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Border Collie

Border Collie

Origin: United Kingdom Weight: 30-45 pounds
Breed Group: Herding Life Expectancy: 12-13 years
Size: Medium Popularity (AKC 2012): #45

Border Collies are high energy dogs that are alert, cheerful, social, intelligent, and responsive. Border Collies are instinctive herders who were bred to be sheepdogs in Scotland. As such, they need to have a “job” to do. Border Collies require significant exercise and stimulation. Without it, they can get frustrated and become mischievous, destructive, or even neurotic. They can be wonderful family pets and good with children but are inclined to nip as part of their herding instinct and must be trained from an early age.

Many consider the Border Collie to be the most intelligent dog breed. Highly trainable, Border Collies excel at all dog sports that involve speed, agility, obedience, problem solving and athleticism. In fact, many dog sport enthusiasts criticize the act of breeding Border Collies for appearance rather than performance, fearing that the former will weaken the overall potential of the breed.

Likely because of their alertness and intelligence, Border Collies can also be very sensitive dogs. They are inclined to become fearful of loud noises like thunder and don’t do well with overly firm training methods. They are also motion sensitive and may chase anything that moves from cats to birds to cars.

When being re-homed, it is critical that Border Collies go through a rescue organization that use foster homes. Their sensitive personalities often shut down from the noise, smells and chaos found in a typical animal shelter.

History

The Border Collie emerged in Scotland in the 1800’s.

It is thought that the word collie comes from the old Celtic word meaning “useful”. Today, all purebred Border Collies can trace their bloodline back to one dog, Old Hemp, a tricolour collie known as the father of the breed. Old Hemp was the first to use the quiet and purposeful style of sheep herding (lowered head and trembling patient body) that Border Collies are known for. He required no training, he instinctively understood his craft.

Appearance

The most common Border Collie colour is black and white but the breed also comes in tricolour (black, white and tan). In some cases, Border Collies can have a single colour coat or even brindle or merle patterns. Eye colour can vary and it is not uncommon for Border Collies to have different coloured eyes, especially merle collies. The ears can be either fully erect, semi-erect or fully dropped.

 

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