ARE BORDER COLLIES GOOD APARTMENT DOGS?
The question of apartment living is the subject of great debate between dog owners, some of whom believe dogs are simply not compatible, and others who don't see it as an obstacle at all. Of course, there are some dog breeds, especially smaller breeds, who have no problem living in an apartment. But what about the Border Collie, well-known for its dynamic, lively temperament?
What are the Ideal Living Conditions for a Border Collie?
Border Collies thrive in the countryside, in a house with a large garden. These shepherd dogs are built for hard work and endurance and find much happiness in the great outdoors, out amongst nature where they can run as much as they please. Border Collies are not the types of dogs who can sit idly for hours. They would very quickly run the risk of running themselves in circles and falling very unhappy, to the point of developing problematic behaviours (barking, destroying property) or sinking into a deep depression.
The Border Collie needs an owner who is available and able to take part in sporting activities with their furry friend. If you're someone who has to be out of the house all day and leave your dog alone for hours on end, it's best not to adopt this breed of dog, even if you do have several acres of land at your disposal; space is no substitute for quality time. Above all, these dogs need to be able to stretch their legs sufficiently and be stimulated, both physically and intellectually.
Can I Live in an Apartment with a Border Collie?
All things considered, it's not completely impossible to live in an apartment with a Border Collie, so long as certain conditions are met. That being said, if you work all the time, are never home, and can't afford to have someone take care of your dog in your absence, adopting a Border Collie is a terrible idea.
On the other hand, if you can make some adjustments to your schedule or, better yet, if you work from home, then it could be quite possible for you to accommodate a Border Collie in your apartment. In this case, however, you will need to pay careful attention to your dog's needs to make sure they're getting the necessary amount of exercise. In addition to the short walks you take each day to allow your pooch to do their business, make sure to schedule in at least one long walk—an hour and a half or more—during which you can let your Border Collie off the lead to run free.
If you are out at work, try to come home for lunch and take your dog for a walk to break up their day. Purchase some brain games for your dog to play with while you're gone, to stimulate their mind and keep them occupied. Border Collies are brilliant animals who need lots of intellectual stimulation. If you can't make it home, ask an acquaintance, friend, or neighbour to pop in on your dog; you can even hire a dog sitter.
Once you get home, make sure to play with your Border Collie and take them out for a walk. Take them out before you go to work, too! If your dog has exerted themselves enough, they'll probably take a little nap in your absence to recover.
On weekends, why not sign up for some fun canine activities with your dog. The Border Collie is a great breed for going jogging with you or for long hikes in the forest - they love these sorts of activities! They also excel at agility competitions, thanks to their speed, loyalty, and intelligence.
How Do You Potty Train a Border Collie Puppy if You Live in an Apartment?
Potty training is a must for every puppy. When you live in a house with a garden, this sort of training is quite easy to do. Living in an apartment, however, provides an additional constraint: you can't simply open a door to let your dog outside to relieve themselves.
Despite all this, potty training your Border Collie in an apartment is quite possible with a few small adaptations. It may take a little longer this way, but Border Collies are very intelligent dogs, who quickly learn to understand what you expect from them.
Take your Border Collie puppy out at set times each day, usually half an hour after meals, and wait patiently for them to poop. Praise your pup profusely when they go to the toilet outside, showering them with hugs, encouraging words, or even treats - in moderation of course! Your dog will quickly learn to associate your positive reaction with peeing or pooping outside.
No matter how careful you are, there will always be accidents. Never scold a puppy when they poop in the house, especially if the accident happened while you were out. Your Border Collie puppy wouldn't understand why you're cross with them. Punishment should be banned from all dog training for this sensitive breed. You can also purchase pee pads or dog litter boxes to allow your pup to do their business inside. However, in the long term, this solution may cause your dog to relieve themselves in your home rather than outside. It should therefore be avoided, although it can be used occasionally if you need to go out.
Be patient: After a few weeks, your Border Collie will have perfectly understood what you expect from them.
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