Border Collie Description
A handsome looking dog, the Border Collie weighs in at around 30-50 pounds and is around 17-20 inches in height. Most commonly the Border Collie is black and white, but there are other colors, which include chocolate, red, and blue.
The coat of this breed can be either short, or can be longer and feathered. The former is the easiest to care for in terms of grooming. This dog has an alert and keen expression, and his eyes can range from brown to blue or a combination of colors.
Highly intelligent and trainable, the Border Collie is a very agile dog with plenty of stamina and determination. This is a dog that is eager to please and very quick to learn, which makes him a pleasure to train. He is one of the most trainable of all breeds. This is a well balanced dog with a good temperament and a good nature. The Border Collie is loyal and dedicated, and is both faithful and affectionate to his family. However, despite all of these traits, the Border Collie is not a dog that will be suites to all owners, as he needs a high level of mental and physical stimulation (running, biking, fetching, walking) and will not fare well without this.
The Border Collie may get on okay with older, more considerate children, but is probably not the best choice for those looking for a companion for their child or for those with smaller children. These dogs can be wary around strangers, but can get on okay with other pets. However, their strong herding instincts means that they may try and herd everything, from children and family members to pets and just about anything else. In some cases, the high energy levels of the Border Collie can make it a little hyperactive, but with the right level of attention, exercise, and mental stimulation this is a problem that can be relieved.
The Border Collie is a medium shedder, but twice yearly he sheds quite heavily. Depending on the length of the coat, brushing may be required on a daily basis, or weekly brushing may suffice. At times of the year when shedding is heavier you will need to step up the grooming sessions.
The Border hails from the British Isles in the border country of England and Scotland. The derivation of the name Collie seems to be a hot topic, with some saying it comes from the Gaelic word meaning useful. Others insist it came from "coalie" meaning black, and still others say collie was the name of a breed of sheep.
Whatever the case may be, the Border is a very old breed and appears in literature as far back as 1570. It wasn't until 1915 that James Reid, the Secretary of the International Sheepdog Society in Great Britain first called the dog a Border Collie. Sheepdog trials were first held in 1873 in Wales and in 1880 in the USA.
Borders are one of the smartest breeds hands down and learn very quickly. Their intelligence isn't the issue the trainer is the issue. These dogs are very difficult for the average person to train.
These dogs are so intelligent that they can actually manipulate you to do what they want you to do. Some can be very willful and dominant - the Alpha dog - and the only way to work with that is to prove to them that you can make them do things.
They are very sensitive dogs and a harsh correction may make them freeze and shut down on you - for instance roll over on its back or pay close attention to something else besides you. Or, they may also get even more anxious and speed up, which will cause more miscues. You need to be firm and consistent with them because they will try and get away with as much as they can. Also be careful about sounds, as Borders are very sensitive to sounds.
The most frustrating part about training a Border is their hypersensitivity to the slightest sound or movement you make. They try to anticipate what you want them to do and guess at what comes next. Trying to get them to actually remain still and wait for the actual command is challenging to say the least. The best type of training for the Borders is motivational with lots of treats/play time.
And another love of Border Collies is tricks. They love learning new things and can be taught some great stunts like playing dead or rolling over - anything so they can show off. It appeals to the clown in them.
The life expectancy of the Border Collie is around 13-15 years. There are a number of health issues and problems that are linked to this breed, and this includes deafness, seizures, allergies, epilepsy, cataracts, OCD, PRA, and HD. You should ensure that the parents of the Border Collie puppy have OFA and CERF certificates.