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Border Collie Service Dog - Everything You Need to Know

A border collie service dog can be an excellent companion whether you're looking for physical or emotional support. These dogs are one of the most popular breeds for service dogs, and for good reason.
Expert reviewed by:  
Written by:
Susana Bradford
Published on:  
September 7, 2022
Updated on:  
September 7, 2022

A border collie can be an excellent choice for an emotional support animal. These animals are well-known for being incredibly smart and friendly, making them all-around excellent pets and even better service dogs. Before taking the following steps, you'll need to learn about several important topics.

If a border collie service dog is right for you, it can be a great source of joy and comfort while enriching your life.

The Bottom Line

  • What are service dogs? - Service dogs receive special training to assist handlers with physical, mental, or emotional difficulties.
  • Why Border Collies as service dogs? - Border collies possess traits of two different breeds that each make good therapy dogs and assistance dogs in their own right.
  • How to get a Border Collie service dog - You will need a letter from a health professional to qualify for a service or therapy dog.
  • What's the difference between a service dog vs. ESA? - Emotional support animals do not receive special training to perform particular tasks as service animals do.

What Are Service Dogs?

A service dog assists its owner with various essential tasks to help improve their health, safety, independence, and comfort. Many service dogs help those with physical or medical conditions that make it difficult or impossible to perform everyday jobs. In addition to offering support to those with physical disabilities or mental disabilities, service dogs can help people suffering from various emotional issues.

Why Border Collies Make Great Service Dogs

There are hundreds of breeds to choose from when selecting a service dog, from golden retrievers and labrador retrievers to poodles, cocker spaniels, and more. Certain breeds can offer unique strengths, and there are several reasons why border collies stand out.

They're a Smart Dog Breed

Border collies are one of the most intelligent breeds because they can learn new verbal commands up to five times faster than other types of dogs. They're highly trainable and observant regarding body language, hand signals, and hand gestures.

They're Hard Workers

Initially bred as sheep herding dogs, border collies were required to work for several hours every day, so they have an instinct to stay active. This breed is happiest when it's kept busy with tasks or jobs, making it the ideal service companion.

They're Incredibly Affectionate

Many people love dogs because they can be such great companions. Border collies are gentle, affectionate dogs that love snuggling up with their owners at night. Many are also very friendly with strangers, as long as they pose no threat. A border collie may not want to sit in your lap for most of the day, but it will be eager to please and happy to play.

They Have Plenty of Energy

A border collie can accomplish a lot because of its seemingly endless energy supply. Border collie's bountiful energy supplies make them a significant workhorse, and their cheerful and vibrant disposition can offer a much-needed mood boost that's infectious in the best way. Keep in mind that they need a lot of mental stimulation and exercise to match these energy levels.

They're Loyal to Their Owners

Border collies are friendly to most people and other dogs, but they're fiercely devoted to their owners and aim to please. They can be very protective if they sense any danger. In some situations, border collies have even saved their owners' lives by getting help in an emergency, making them excellent medical alert dogs.

What Tasks Can a Border Collie Perform?

The number of tasks border collies can learn can be practically limitless as long as you have the time, patience, and resources to train them. Some of their most practical abilities can help make everyday life safer and more accessible for their owners.

Open Doors

Border collies can open and close doors as needed on command or in an emergency. However, they may need special tools or adaptations installed on the doors to make this possible. A service dog trainer can help you find the right enhancements for your home.

Pick Up or Retrieve Objects

One of the easiest tricks that border collies perform well is to retrieve an object. They can pick up something in the room that someone recently dropped and any object they have learned by name somewhere nearby.

Alert People to Danger

Border collies are herding animals, so they're very attuned to potential threats. While this can certainly help you feel safer at home, it can also be a great asset when you're out and about.

Sense and React to Emotional Changes

Along with offering physical assistance, border collies are also very sensitive to even the slightest changes in your mood. Many can detect changes in your physical state that signal an oncoming anxiety episode or panic attack.

Respond to Physiological Changes

Border collies can recognize the symptoms of certain severe medical conditions when trained to. They can detect physiological changes that may point to an oncoming medical episode, such as a seizure, and can alert their owners with a unique signal so they can get help or medication quickly.

 Border Collie Service Dog

How To Get a Border Collie Service Dog

If a border collie sounds like the right fit for you and you're ready to start the process, Pettable can help. These simple steps make it easy for you to get the documents you require to get the support you need.

Complete Our Assessment

Our quick online assessment is straightforward, and it only takes a few minutes to complete. The assessment helps us meet your needs by evaluating your unique situation accurately. You can also select which type of animal letter you need, whether for housing, travel, or both.

Consult With a Therapist

We work with trained and certified experts specializing in helping people who need service dogs. We'll provide consent and privacy forms for you complete and then match you with a licensed health professional. You'll receive a link to book a live consultation with this expert, who will conduct a mental health evaluation for you.

Get a Psychiatric Service Letter

Once our licensed health professional determines that an emotional support animal is necessary for your care and mental well-being, you will receive a recognized animal support letter. Except for California residents, you can even select to receive your completed letter within 24 hours of the consultation. Your animal service letter has a 100% refund guarantee, so you can rest assured that you won't be wasting your time and money if, for some reason, it does not work for you.

Can I Train My Own Border Collie To Be a Service Dog?

Border collies are intelligent, but proper training is necessary to get the most benefits while ensuring you and your dog are happy. While you certainly can train your dog to perform various tasks, a service dog trainer can help you get the best results.

Where Can I Adopt a Border Collie Service Dog?

Adoption is an excellent option for pet owners and could be a great solution, especially if you hope to save yourself some cash. You can always check with local and national pet rescues, including those dedicated to border collies. However, you'll likely need to train them after you adopt.

What Disabilities Qualify for a Border Collie Service Dog?

It's important to note that only a licensed health professional can determine whether you qualify for a service animal. Most people must have some disability and a need related to that disability that an animal can meet. These may include:

  • Blindness
  • Deafness
  • Autism
  • Epilepsy
  • PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
Border Collie Service Dog

What's the Difference Between Psychiatric Service Dogs vs. Emotional Support Dogs?

At first glance, a psychiatric service dog and an emotional support dog may seem identical. Professionals train psychiatric service dogs to assist people diagnosed with conditions that require assistance and care. Emotional support dogs tend to be a source of comfort for people who experience mental or emotional distress, but the dogs have not been trained. Most public places will allow a psychiatric service dog but may not allow an emotional support animal.

Frequently Asked Questions About Border Collie Service Dogs

Before you commit to making a border collie your service animal of choice, there's a lot to know. These FAQs can help you get fast answers to common questions.

How Much Does a Border Collie Service Dog Cost?

Border collies cost anywhere between $600 and $1,200, depending on the area and breeder. Trained service dogs can cost $7,500 or more. Adoption is an excellent alternative if you're willing to hire a trainer.

How Do You Catch a Fake Border Collie Service Dog?

A border collie service dog who isn't impeccably behaved may be a fake. A fully trained service dog should never:

  • Show aggression
  • Bark or whine unless commanded
  • Steal food
  • Be easily distracted
  • Eliminate indoors

Can You Get a Border Collie Service Dog for Anxiety?

Border collies can be great support dogs for people with anxiety, especially those with severe symptoms. A mental health professional must diagnose your condition first.

Can Any Dog Be a Service Dog?

Technically, you can train any dog to become a service dog, including an existing pet. Some breeds are better suited for this task than others, though. Emotional support dogs may only require minimal training.

Do Border Collie Service Dogs Have To Be on a Leash?

Most service dogs are required to be on a leash in public. Leashes are recommended not just for the safety and comfort of others but also for the dog's safety.

Does Insurance Cover Border Collie Service Dogs?

Health insurance does not cover the cost of getting a service dog, but you may be able to use HSA or FSA funds to do so. Also, many organizations offer grants for people with certain conditions who may qualify for financial assistance.

How Do You Get a Psychiatric Service Dog?

To get a psychiatric service dog, you must first be diagnosed with a mental disability. That illness must also prevent you from living on your own because it impairs your safety or well-being.

How Long Does It Take To Train Border Collie Service Dogs?

Because border collies are so intelligent, their training can be very efficient. Still, it often takes two years before these dogs are ready for service.

Are Border Collie Service Dogs Allowed Everywhere?

The Americans with Disabilities Act states that service dogs trained to help a person diagnosed with a mental or physical disability must be allowed in any establishment. These dogs usually wear certified vests to signify their status.

How Do You Get a Border Collie Service Dog for PTSD?

If you have been diagnosed with PTSD, talk with your health care team to determine if a service dog is right for you. If you are a veteran, services are available to help you get a border collie service dog free of charge. These dogs require special training, so be sure to work with a reputable company.

Meet the author:
Susana Bradford

Susana is an avid animal lover and has been around animals her entire life, and has volunteered at several different animal shelters in Southern California. She has a loving family at home that consists of her husband, son, two dogs, and one cat. She enjoys trying new Italian recipes, playing piano, making pottery, and outdoor hiking with her family and dogs in her spare time.