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7 Crazy Things That Are Perfectly Normal for Border Collies

Written by: Ejay Camposano
A college graduate with a degree in Electrical Engineering, Ejay has a diverse background that combines technical expertise with a passion for pets and is now one of the content writers at IHD. Read more
| Published on May 10, 2024

Border Collies, the Einsteins of the canine world, are not only known for their breathtaking intelligence and unmatched work ethic but also for their eccentric quirks that can leave their owners in stitches or scratching their heads in bewilderment. These highly energetic and intelligent dogs are capable of learning just about any trick in the book and inventing a few of their own. But with great smarts comes great…silliness. Indeed, for all their herding prowess and agility championship potential, Border Collies have a goofy side that is as endearing as it is amusing. Whether they’re orchestrating the movement of your dinner guests or turning your backyard into a soccer field, life with a Border Collie is never dull. Here are seven crazy but perfectly normal behaviors for Border Collies that highlight their charming idiosyncrasies.

1. Herding Everything That Moves

The herding instinct in Border Collies is strong. Very strong. This means that anything that moves, can and will be herded. Cats, kids, bicycles, you name it, your Border Collie sees them all as sheep needing guidance. They often employ a stalking movement followed by a sudden burst of speed to round up their ‘flock’. While it’s impressive to watch, this can sometimes lead to amusing and slightly chaotic scenarios at parks or family gatherings where your dog might decide that everyone needs to be in one corner.

2. Obsession with Balls

For Border Collies, balls aren’t just toys; they are a way of life. The obsession can be so intense that it borders on a full-time job. From sunrise to sunset, if they had it their way, it would be all about chasing, catching, and retrieving balls. They apply their herding skills to keep the ball in motion, often outplaying their human counterparts. If you throw it, expect to be playing for hours. A Border Collie’s motto is, “Ball is life.”

3. The Border Collie Stare

Known as “the eye,” the Border Collie stare is something that seems to penetrate the soul. Initially developed for herding sheep, this intense gaze can now be observed as they lock eyes on their chosen object, be it a ball, a cat, or the sandwich you are trying to eat. The stare is often accompanied by a crouching position as they prepare to spring into action. It’s mesmerizing and a bit eerie, but entirely normal for these focused dogs.

4. Master of Escapes

With intelligence comes the ability to solve complex problems, like how to escape from seemingly secure yards. Border Collies are often one step ahead of their owners when it comes to finding escape routes. They can manage latches, open doors, and exploit any weakness in your fence. Keeping a Border Collie contained is a test of one’s ingenuity—they see it as a puzzle to be solved.

5. Shadowing Their Humans

If you have a Border Collie, you’ll rarely be alone. They like to keep their pack in sight at all times and often follow their humans from room to room, making sure they are where all the action is. Their shadowing is a sign of their loyalty and bond, as well as their need to be involved in everything. This can be particularly hilarious when you find yourself tripping over them in the kitchen or the bathroom.

6. Dramatic Overreactions

A leaf blowing in the wind? Startling. A distant door slamming? Terrifying. Border Collies have a flair for the dramatic, often reacting to the mundane as though it were a matter of life and death. Their high sensitivity to environmental changes makes them excellent watchdogs, albeit sometimes nervously yapping at ghosts only they can see.

7. Nighttime Zoomies

After a day of herding, obsessing over balls, and solving the mystery of the backyard escape, you’d think a Border Collie would be ready to call it a night. But no, the nighttime zoomies are a common occurrence. This burst of energy right before bed is a final attempt to tire themselves out completely. It involves running at top speed around the house, often including some impressive parkour off the furniture.

In conclusion, living with a Border Collie means embracing their boundless energy and brainpower along with their quirky behaviors. Their ability to turn every situation into a game, a challenge, or a dramatic event is what makes them so lovable and entertaining. For all the hair-pulling moments they might cause, they more than makeup for it in laughter and loyalty. Their antics ensure that life with a Border Collie is never boring and always an adventure.