The Border Collie is a well-balanced breed. It is a medium-sized dog, agile, hardy, elegant and alert in appearance. A hard muscular body resonates a true hard working dog with a lot of endurance. The height of the Border Collie ranges between 46 to 56 cm. Males are typically taller than females. Strong muscular body encases a medium to light but strong skeletal structure. The overall appearance of the Border Collie is that of an intelligent, alert and eager breed, ready to follow whatever the owner commands.
The head has a relatively flat skull that is moderate in width. The top of the skull is parallel with the top of the muzzle which tapers slightly to the nose. The oval shaped eyes come in all shades of brown and sometimes blue with pigmented eye rims. Medium-sized ears are carried erect and/or semi-erect, whereby the tips may fall either forward or outward to the side. The head is supported by a strong and muscular neck. The athletic body is level from the withers to the loins which is slightly arched. It has a low setting tail which is raised when excited. The front legs have slightly sloping pasterns while the muscular hind legs slope elegantly to the low set tail. Well-turned stifles and parallel or slightly turned in hocks complete the dog’s hindquarters profile.
The double coat of the Border Collie is close-fitting, dense, and weather resistant. The undercoat is soft and dense while the outer coat is either straight or course and wavy. The rough Border Collie has a medium length coat with featherings on the front legs, haunches, chest and underside while the smooth variety has a short coat over the entire body with the same slight feathering as the rough variety. Colours comes in a variety of combination – solid, bi-colour, tri-colour, merle and sable with random white patches on the body and head. Males weigh between 14 and 20 kg while females weigh from 12 to 19 kg.
All dog breeds have different levels of intellect. Some dog breeds; working dogs in particular, are very independent thinkers and have been evolved to be very intelligent. Typically, a highly intelligent dog does well in obedience training and other activities. A highly intelligent dog can be very demanding and do require lots of physical and mental stimulation. If you’re looking for a relatively laid-back dog, that doesn’t require lots of mental and physical stimulation, then you must fully understand the level of intelligence of your dog breed of choice.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, you must fully understand their intellect levels and their specific levels of energy. To keep your dog well-balanced and happy, their needs must be met and maintained.
All dog breeds have different needs when it comes to the level of exercise they require. For the high energy dogs; which are your typical working dogs, they have a lot of energy and require lots of daily exercise along with plenty of mental stimulation. A highly energetic dog breed would suit an individual or family that is equally as active and loves the outdoors. There are also breeds that have relatively low exercise needs, such as toy dog breeds. Although they require daily exercise and mental stimulation, they’re just as happy chilling at home with their loved ones. This type of dog breed would suit an individual or family that prefers the peace and quiet and relaxation.
Before deciding on your chosen dog breed, Mypetzilla recommends that you research the exercise needs and whether you’re well equipped before committing to buying or adopting a particular dog breed.
There are several dog breeds that are known and potentially predisposed to developing health related conditions. Sensible breeding can help prevent the onset of health related conditions and this should always be taken into condition when researching your dog breed of choice. Before committing to a dog, you should speak to the breeder about any health related conditions that may affect the dog you’re looking to buy or adopt. You can also request to see any test results from genetic testing.
There are many dog breeds that tolerate children really well and are not affected by the constant noise and need for play-time. However, there are some dog breeds that don’t do very well with children and can become frustrated and snappy. That being said, all children should be shown how to handle and care for a dog in their home and should always be supervised when playing. As much as a dog can become annoyed and snappy with a younger child, the child can also become less tolerant and misbehaved towards the dog.
Mypetzilla recommends that you always supervise play-time between your children and dog. Children need to respect the boundaries and feeding time for the dog and likewise for the child. We also strongly advise that play-time doesn’t get out of control and too rough which can cause injury to both child and dog.
There are lots of dog breeds that are well suited to living in an apartment. It’s worthwhile noting that you need to check that you’re allowed dogs in your building before committing to bringing one home. If you do decide to own a dog and are living in an apartment, then you must make sure that they have plenty of room to roam around and frequent walks outside to prevent them from becoming bored and depressed.
Mypetzilla recommends that you check as to whether you’re allowed dogs in your apartment building and to fully ensure your apartment is dog proof before committing fully to bringing a dog home.
All dog breeds shed to some extent, some more than others. With this, all potential dog owners should be aware of this, as it will be a matter of putting up with some hair or lots of hair being left around the house. Depending on the dog breed, there are certain times during the year where some dog breeds shed the most and this is typically around spring and autumn. However, there are some dog breeds that shed all year round.
If you’re very house-proud, they you may want to choose a dog breed that sheds very little. Mypetzilla strongly recommends that you fully research your dog breed of choice and their shedding levels before committing.
All dog breeds require different levels of grooming. Some dog breeds are easier to maintain than others and only require a weekly brush to help keep their coat in good condition. There are some dog breeds that require regular trips to the grooming parlour and this can come at a huge cost. Either way, all dog breeds require their coat and nails to be maintained and cared for.
Mypetzilla strongly advices that potential owners research the grooming needs and associated costs with their desired dog breed before fully committing.
Barking is a necessity for your dog to communicate. However, it can also be a nuisance to yourself and fellow neighbours if it’s not kept under control. If you live in an apartment, then you’re better off choosing a dog breed that doesn’t bark as much. If you live further out and far from civilisation, then it’s worthwhile looking into a dog breed that does bark and will bark to alert you of any other company on your property.
Mypetzilla advices that you research the behaviours of your dog breed of choice and whether this would work for you and your family. It’s worth noting that dogs can be trained to bark less and this will take a lot of effort and training from the owner.
Majority dog breeds form very close relationships with their owners and as a result can become very stressed when left alone for a period of time. If a dog is suffering with separation anxiety then they’re very likely to become destructive around the home as a way of dealing with their anxieties. Dog breeds that do form strong bonds with their owners are better accustomed to a household where one member of the family remains home, whilst the others are out, this is to help avoid further anxieties and destructive behaviours.
Mypetzilla recommends that all potential owners research their dog breed of choice on their bonding abilities and how well-adjusted they are to being left alone at home. It’s also worth noting that you should never leave your dog for longer than 4 hours alone at home.
There are certain dogs breeds that have very high intellect and therefore easier to train than other dog breeds. There is also a downside to this; as fast as they learn the new trick or command, they can easily pick up bad habits just as quick. Other dog breeds that don’t rank as high on the intellect scale require patience and plenty of reward treats from their owners during training.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, Mypetzilla advices you to fully research your dog breed of choice and their level of training needs.
All dog breeds have different energy levels. The working dog breed has one of the highest energy levels in comparison to the low-energy dog’s breeds such as the Toy dog breed group. To keep a dog truly happy, healthy and well-balanced, their energy levels must be met.
High-energy dog breeds need lots of exercise and mental stimulation. High energy dog breeds would suit an active family or person. Dog breeds that are considered as low-energy, love to spend the majority of their time relaxing and sleeping in their favourite, comfy spot. A low-energy dog breed would suit an individual that equally loves the quiet life and relaxing lifestyle. Of course, low-energy dogs still need their daily walks and mental stimulation, just not as much as a high-energy dog breed.
Mypetzilla recommends that potential owner research fully on the type of dog breed that would suit their existing lifestyle and to also take into consideration the dog breeds energy levels and exercise requirements.
Before you decide on what dog breed would be suitable for you and your family, you must consider whether they’re a friendly dog breed and if you already have other pets within the household. For homes that already have dogs and other domestic pets, then it’s wise to choose a dog breed that has a friendly personality and temperament.
There are some dog breeds that mix well with other dog breeds and there are others that don’t suit one another and this could potentially cause issues later on down the line.
Another important point to consider is whether the dog breed of choice is friendly towards people and children.
Mypetzilla recommends to research fully on the right dog breed for your family and to also consider their temperament and characteristics.
The Border Collie was originally known as the Scotch Sheepdog and is a descendant of the Scottish landrace collies found along the borders of Scotland and England, hence the name “Border”. The ancestries were originally used by the Vikings in reindeer herding. The name “collie” was used as a general term for the cattle droving cur dog in medieval Scotland which also means “useful” in the old Celtic language.
Many of the modern breeds we have today owe their lineage to a dog known as Old Hemp – a tri-colour Border Collie from West Woodburn, Northumberland owned by Adam Telfer. Born in 1893, Old Hemp’s father, Roy was a white and tan sheepdog with a good-natured temperament while Hemp’s mother, Meg, was a quiet and very strong-eyed black sheepdog. Hemp was a true working dog who herded sheep but unlike any other sheepdogs of the era. He was far more mild-mannered and worked more quietly that the rest, squatting down and hypnotizing the sheep with its powerful stare – a trait which the modern Border Collies of today inherited.
The Border Collie is a highly intelligent breed of dog. It has an amazing instinct, well aware of its surroundings and has an ability to work unsupervised. This extraordinary ability makes it the world’s best sheepdog. It makes for a good watch dog and guardian because it will bark and alert its owners around strangers or when it sees any danger. It is also highly protective of its family and highly adaptable to all types of weather conditions.
They are represented in various dog sports, outclassing competitors in agility skills, obedience competition, sheepdog trials and Frisbee contests.
Considered as probably the most intelligent among all domestic dogs, the Border Collie is an easy dog to train. It is known to listen to commands and obey without a lot of repetitions from the trainer. This breed can be receptive but early socialization as a puppy is the key to prevent bashfulness. A firm and confident pack leader is required to handle this dog because it has a tendency to challenge its owner’s authority because of its intelligence.
The smooth or rough double coat requires regular grooming to keep the hair healthy and the skin free from allergies. Trimming or stripping is not required for the Border Collie. It is a moderate shedder so routine brushing is advisable.
Border Collies can live between 10 and 14 years. The average lifespan being 12 years. Common health problems include:
The Border Collie is a very active breed and will need daily exercise to remain healthy. An hour of play in a large yard, a long walk or running alongside a bike is an ideal exercise. It is, however, not suited to an apartment life because it is an active breed. The best home for the Border Collie is a home with a large yard where it can frolic every day.
It is a caring, playful, energetic and protective breed which suits very well with children and other pets. First time dog owners will find the Border Collie a lovable dog to be with. With enough exercise, the Border Collie will get along well with other animals, although sometimes they may show dominance towards other dogs of the same sex, but a firm and confident pack leader can overcome this aggressive behaviour.