Border Collies require considerable daily physical exercise and mental stimulation. They are an intelligent breed. The breed has an instinctive desire to work closely and intensely with a human handler. Although the primary role of the Border Collie is that of the working stock dog, dogs of this breed are becoming increasingly popular as pets.
True to their working heritage, Border Collies make very demanding, energetic pets that are better off in households that can provide them with plenty of play and exercise with humans or other dogs. Border collies are happiest with a job to do. However, a job to a border collie isn’t necessarily working livestock. An activity such as Frisbee, chasing and retrieving a ball, or just simply playing chase will suffice. As long as the border collie is in the herding/working position (crouched down, tail tucked between legs, eyes firmly fixed on the matter in hand) it considers it work.
Border Collies are now also being used in showing, especially agility, where their speed and agility comes to good use.
Though they can be a wonderful choice for some households, Border Collies are not perfect pets for all people. For example, as with many working breeds, Border Collies can be motion-sensitive and may attempt to control the movements of family members, cats, bicycles, cars or anything else that moves if not given enough mental and physical stimulation. These dogs are also generally not suitable for households with small children. Many Border Collies that end up in shelters or rescue groups are there because owners, who may have been attracted by their appearance and intelligence, were not prepared to meet their dog’s daily activity needs.