Last Updated on April 25, 2023 by The Puppy Mag
We receive a lot of questions about whether border collies can cut it as a successful service dog.
At first many would instantly say yes, due to their undeniable intelligence and trainability, but is that all it takes?
This article explains whether border collies can be good service dogs, and covers important advice owners should know first.
Border Collies As Service Dogs: Is It Possible?
Border collies are highly intelligent and trainable dogs, which makes them a popular choice for a variety of roles, including service dogs.
But can border collies be good service dogs? The answer is: it depends.
While border collies have the potential to excel as service dogs, it ultimately comes down to the individual dog and its training.
Service dogs are highly trained to perform specific tasks for people with disabilities, and not all dogs are suitable for this type of work.
One of the key qualities of a good service dog is temperament. Service dogs need to be calm, confident, and able to focus in a variety of situations. Border collies are generally known for their energetic and high-energy personalities, which can be a challenge in some service dog roles. However, with proper training and socialization, it is possible for a border collie to learn to control their energy and focus on their tasks.
Another important factor to consider is the specific needs of the person who will be working with the service dog.
Border collies are often used as assistance dogs for people with mobility issues, as they can be trained to retrieve items, open doors, and perform other tasks.
- However, they may not be the best fit for people with sensory processing issues, as their high energy and enthusiasm may be overwhelming.
Ultimately, the decision to use a border collie as a service dog should be based on the individual dog and the needs of the person they will be working with.
If you are considering a border collie as a service dog, it is important to work with a professional trainer to ensure that the dog is properly trained and socialized, and to determine if they are a good fit for the specific tasks they will be asked to perform.
So, border collies can be good service dogs if they are properly trained and socialized, and if they are a good fit for the person they will be working with.
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5 Service Roles Border Collies Would Excel At:
Below are the 5 most suitable service roles for border collies based on their natural temperament, intelligence, and trainability.
Border collies can be trained to perform tasks such as retrieving items, opening doors, and providing balance support for people with mobility issues.
Some border collies can be trained to alert their handlers or caregivers during a seizure, or to perform specific tasks to help keep the person safe during a seizure.
Border collies can be trained to provide sensory calming, interrupt self-harm behaviors, and perform other tasks to support people with autism.
Some border collies can be trained to recognize changes in their handler’s blood sugar levels and alert them to take action.
Border collies can provide comfort and support for people experiencing anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues. They can be trained to perform tasks such as interrupting panic attacks or providing deep pressure therapy.
3 Cons Of Border Collies Being Service Dogs…
Let’s remain fair, while border collies can make great service dogs, there are some set backs for owners to know about. Check them out below.
High energy and enthusiasm:
Border collies are known for their energetic and high-energy personalities, which can be a challenge in some service dog roles. This may not be suitable for people who prefer a more calm and low-key environment.
Need for training and socialization:
As with any service dog, it is important for a border collie to receive proper training and socialization in order to be effective in their role. This can be time-consuming and may require the help of a professional trainer.
Not suitable for all tasks:
While border collies have the potential to excel in certain service dog roles, such as mobility assistance or seizure response, they may not be suitable for all tasks or for all people.
It is important to carefully consider the specific needs and abilities of the dog and the person they will be working with before deciding on a border collie as a service dog.