Breed Group: Herding Group
Shoulder Height: 18-22 in.
Weight: 27-45 lb.
Life Span: 10 years
Colors: Black, blue, merle, brindle, gold, lilac, red, sable, saddleback, white
- Border Collies received their name because of their origins on the border of England and Scotland, where they were used to herd livestock
- Every Border Collie can trace their lineage back to Old Hemp, who lived from 1893 to 1901
- They are consistently ranked high for both intelligence and physicality, making them a popular breed for experienced pet parents and outdoor enthusiasts
While every member of the Herding Group can be lauded for their intelligence, none of them can quite compare with the Border Collie. A graceful, hyper-intelligent, and appealing breed, it is understandable why they receive as much attention as they do both in the scientific and casual community.
The truth of the matter is, however, that the Border Collie is not the right dog for everybody. While they are very intelligent, and so quick to learn, they need considerable time and effort invested in their training. They were developed to work with people, so thrive with a confident, assertive leader. Border Collies can live harmoniously with other dogs. While they do well with children, their herding instinct can result in them rounding up the younger members of the family. This normal behavior should be taken into consideration when thinking about adding this breed to a family with children.
Exercise is pivotal to the happiness of the Border Collie and it is up to the pet parent to take their dog outside of the house for a regular run or walk. A lack of vigorous mental and physical exercise can turn this active and intelligent breed into a destructive house pet. Because of their strong herding instinct, they are best kept on leash while walking, unless very well trained.
The long and thick coat demands constant attention as well to keep it healthy and tangle-free. Put all this together and you have dogs that are rewarding, but require a lot of time and attention to make them so. Adopt with full awareness of this breed's needs.
Border Collies are a sturdy breed developed predominantly for outdoor work, so they are rather healthy.
- Cancer is a common reason for death in the breed, but most dogs live to their expected lifespan of around 13 years.
- Hip dysplasia is a genetic condition in Border Collies that results in hip pain and osteoarthritis.
- Trapped Neutrophil Syndrome, or TNS, is a hereditary disease that normally kills young pups because they cannot fight infection; the disease causes white blood cells to form, but not be released into the bloodstream.
- Another genetic disease that appears in Border Collies is Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA), which can be tested for using DNA analysis.
- Border Collies have been studied for years in attempts to measure canine intelligence. One famous subject of these tests is Chaser, who is capable of understanding and recognizing some one thousand objects by name alone. Chaser currently holds the title of "Smartest Dog in the World".
- Border Collies are also quite popular with politicians; the former governor of Montana, Brian Schweitzer, has kept this breed for many years and attempted to make them the State Dog.
- Numerous Border Collies have been featured in TV and movies, including the Oscar-winning picture Babe as well as the classic TV series Little House on the Prairie.
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