The border collie comes in at the top of the list for smarts and intelligence. These dogs are extremely bright and are in their element doing a job they love; herding.
Border collies do not have shepherds gracing their name, but, nonetheless, they are very thorough and efficient sheepherders just like a few of the shepherds, the German, Dutch and Australian shepherds to name a few.
All of these wonderful herding dogs live to work and the border collie is no exception. This breed is a quick thinker, can go for miles, and doesn’t miss a movement, with their ultra-sharp vision, making them stellar and in demand for keeping sheep where they need to be and rounding up strays as well.
If you are considering owning a border collie, this breed needs an owner or family with just as much stamina as they have.
They are not for a family of couch potatoes or hyperactive problems can occur without both mental and physical stimulation. This collie is much better suited for the active moving family.
For your dog’s vitamin supplement, dog food, dog toys, or other dogs product please visit the Health Extension website.
History of the Border Collie
Claudius, emperor of the Roman Empire, along with Roman soldiers invaded and conquered what is today’s Britain in the year 43.
For the move into Britain, they brought along livestock and large dogs to be used for herding.
During this time, Vikings invaded Britain bringing with them their herding dogs, which were quicker because of their smaller size and agility.
These dogs became crossed with the Roman dogs in the craggy and hilly highlands of Wales and Scotland, opening the door for the creation of the border collie.
In the late 1800s, a dog known as Old Hemp, who had a unique quick but forceful way of herding sheep was used to develop what is today’s border collie.
It is believed that the ancestral ties of all border collies date back to Old Hemp. During his life, more than two hundred pups were sired by Old Hemp.
The border collie was first known as the ” Scotch sheepdog.” The name collie is believed to have come from the Scottish language and means “useful” in Celtic.
The border collie was not recognized by the American Kennel Club until 1995, is the 139th breed out of 197 breeds, and ranks 35th in popularity.
They are athletic, agile, and intelligent and do quite well with agility training and competition as well as performing well as show dogs, and herders, of course, and make excellent pets for the right family.
To check your Border Collies’ health status or their DNA checks, please visit the Embark vet website for all the help you may need.
Border Collie Appearance
The border collies’ height will range from 18 inches to 21 inches for females and 19 inches to 22 inches for males. The weight ranges between 27lbs and 45lbs.
Border collies are perfectly proportioned dogs of medium size, being athletic and agile, but with graceful movement. This collie has an endless amount of energy and endurance.
The border collie comes in two varieties of coats. The smooth-coated has a double coat with short but coarse fur for their topcoat.
The rough coat variety will have varying fur lengths which can be wavy or straight. Both varieties have a short, dense but soft undercoat with coats being resistant to the weather.
While many people think they are well-known black and white dogs, coats can be many combinations of markings and colors. Colors may be:
- Saddleback Sable
- Sable Merle
- White and Black
- White Ticked
- White and Red
- White and Red Merle
- Red Merle
- White and Blue
- White and Blue Merle
Health and Life Expectancy of Border Collie
The average life expectancy of the border collie is 12 years, but, it can range from 10 to 14 years and some can even live up to the age of 17.
No matter what breed of dog you may intend to add to your family, there is no guarantee as to how long of life your dog will enjoy, just as we cannot predict how long we will live.
You can up your chances, however, by using a reputable breeder that keeps good records and has their breeding dogs genetically tested.
Checking your future border collie’s bloodlines can help you to see if they are genetically predisposed to any hereditary conditions or diseases.
Environmental factors also play a role in longevity such as diet, exercise, and proper healthcare. A few conditions that can plague border collies are:
- Deafness – congenital sensorineural deafness and adult hearing loss
- Eye conditions and diseases – PRA (progressive retinal atrophy), collie eye anomaly, and lens luxation
- Cyclic neutropenia
Border Collie Temperament
Everyone loves the border collie, with their smarts and good looks and they do make wonderful family pets, but need plenty of time, patience, training, and exercise to accomplish this.
Their main desire and instinct are to herd and unless you have a family of sheep this may not be accepted and can even become annoying. Following are some temperament traits of the border collie.
This breed comes with a bagful of energy and behavior that has them wanting to play or run continually if they aren’t given enough opportunity for exercise. You need to be a person or have a family that is up to the task of walking, running, or playing with your pup.
If you and your family are walkers or runners, this dog will fit into your schedule quite well.
The border collie also needs games to satisfy that herding instinct including mental stimulation as well as physical.
- Easily Trained (Intelligent)
Never fear, because border collies are easily trained, due to their high intelligence. All dogs need training and the border collie is no exception to this rule.
You will never fully train that herding instinct out of them but training will help. Obedience training especially classes with other pet owners and dogs is especially helpful for socialization as well as training.
Teaching your border collie tricks will also mentally stimulate, challenge, and tire them out.
Border collies are a very friendly breed with people as long as they are properly socialized as a puppy.
They are good with children, joining in with play eagerly but can become quite rambunctious and boisterous, so between your collie and the children, have an aspirin ready for that headache!
They can, however, get a little rough and definitely try to herd small toddlers, so careful supervision is necessary.
Border collies are not the greatest with other dogs and especially cats. They may be fine if socialized with dogs as a pup. This may be a challenge with cats.
- Not aggressive
If not socialized, any dog can become aggressive. The border collie is not known for aggression.
They can nip at heels if they are in herding mode but this is not aggression just a way to get everyone together. Training and discipline are needed.
- Escape artist
Be aware that the border collie is very clever and tricky, and if they want out, they’re going to figure out how to do it.
Make sure fences are high enough and latches are dog-proof. These dogs can easily turn into Harry Houdini by digging out of your yard, jumping a fence, and yes, even opening a gate!
You need to clearly set the tone that you are the boss of this breed. Working independently, herding sheep is in their blood and they can often be a bit stubborn because of their independent thinking.
The border collie has so many fine attributes and qualities. Before considering getting this breed, consider all aspects and do your research.
Any dog is a responsibility but with this breed, you should fully mull over if you have the time, patience, and energy to do them justice.
If you and your family are active, and love games and the outdoors, the border collie can be the perfect choice to add to the mix.