Characteristics and personality of the Border collie dog breed
Border collies are medium-sized dogs.
Males measure up to 55 cm and weigh up to approximately 30 kg. Females are usually smaller and lighter.
Its appearance is reminiscent of that of a lighter Australian Shepherd Dog, although, instead of the Australian's characteristic short tail, Border Collies have a longer tail that reaches down to the hocks. The head is like that of a collie, and the body is slightly longer than it is tall. The ears are erect with the tips drooping, giving them a lively and lively look.
Some border collies have rough hair about 8 cm in length, while others have straight hair about 2.5 cm. They come in different colors, such as black and white, red and white, black and gray, plain black and tricolor. The longest haired collie usually has a lush mane and tail.
Border Collies are active, hard-working dogs that live better in the field. If confined without activity or company, these dogs will soon become unhappy and adopt destructive behaviors. The breed is very intelligent, learns quickly and responds well to praise.
Given their herding instincts, they are protective of their family and territory and make excellent guard dogs. They will take care of the children of the family. Although they get along well with children and other pets they grow up with, they can be reserved and sometimes abrupt with strangers, nibbling on their heels as if they were handling sheep.
They are extremely energetic dogs so it is necessary to be able to offer them the opportunity to do a lot of exercise. They love to run but they also need their owners to pay close attention to them and assign them a task, whether it be grazing cattle or picking up a ball.
They need to be socialized well from a young age to avoid shyness in front of strangers, and they should receive obedience training, which can help prevent nibbles and their tendency to run away or chase cars.
Border collies molt level is considered medium. At least weekly brushing is required to keep hair beautiful. This breed lives approximately between 12 and 15 years.
Although border collies are herders and were raised to work with sheep, they can take care of any type of herd and even the children of the family.
The breed originated in the bordering counties of England and Scotland, possibly in the 18th century. The ancestors of the Border collie could be other types of Collies, such as the Bearded Collie and the Scottish Collie, although some historians believe that the Spaniel could have intervened in the mix at some point.
During the 19th century, border collies reaped considerable success among the English bourgeoisie. Nowadays, although they are used to work with livestock, they are also family pets. As their training is simple, they are also used as police dogs, for the detection of narcotics and bombs and for search and rescue missions. They are also good guide dogs for the blind. The borders have recently accessed the AKC (American Kennel Club) exhibitions amid certain controversies and protests by breeders, concerned that breeding for exposure may influence their ability to work.
The border collie is considered the smartest dog in the world, according to Stanley Coren, the professor and neuropsychological researcher of the famous book "The intelligence of dogs", published in 1994. The border collie is a breed of dog that stands out for having a wide capacity of learning in different areas: basic, advanced canine obedience, canine skills, grazing or Agility among others.
But beyond his intellect, the border collie stands out from other dog breeds for the strong bond it creates with its owners, its remarkable beauty and its predisposition for physical exercise. Although the border collie dog is not a suitable breed for anyone, it is a dog with many qualities that are worth knowing, especially if we are great dog lovers.
If you have a border collie dog, a shepherd collie crossbreed, are thinking of adopting a puppy or adult border collie or simply want to know more about the wonderful dog, keep reading our Expert Dog Breeds tab and discover all about of their behavior, characteristics, education or health. We will also show you some curiosities, keep reading!
Border Collie Origin
Although the origin of the border collie dog breed is somewhat uncertain, it is known that it was developed and officially recognized in the British Isles. Some archaeological remains found indicate that the direct ancestors of some breeds of dogs, including the border collie, arrived in the British Isles between the 5th and 1st centuries BC by the hand of Celtic tribes. In fact, it is suspected that their name could come from the language of these communities, since "collie" means "useful" in Gaelic.
These tribes settled in Ireland, however the border collie that we know today has just developed between Scotland and England. Celtic dogs were bred with native UK dogs, giving way to various types of collie sheepdogs, including the bearded collie, one of the direct ancestors of border collie dogs.
In fact, its name literally means "border collie" for establishments located between the borders of Estocia and England. Already at that time he stood out as a sheepdog to guide livestock, a job that he still performs today for his agility and intelligence.
It was not until the 20th century that different canine organizations, such as the International Cynological Federation  or the Kennel Club , began to recognize the breed of border collie in an official and standardized way.
Border Collie Characteristics
The characteristics of the border collie are slightly similar to those of the Australian sheepdog, for this reason, many lovers of both dog breeds want more information about the differences between a border collie and an Australian shepherd.
The border collie breed stands out for being extremely agile, with an ideal physical form to exercise, jump and run. Males usually measure about 53 centimeters to the withers and females somewhat less, as is customary in many breeds of dogs. Likewise, they can weigh up to 20 kilograms and show an elongated body and a very dynamic appearance.
The border collie has very specific characteristics, such as muscular legs that denote the predisposition for exercise, the end of the tail always finished in white or its pointed nose, and with a truffle that can be black or brown. As for the ears we can see three different types such as falls, semi-falls or upright, all of them have just added a distinctive touch. On the other hand, despite the fact that the usual color of their eyes is usually brown, sometimes the border collie has one eye of each color, blue and brown, or both blue.
Border collie colors
Although the image that comes to mind when we think of the border collie tends to be that of a dog with a dense and beautiful coat, the truth is that there are two different varieties regarding the type of hair: the long-haired border collie dog and the short-haired border collie. In both cases, the dog has a dense double coat of fur that protects it from the cold and wind, a soft internal and a rougher external one. In this way, the only difference between them lies in the length of the coat, since a wide range of colors is accepted for both, such as:
Border collie black and white.
Brown and white border collie.
Border collie black, brown and white.
Border collie white and tan.
There are also examples of a blue, chocolate or Australian red shepherd collie, as well as a border collie merle.
Border collie character
As you will know after reading the physical characteristics, the border collie dog breed is not especially large, however, it is one of the most outstanding dog breeds in terms of activity and energy. For this reason, many people consider that it is a dog that should only live in rural settings, however, a good routine of walks, exercise and stimulation can make it a dog that adapts perfectly to life in a city.
The possession of border collie dogs is recommended to active families, with a passion for sports, dog training or hiking, in addition, it requires a family nucleus that can dedicate time and the stimulation that they need so much. The full potential of the breed will be greatly benefited by the skills of the owner as owner who will be rewarded with an obedient dog, a shepherd, indefatigable and orderly.
So we are talking about a dog that needs time and dedication, unlike other calmer breeds. The lack of these elements make the border collie a destructive, hyperactive, anxious, nervous and even excessive barking dog. Negative behaviors are a consequence of the anxiety you may feel from lack of energy or boredom.
On the other hand, the border collie is a dog very faithful to its human companions, very intelligent and a born observer who quickly understands how to express the pain, happiness and excitement of people. With his family he will be accommodating and tender, while with strangers he can be shy and reserved.
And if you wonder if the character of the border collie is compatible with children, you should know that any balanced and healthy dog that understands the limits of the game with the little ones and that understands the tranquility they need is perfect to play with them. We recommend marked objectives such as going to look for the ball, doing circuits or another type of activity that enhances both the child's creativity and the dog's stimulation. Children should also be taught how they should treat animals and what they should and should not do. It is a very important factor for a good link to be generated.
Being a disciplined but it will be very easy to educate him as a sheepdog, since you have an intelligent dog that will understand that he must not harm the lambs at all, just direct them. The behavior he assumes with other dogs and pets is also incredible, in addition to being respectful, he is usually the leader of the pack for his mental abilities.
Border Collie Care
As we have already mentioned in previous sections, it is a very active dog, for this reason we recommend a minimum of between 3 and 4 walks a day, combining relaxation, sniffing and physical exercise. In addition, you can not miss the mental stimulation in your daily routine, using intelligence toys, mental stimulation exercises or smell. These activities can be carried out about three times a week, in this way we will ensure that you are mentally active and stimulated, essential for your well-being.
In your day-to-day life you can not miss a quality diet, adapted to your physical needs and to your life stage, that ensures a complete nutritional contribution and that also has an impact on good health and a shiny and healthy coat. If you are not clear on what type of food to choose, we advise you to find out about the best feed on the market or, on the contrary, to start with BARF raw diets.
On the other hand, both long-haired and short-haired border collies need to follow a brushing routine that includes at least three per week to remove dead hair and show a shiny and shiny coat. Baths should be every month and a half so that you do not lose your natural layer of protection.
Border Collie Education
Thanks to the study carried out by Stanley Coren that indicates that the border collie is the smartest dog in the world, it has been shown that this dog breed takes an average of five exercises to learn a new order, while the general average of the dogs of smaller Intelligence is found in 30 and 40 repetitions. Obviously this learning time is very relative and therefore not all Border Collies learn in the same way.
To obtain the aforementioned results and enjoy a balanced dog, it is essential to follow positive training methods. Likewise, although it is usually a sociable breed with the rest of the dogs, the border collie puppy should be socialized with other animals, people and new environments. Starting at five or six months of age, you can start practicing basic training orders with the border collie and, once well assimilated, move on to advanced ones to stimulate him mentally and avoid becoming frustrated. In this sense, another highly recommended way to stimulate the mind of this breed of dog is through canine skills and sports such as Agility.
Learning to motivate him is very important, for this we can reward him with different treats, take him to new places to practice or that has different toys.
Border Collie Health
In recent years the border collie dog has experienced an increasing and excessive popularity, which has caused that many individuals and illegal breeders have significantly increased the population of this breed, without having the adequate knowledge to ensure a good breeding of the puppies. .
All this has had a very negative impact on the breed, causing an increase in hereditary diseases and the appearance of certain behavioral problems, most of them related to aggressiveness and fear.
Below we will show you the most common border collie dog diseases:
Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA)
Dislocation of the lens
Chronic superficial keratitis
Progressive retinal atrophy
Both to avoid them and to detect them in time, it is recommended to go to the vet periodically, as well as follow the schedule of mandatory vaccinations and dewormer the dog internally and externally on a regular basis. If you receive all the care you need, follow a proper diet and exercise, the life expectancy of the border collie dog is between 14 and 17 years.
Where to adopt a border collie?
As you have seen, border collie dogs are a very special breed of dog capable of giving joy and love at home. However, the adoption of a border collie also carries a series of responsibilities towards our pet, especially if we are interested in adopting a border collie puppy.
To find border collie dogs for adoption, we recommend you check with the animal and protective associations in your area. In addition, many associations specialize in rescuing and adopting specific dog breeds, so we also encourage you to check if any of them exist in your city or country.
The popularity of the Border Collie breed began with the love of Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom, Great Britain and Ireland, which had several specimens.
The Border Collie is ranked # 1 on Stanley Coren's The Intelligent Dogs list.
Chaser, a very intelligent Border, was able to identify 1,022 types of toys
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