At the Willamette Humane Society, we quite frequently see Border collies, Australian shepherds, and Australian cattle dogs surrendered to our facility for a myriad of physical and psychological reasons. I personally love dogs that come from the herding group. I am drawn to their intelligence and beauty, as many who are looking to adopt are.
A little knowledge will help guide your decision on whether this particular breed of dog is right for your family and living situation. Herding dogs are tiresome, intelligent, and agile creatures that were originally bred as a work animal. They typically love to play, and will do so for hours. They require some kind of job or activity that provides the dog with mental and physical exhaustion, and if these needs are not met 99% of the time it will result in the pet picking up bad behaviors such as barking constantly, digging, biting or destroying the pet owners home. At this point the pet becomes very difficult to manage, and often times the pet is then surrendered over to a facility like the Willamette Humane Society. Fortunately, these issues are very easy to prevent with proper training, exercise and socialization.
Herding dogs are highly trainable and have a very high degree of intelligence which makes them very quick to learn. These dogs are very sensitive, punishing with a harsh voice will not get you very far and good obedience training is an absolute must for the dog to become an integral part of the family. They do make amazing pets, and are generally very social with people but must always be given something to do for at least one hour or more per day to keep s/he happy. I simply cannot stress enough the importance of proper socialization, and obedience training with the addition of sufficient exercise to keep a sane, happy, healthy family and dog.