energy Level

Border Collies are high-energy dogs that require daily exercise and mental stimulation.

They need plenty of space to run and play and also need their own personal space. They can live in apartments and in the city, but they’re perform the best in farms and open fields where they were bred to work.

As a result of being bred to work in farms, they love outdoor activities like hiking, running, and playing fetch.

If they don’t get enough exercise or mental stimulation though, they can become destructive and develop behavior problems.

Herding Instinct

Border Collies have a strong herding instinct that can be traced back to their working roots.

They are bred to herd livestock and have a natural ability to control and move animals, from cattle, to goats and sheep, and even chickens.

This inherent instinct of theirs, if not put in action or channeled some way, can translate into them trying to herd other pets, chase other dogs, chase cars, birds or even children, as they may try to herd or nip at them.

However, with proper amounts of exercise, training and socialization, they can learn to control this behavior and be gentle around children and excellent life-long companions.

Border Collies and Kids

Behavior With Kids

As we’ve mentioned throughout this article, Border Collies are very friendly, gentle, and affectionate dogs that can make great companions for kids.

Overall, this dog breed’s reaction to kids, is very similar to what you’d expect to see with strangers, unless the dog has been exposed to kids, from a very early age, or lives with kids. 

Like any breed though, their behavior with kids can vary depending on their individual personality, upbringing, and training.

Some Border Collies may be more reserved or cautious around kids, while others may be more outgoing and playful.

Safety With Kids

When it comes to safety with kids, it’s important to teach kids how to interact with dogs properly.

This includes teaching them that, when it comes to the dog, there should be absolutely no:

  • Pulling on their tails or ears.
  • Approaching them when they are eating or sleeping.
  • Climbing on them.
  • Loud noises or sudden movements.
  • Hitting or treating them roughly.

It’s important to supervise interactions between kids and Border Collies to ensure that both are safe and comfortable.

Keep in mind that just like any relationship, it’s based on trust. If your kid or somebody else’s is treating your dog badly, then there is something that needs to be done about it.

Remember that: 

  • Border Collies are animals, they will defend themselves if they feel threatened.
  • Only mutual respect and trust works. Kids can be mischievous and might not know the value of trust. If broken with a dog, it might not be regained.
  • When exposing your dog to kids, it’s best to start at a young age to get them accustomed to new people and different situations.   

Overall, Border Collies can be good with kids if properly introduced and supervised. Remember that every dog is different and may have their own unique behavior and personality. 

Training Border Collies 

When it comes to training Border Collies, whether it be to become good service dogs, to do tricks, to do different jobs, herd animals or to be good with kids, there are a few key things you need to focus on.

Some of these things, are obedience training, setting boundaries, and socialization.

By focusing on these areas, you can help ensure that your Border Collie is well-behaved and can face different situations.

Let’s look at what these are, in more detail.

Obedience Training

Obedience training is probably the number 1 most important skill you can teach your dog.

It’s the essentials and the basics like “sit,” “stay,” and “come,”. 

These commands are not just “good to have”, they’re essential to having your dog know what to do and when to do it.

You’ll want to make sure that your dog is familiar with all of the basic commands (especially the recall), before you ever expose them to potentially threatening situations, expose them to kids, strangers or even have them go off leash.

When training your Border Collie for these commands, it’s important to be patient and consistent.

Always use positive reinforcement techniques, such as treats and praise, to reward good behavior, and gradually work up to more advanced commands.

Setting Boundaries

Setting boundaries is another important part of training your Border Collie.

To set boundaries, it’s as simple as establishing rules for your Border Collie and sticking to them. 

For example, decide where your dog is allowed to go in the house and where they’re not. Use positive reinforcement techniques to reward good behavior and discourage bad behavior.


Socialization is crucial for any dog, but especially for Border Collies.

These dogs are social by nature and need plenty of opportunities to interact with other dogs and people, otherwise they can feel left out and ostracized.

To socialize your Border Collie, expose them to a variety of different environments, people, and animals and do so consistently.

Do things like:

  • Take them to the dog park.
  • Introduce them to family and friends.
  • Expose them to different sights and sounds.
  • Join dog owner groups.
  • Do outdoor activities in controlled spaces.

The earlier you can expose your Border Collie to different people, kids and strangers, the easier it becomes in the long run.

If your Border Collie is already an adult, you can still teach them to be good with kids, but you’ll want to gradually introduce kids into their lives.

Overall, training a Border Collie requires patience, consistency, and a firm but gentle hand. By focusing on obedience training, setting boundaries, and socialization, you can help ensure that your Border Collie is a well-behaved and happy member of your family.

Border Collie Exercise Needs and Kids 

Border Collies are high maintenance dogs that require a lot of exercise and mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy.

As a Border Collie owner, it’s important to ensure that your pup gets enough exercise and stimulation to prevent destructive and keep their needs in check, so that they don’t harm any other dog or children.

Physical Stimulation

As we’ve mentioned before, this breed has a lot of energy and need plenty of physical exercise to stay healthy and happy.

They require at least 1-2 hours of exercise every day, which could include walks, runs, or time out in the yard. 

Some great ways to provide physical stimulation for your Border Collie, while at the same time, having them interact with kids include:

  • Playing fetch or frisbee: These classic games allow your kids and your Border Collie to burn off energy together.
  • Going for a run or hike: Border Collies love the outdoors and will enjoy exploring new trails and sights.
  • Agility training: Border Collies excel at agility training and will enjoy the mental and physical challenge.
Are Border Collies Good With Kids 2

Mental Stimulation

In addition to physical exercise, Border Collies also need plenty of mental stimulation.

These are even better instances where you can have your dog interact with kids, as they’re not as physical.

Encourage your kids or other children, to engage in activities with your dog that will provide mental, like for example:

  • Puzzle toys: Puzzle toys are a great way to keep your Border Collie mentally stimulated, and are also a great and safe way to have them socialize with children or toddlers.

By providing plenty of physical and mental exercise, you can ensure that your Border Collie is a great companion for your kids and can comfortably be around children in general.

Interaction With Other Pets

Border Collies can get along well with other pets, including cats and other dogs.

However, this depends once again on the specific animal and its upbringing.

  • If your Border Collie grew up in a farm, where it was naturally surrounded by its siblings, other pets like cats, and other animals, then they’ll naturally be more sociable. 
  • If your dog did not grow up around other animals, and you want to sensitize them, then it’s important to introduce other pets slowly and carefully and to supervise their interactions.

Border Collies have a strong herding instinct, which means they may try to herd other pets or children. This can be a problem if the other pets are not comfortable with this behavior.

With proper training and socialization though, Border Collies can get along well with other pets too.

Nipping And Barking 

Although Border Collies aren’t very conflictive, their herding instincts might sometimes manifest as nipping, biting or barking behaviors.

It’s possible, they’re dogs after all.

This can be particularly concerning when it comes to children, who may not understand how to interact with a dog in a way that doesn’t trigger these instincts.

Even though they aren’t extremely vocal dogs, they may start to bark frequently, howl or even whine in the presence of children, which can be disruptive in a household.

To address nipping and barking behaviors, your best bet is desensitization through proper training.

It’s also important to supervise interactions between your dog and children closely, and to teach children how to interact with the dog in a way that doesn’t encourage nipping or barking.

Are Border Collies Good With Kids? Conclusion

In conclusion, yes, Border Collies are good with kids. Generally speaking.

They can be great companions for kids, if they’re properly trained and socialized, and are naturally very protective of those who’re part of their family.

They are a loyal breed that can be very affectionate towards children, but it’s important to remember that owning a Border Collie comes with a lot of responsibility.

The breed has high energy levels and exercise requirements, so that’s something to take into consideration before deciding to bring one into a household with children. 

The best idea, is to have your Border Collie be exposed to different people, strangers, kids and various situations, from a very early age. This will let your dog get used to all situations.

Additionally, it’s crucial to teach children how to properly interact with dogs, including how to approach them, pet them, and respect their space.

Supervision is also necessary when children and dogs are together to ensure everyone’s safety.

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