The Border Collie is, like most shepherding breeds, descended from the Persian Sheepdog. The breed dates back to the 1700's although it was not given its present name until 1915. Collies worked with shepherds in the border area between Scotland and England for hundreds of years, being bred purely for their working ability. Some Border breeders fear emphasis on looks and beauty could lead to the breed's ruination and, therefore, still concentrate primarily on their working qualities.
The Border Collie is a truly well proportioned dog with agility and perfect balance. The coat can either be smooth or of medium length with a thick water resistant undercoat. When working, this breed will usually be seen in the crouched position, with their alert eyes fixed on the job in hand. The 'hypnotic' eye characteristic is probably more defined in the Border Collie than any other breed and it is this quality which makes them so superb in herding sheep, using their eyes to guide a herd without the need to nip or bark.
|Colour||The most common colour of the Border is black and white but other colours with white are also seen e.g. brown, blue merle, red and tricolour.|
|Coat Length||Medium Long|
|Weight/Height Range||Bitches are normally between 51 to 53cms and weigh between 14 to 17kgs. Dogs between 53 to 55cms and weigh between 17 to 20kgs.|
The collie is considered to be one of the hardiest, healthiest breeds with hardly any genetic problems. The ones that are known to the breed, are rare and not serious concerns. Proper feeding during the rapid growth period, 4 to 8 months, will help to avert the onset of the bone problems.
|Breed Classification||The Border Collie belongs to the pastoral group and is the classic farm dog. They are excellent working dogs and are second to none when it comes to sheep-herding and obedience competitions. They are often used in mountain rescues, as sniffer dogs and for tracking.|
Feeding & Ownership
It costs relatively little to keep Borders once they are fully-grown, but as puppies, they must be given the correct feeding, without over supplementation, during the growing period of 4 to 8 months.
|Food Cost||$10 to $15|
|Other Expenses||The Border is relatively cheap to feed and is not usually a fussy eater. In general they are a healthy breed, costing little in the way of veterinary fees.|
Border Collies are always ready to work, attentive, lively and alert. They will form a very close bond with their owner and family but, unless given plenty of time and exercise, are not ideal pets for a family with very young children as it is in their nature to herd anything that moves - your children included! They are totally devoted to their master and will follow him/her to the ends of the earth! They are determined and brave but if not kept occupied will get into mischief as their brains are always active. They will not suffer fools gladly and it is not beyond them to nip anyone who does not see the matter their way!
|Intelligence||It will be hard to find a breed that is more receptive to training than the Border Collie. Their intelligence is second to none and their minds are like sponges, absorbing all new tasks with an eagerness and the greatest desire to please. Because of this, these dogs are like a gift from heaven for those wanting to compete in obedience/agility/herding trials. They are born, and it is always in their natures, to herd sheep and if this is not what they are required to do, other activities must be given to keep them content and happy - and to stop them rounding up the children!|
|Suitability for Children||Low|
|Tendency to Bark||Medium|
|Overall Exercise Requirement||These dogs MUST have plenty of exercise to keep them well-muscled and to keep their brains occupied. Failure to do this can result in the Border becoming extremely badly behaved and aggressive. They should ideally be kept in the country in order that they have the freedom they so desperately need.|
|Suitability as a Guard Dog||Medium|
|Ease of Transportation||High|
|Level of Aggression||Low|
|Other Animal Compatibility||Medium|
The Border Collie's coat is easy to maintain providing he is brushed once a week and any tangles dealt with on a regular basis. The feathering down the front legs and tail should be trimmed when necessary.
|Grooming Requirements||Once a week|
|Amount of Hair Shed||Moderate|