Adopting A Border Collie

The Border Collie is a first rate, everyday working dog, that is well known for herding cattle and rounding up sheep.  Many regard this dog as the most intelligent of all the breeds.  He is brilliant in sheepdog trials and the persistent winner of obedience competitions.  He was originally bred for brains, speed, and stamina.  Nowadays, he makes an excellent companion as well as a great helper and is one of the most trainable dogs. The Border Collie are outstanding guide dogs for the blind.  He is active, alert, affectionate with his owners, and capable of excelling at obedience and agility work.  His level of intelligence can create a stubborn mind-set and therefore would require consistent and patient training.  He is a sensitive breed and is not recommended for families with young children as it may snap if teased or irritated.  However, he can be good with children if he was raised with them from puppy hood.  Socialization is essential as soon as possible to help minimize his timidity around strangers. He can become wrapped up on a certain activity or a toy and will fetch until he drops.  The Border Collie can be susceptible to hip dysplasia, eye problems, and hearing problems.

Size: The Border Collie stands 17-21in at the shoulder and weighs between 38 and 52lb.

History and origin: This breed was developed in England and Scotland during the 19th century.  In fact, the name Border refers to the English-Scottish border.  This breed was a result of mixing bloodlines of several working collies at that time.  He is an exceptional herder and will literally walk across the backs of the sheep in his herd in order to most quickly cross to the other side.  He is able to control the sheep using his fixed stare, which is this dog’s trademark.  Because of this skill, this breed was exported to different countries where sheep are farmed.  It was not until July 1976 that a standard for the breed was approved by the British Kennel Club.

Feeding: Recommended feeding for the Border Collie is about 1- 1 ½ cans (13.3oz size) of a high-quality meaty product with added biscuit in equal amount or 3 cupfuls of a complete dry food.

Exercise: This working dog requires plenty of outdoor exercise, but do not let him off the leash unless he has learned the “Come” command perfectly.  If allowed to run loose, he has the tendency to chase bikes, cars, or joggers.  The ideal place for him is a house with a well-fenced yard.  He enjoys fetching a ball or a Frisbee.

Grooming: The Border Collie has a medium-length shedding coat that needs regular brushing with a good pony dandy brush and comb.  Check the ears for signs of canker and check the ears and feet for foreign object.  Dead fur should be removed during grooming.