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Home > Dogs > Do Border Collies Make Good Service Dogs? Breed Facts & FAQs

Do Border Collies Make Good Service Dogs? Breed Facts & FAQs

female border collie lying on grass

Border Collies were bred as herding dogs, so they tend to be active and alert. These are intelligent dogs that do well with obedience training and can get along in a wide variety of social situations. They also happen to be extremely loyal. So, with their agility, alertness, intelligence, obedience, and loyalty, do Border Collies make good service dogs? The short answer is yes! Any Border Collie can become an excellent service dog, but they won’t automatically be good at it — they need to be trained.

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Why Border Collies Can Make Excellent Service Dogs

female border collie lying
Image By: Tepepa79, Shuterstock

Border Collies have many wonderful qualities that make them viable candidates as service dogs. First, they are extremely intelligent and can easily adapt to new or uncomfortable situations. This is important because the ability to adapt and have a thorough understanding of the situation at hand is crucial when it comes to offering support to the human companion. Other reasons that Border Collies can make excellent service dogs include the following.

  • Their Size: These dogs stand about 22 inches tall and weigh up to 45 pounds when fully grown. Therefore, they aren’t too small to handle stressful or serious situations (especially when it comes to social settings that involve other, larger dogs), and they aren’t too large to travel easily or be overpowering and accidentally hurt their human companion.
  • Their Sociability: Border Collies tend to be good in social situations, knowing how to read the room and how to react in accordance. They also generally get along well with other dogs, so they don’t cause trouble or start fights in exciting or stressful social situations. They can handle public spaces with grace and respect.
  • Their Eagerness to Please: Pleasing their human companions is something that Border Collies are eager to do. They will do just about anything to avoid being reprimanded and to gain positive attention. This makes basic obedience training fairly easy for owners and service training effective for professionals.
  • Their Yearning to Work: As natural herders, these dogs have an innate yearning to work for their keep. They are not happy sitting around doing nothing all day. They want to have tasks to complete and responsibilities to fulfill. Working tends to build confidence and increases happiness in Border Collies. Working as a service dog can help fulfill their need to work in general.

The loyalty of Border Collies is another factor that can help make them good service dogs. They will not waver from their human companion’s side and will always make their best interests a priority. Even so, this breed is not the best choice as a service dog for everyone.

Why a Border Collie Might Not Be the Ideal Service Dog for You

Border Collies make a great service dog choice for many people. However, they aren’t for everyone. These dogs can be vocal, which can be disturbing in social situations, so extra training may be necessary to curb unwanted barking and yapping. Even then, they may be more vocal than other types of service dogs.

They also require plenty of exercise daily to maintain a calm and obedient demeanor. Owners should be prepared to provide their Border Collie service dogs with up to 2 hours of daily exercise depending on factors such as their age and health. Exercise can entail walking, swimming, game playing, fetch, and agility training. This is not possible for all owners to do with their service dogs.

male border collie standing in grass
Image Credit: Frank11, Shutterstock

Types of Services That Border Collies Can Provide

There are several types of services that a Border Collie can be trained to provide, making it possible for both physical and mental needs to be met.

Here are the common service dogs that Border Collies can become:
  • Seeing support
  • Hearing support
  • Mobility assistance
  • Medical alerting
  • Mood disorder support

The type of support dog that a Border Collie becomes depends on the type of training that they receive and what their unique personality is best suited for. Border Collies must be trained and certified to become official service dogs.

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Final Thoughts

Border Collies can make excellent service dogs, but only with proper training in place. They are natural workers, and their intelligence puts them ahead of the pack when it comes to learning new skills. These loyal dogs also make for awesome companions that are fun to hang out with!


Featured Image Credit: Elayne Massaini, Shutterstock

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