Border collies are the smartest dog humans have ever bred. They can do many jobs and assist humans in need. But are they good for seniors?
Seniors may be drawn to these clever companions because they are medium-sized, quiet, need constant human company and are capable of doing tasks to assist seniors, like bringing objects. However, border collies are typically not good for seniors, unless the senior can:
- Provide the border collie with a “job” that engages their mind
- Provide the border collie with intense exercise for more than 30 minutes every day
- Brush the border collie twice a week
- Train the dog from a position of experience or work with professional trainers
Though they may be a challenge for seniors, seniors can keep a border collie happy, and they are very rewarding dogs. Read on for more information about border collies and how they can fit into an active senior’s life.
A Border Collie’s Exercise Needs
A border collie’s energy needs are nothing to scoff at. This breed is both intelligent and active, meaning it needs work that will engage its mind and exhaust its body. The American Kennel Club rates border collies at maximum energy needs.
A simple task such as fetching objects for seniors will not be enough for border collies. Seniors will need to provide this breed with a demanding and daily activity, whether it is a dog sport like agility or farm work. Further, a senior should be sure they can maintain this level of energy for the border collie’s lifespan, which is typically 12-15 years.
If border collies are not adequately exercised, they will become bored and act out. They may choose an activity to be their “job” which may inconvenience you.
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Training and Grooming a Border Collie
Though border collies are very smart, they are also very demanding. While they will pick up a training concept quickly, you will need to teach them more than the basic commands to keep them happy. Seniors who have not owned a dog before can benefit from taking their border collie to training classes.
Border collies are very sensitive dogs that seem to understand human emotion on a deep level. A simple look of disapproval may be enough to chastise a border collie for bad behavior. However, their empathy makes them vulnerable when their humans are upset. They may act out in stressful environments.
Border collies are also demanding when it comes to grooming. Their long coat is beautiful but requires brushing at least twice a week. If the senior in your life can’t do that, they may be interested in a short-haired border collie, which needs less grooming.
Border Collie’s Need for Companionship
Border collies do not like to be left alone during the day and typically crave human companionship more than the companionship of other dogs. Thus, they are well suited for retirees who are home all day. In fact, once a border collie’s energy needs have been met, they will snuggle up to their humans and show a lot of affection. Seniors who are feeling a bit lonely will enjoy a border collie’s empathetic and devoted nature.
In the end, seniors who can meet a border collie’s energy needs will be rewarded with a faithful companion who is simple to handle and ready to cuddle.