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When Will My Border Collie Calm Down? Facts & FAQ


May 20, 2023
happy border collie


happy border collie

The intelligent and affectionate Border Collie has many traits that make the breed undeniably appealing. One thing you must know about Border Collies is that they have more energy than a 5-year-old child on Christmas morning! Also, a Border can easily be whipped into a maniacal frenzy when excited. That leads many owners to ask when will my Border Collie calm down?

The answer for most BCs is around 3 years. That’s when the average Border Collie finally matures to the point where they can stay calm and cool under most circumstances. However, your BC will still be more energetic than most dogs, likely for several years.

If you’re curious about when your Border will finally calm down (and why they’re so energetic, to begin with), read on. We have the facts, figures, and tips on this energetic canine below!


Are All Border Collies Hyperactive?

While not all dogs, even dogs of the same breed, are alike, anecdotal evidence suggests that most Border Collies will be hyperactive for at least the first few years of their lives. For hundreds of years, Border Collies have been trained repeatedly to be vigilant and aggressive herding dogs. They were bred to be agile, athletic, and fast dogs with high levels of endurance and tenacity.

In other words, Border Collies have been trained to be hyperactive, so expecting them to be anything besides that isn’t logical. Many Border Collies don’t start to calm down until the 2nd-half of their life, around 5 to 7 years of age, and only then because their aging body demands it. You might occasionally find a Border that’s not hyperactive, but that’s the exception, not the rule.

Border Collie running outdoors
Image Credit: 825545, Pixabay

Do Border Collies Calm Down after Being Neutered or Spayed?

Many pet owners believe that having a dog spayed or neutered will help it calm down. Most veterinarians would argue, however, that that isn’t the case. Indeed, while your vet may suggest you have your BC neutered or spayed for several reasons, changing their behavior and calming them down is not one of them.

For some BC females, spaying might reduce some issues connected to their heat cycle, but it won’t turn a hyperactive Border into a calm dog. Neutering a male BC might also make it less aggressive and domineering. As for a significant or permanent change in the dog’s activity levels after neutering or spaying, however, the evidence points to that not happening.

divider-dog paw

How Can You Calm Down a Hyper Border Collie?

According to the American Kennel Club, the best method to calm a Border Collie down is to engage it in vigorous exercise for several hours a day. A Border Collie with a job to do, like finding a toy that’s been well-hidden, will stay occupied and use its massive stores of energy.

Below are some of the activities you can engage in with your Border Collie to burn off its energy and help it calm down (at least a little):

  • Long walks, runs, hikes, or bike rides
  • Agility training on an agility course
  • Playing with other dogs at your local off-leash dog park
  • Playing tug-of-war
  • Playing fetch, flyball, or frisbee

Agility training is also a fantastic way to calm down a BC by giving them something to learn and master.

border collie dog playing with frisbee
Image Credit: txus71, Pixabay

Who Should Adopt a Border Collie?

To calm a Border Collie down, you need to help it burn off energy and keep it mentally sharp. That’s why veterinarians don’t recommend the breed to owners who don’t have time or energy to spend with their dogs. The Border Collie isn’t a breed that’s content to lie around and wait for something fun to happen. The average Border will quickly turn to destructive behavior to keep busy if they become bored.

You should note that any activity you engage in with your Border Collie must last for several hours if you want to run down their energy level and keep them calmer. You should also note that, after a good night’s rest, your Border will wake up the next day fully re-energized. In short, hours of activity will be necessary, at least for the first few years of your Border Collie’s life.

Adopting a Border is not a good idea for those without the time or energy. This dog would be best adopted by someone with many hours of free time, a work-at-home schedule, and is more physically active than the average person.


Final Thoughts

Asking when your Border Collie will calm down is similar to asking when a storm will stop howling; it depends on many factors. Typically, a Border will start to calm down around 3 years old, but many have been known to stay hyperactive for 6 to 7 years. Since all dogs are different and have different personalities, it’s tough to say exactly when a Border Collie will calm down.

When you adopt a Border Collie, you must be prepared to spend many hours a day for several years training, playing, and engaging with your pet if you want it to be happy and healthy. If you have the time, energy, and willingness to be a highly devoted pet parent, the Border Collie will make an excellent pet and adoring companion.

Featured Image Credit: JGaland, Pixabay

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