As a dog recognized for superior intelligence, athleticism and a strong work ethic, Border Collies are prime candidates for obedience training and competing.
Border Collies have one love in life-work. Of course, in dog terms, work is a term that encompasses a wide range of definitions. Most people know that Border Collies are dogs that were selected and developed for their exceptional work in farm and ranch fields; for a Border Collie, this is an excellent way to live out your life. But Border Collies are equally content to perform other jobs for their human handlers, and sporting and obedience runs fit the bill just fine.
Why Border Collies Make Great Obedience Competitors
A number of characteristic Border Collie traits make them prime candidates for obedience training, performance, and competition.
Border Collies are very intelligent (some say they are the most intelligent dog)
Border Collies enjoy training and learning, and have a good memory to hold on to that training
Border Collies love to learn new tricks and skills, often picking up on them in just a few repetitions
Border Collies are very agile
Border Collies have strong endurance
Border Collies are very perceptive, and so can pick up on trainer commands with ease
Border Collies require good outlets for their energy and need a lot of exercise; hours of training are just what the Border Collie ordered
The Flip Side To Border Collie Obedience Prowess
Of course, there's really no downside to having an obedient dog-leastwise not when you are around to attend to it. But those characteristics that make it possible for Border Collies to excel at obedience training can also make life with a Border Collie an extreme challenge.
Border collies need near constant stimulation and activity. Their very intelligent minds need something to do almost all of the time. That can be a real problem for an owner who does not enjoy spending large amounts of time entertaining their dog. People who live to work with their dog, take long runs or walks, or have a working use for a Border Collie like herding, tracking, or search and rescue will love everything about their Border Collie. Those who haven't the time, energy or patience will more likely find that they have a bored dog on their hands with a propensity for destruction out of boredom.
The needs of the Border Collie are great; owners who are well informed and can commit to fulfilling those needs are sure to reap the rewards, especially if a sport such as obedience training is in their future. When that balance of knowledge, activity, and commitment is struck together, both man and dog will thoroughly enjoy their working life together.