Other Names: The Border, Farm Collies, Working Collies
Dog Group Kennel Club: Herding (AKC) Pastoral (KC)
The Border Collie is a well-balanced, medium-sized dog with great intelligence and stamina. They are well known for being exceptional herding dogs.
Border collies have a weather-resistant double coat. Coats are either rough and long, or short and smooth. Colours include: black & white, red & white, black tri-colour, red tri-colour, sable, and blue merle.
Weight: 30 to 55 lbs
Average Life Span: 12-16 years
Border Collies are energetic, intelligent, alert, playful, friendly, and loving dogs. They get along well with children and other dogs and animals making them great family pets. Border collies can develop behaviours such as chewing and digging if they are left alone for long periods of time. They are dogs that love to be involved in family activities and who love human attention. They need a lot of both mental and physical exercise to keep them happy. Borders would be well suited with an active family who can give them the time and attention they need.
Border collies are sight and sound sensitive and can become nervous around sudden movements or loud sounds. It is recommended for border collies to be thoroughly socialised to many different sounds and sights, people and animals for an early age. Intelligence is the characteristic that makes the border collie who they are. They are easy to train and are very eager to please. The Border Collie will herd anything that moves, including children. Early training should control this problem
Brushing their coats weekly should maintain a healthy coat. Any tangles should be dealt with straight away. Trimming of the feathering on their front legs and tail is requires when neccessary.
Owners must be active as borders have bundles of energy. They require daily long walks to keep them healthy and happy.
Border Collie Health Issues
Hip dysplasia: a malformation of the hip joint resulting in a poor fit between the head of the femur bone and the hip socket. This condition can be alleviated by surgery, at some cost to dog and owner. Because dysplastic dogs often produce dysplastic puppies, buyers should ask if both the sire and the dam of the puppy in which they are interested have been rated clear of hip dysplasia. Do not take yes for an answer without seeing a certificate, and ask for a copy to take to your veterinarian.
Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA): The disorder occurs commonly in collie breeds, including the border collie, rough collie, smooth collie, and Shetland sheepdog. This eye disorder results in the dog having “blind spots”. This condition is not a life threatening disorder and the animals are capable of having normal, full lives. It is only through screening and selective breeding that this problem will be eliminated. The best way to avoid this problem is to purchase a pup from parents that have been registered with the Canine Eye Registration Foundation (CERF), and have never produced affected pups.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): is a hereditary disease of the eye that has been identified in Border collies. PRA is a blanket term for many types of retinal diseases, all of which result in blindness. All Border collies, regardless of age or breeding status, should be examined yearly by a member of the Veterinary Opthalmologists
Epilepsy: is a seizure disorder which has been found in this breed. Seizures vary between a far-away look or twitching in one part of the face to your pet falling on his side, barking, gnashing his teeth, urinating, defecating and paddling his limbs. Seizures usually appear suddenly and end spontaneously, and can last from seconds to minutes. The disorder has no known cause, however it is important for your veterinarian to determine your pets general health and make sure there is no underlying disease that may be causing the seizures. Treatment can include anticonvulsant medications. Always ask your vet for advice.
Ceroid Lipofuscinosis (CL): Also known as Storage Disease — A RARE, inherited disease which affects the nerve cells of the body.
Border Collie History
Border collies date back to the 18th century. Their development is closely linked with the development of livestock farming and wool trading in the outlying “border” regions of the United Kingdom. The border collie was bred to be a herder. Border Collies are able to perform a variety of tasks and have a natural instinct to “gather” the sheep to the shepherd making them most useful. There are several factors which helped to shape this breed to the dogs we know it today. Firstly they needed to be hardy to withstand the cold weather conditions. Secondly they needed to be durable to cope with the rough terrain on the cliffs and crags. The owners were very proud of their dog’s abilities. This pride led to informal competitions between local herders and farmers. Eventually these competitions became formalized, with the first formal sheepdog trial taking place in 1873 in Wales.
This first trial was won by James Thompson with Tweed, a black and tan dog of Scottish origin). Ten dogs competed in the Bala trial, and the event drew some 300 spectators.
In other parts of the United Kingdom more trials followed fast: Scotland 1874 and England 1876 (Northumberland). The first English trial winner was Walter Telfer, brother of Adam Telfer, who was the breeder of Old Hemp. In 1915, James Reid, who was then Secretary of the International Sheepdog Society in Great Britain, first called these dogs “Border Collies.”