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Border Collies

Average Size of Female: Height: 18 – 21 inches, Weight: 30 – 45 pounds
Occasionally seen: Cerebellar abiotrophy, ceroid lipofuscinosis, deafness
Major concerns: CHD
Minor concerns: PRA, lens luxation, CEA, PDA, OCD, PPM
Suggested tests: Hip, eye
Average Size of Male: Height: 20 – 23 inches, Weight: 30 – 45 pounds
Life span: 10 – 14 years

Brief History on Border Collie Origin

There was a large variety of sheepdogs in Great Britain around the 1800s, each of which had their own unique herding styles. The first documented sheepdog trial was held in 1873. It is said that a dog named Hemp, performed exceedingly well in the contest. It is suggested that he is actually the founding father of the Border Collie breed. Allegedly, Hemp was able to herd the sheep in a less stressful manner by just calmly staring at them instead of nipping at their heels and growling. Queen Victoria was captivated by the breed after she first saw a Border Collie while on a trip to Balmoral. The  name of the breed is likely a reference to the place of it’s origin, which is the region between the Scottish and English border. The Border Collie was later introduced to the U.S. where it eventually it became known for its outstanding performance in obedience trials. However, the Border Collie was not recognized by the AKC until 1995. This breed is known for being extremely good at assisting the blind.

Border Collie Breed Appearance

This breed is active and alert, and is built to be a working dog. The front legs are of sufficiently long for the type of work this breed does. The front feet are compact and somewhat oval with tough pads. The hindquarters are toned and broad with strong, elongated thighs. The oval-shaped eyes of the Border Collie express an eager and intelligent expression that is also very endearing. The eyes are usually some variation of the color brown. The nose is generally the same as the base color of the dog. The gait of this breed can best be described as agile and enduring. This breed is able to quickly change direction and still maintain focus, balance and grace. The coat of the Border Collie comes in two varieties, which are rough and smooth. Each coat type features very dense, weather protective double coats. The double coat includes a straight or wavy top coat and a short, dense undercoat that is much softer in texture. The rough coat usually has feathering on the front legs, the thighs, the chest, and the belly. While the hair on the face, ears, and feet is shorter and smooth in appearance. This breed comes in a wide variety of color combinations including solid color, bi-color, tri-color, merle, and sable.

Border Collie Breed Temperament

Full of both physical and mental energy, the Border Collie is happiest when it has a job to do. It is also considered to be one of the most obedient and intelligent breeds of them all with proper training. Although, if not given proper challenges and day to day tasks, it can become a poorly behaved and destructive indoor dog. When given plenty of physical and mental stimulation or challenges, the Border Collie can be a very enjoyable companion to have around. This breed normally gets along relatively well with other dogs and older children, but it can sometimes display dominance towards dogs of the same gender. While many Border Collies can get along with felines in the household, the breed should be closely monitored with other non-canine pets. To prevent any aggressive behavior toward non-canine pets, this dog should be socialized often while it is young. It is often distant around strangers. Because of its tendency to stare, this breed may make other animals feel nervous. The Border Collie loves to be praised and responds best to positive training methods. If left alone for long periods of time, this breed may become troublesome and bored in your home and develop behavioral problems and/or anxiety. It is also known for its talent for escaping so make sure you’ve got a secure, fenced yard.

Border Collie Breed Maintenance

Regular combing and brushing is necessary to keep the coat of this breed in the best possible condition. This breed is considered to be an average shedder. Extra time and care is essential during shedding of the soft and dense undercoat. The Border Collie, like many other breeds, should be bathed only when necessary to avoid stripping the skin of important natural oils. Checking the coat and ears for ticks or grass seeds on a regular basis is recommended if your Border Collie spends a lot of time playing in the yard. Daily physical activity and mental stimulation is essential for this dog to thrive, and it does best with owners who mimic those characteristics. This breed enjoys participating in agility, obedience, and sheepdog trials. Apartment living is not suited for this breed, and does not do well being chained up in the yard all day. An active, interactive and involved owner is ideal for this type of dog.

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Written by Tamira Eliseo
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