Border Collie

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Species group:

The basics:
The Border Collie is highly regarded as one of the world's most intelligent dogs. Developed to herd sheep in the highland areas on the border between Scotland and England, this breed needed to be cooperative, intelligent, agile, and hardy. As a result, this dog thrives on working hard for hours on end.

Unfortunately, the same traits that make for a superior working dog can make this breed impractical for the busy working family. If you're gone long hours at work, if you'd like to just come home and put your feet up on the sofa after a long day, you may soon bore this energetic breed out of its skull. And a bored, highly intelligent Border Collie can figure out all kinds of ways to get out and cause trouble.

Border Collie Appearance / health:
The Border Collie resembles a lightly built Australian Shepherd without a bob-tail. The body is slightly longer than it is high. The skull is wide and has a distinct stop. The muzzle tapers down to a black nose. The ears are half-erect, and the oval eyes are generally dark brown, except in merles where one or more eyes may be blue. The teeth meet in a scissor bite. The tail reaches to the hock; it is sometimes raised, but is never carried over the back.

Border Collies need regular combing and brushing to maintain their coat in good condition. They are bathed or dry shampooed only when necessary. The ears and coat may need to be checked regularly for ticks. Extra care may be needed when the soft, dense undercoat is shedding. Rough-coated dogs develop thick undercoats in winter, which require combing out in summer. Teeth need cleaning, and toenails clipping.

Border Collies require a good amount of exercise. They require both mental and physical stimulation in order to be happy.

Border Collies are generally hardy. However, individuals may suffer from hip dysplasia (deformation of hip joints leading to lameness), progressive retinal atrophy (degeneration of retina causing visual impairment), and an eye disease common to Collies known as collie eye anomaly. Border Collies are also allergic to fleas. Specimens may also be prone to epilepsy and deafness. Border Collies may also be prone to a disease known as neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis, a type of lysosomal storage disorder that results in accumulation of lysosomal storage bodies in the cells of many tissues of the affected animal. This leads to progressive neurodegeneration (degeneration of brain and eye cells), resulting in severe neurological impairment and an early death.

Border Collie Behavior / temperament:
The Border Collie is an intelligent and responsive breed. They have energy and stamina, and require lots of attention, extensive daily exercises, and are ideal for those who wish to compete in dog sporting events. The Border Collie has extraordinary instinct and reasoning abilities. They excel at working without commands and out of sight of the master.
This breed needs early socialization to prevent shyness. Border Collies respond to training methods that use praise.

Because of the herding instinct, some Border Collies may feel a compulsive need to escape and chase cars or to snap at small "herdable" beings like your children.

They are mostly quiet dogs. Barking is not very common in Border Collies; they usually bark only when they are bored or feel neglected.

Is a Border Collie right for you?

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What owners are saying about Border Collie health

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What owners are saying about Border Collie behavior and training

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The Brightest Border Collie

When I married my husband, I became the step-mom to one of the smartest dogs I have ever known. Our Border Collie is an amazingly quick, intelligent, and helpful dog. She is a very active dog, and if she doesn't have a job to do, she can become destructive. We live on a far...

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