The Border Collie is a British herding dog. This breed was created by crossing the Harlequin, the Bearded Collie, the Smithfield and the Bob-tailed Shepherd. This is a medium sized dog that doesn’t get much bigger than 21 inches. Its weight ranges between 30 and 44 pounds. The Border Collie has a long fluffy coat that is predominantly black with white marking on the muzzle, neck, chest, and underbelly.
Border Collie Care
To care for this breed you will need to brush their coat on a daily basis. Bathing should also be done on a semi-regular basis or as needed. Because of the thickness of their coat it is important to check their coat regularly for ticks and other parasites. The herding nature and high prey drive of this dog breed makes it imperative to keep it active and entertained. Some activities that this dog likes include agility competitions, herding, running, and chasing. Some of the health problems that you will want to watch out for include: joint problems, progressive retinal atrophy, and ceriod lipofuscinosis.
Easily one of most intelligent dog breeds, Border Collies are the ultimate working dogs with extraordinary instincts. Like most working breeds, Border Collies need to have jobs. They seek purpose in life by doing work. Workless Border Collies will always try to find something to stimulate their bodies and minds and if you don’t give them something productive, that might mean that they become rowdy and destructive.
Border Collies are very active dogs and they can work tirelessly. Apartment living is not suitable for them because they need wide spaces to run and chase. If you have them as pets and you leave in an urban location, you must give them their daily dose of physical and mental stimulation through training, play, and exercise like hanging out in parks playing fetch and Frisbee.
Border Collies have strong herding instincts. They are supreme sheep herders. This herding instinct is actually a watered-down predatory instinct present in all canines. Wild canines, such as wolves, have these same instincts only the results are fatal because they are herding in order to kill and eat their prey in the end.
When Border Collies were developed, the killing part of the instinct was “bred out”. But as owners, you must respect the origins of this trait. Old instincts may unfortunately come out and your Border Collie may threaten your livestock. This is why training and socialization is important to Border Collies.
This herding instinct, if too strong, may become a threat to households with little children. Sadly, the kids will only be perceived by Border Collies as sheep. There is a risk that the dogs may act aggressively towards little kids. The only way to prevent this is to socialize them early with children and train the dogs to learn that the children are more dominant than them.
Training a Border Collie
Border Collies tend to be very attached to their masters. They will try to please their masters as long as they see their masters as the pack leader. It is very important to be firm and consistent with Border Collies. Positive reinforcement has been proven to be very effective. Train them with praise and restrain from shouting because they are quite sensitive.
Border Collies may go through a phase where they constantly challenge their master’s authority. During this phase, they may become stubborn and too willful, much like an adolescent human. Just stay consistent and protect your position as the pack leader.
They just love to chase. That is why it is always imperative to tell children not to run because Border Collies might “herd” them. Border Collies tend to nip their owners to lead them. Some may consider this behavior aggressive but actually, it is just an instinct telling them to herd the running animals. Their nipping intentions are not to harm but to lead to a certain direction.
Border Collies are amazing escape artists. They will always find resourceful ways to get out of the fenced yard. With their innate strength and agility, they are able to jump over barriers with relative ease.
Overall, Border Collies are perfect for people on farms especially those with livestock. If you train appropriately, they will be a huge help. Their companionship is worthwhile and they will do anything just to serve their masters.