Recommended for: Families
Maintenance Level: Medium-high
Lifespan: 13-16 years
Temperament: Obedient, intelligent, active
Health Risk: This breed is likely to experience health problems throughout its lifetime, so it is one of the more expensive breeds to insure.
The Border Collie is one of the smartest and most popular dog breeds in the world. Originally developed as a sheepdog for its intelligence and obedience, the Border Collie is a medium-sized dog known for its friendly temperament.
Border Collies have thick, double coats that range from smooth to rough and come in a variety of colors, with black and white being the most popular. To maintain a shiny, healthy coat, the dog should be brushed or combed regularly and bathed only when necessary. Their eye color is usually brown or blue, although some (especially corals) often have two different colored eyes. Some Border Collies have pointed, erect ears, while others have drooping or half-down ears.
They are bred to be working dogs and are praised. The Border Collie is a highly energetic dog with great stamina and therefore needs plenty of exercise. This makes them a favorite of farmers who need a reliable, helpful and loyal farm worker.
Healthy males usually weigh between 17 and 20 kg and are around 48 - 56 cm tall. Females are usually 12-19 kg and are 46-53 cm tall.
The average lifespan for a Border Collie is around 13 years, but dogs that live longer than 16 years are not that uncommon. In fact, the fourth longest living dog was a Border Collie.
Personality and Temperament
The Border Collie is often referred to as the most intelligent dog breed and therefore requires considerable mental stimulation as well as physical activity. As such, they are one of the most successful breeds in a variety of competitive sports, and they do very well as police dogs and search and rescue dogs.
Due to its reputation as a workaholic, the Border Collie dog's temperament can be demanding and energetic, but still playful. As such, they are better off with owners who can provide them with extensive play and exercise. If their needs are not met, they can develop anxiety and become destructive, and some may even become escapist. For this reason, they should not be left alone for too long with nothing to do.
Not ideal for families with other pets or children due to their instinctive herding desire. However, it is not impossible for them to coexist happily with other pets.
Border Collie puppies should be socialized with other animals and people from a young age to avoid shyness. They need sustained and assertive leadership, lots of exercise and something to keep their minds occupied. It is recommended that owners take their Border Collies for a long brisk walk every day. If you don't have the time to meet their needs, a Border Collie may not be for you.
Like many other working breeds, Border Collies are sensitive to movement and this can cause them to chase moving vehicles.
What are the most common health problems?
Border Collie Diseases, conditions, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment
Hip dysplasia (common in larger dogs) is a condition in which the thighbone and hip joint do not fit together properly, causing pain and lameness. Arthritis can develop later in life as a result of the condition.
Collie eye anomaly is an inherited eye disease that causes abnormalities in the eye and, although rare, can cause significant visual impairment. It usually occurs at the age of two years and has no cure.
Epilepsy. Possibly inherited epilepsy is a neurological disorder that causes seizures that can manifest as unusual behavior, lightheadedness, stiffness, and fainting spells. Although scary to watch, the prognosis for affected dogs is generally quite good and treatment is available.
Hearing loss. There are two types of hearing loss that can occur in the Border Collie. The former is pigment related and occurs in puppies, while the latter is the adult onset condition in which puppies have a normal auditory response but gradual hearing loss between 1 and 8 years of age.
Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis is a rare disease limited to the Border Collie bred for show. It causes severe neurological impairment and affected dogs often struggle past 2 years of age. There is no cure, but a DNA test is available to detect carriers and infected dogs.
Trapped Neutrophil Syndrome. Border Collie can also develop entrapment neutrophil syndrome, an inherited disease that produces white cells but cannot effectively release them into the blood. Affected dogs have a compromised immune system that often leads them to die from infections they cannot fight. The gene responsible for the syndrome is believed to be common and likely inherited from the breed's ancestors. There is no cure, but affected dogs and carriers can be identified with a DNA test.
Other problems. Less common diseases include juvenile caracters, osteochondritis (inflammation of the joints), hypothyroidism (where the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone), and diabetes. The "Double merle" Border Collie (i.e. the Border Collie with two merle parents) likely has visual and/or auditory impairments.
Little is known about when the Border Collie appeared, but it is a relatively new breed. The earliest known depiction resembles the modern-day race in wood engravings in Thomas Bewick's pre-1800 work The History of Quadrupeds. Originally referred to as the "Scottish Sheep Dog", this dog originated in Northumberland and hails from black breed colonies commonly found in the British Isles. It is presumed that the name likely originated from the breed's origin along the English-Scottish border.
It is likely that the Border Collie's ancestors came to the British Isles with the Romans who brought sheep herding to the Celtics. However, the Border Collie dog as we know it today emerged with the birth of the stud dog Old Hemp, who was cited as the forerunner of the Border Collie breed until 1893, and his birth in 1901.
The breed was introduced to Australia in the 1890s by James Lilico from New Zealand, who imported working dogs from the United Kingdom. Despite being in existence for at least a hundred years, the modern Border Collie dog was not officially recognized by the American Kennel Club until 1995.
Border Collie Facts!
Bramble is the 4th longest living Border Collie in the World (27 years) 189 by dog â€‹â€‹age. Their owners fed them a vegan diet mostly consisting of rice, lentils and organic vegetables and got plenty of exercise.
A Border Collie named Chaser was taught over 1,000 words and had the ability to sort objects into groups. The other two Border Collies, Betsy and Rico, have a vocabulary of 300 and 200 words, respectively.
The Guinness World Record for "Fastest [non-electric] car window opened by a dog" holds a Border Collie named Striker with 11.34 seconds.
Queen Corgis and her great-great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, were Border Collie fans. He supported the breed in the mid-19th century.
Border Collies are known for their intense hypnotic gaze, which they use to full advantage when herding farm animals.