Anyone who has spent any amount of time around Border Collies (or that might be planning to get one) knows that they have some uniquely endearing traits such as loyalty and intelligence.
With that said, the breed is also known for its seemingly boundless energy though, which might make some city folks wonder if such a dog would make an appropriate pet.
After all, Border Collies were initially bred to assist shepherds in farms, and are widely heralded for their keen ability to round up sheep and other stock.
Does this mean that prospective owners should not consider Collies, if they themselves live in an urban environment? Let’s take a look at some of the important factors to determine if city life is appropriate or not for these beautiful canines.
Can Border Collies Live In The City
The answer to this question, is obviously yes. With a little bit of help and training Border Collies can (and do) live in the city, just like most dogs.
Although in most cases, cities don’t offer too many wide-open spaces for energetic Collies to run and explore, there are plenty of examples of people who’ve successfully managed to share and experience a great life with this specific breed of dogs, even in extremely crowded cities.
In order to make this work out to the benefit of both the dog and its owners, there are a few basic details to address. Most importantly, anyone who chooses to keep a pet in a city environment, should be prepared to offer their pet plenty of exercise.
“Most dogs, just like us humans, are very adaptable to their environment. Even the most energetic Border Collies, will tame themselves down to your lifestyle. So as long as you can meet their needs when it comes to a bit of space and regular exercise, your dog should adapt fairly well to its surroundings regardless. “
Without a spot to run and play on its own terms, a Border Collie could become grumpy and awfully anxious, as it needs to have a consistent outlet for its pent-up energy.
It doesn’t have to be a huge outing though, and giving it some sort of stimulation once or twice per day, is more than enough. Something as simple as a trip to the park or a stroll through the neighborhood does wonders.
Border Collies also love adventures, which means they make great companions when their owners head out to the beach, go for a hike, or visit the lake.
In reality, Border Collies can have a lot of fun wherever they have an opportunity to be active. Whether they are catching a frisbee or roaming the aisles of a local pet supply shop, any activity with their owners will benefit Collies living in crowded cities.
Can I Leave My Border Collie In My Apartment
While a border collie might thrive in a rural environment with access to a fenced-in yard and as many sheep as it can ever want to herd…there is no reason that the same dog cannot experience a full life living in an apartment, as we had already mentioned before.
But what about when you’re not personally there all the time? What if you have a full-time job or simply aren’t home that often? Well, you wouldn’t be the first person ever to leave your dog alone in the apartment, but of course this will require some planning and preparation from its owners,
As long as the pet receives exercise and playtime on a regular basis, it is relatively easy to establish boundaries within an apartment that will ensure that the dog doesn’t become destructive or plan an elaborate escape.
Since Border Collies are so intelligent and full of energy, owners should anticipate ways to meet their needs before their pets come up with innovative ways to take matters into their own paws.
From the very beginning, an owner should instill clear expectations such as teaching the Border Collie not to jump on furniture, bark to get attention, or bite and destroy household items.
These limits will provide them with the structure necessary to prevent unpleasant surprises when Border Collies are left alone and should be put in place.
Another suggestion is purchasing a large, sturdy crate for use when the owner will be away for a while. This can act as a bit of security for the dog while also providing owners with some peace of mind since the pet won’t be able to soil the carpet or otherwise damage areas of the apartment.
How Much Space Does My Border Collie Need
Since Border Collies have such a deep well of energy, many owners might think that simply providing them with plenty of space is the only requirement for meeting their needs. In reality, these dogs are known for their curiosity and can benefit from the stimulation that they won’t receive in backyards or farms.
For this reason, it is not always even necessary for a border collie to have constant access to an open space.
With that said and as a general rule of thumb, yes, Border Collies will want to have access to as much space as possible. It’s just the way they are.
If you have a barn or a farm, then obviously this is the best option…
but if you plan to add a Border Collie into your life and you live in the city, then, with some effort on your part and as long as you meet some basic exercise requirements, an apartment with just enough space for the dog to move around freely, should be good enough.
In fact, in this post there’s a mathematical formula for the actual amount, depending on the size.
If you don’t have that big amount of space to provide your dog, it’s fine, as long as you’re committed to providing a good experience some other way.
City-dwelling Collies are likely to meet new people and encounter other dogs on a more regular basis than those who live in a more rural locale, which can help make up for it.
So instead of focusing on the fact that Collies do best in farmland, owners should consider making what space they do have available to their pets, as stimulating and engaging as possible.
Are Border Collies Okay To Be Left Alone At Home
Like most other breeds, Border Collies prefer to have their owners around as much as possible, but leaving them alone at home or at the apartment might eventually become necessary. But are they okay to be left at home?
Border Collies are somewhat of a high maintenance breed, and can get sad, depressed or scared when left by themselves, especially at a young age. With that said, here are a few tips that can make it easier to leave the pet alone at home:
- Provide a comforting environment that will help ease the tension that can arise when a Collie realizes that its owners are not there. Crate training is a great way to do this. Having the crate be in the same spot, clean and with your dog’s favorite toys, will make your dog feel safe and have a “safe space” while you’re gone, as well as provide clear boundaries.
- Offer access to treats or a special favorite toy as part of you leaving. Have the dog realize it’s a special occasion and try to have them associate it positively, and not negatively, so that it can easily know what’s up for future occasions.
- You can keep your dog entertained and distracted with some music, a movie, a radio show or a podcast playing in the background. This is great to let your dog know that it’s not alone and might even be soothing enough to have it be 100% calm throughout its time alone.
- Reward the pet with a long walk, some goodies or an extended period of playtime upon arrival. This will offer reassurance that it will be taken care of even when left alone in the future.
Also, if you’re leaving your dog for extended periods of time by itself, consider finding a reputable pet sitting business or having a trusted person come to visit the home and spend some quality time with the dog.