The Border Collie is an amazing dog breed that can do it all, but is equally demanding of its owners. If there was one word to describe a Border Collie, it would be “overachiever.” These energetic, loyal, and incredibly intelligent dogs are the world’s premiere herding breed.
They’re athletic, muscular, and balanced dogs who move with sure-footed grace in everything they do. Border Collies love to work, and love to play once the work is done. But they don’t just love being active, they also have an intense love for their owners and family members.
TemperamentBorder Collies are bred to work out on the field from day until night. They love having a routine and love having tasks to do. They become closely bonded to their handlers, and will be at their happiest when they’re being directed to work. Like many other herding dogs, Border Collies tend to herd almost anything – which may be a concern for households with small animals or children. They appreciate a regular, predictable schedule, and may feel stressed out in homes that are unpredictable or chaotic. Border Collies like things to be neat, orderly, and tidy. Despite this, Border Collies can be a wonderful family pet. They enjoy being part of the family, so long as they know their place in the hierarchy. They need a lot of attention and consistent rules. Even solo pet parents can do well with the Border Collie, so long as they have the time to keep up with the breed’s needs. They’re fiercely loyal to and protective of their family, and as a result some Border Collies may be wary of strangers or other dogs. A well-socialized and properly exercised Border Collie is affectionate, gentle, and playful.
The Ultimate Guide to Border Collie
The origins of the Border Collie go back thousands of years. It is likely that dogs similar to Border Collies have been working loyally beside farmers as early as the first century B.C. Their name comes from the old Gaelic term “collie”, which was used to describe anything useful. Because they hail from the border between Scotland and England, they came to be known as Border Collies. They helped shepherds manage vast flocks of sheep, and were a crucial part of daily farm life. As their extraordinary herding skills became famous, Border Collies were eventually exported from Great Britain to farms and ranches worldwide. The Border Collies that ended up in America soon drew the attention of trainers for obedience and agility competitions. Today, these dogs are not just working dogs, but also star athletes in these competitions.
Key Characteristics of Border Collie
Border Collies are bred to work out on the field from day until night. They love having a routine and love having tasks to do. They become closely bonded to their handlers, and will be at their happiest when they’re being directed to work.
Like many other herding dogs, Border Collies tend to herd almost anything – which may be a concern for households with small animals or children. They appreciate a regular, predictable schedule, and may feel stressed out in homes that are unpredictable or chaotic. Border Collies like things to be neat, orderly, and tidy.
Despite this, Border Collies can be a wonderful family pet. They enjoy being part of the family, so long as they know their place in the hierarchy. They need a lot of attention and consistent rules. Even solo pet parents can do well with the Border Collie, so long as they have the time to keep up with the breed’s needs.
They’re fiercely loyal to and protective of their family, and as a result some Border Collies may be wary of strangers or other dogs. A well-socialized and properly exercised Border Collie is affectionate, gentle, and playful.
Because the Border Collie had to accompany flocks of sheep over wide swathes of land, they had to have incredible stamina. Covering 50 miles or more in a day would be normal for herding dogs, and most of the terrain would be hilly or rocky. Border Collies had to be athletic, agile, and have an endless well of energy.
Even Border Collies kept as pets will have this boundless energy. Most Border Collies will need at least an hour and a half to two hours of exercise per day. Many Border Collies may even need more. For Border Collies who are working on a farm or ranch, their daily duties will provide them with the exercise they require.
If you aren’t having your Border Collie work, you can try to tire them out with agility or obedience training. They crave mental stimulation almost as much as physical activity, so dog sports that combine the two are a great fit for the Border Collie.
Border Collies are smart enough to come up with their own games when they get bored, and these games may have unwanted consequences for your household. Exercise is one of the keys to a happy dog, so make sure that you are willing and able to put in the effort if you’re thinking about getting a Border Collie pup.
|Border Collie Grooming||
The Border Collie is meant to be outdoors, rain or shine. They have a dense, weather-resistant double coat of fur. There are actually two coat types for Border Collies, a rough and a smooth coat.
The rough-coated Border Collie will have medium-length hair, with some feathering around the legs, chest, and belly. The smooth-coated Border Collie will have short hair all over the body, with little feathering.
Both coat types of Border Collie will shed a moderate amount. However, they don’t need frequent grooming as they are well-protected from the elements by their double coat. A weekly brushing is usually enough for both types of Border Collie.
Baths should not be needed too often, unless your Border Collie has gotten dirty from outdoor activities. It’s a good idea to keep a towel by the door to wipe off your Border Collie’s coat before they’re let inside the house.
Daily tooth brushing is a good idea for all dog breeds, and the Border Collie is no exception. They’re not especially prone to tooth and gum disease, but prevention is still better than a cure. Nail trimming can be done once a month if your Border Collie does not wear down their nails naturally.
|Border Collie Training||
Border Collies are exceptionally good at training, due to their intellect, as well as their eagerness to learn and please their owners. Border Collies find work fun, and they love being involved with their owners.
Basic commands should be easy for most Border Collies to grasp, and they can successfully be trained to perform complex tasks and commands. However, their high intelligence also means that they get bored with repetitive training, so they’ll need variety to keep them interested.
They love praise and rewards, so positive reinforcement is the best way to get them to follow commands. Short, focused training sessions multiple times a day will yield the best results, as opposed to one longer training session. Patience and consistency will be the keys to training your Border Collie.
|Border Collie Lifespan and Health Issues||
Border Collies are generally healthy and have an average lifespan for dogs of their size, with a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years. Border Collies may be prone to:
|Border Collie Size and Space Requirements||
Border Collies are a medium-sized breed, and aren’t overly muscular or powerful. They are bred for agility, endurance, and speed. Male Border Collies will stand between 19 to 22 inches at the shoulder, while females will be 18 to 20 inches tall. They can weigh between 30 and 50 pounds when fully grown.
Since they were bred to be sheep herders, they have a special affinity for farms or rural households. However, they will happily adapt to suburban homes, so long as they have sufficient outdoor space to run around and play.
Because Border Collies require a significant amount of interaction with their human family, they will often need to spend most of their time indoors with their owner.
- Border Collies will try to herd anything that moves, and will require socialization and training to counteract this impulse.
- Border Collies are adept at escaping from locked areas.
- Border Collies can be very vocal if they get bored.
How can I take good care of my Border Collie or Puppy?
Border Collies have a strong instinct to perform herding actions and their high intelligence can get them into all sorts of hijinks. It is important to socialize your Border Collie puppy as soon as possible so that they grow up to be well-behaved and easygoing. The period between 8 and 12 weeks of age is the proper time to start socialization work, as this is when the dog is most receptive to new experiences.
Border Collies are high-energy working dogs, so it’s important to get them high-quality, premium dog food. Since Border Collies are prone to allergies, it’s good to give them grain-free dog food right from the start. If your dog does develop allergies, their diet may be one of the causes. Consult your veterinarian for more specific advice regarding your dog’s nutrition.
Upon taking home your Border Collie puppy, you should contact your veterinarian to get a vaccination schedule. Vaccination schedules will vary depending on the prevalence of common transmissible dog diseases in your area. Follow this schedule to the best of your ability so that your dog is protected.
Most Asked Border Collie Questions
+How Much do Border Collie Puppies Cost
Most Border Collie puppies for sale from reputable breeders will cost between $600 and $1500. Ethical breeders want the best for the mother and the puppies, so multiple health and genetic tests will be conducted before any puppy is sold to new owners. Getting your Border Collie puppy from ethical breeders will help give your pup the best start in life and prevent future behavioral or health issues.