Border Collie

800px-France_Gard_L'Espérou_Fête_de_la_transhumance_2009_1224Many people think of the Border Collie as the most intelligent dog breed.  Others tag him as a trouble maker.  The Border Collie can surprisingly be both!  Yes, the Border Collie is very smart and active.  Do you want a buddy who wants to play Frisbee all day?  A dog to compete in dog agility?  The Border Collie might just be the dog for you!  However, if you are unwilling to exercise your dog every day and train him for mental exercise, this breed is definitely not for you.  If not given an outlet for this breed’s seemingly endless intelligence, the Border Collie will become a trouble maker through no fault of his own.

The Border Collie as we know and love it today was developed in the British Isles.  However, this dog does have Scottish roots as the Scottish would call their herding dogs “collies”.

800px-Chiot_border_collie_de_l'élevage_de_GrimmauprèsThe Border Collie males stand about 19-22 inches and the females 18-21 inches, approximately.  A healthy male should weigh about 30-45 pounds, and the female about 27-42 pounds.  The Border Collie has a double coat, which can be either smooth or rough.  These dogs do shed, so keep a vacuum handy.

A Border Collie will need to be brushed every day to keep tangles and mats away.  However, make sure you don’t just brush the top of this dog’s hair.  Since this dog has a double coat, the hair underneath has to be brushed also.  If you don’t, the undercoat will become a terrible mess and eventually have to be shaved.

539px-Border_collie_blue_merle_879A Border Collie might not be the best choice for you if you have small children.  Due to their strong herding instinct, these Collies will herd just about anything.  Border Collies will nip at peoples’ heels in an attempt to herd them, and this could be dangerous if you have young children.  If you still want a Border Collie, adopt an adult from a shelter.  Adult dogs make great pets as they have already outgrown most puppy habits.

This dog requires more than a quick walk around the block every day.  A few runs around the block would be more like it!  If you don’t have much time to exercise a dog, please don’t get a Border Collie.  Without proper exercise, this dog is miserable.  Also, the Border Collie needs a lot of mental stimulation.  Training your Collie every day will help as well as providing him with puzzle games and playtime.  A good idea might be to enroll in a dog sport.  Remember, without proper exercise or mental stimulation, your Border Collie will get into more trouble than you can handle.

The Border Collie still does wonderful at herding livestock.  However, this dog doesn’t have to be herding to be a happy dog.  Your dog just wants to be with you, and this Collie was bred to love working with his owner.  The Border Collie also excels at dog agility, dog obedience, flyball, canine freestyle, and tracking.  This dog loves to work!

The Border Collie lives for about 12-13 years.  If you exercise your dog and feed him healthyA_Red_Border_Collie meals, he could easily live happily into his teens.

The most common colors for this Collie to come in is black and white.  However, you might be surprised to discover that these dogs also come in red, brown, liver, blue, and practically any other color you can think of!

Border Collies are very smart, and some can recognize vast amounts of words.  A Border Collie named Chaser, for instance, can identify 1,022 different toys!  Chaser also demonstrates how she can learn a certain behavior by watching something new being done and then imitating.  With positive training methods dogs can learn amazing tricks.  Read the Tricks Page to get you and your dog started on an exciting training adventure of your own.

Border Collies are loved for their great intelligence and attitude towards work.  These dogs turn something hard and tricky (like herding an unruly flock of sheep) into something fun.  They enjoy work and simply adore working beside their human, whether it be learning tricks or competing in a dog sport.

Good dog!Agility_-_Sprung_Border_Collie_1