Can A Border Collie Be A Service Dog?

Border collies are smart, energetic, super loyal and eager to help. So they make a perfect service dog breed. Can a border collie be a service dog? Yes, of course! In fact many of them already are.

Among all the dog breeds, border collies are perhaps the most popular service dogs across the world. This breed is highly versatile in nature. Border collies have helped numerous people as their service dogs. 

They are highly energetic and provide their services throughout their lifetime. So if you are wondering what makes a border collie the ideal candidate for a service dog, the three primary characteristics that put them on the top of the list are intelligence, build, and training capability. 

Can A Border Collie Be A Service Dog

In this article, we are going to talk about all the features that make this breed of dog an ideal service dog for people in need. 

What are Service Dogs?

First things first, you need to know what a service dog is? Service dogs are trained to perform specific tasks for mentally and physically disabled people. 

Alongside performing regular tasks, they also provide the emotional comfort these disabled people usually seek. A service dog is specifically trained depending on the person it is trained to cater to. 

Large-sized dogs are usually preferred for this job. Other than the size of the breed, living condition, type of disability, the person also plays a crucial role in selecting the ideal service dog. 

Necessary Characters of a Service Dog:

  • Enjoy the company of people.
  • Focused on task
  • Excellent memory and retention capability
  • Eagerness to help
  • Calm and collective 
  • Highly trainability
Can A Border Collie Be A Service Dog

Characteristics of a Border Collie That Makes it a Perfect Choice for the Role of Service Dog 

In this section, we will discuss all the fantastic characteristics that make a border collie an excellent choice for service dogs. They can also develop certain characters in the training period. Now without any further delay, let’s look at all of them.

Highly Intelligent in Nature 

Intelligence and retention capability makes the border collies a perfect candidate for this role. You can make them learn new skills quite quickly. 

They will remember certain hand gestures, words, and even whistles that you may use to call them. Moreover, they remember objects and fragrances. This characteristic helps this breed of dog to fetch things on cue. 

Sensitive to Changes

Border collies can identify any changes in the surroundings. They can smell danger to the disabled person they are serving to. 

This sensitivity towards the behavior change is not only limited to the owner as this breed is also capable of identifying behavioral changes in the person the owner is interacting with. Border collies can detect physical and emotional changes if they are alarming in nature. 

Can A Border Collie Be A Service Dog

Protective towards the Owner

Responsibility is the key factor behind selecting the service dog. During the training, border collies are trained to protect the person they will serve. You can rely on this breed of dog to guard the family and protect your disabled kid or adult in the family. 

Due to their highly protective nature, there is a need for socialization training so that they don’t attack others while protecting the person they are trained to protect. 

Extremely Energetic

Border collies are highly energetic. They remain fully active throughout the day. There are very few breeds that can match the stamina of border collies. 

The energy that this breed of dog has can positively impact the disabled person for whom you are bringing the border collie in your house. You need to keep one thing in mind, don’t leave the dog idle for a prolonged period as they can get frustrated by this.


There is absolutely no concept of ‘work’ and ‘work ethics’ in the mind of any dog. In earlier times, border collies were used to protect farm animals. So, they performed their duties relentlessly. They get happy when they successfully perform the task. It becomes a part of their daily routine, and a border collie does this as a part of the playtime. 

What Is The Training Process of a Border Collie?

Border collies can be trained easily. A border collie can be transformed into a service dog with ideal training. You can train a border collie all by yourself or hire a professional trainer for this purpose. 

The latter is a slightly costly alternative. According to the experts, it is better to train your dog on your own depending on the needs of the disabled person that you are willing to help. 

Can A Border Collie Be A Service Dog

There are specific characteristics of a border collie that need to be kept in mind while training, and this will help you as a trainer to make the dog well disciplined. 

You need to make the dog exercise regularly and take it for walks every day. This will help the border collie to spend the energy produced in the body productively. 


It is entirely natural for a border collie to nip as it is in its nature. You need to put in a lot of effort to restrain your dog from doing this. 

Aggressive Behavior towards Strangers

Border collies keep a close eye on every stranger they see and can behave aggressively if they feel something is wrong and dangerous for the person they are meant to protect. 

Due to this reason, they can prove to be a danger to the people around the dog. That is why socializing needs to be an integral part of the training process. 

High Intensity

A border collie must be trained to become well disciplined. If you are training a border collie,, you should know how to use the dog’s energy as border collies are highly intense in nature. 


This breed of dog has a bad habit of chewing a lot. They can shred objects within minutes. Professional dog trainers can reduce the habit of a border collie.

Can A Border Collie Be A Service Dog

Not Liking Other Pups

Border collies don’t like the presence of other dogs. You need to desensitize the border collie. Professional dog trainers know how to do that so that the person does not want to deal with a dog fight. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Border Collies used as police dogs?

Yes, they are often used as Police dogs.

Police often use border collies in the dog squad. They are used as police dogs as they are brilliant, have a medium build, and are incredibly eager to work. Other than border collies, Labrador, Rottweiler, Doberman Pinscher are also used for this purpose.

Is it illegal to pretend that the dog is a service dog?

Yes, it is a felony in many states.

Several states in the United States of America have strict laws against false claims of a service dog. You might get into trouble if you are pretending that you have a service dog though the dog does not qualify as one.

Can I train a dog to be a service dog all by myself?

Yes, but it takes a lot of time, effort, learning and patience on your part.

Yes, you can train a service dog, but it is a hectic task to pull off. So, you better leave it to a professional trainer.

Final Words

There is nothing new in using border collies as service dogs. At the same time, selecting the breed for the job of a service dog, you need to keep needs ahead of the breed. Border collies have all the capabilities to become an ideal service dog as they are intelligent, energetic, hardworking, and protective. 
We hope we were able to answer all your questions. If you have anything to add to the content we will love to hear it from you. Thank you for reading the article. You might also like to read why border collies get bored so easily and why they love to sit with their paws crossed.