The Border Collie is a high-energy herding breed that requires plenty of exercise and training. This native of England makes a good family dog but should have a job that satisfies his need to work.
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Photo credit © BCSA
Finding a Border Collie
- Medium, muscular build
- Brown eyes; blue eyes may appear in merle-colored dogs and occasionally in black/white dogs.
- Long tail
- Topcoat can be straight or wavy with a soft undercoat; coats vary from long (rough coated) to short (smooth coated); comes in a variety of colors including black, sable, merle and tri-color, usually with white markings on the face, chest and legs
- Height: 18-22 inches
- Weight: 27-45 pounds
- Average lifespan: 12-15 years
- Energetic, responsive, affectionate, attentive, smart, hard-working
- Interaction with people: Good
- Interaction with animals: Generally good with other dogs; herding instinct may lead to difficulties living with other animals/pets.
- Level of attention needed: Requires significant attention and daily training and daily exercise. Enjoys having a job to perform
- Training: Needs early socialization
- Hip and elbow dysplasia
- Ophthalimic disorders (including progressive retinal atrophy and Collie eye anomaly)
- Osteochondritis Dessicans (defect in cartilage)
- Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis (neurological disorder)
- Trapped Neutrophil Syndrome (immune disorder)
While the listed ailments may be common in this breed, not all members of the breed suffer from these conditions. Responsible breeders screen for orthopedic and genetic diseases.
- Not recommended for apartments; best in rural areas
- Needs daily training
- May chase other animals
- Above average shedder
- Brush and comb regularly
- Check skin regularly for parasites
- In the movie "Babe," Fly and Rex were border collies
- A border collie named Rico was studied by scientists for his ability to identify more than 200 objects by name
- This breed excels in obedience, agility and Frisbee trials
- Uses its eyes to herd livestock
- Native to England's Northumberland region
- All border collies can be traced to a single dog: Old Hemp, born in 1893
- Used for herding in the craggy highland borders of Scotland
- They are used for search and rescue, and as service dogs for the disabled
- They are still most frequently used for herding livestock