Of all the herding animals, the Border Collie is possibly the master. It can herd sheep in an uncannily efficient manner, as if perfected by evolution over millions of years rather than selectively bred for this purpose over a matter of a few centuries. The breed was standardised by 1906, based on it's working ability rather than it's appearance. It was simply classed as a Sheep dog. The name Border Collie was adopted by 1915, based on it's origin around the Scottish/English borders.
Often judged to be the most intelligent of all dog breeds, the Border Collie needs constant mental stimulation. Without it, the dog will become restless and/or destructive, or will become obsessively attached to a toy or other object. They are bred to herd and that is what they do, be it sheep, other dogs, or small children!
Border Collies tend not to mix well with other animals in the home, as their herding instincts always take over. They have loads of energy and a high desire to work, and this needs to be satisfied through lots of exercise and play. Many owners enter them in agility competitions, frisbee catching or Fly ball, as they excel at pretty much everything. The dogs love exercise of all kinds, and thrive when working. You can't just allow a Border Collie access to your garden and expect it to be happy. It needs to work. A lack of physical and mental stimulation will result in destructive behavior. Their overactive brains never switch off, and if nothing is happening they will often stand and stare at you, waiting for you do to something... anything!
These dogs make a loyal, dependable companions, and will do anything for you. They require an owner who has lots of time to dedicate to long walks and attention. Border Collies shed quite a lot of their smooth and rough hair and need regular grooming.
Border Collies are highly intelligent and energetic. They will only be happy if given lots of mental and physical stimulation - if there is nothing to do they will become stressed, neurotic, destructive, obsessive, or combinations of these.
They tend to form tight bonds with their handlers, and can be reserved towards other dogs and people. They do well in obedience and agility contests, being eager to please and very quick learners. Needless to say, they make fantastic sheep dogs.
Border Collies are prone to canine hip dysplasia (CHD), elbow dysplasia, epilepsy, and Collie eye anomaly (an inherited condition which in severe cases can cause blindness).
- Status: Common
- Life Expectancy: 10 - 17 years
- Weight: 26 - 44 lb
- Height: Males 20 - 23" Females 18 - 21"
- Rare: No
- Coat: Medium
- Grooming Requirements: More than once per week
- Town or Country: Country
- Minimum Home Size: Small House
- Minimum Garden Size: Large Garden
- Breed Type: Herding
- Size: Medium
- Energy Level: High
- Exercise Required: Over 2 hours
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