Breed Highlight: Border Collie

Border Collie

Many say that the Border Collie is the smartest dog breed. His ability to impose his will on sheep makes him the best sheephearding dog in the world. However, watch out, because he will try to impose his will on you, too. Therefore, will will discuss this breed to help you determine if it is the best fit for you and your family.

The Border Collie

Vital Stats of Border Collies

  • Dog breed group: Herding
  • Height: 18 to 22 inches at the shoulder
  • Weight: 30 to 45 pounds
  • Lifespan: 12 to 16 years

Physical Characteristics of Border Collies

The Border Collie is a well-balanced, medium-size dog with an athletic appearance. This breed also displays style and agility in equal measure with soundness and strength. Their bodies are a bit longer than they are tall. Also, they have moderately long, low-set tails.

In addition, Borders have wide, flat skulls and their muzzles are typically the same length as the skull. The nose color usually matches the main color of his body. Their eyes can be any color, and some dogs have two different colored eyes. Also, ears can be erect, semi-erect or fully dropped. This breed comes in two coat varieties: rough and smooth. They may also come in just about any color and color pattern, including solid, bicolor, tricolor and merle.

The Border Collie’s Personality

Border Collie agility course

Border Collies will herd anything, including the family, kids playing in the yard, ducklings or even a car or bicycle. He will also follow you around the house unceasingly. Borders forms a tight bond with their family and want to be with them every second they can.

Additionally, Borders can excel at any performance activity, including the following:

  • sheepherding
  • agility
  • obedience
  • flyball
  • freestyle
  • Frisbee

The Border Collie can also do search and rescue work. His drive, ease of training and desire to please often put him at the top of the list for serious competitors in dog sports.

Care for Border Collies

Border Collie

The Border Collie a highly adaptable dog. However, he is ideal for an environment that gives him some elbow room. This includes a city home with a securely fenced backyard, or a country farm or ranch.

This breed has a propensity to herd and chase. Therefore, he must be protected from his not-so-bright instinct to chase cars. Regardless of the environment, he needs a significant amount of mental and physical stimulation every day. This means having an owner who is willing and able to provide that.

Health of Border Collies

Border Collies are more prone to the following health issues:

  • Hip dysplasia: a genetic malformation of the hip socket
  • Collie Eye Anomaly: a group of eye disorders ranging from minor to serious
  • Neuronal ceroid lipfuscinosis (CL) and trapped neutrophil syndrom (TNS): two fatal disorders of the Border Collie
  • Epilepsy: seizers that typically appear early in life

History of Border Collies

Border Collie herding sheep

The Border Collie is a classic working farm dog. Origination comes from the border country between Scotland and England. Farms bred their own individual varieties of sheepdogs for the hilly area. As this breed often tends to their flock alone, they had to think independently and be able to run around 50 miles a day in hilly country.

Queen Victoria fell in love with a Collie at the royal castle in Balmoral. This is the point at which the differences between today’s Collie and Border Collie began to form. However, the name Border Collie did not come into use until after World War I when they needed to differentiate working and show dogs.

More recently, the Border Collie was admitted to the ranks of American Kennel Club breeds in 1995. Since then, the breed has split into show and working lines.

For more information on the Border Collie or other dog breeds, don’t hesitate to contact us here at All Pets Veterinary Medical Center with the link below!

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