Border Collie Dog Breed: What You Need To Know

Border Collie in the water

Everything you need to know about the Border Collie can be summed up in one sentence: It’s a wonderful, hard working breed that makes a lovely family pet. You need to know no more before you go get one of your own and call it your newest family member. The Border Collie is like the lottery winning ticket of all dogs. It’s like a custom dog that the world creates for itself to have at home because it encompasses all the good qualities that other dog breeds possess, mixes them all together in a perfect marriage and makes them accessible to those who really want a dog at home. Essentially, the Border Collie is the quintessential pet.

Breed History

Before it was named the Border Collie, the breed went by the name Scotch Sheep Dog thanks to its origination along the Scottish and English borders. This breed was bred specifically to work hard and drive, not cattle, but reindeer. Even centuries ago, this breed was a well-known workaholic that loved to be outside herding animals and doing what no one else wanted to do. That’s what made it such a desirable pet in those days; it’s work ethic. However, the American Kennel Club did not recognize the Border Collie as a breed until 1995, which is a bit late in comparison to so many other breeds available for families to choose.

Temperament, Personality and Expectations

What you get with the Border Collie is everything. This is a breed that can be trained easily and well thanks to its very high level of intelligence. It loves to work, so it makes a great farm dog, police dog, search and rescue dog and even guide dog for the blind. It loves to learn new tricks, it loves to herd cattle or other animals and it loves to learn. This is a breed that does not fall into the ‘can’t teach an old dog new tricks’ category, because you can always teach a Border Collie something new. They thrive on learning.

Additionally, the Border Collie is a very athletic and competitive breed. Because it does learn so quickly and so well, many people are successfully able to train their dogs to do anything sports related to compete and win. Agile, intelligent and very aware of all things around them at all times, this breed is not one that can be easily beaten in anything, and that’s why it makes such a great dog for those who love to train and love to teach obedience. With energy to spare and a lot of love, the Border Collie is the dog you want if you have kids.

The Border Collie has the energy and the desire to spend time playing with kids, outside or inside. It’s gentle and loving, it’s protective and it knows that children are important and treats them with gentleness and kindness. The breed is one that can be shy if not properly socialized as a puppy, and it is one that does not always get along well with other dogs of the same sex. However, the Border Collie is excellent with other animals not in the dog family, and that makes it a great pet to have at home.

Be careful only when the Border Collie is bored. This is a dog that loves to work and work hard, and becoming too bored can cause your dog to create his own list of things to do, and that potentially means destruction and unhappiness on your part.

Size, Life Expectancy and Living Conditions

Not a large dog by any means, the Border Collie is known to grow somewhere between 18 and 22 inches and 27 to 45 pounds with males reaching the tallest heights and heaviest weights in general. The Border Collie is known to live an average of around 12 to 15 years, give birth to litters with an average of six puppies and to do quite well in a large home with a big yard. The Border Collie does not, however, make sense for apartment dwellers without yards with fences.

This is a dog that loves to be outside. They are very active dogs and being stuck inside is not their first choice. They want to be outside, running around and it wants to be active with someone there to tell it what to do, give it a job or task to perform, and to teach It something new. However, the dog is also not one that wants to be chained up in a yard without a fence. The ideal home for a Border Collie is a large one with plenty of land, a fence and probably a couple of kids that run around to keep it entertained and working hard. This is a dog that loves to herd, so it might make sense to keep it around if you have several kids and you might never worry.

As far as exercise is concerned, the Border Collie wants plenty of it, and not just physically. Highly intelligent, this dog wants to work his mind, too. He wants to do something that has a point, a task of sorts. He needs a job and he cannot be left to his own devices to become bored. Long walks do interest this dog on a daily basis, but they’re more inclined to want to be given a job or to play with the kids.

Border Collie Grooming, Care and Health

Not a high-maintenance dog by any means, the Border Collie still needs some basic grooming on a regular basis. It does need one to two weekly brushes to keep its coat clean and free of mats and knots. It also needs to have a bathe only when it is needed and not on a regular basis. The good news is that despite its kind of long coat, the Border Collie is not a big shedder. One thing to be very careful of is ticks as this is a dog that loves to be around other animals when herding and outside getting into things that look entertaining.

One of the most important questions any family asks when choosing a new dog for their family has to do with overall health. The Border Collie is, very fortunately, a healthy dog with much to offer. It is a breed prone to epilepsy and some eye issues called PRA. Additionally, Border Collies are known for suffering from deafness and even hip dysplasia and they can develop an allergy to fleas.

Photo by Getty Images

One Response

  1. Margarett Cahill Zavodny January 28, 2016

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