Border Collie Breed - Dog & Puppy Information & Characteristics

Border Collies are considered to be one of the smartest dog breeds and have been often referred to as workaholics. These pawfect companions are extremely active and love to play. If dogs had an extracurricular column on their resume, Border Collies would quickly be given the first preference. From simple tasks like running to complex activities like search-and-rescuing, these intelligent doggos will make for the most helpful canine support.

Border Collies were originally herding dogs that were bred to herd livestock. These energetic and athletic dogs need a lot of physical activity and mental stimulation. Border Collies love to cuddle once they are worn out and tired.  If you are someone who loves physical activity and exploring the outdoors, this furry breed will be your best friend.

Key specifications of the Border Collie dog breed

If you are looking to bring a Border Collie dog home, here are some things that you must keep in mind:

 Weight  12 to 20 kg 
 Height  18 to 22 inches 
 Lifespan  12 to 15 years 
 Coat  Double coats 

Physical appearance of Border Collies

Border Collies are athletic, medium-sized dogs with two fur coats. Both the rough coat and the smooth coat come in a variety of colors such as:

  • Blue 
  • Blue merle 
  • Black 
  • Red 
  • Red merle 
  • Sable 
  • White & black 
  • White & blue merle
  • White & red
  • Lilac
  • Gold 
  • Brindle
  • White & blue 
  • White & red merle

Looking to find out the most unique and rare coat color of Border Collies? While Border Collies usually have coats with two colors, finding one with a pure white coat is considered extremely rare!

If you are considering bringing a Border Collie home, here are a few signs that will help you identify a purebred Border Collie:

  • White markings on feet, chest, and legs
  • Slightly longer than it is tall
  • Low-set tail with a splash of white at the tip
  • A blaze marking that runs up the face

Border Collie personality traits

Border Collies are very fond of their routine and their human companion. These intelligent pups never like to be deterred from their routine and are loyal to their caregiver. Since these dogs love to stay active, they are at their happiest when they’re given a task. Which means, it is better to interact with them and stay involved. Otherwise, you will find them digging holes, chewing furniture, or doing anything that will keep them busy. 

In some cases, Border Collies can get confused with their role in a household since they were bred to be herding dogs. Especially when a family has kids or toddlers. They love being obedient but can also get overwhelmed in a busy household where they cannot predict their next activity’s occurrence. All they need is some guidance, a proper routine, and loads of love to become your family’s beloved pet! For solo caregivers, this breed is perfect. 

Border Collie dogs are extremely loyal to their family and can sometimes get very aggressive with strangers. These incidents can easily be avoided by training Border Collies from a young age! Start training your Border Collie early so you do not have to deal with sudden bursts of aggression.

Do Border Collies need training?

Training Border Collies from a young age is very important. As mentioned above, these dogs can get very territorial without training and may not welcome strangers or other dogs. This can easily be prevented through training. 

Border Collies will give you all their attention during training sessions because they love physical training and pleasing their caregivers. You will be met with excitement and undivided attention. Start with basic commands such as “sit” or “stay”. However, they tend to get distracted easily and to avoid this, keep switching terms. For example, use “run” for “go” and so on. Don’t worry, they are very intelligent and learn quickly. Of course, like any other dog, reward them with plenty of treats, cuddles, and kisses! If you find yourself struggling with training, you can also appoint a certificated dog trainer for your pup. 

Once they learn basic commands, you can think of opting for agility training. Since these dogs are so fond of physical activities, agility training will be as good as college for Border Collies!

How to care for a Border Collie?

No matter how intelligent Border Collie dogs are, they will need human help. The average Border Collie size is up to 22 inches and 20 kg which makes it a little easy for us humans to train them. These mid-sized dogs will need a routine and if you have any outdoor trips, they will be more than happy to accompany you. Here are a few steps that you can take to care for your Border Collie dog:

  • Health issues

Border Collies are one of the few breeds that are blessed with strong immune systems, strong bodies, and resistance to dog diseases. However, that does not mean that they may never fall sick. The Border Collie dog breed commonly suffers from health issues such as hip dysplasia, dental problems, epilepsy, heart disorders, hormonal imbalances, progressive retinal atrophy, Collie eye anomaly, and hearing issues.

  • Grooming

It does not matter if your Border Collie’s coat is smooth or rough, it will shed all year round. Border Collies shed the most during fall and spring, which calls for frequent vacuum sessions. Apart from this, they do not need any special attention. Border Collies do not need to bathe very often, you can give them a nice bath once they get very messy or dirty from playing outside. Keep brushing their fur so you can get rid of any stuck dust or mud. This activity will also be more of a bonding experience. 

Consult a vet for products to use for your Border Collie since they have sensitive skin prone to developing itchiness and dryness easily. Keep cleaning their ears and make sure to cut their nails as and when necessary.

  • Physical activity

If you have not guessed it already, Border Collies absolutely love exercising. In fact, they were born to work! Quite literally, keeping their duty as herd dogs in mind. If you are not in a setting where your Border Collie can keep itself busy with physical work, consider enrolling them for agility training. You can also set up an activity course in your backyard for your doggo to enjoy!

  • Nutritional requirements

There’s no set meal that you can give your Border Collie. It all depends on your Border Collie’s height, weight, age, and activity levels. The best thing to do is to consult a vet and find out what nutrients your dog needs. Border Collies are prone to food allergies and this is why consulting a vet is your best option.

A brief history of Border Collies

Of UK origin, the Border Collie dog breed comes from the border between Scotland and England. Border Collies became an identifiable breed in the mid-19th Century when Queen Victoria raised several of them. Despite this fact, it was only in the year 1995 that the American Kennel Club recognized the Border Collie breed. At present, this dog breed is regarded as one of the best when it comes to showmanship, companionship, and loyalty.

FAQs on Border Collie dog breed

Border Collies are generally very energetic and love playing with other pets and children provided they are appropriately introduced.

A Border Collie is an excellent choice for a family dog. They are extremely loyal and protective of their chosen family.

Border Collies do not do so well when left alone at home. They require attention and almost constant activity. They can also get aggressive if they cannot predict their next activity session. It is better to leave them at home under supervision.

Since the grooming needs of the Border Collie breed are extremely basic, it is easy to groom them. Make sure to brush them, bathe them when they get messy, clear their ears, and cut their nails!

Yes, Border Collie dogs tend bark as they are a barking breed. However, you can train it to ensure it doesn’t bark a lot.

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