Border Collie: Is it the right breed for you?
Border Collies carry the reputation of being workaholics. They are not interested in lying around the house all day with nothing to do. Therefore, this dog is a suitable companion to those who regularly spend time indulging in outdoor activities like hiking or running, and lead a physically active lifestyle.
They say that it is difficult to improve on perfection, and our dear Border Collies understand this maxim better than many. We all know how these dogs are intelligent―it is a given, since they are phenomenal herders―but what takes this breed to a higher pedestal is their uncanny sense of perception. If you haven't seen this dog at work, it's like you've missed witnessing one of nature's most sublime miracles. This dog's legendary "stare" is all it takes for any errant sheep to toe the line―for the Collie, it's all in a day's work.
FACTS ABOUT BORDER COLLIES
Height: 18 - 22 inches at the shoulder
Weight: 30 - 45 lb.
Lifespan: 12 - 15 years
Weight: 30 - 45 lb.
Lifespan: 12 - 15 years
- Sheepdogs have existed since ages, with their origin being traced to England and Scotland where they were known as Welsh Sheepdogs, Northern Sheepdogs, Highland Collies, and Scotch Collies.
- Breeders began to showcase Scottish sheepdogs in dog shows during the late 19th century. In fact, Queen Victoria was so impressed by their performance that she began to patronize the breed. Today, we know them as Border Collies, the world's premier herding dogs.
Quite simply put, the Border Collie will simply blow your mind, and we're not exaggerating in the least bit. This dog is very, very observant and has a knack for picking non-verbal cues. Thus, he manages to anticipate your next move, and alters his behavior accordingly.
This particular talent makes him the superstar of the herding world, and you'd be glad to know that there are more weapons in his arsenal. A noteworthy trait is his stare―hypnotic and unnerving, he crouches low as he approaches the sheep, intimidating them into submission.
This dog is no slob, even if you want him to become one. He loves to work, and is happiest when you assign him a task, be it fetching a frisbee in the yard, or providing company on a trek.
His energy levels will astound you. This dog always wants to be in the thick of action, and will not take kindly to being left alone or jobless.
The Border Collie can be a tricky pet to keep, especially if you're not looking for a herding dog. He needs plenty of exercise, both physical and mental, on a daily basis to burn his energy, failing which this dog may become listless, depressed, or even aggressive.
Yes, he is a demanding dog who will never let go of his herding instincts. He may have a tendency to nip and nudge children or other pets who may not heed his prodding. Therefore, a Border Collie puppy must be trained and socialized in a manner that is specific to this breed.
His sharp mind makes him a pleasure to train; although keep in mind that you cannot suppress his tendency to herd, the best you can do is to divert it towards other tasks. The Border Collie can be trained to become an excellent tracking dog, or even a SAR operative. He also excels in various canine sports like flyball, freestyle obedience or tracking obedience.
The Border Collie is a medium-sized dog, with a body that is slightly longer than taller. He has a flat-shaped head with a medium-length muzzle. According to AKC standards, the color of the nose should match the color of the body. There are various patterns, colors, and markings found in Border Collies. Their coat comes in two variants, rough and smooth, but both are double-layered. Shedding is light and occurs throughout the year, becoming heavier when the seasons change. Weekly brushing will ensure that the coat remains shiny and prevent matting.
As long as you're sourcing your dog from a reputed and responsible breeder, your Border Collie gets a clean bill of health. However, the breed is predisposed to certain health issues like hip dysplasia, a condition in which the thighbone doesn't fit snugly into the hip joint, causing pain and lameness. Therefore, demand a health clearance certification from your breeder for the puppy you choose, as Collies suffering from this condition are not supposed to be bred.
Potential Border Collie owners must keep in mind that this is not the kind of dog who will settle for a laid-back lifestyle.