There are many great questions about border collies and hunting. Are they efficient hunters? what about their prey drive? This article will cover everything you want to know about Border Collies and hunting.
Border collies are primarily herders but with a little time and training, they could learn how to hunt. They do have a naturally high prey drive and are very quick and agile, giving them great potential for hunting.
Are Border Collies Hunters?
It’s important to clarify that Border collies are not born hunters. They are herders, and there lays a huge difference, as it’s not part of a herder’s role to actually capture (and potentially kill) other animals.
Apart from the odd nip, Border collies rarely make contact with livestock they are required to herd. They keep their distance while using their pace, agility, and smarts to maneuver livestock into specific areas and positions.
Can Border Collies Hunt?
Although border collies are not natural hunters, they can be trained to hunt. And due to how intelligent the border collie is, it likely wouldn’t take very long.
Not to mention the fact that border collies do have a strong prey drive in them. So the desire to at least chase other animals is there.
But are border collies going to be good at hunting? In all likeliness, a border collie could rival traditional hunting breeds if they are given time and training.
Their speed, agility, intelligence, and desire to work, make them pretty much the ideal hunting dog. We just have to hone their desire to chase and capture.
Border Collies Can Make Excellent Retreivers
Without a doubt, border collies would act as excellent retrievers. While it might take a little more time and effort training to teach a collie to grab and kill, retrieving fallen game would be a walk in the park for the world’s most intelligent dog.
This would also satisfy their desire to work and would result in a very happy and obedient border collie.
Do Border Collies Have a High Prey Drive?
Yes, Border collies do have a high prey drive. Although collies were rarely used for hunting purposes, they do possess the desire to chase and interact with other animals.
Having a high prey drive is absolutely key in all hunting breeds, And the border collie isn’t short of it. If we take a deeper look at the prey drive, it is essentially a shortened term for the universal predatory sequence.
The universal predatory sequence is a set of behaviors whereby each one triggers the next one. It’s as follows: Orient > Eye > Stalk > Chase > Grab > Kill > Dissect > Consume. Source
Collies are not naturally accustomed to doing anything more than chase. But with little training, would easily learn to carry out more steps.
Could Border Collies Hunt Rabbits or Foxes?
With training, Border collies could learn to chase, grab and kill a rabbit. One border collie on their own will have no trouble with a rabbit.
When it comes to foxes, a single Border collie could manage to chase grab, and kill one, although foxes are only slightly smaller than collies and can put a fight too. Still, in most cases, a border collie would come out on top.
In many cases, to successfully hunt rabbits and foxes, a pack of hunting dogs is required to work together. This could take a little getting used to for a collie as they primarily work on their own (and have done for many decades). But yet again, with their intelligence and adaptability, it shouldn’t be too difficult.
Many ask the question of whether a border collie could beat a wolf, and the easy answer is no. A single wolf would probably be able to take on 2 or even 3 collies.
Do Border Collies Kill Rats or Mice?
Although Border Collies are certainly capable of killing rats and mice, they generally don’t. Most collies, unless trained, would likely chase a rat or mouse, but wouldn’t kill it.
In most cases, a collie would resort to natural instincts and try to herd the rat or mouse, misunderstanding that the rat or mouse is frantically trying to get away.
If trained, however, a border collie could definitely kill a rat or mouse if they can catch one. This, however, is never actually advised due to the plethora of diseases these pests carry. For those with rat or mice problems, it’s best to call a professional service.
Should You Use a Border Collie For Hunting Purposes?
Ultimately, the decision is yours, but it’s worth remembering that border collies are not natural hunters. While they possess the skills necessary to hunt, it would definitely require consistent training.
One obstacle getting in the way here could be that collies are not accustomed to working in packs. Collies are traditionally solo workers. But it doesn’t mean it isn’t possible.
Many people would recommend sticking to traditional hunting breeds like pointers, setters, beagles, foxhounds, vizslas, and retrievers.
This information is purely for educational purposes. The Puppy Mag is not advising the use of border collies for hunting purposes.
Back to more Border Collie articles >