Border Collie Dogs
Intelligent Dogs For Active Families!

Border Collie dogs were developed in the border lands between England and Scotland. They are classified by the kennel club in the herding dog category and were originally bred for their working attributes. They are especially known for their high intelligence.

Collie type herding dogs have worked the border region for hundreds of years - hence the reference to this in their name. However, collie is also the welsh word for useful and without doubt this adjective applies to the breed!

The Border closely resembles the early herding dogs and his sheep herding instincts are very strong having been inbred for over 200 years.

Ancestors of Border Collie are believed to be Reindeer Herders brought to Scotland by the Vikings and subsequently cross-bred with local sheepdogs.

The most notable of local sires was a dog named Old Hemp - famous for his great success in sheepdog trials.

Unlike other herding dog breeds, this dog uses a different primary technique for fetching the sheep. It is referred to as strong eye - in which he glares at the flock with an unblinking stare.

This unsettles the sheep enough to make them move as the dog directs. Sometimes, he does use nipping or barking to bring the more stubborn animals into line.

Because of their excellent response to training, Border Collie dogs do very well in Search and Rescue work.

They have also been featured in television commercials and movies. The highly successful movie "Babe" featured two borders named Rex and Fly. It's worth checking out!

Appearance and Grooming

Border collie illustration

Height: up to 21 inches
Weight: 30-45 pounds
Color Variations: Black and White, Black and Grey, Solid black, Tan and Tri-color

Border Collie dogs have two variations of their coat.

One consists of an outer coat that coarse, thick and straight and about three inches in length, while the other is sleek and shorter - about one inch in length.

Both variations are double coated with a soft undercoat providing warmth while the outer coat is protective and weather resistant.

Regular brushing of the coat with a bristle brush is the best way to remove loose hair and any debris picked up outside while at the same time keeping the coat free of mats and tangles.

During times of seasonal shedding the FURminator is a popular and efficient tool to use and as an added bonus, pets seem to enjoy the "furminating" process!

In addition, use a gentle cleaner for routine ear cleaning and keep nails trimmed using a dremel if your dog is nervous about nail clippers.

Finally, whether you take your pet for professional services or not, a set of scissors including a steel comb is ideal to have around for touch-ups. The hair on the paws benefits from regular clipping as this area naturally picks up the most dirt. A comb is useful overall and for keeping the leg hair tidy.

Characteristics of Border Collie Dogs

This breed is one that loves to please, is alert, highly intelligence, faithful, and devoted to his master.

They are very trainable in experienced hands, but because this dog has an excellent retentive mind, the training signals must be consistently precise, or confusion will result.

The Border needs a lot of interaction with his family and will not do well if left alone for extended periods of time. A bored BC will look for ways to engage his mind and body - and what he gets up to will not usually result in earning him a merit badge!

Owners report that Borders are great escape artists and also have a penchant for chewing everything - especially in their early years.

The ideal owner should be able to provide strong leadership and knowledgeable dog obedience training without harshness. Early socialization to people and everyday situations is strongly recommended.

Activity Level

The Border Collie has incredible stamina coupled with an almost insatiable need for mental and physical activities.

He needs extensive exercise on a daily basis - up to two hours. This could include vigorous walks and frequent play sessions such as retrieving balls or frisbees.

In addition, running off leash in a safe well-secured open area, will be greatly enjoyed.

Training your Border for agility, herding trials, obedience, or flyball type sports is the perfect way to utilize his need for action and have a contented dog.

Border Fun

bob a lot dog treat toy

Bob-A-Lot Interactive Treat Toy

Ideal Living Space

The sheepdogs do best in a home with considerable property where they can run freely and interact with family in various activities.

Don't leave them outside for long periods of time unless you like trouble!

The Border With Children?

Contrary to some opinions, I do not believe this is the best breed for children - particularly young children.

The majority of Borders have very strong herding instincts that cannot be trained out of them.

Play situations can arise where a Border may act on his natural instincts to round up a child, and this could be frightening.

I definitely think they do best with families that are very outdoor oriented and can include the dog in their activities.

Companion For Seniors?

Border Collie sheepdogs are not recommended for inactive senior owners or sedentary families due to the substantial amount of exercise they require and its importance.

What Others Say About Borders

Read these stories about Border Collies from our visitors,
then add your story!!

Further Reading

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  2. AKC Breeds
  3. Herding Breeds
  4. Border Collie

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