AKC Dog Breeds: Border Collie

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Herding Group
Height: 18-22 inches   Weight: 27-45  pounds  Color:  Black/White, Chocolate/White, Red/White

The Border Collie was developed on the borders of England and Scotland in the UK, hence its name. Bred for herding, this dog became hugely popular because of its high intelligence and high level of stamina - in fact, even today this breed is a favorite when it comes to working dogs on farms etc. The Border Collie was registered with the AKC in 1995. The workaholic of the dog world, the Border Collie is the world’s premier sheep herder, prized for its intelligence, extraordinary instinct and working ability. Medium-sized and athletic, the breed controls stock with stalking movement and an intense gaze known as "eye." It is said that the Border Collie has an eye that can hypnotize cattle. He crouches down and mesmerizes the animals with its intense stare. Today the Border Collie is a popular farm worker, family companion, and talented show dog.

General Appearance
The Border Collie is a medium sized bundle of energy, looking rather like a lightly built Australian Shepherd without a bob-tail. The body is slightly longer than the height at the withers. The skull is fairly wide with a distinct stop. The muzzle tapers to the black nose. The ears are usually half-perked. The oval eyes are generally dark brown, except in merles where one or more eyes may be blue. The teeth should meet in a scissors bite. The tail reaches at least to the hock and is sometimes raised when the dog is excited, but is never carried over the back. The Border Collie comes in two coat varieties: rough or smooth. Both varieties are double coat and weather resistant and are close fitting and thick. The outer coat is either wavy or straight and coarse in texture. The under coat is dense, short, and soft. The rough coat variety has fur of medium length.

Highly intelligent and trainable, the Border Collie is a very agile dog with plenty of stamina and determination. This is a dog that is eager to please and very quick to learn, which makes him a pleasure to train. He is one of the most trainable of all breeds. This is a well balanced dog with a good temperament and a good nature. The Border Collie is loyal and dedicated, and is both faithful and affectionate to his family. The Border Collie may get on okay with older, more considerate children, but is probably not the best choice for those looking for a companion for their child or for those with smaller children. These dogs can be wary around strangers, but can get on okay with other pets. Sponges for affection and hogs of the lime light, these dogs will watch you intently always winding up underfoot. People-oriented, the Border needs to receive very good socialization as a pup. Older Borders are rather stand offish with people they don't know, and can be aggressive with other dogs.

The Border Collie is a medium shedder, and sheds more heavily on a seasonal basis. However, the grooming requirements for the Border Collie are not demanding, and occasional brushing of the coat will remove the dead hair and keep it looking in good condition. You should also check and clean the ears on a regular basis to reduce the risk of ear infections and to keep them clean.

Health Problems and Life Expectancy
The life expectancy of the Border Collie is around 13-15 years. There are a number of health issues and problems that are linked to this breed, and this includes deafness, seizures, allergies, epilepsy, cataracts, OCD, PRA, and HD.

Activity Level
Physical exercise alone is not sufficient for this very intelligent and highly energetic dog. Border Collie's want to work and must do so with body and mind as one, carrying out different tasks. Fast and agile, these lively little dogs have boundless energy and thrive on hard work and play. They should also be taken on a long, brisk daily walk. Border Collie's are a delight to see streaking after a ball or bringing straying sheep back to the fold. Border's are the Type A personalities of the canine world, always wanting to work no matter what the job is, dogs sports or herding. They must have plenty of exercise, no sitting around in a yard or the house for this breed. A workaholic to the core, the Border Collie can become neurotic, destructive and obsessive if it gets bored. Boredom may manifest itself in the form of herding just about any thing that moves, including bugs, children, cats and brooms.


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Border Collie profile on Dog Encyclopedia
Border Collie in Dog Encyclopedia