border collie Dog

The border collie is considered the most intelligent 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 learning capacity in different areas: basic and advanced canine obedience, canine skills, herding or Agility among others.

But beyond its intellect, the border collie dog stands out from other dog breeds for the strong bond it creates with its caregivers, its notable beauty and its predisposition for physical exercise. Although the border collie dog is not a suitable breed for everyone, 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, are thinking about adopting a puppy or adult border collie or simply want to know more about the wonderful dog, keep reading this AnimalWised breed sheet and discover everything about behavior , characteristics, education and health of the border collie dog.

Origin of the border collie

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 dog breeds, including the border collie, arrived in the British Isles between the 5th and 1st centuries BC from Celtic tribes . In fact, it is suspected that its 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 was developed between Scotland and England. The Celtic dogs were crossed with dogs native to the United Kingdom, giving way to several types of collie sheepdogs , such as the bearded collie , one of the direct ancestors of the border collie dogs.

In fact, its name literally means “border collie” after the establishments located between the borders of Scotland and England. Already at that time he stood out as a shepherd dog to guide livestock, a job that he still performs today due to his agility and intelligence.

It was not until the 20th century when the different canine organizations, such as the International Cynological Federation [1] or the Kennel Club [2] , began to recognize the border collie dog breed 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 tremendously agile , with an ideal physical shape for exercising, jumping and running. Males usually measure about 53 centimeters at the withers and females somewhat less, as is common in many dog ​​breeds. Likewise, they can weigh up to 20 kilograms and have an elongated body and a very dynamic appearance.

The border collie has very specific characteristics, such as muscular legs that denote a predisposition for exercise. The end of the tail always ends in white tones and its snout ends in a point with a nose that can be black or brown. As for the ears, we can see three different types such as drooping, semi-drooping or erect , all of which add a distinctive touch. On the other hand, although the usual eye color 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 in terms of hair type: the long-haired border collie dog long and the short-haired border collie . In both cases the dog has a dense double layer of hair that protects it from the cold and wind, a soft internal layer and a rougher external layer. 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:

  • Black and white border collie .
  • Brown and white border collie .
  • Black, brown and white border collie .
  • White and tan border collie .

There are also examples of shepherd collie in blue, chocolate or Australian red, as well as border collie merle.

Character of the border collie shepherd

It is one of the dog breeds that stands out the most in terms of activity and energy . For this reason, many people consider that this is a dog that should only live in rural environments. However, a good routine of walks, exercise and stimulation can turn you into a dog that adapts perfectly to life in a city.

The adoption of border collie dogs is recommended for active families, with a passion for sports, dog training or hiking. In addition, it requires a family unit that can dedicate time and the stimulation that it needs so much. All the potential of the breed will be greatly benefited by the skills of the caregiver; he will be rewarded with an obedient, shepherd, tireless and orderly dog .

We are then talking about a dog that needs time and dedication , unlike other calmer breeds. The lack of these elements turns the border collie into a destructive , hyperactive, anxious, nervous and even excessive barking dog . Negative behaviors are a result of anxiety you may feel due to lack of energy or boredom.

On the other hand, the border collie is a dog that is very loyal to its human companions, very intelligent and a born observer who quickly understands how to express pain, happiness and excitement in people. With his family, the Border Collie will be accommodating and tender , while with strangers he can be shy and reserved.

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 playing with children and that understands the tranquility they need, is perfect for playing with children. We recommend set objectives such as fetching the ball, doing circuits or another type of activity that enhances both the child’s creativity and the dog’s stimulation. The little ones should also be taught how they should treat animals and what they should or should not do. It is a very important factor to generate a good bond.

Since it is a disciplined dog, it will be very easy to train it as a shepherd dog , since you have an intelligent dog that will understand that it should not harm the lambs at all, only direct them. The behavior he assumes with other dogs and other animals is also incredible. In addition to being respectful, he is usually the leader of the pack due to his mental abilities.

Border collie care

Border collie dog care is as follows, depending on its diet, exercise and grooming:

  • Food : in your daily life you cannot miss a quality diet , adapted to your physical needs and your life stage that ensures a complete nutritional contribution and that, in addition, results in good health and a shiny and healthy coat. If you are not sure what type of food to choose, we advise you to find out about the best feeds on the market or, on the contrary, start with BARF raw diets .
  • Exercise : as we have already mentioned in previous sections, this 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 cannot miss mental stimulation in your daily routine through intelligence toys, mental stimulation or smell exercises. We can do these activities around three times a week, this way we will ensure that he is mentally active and stimulated.
  • Grooming : On the other hand, both long-haired and short-haired Border Collies need to follow a brushing routine that includes at least three brushings per week to remove dead hair and show a shiny, shiny coat. Baths should be every month and a half so that it does not lose its natural layer of protection.

Border collie education

Thanks to the study carried out by Stanley Coren that indicates that the border collie is the most intelligent dog in the world, it has been shown that this dog breed takes an average of five exercises to learn a new command . While the general average of dogs with lower intelligence is between 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 other dogs, the border collie puppy must be socialized with other animals, people and new environments. From five or six months of age, you can start practicing basic training commands with your border collie and, once well assimilated, move on to advanced ones to mentally stimulate him and prevent him from feeling 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, to do this we can reward him with different treats, take him to new places to practice or have him have different toys.

Border Collie Health

In recent years, the border collie dog has experienced a growing and excessive popularity, which has caused many individuals and illegal breeders to significantly increase the population of this breed without having the adequate knowledge to ensure good breeding of the puppies. .

All of 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 aggression and fear.

Below we will show you the most common border collie diseases:

  • Collie eye anomaly (CEA)
  • Deafness
  • waterfalls
  • Ataxia
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Lens dislocation
  • Microphthalmia
  • Chronic superficial keratitis
  • progressive retinal atrophy
  • Idiopathic epilepsy

Both to avoid them and to detect them in time, it is recommended to go to the veterinarian periodically , as well as follow the mandatory vaccination schedule and deworm the dog internally and externally on a regular basis. If it receives all the care it needs, follows a proper diet and exercises, 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 bringing joy and love to the home. However, adopting a border collie also entails a series of responsibilities, especially if we are interested in adopting a border collie puppy.

To find border collie dogs for adoption, we recommend that you consult the animal associations and shelters in your area. In addition, many associations specialize in rescuing and putting up for adoption specific dog breeds, so we also encourage you to check if any of them exist in your city or country.

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