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Border Collie… Everything You Need to Know at a Glance!

The Border Collie is one of those dogs that probably doesn’t need that much of an introduction because Hollywood often uses these “types” of dogs as actors in both TV and Movies. And there are a few reasons why Hollywood often chooses to work with Border Collies. First, they’re pretty handsome. Second, they’re a lot of fun to have around. And third, they’re SMART!

It is so bright that it is almost frightening!

The Border Collie Dog Breed is a brilliant, perhaps the most intelligent dog breed. It’s almost like he can read his owner’s mind and knows exactly what they think.

But is he the “right” dog for you?

That’s tough to answer because while the Border Collie is a great dog breed to own because these dogs are SO bright and were specifically trained to help herd small to medium-sized animals, this can become a problem in some households.

This is why we wanted to take a moment and discuss what it might be like to own a Border Collie so that you might better understand that this dog breed is right for you. The last thing we want to see happen is for you to purchase a Border Collie puppy only to learn six months from now that your little “pup” isn’t what you were hoping for! So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!

Border Collie Dog Breed Fast Facts

Country of Origin: United Kingdom

Original Purpose:  Herding Dog, Companion Dog, Watch Dog

Height:  18 to 22 inches tall

Weight:  30 to 45 pounds

Life Span: 12 to 16 years

Dog Breed Classification:  Herding

Origins of the Border Collie

Back in the early 1800s, throughout Great Britain, farmers used sheepdogs to help them raise all sorts of livestock. During this time, different “types” of sheepdogs were used to get the job done, each with its own “style” of controlling the herd. Some dogs would “fetch” the pack by circling it and slowly “pushing” the flock back to the farmer. These dogs often bark and “nip” at the club to control the group.

And while this…

The approach was practical; one dog named “Hemp” stood out from the crowd. And instead of barking and nipping, this dog just gave the herd a “look” or “stare” that told “his” flock, you better do what I want you to do or else! As you can imagine, this impressed the local folks and effectively created a new breed right there and then. This is why Hemp is generally considered the father of the Border Collie.

Ironically, despite the breed’s popularity throughout the United States, the Border Collie wasn’t “officially” recognized by the American Kellen Club (AKC) until 1995, but that didn’t keep folks in the US from realizing how great the breed was before then, which is probably why the American Border Collie Association has so many members!

Physical Characteristics

Border Collie is a mid-sized dog, usually measuring up to 22 inches in height at shoulder level and weighing up to 45 pounds. And while most of the Collies you’ll see around you will have a black and white double coat, Border Collies can come in various color combinations such as merle, bi-color, and tri-color.

Now, there are two types of Border Collies that you should know about. One is a working collie, and the other is a show dog. Working Collies are working dogs chosen for their capacity for hard work. They are similar to the Shetland Sheepdog breed.

The show dogs…

They are more diminutive in size and have heavy coats. Both “types” will be equally bright, depending on which “type” you like. Working dogs will typically want and require more exercise and will be a bit more of a handful to control, while “show dogs” might be a bit more “relaxed” but will require more attention to their grooming.

Border Collie Grooming

Grooming the Border Collie should not take much of your time. Just brush his double coat twice weekly to remove the dead hair and trim his nails when needed. However, if your “show” Collie has thick hair, you’ll probably want to increase his grooming to three or four times weekly. Also, ensure his ears are clean and give him a good bath every weekend or when you see him covered in dirt.

Personality and Temperament

While we’ve already talked about it, it’s worth repeating that Border Collies are smart dogs. Intelligent dogs will be active and energetic, always happy, loyal, and protective of their human family. They’re also good with kids and do well in obedience, flyball, and agility training. And since their job was to “watch” over the flock, Border Collies also make perfect watchdogs or guard dogs, and he is always alert. They also have powerful “instincts” and seem to be able to sense danger from a fair distance away.

That said…

It’s important to note that, like many other “herding dogs,” the Border Collie isn’t going to be immediately friendly to strangers. This is why you’ll want to ensure you introduce your collie to anyone you don’t want him to “suspect.” They’re also going to want to chase just about anything that moves. While early socialization can train your Border Collie to leave your kids and any other four-legged creatures you have in the home with you, this will be something you need to teach them.

The good news…

Is that because the Border Collie is bright, and they “crave” your affection? Training you will be a breeze! It’s also going to be a whole lot of fun! But the bad part about having a dog this smart is that you someone who isn’t going to put in the time to train him, and you’re not going to give your Border Collie plenty of opportunity to run and play; chances are, your Border Collie is going to be very unhappy. Unhappy Border Collies can be very destructive. Destructive to your furniture, shoes, toys…. Heck, just about anything that they can get their teeth on. So, you need to ask yourself, what kind of owner will you be?

Potential Health Concerns

The Border Collie is one of the healthiest dogs in the world, but even he can suffer from specific health problems, health problems such as:

And while chances are that you’re Border Collie will live a long and healthy life, we here at IndulgeYourPet always like to recommend that any new pet owner take a moment and do a bit of research on what it might cost to get a pet insurance policy on their new family member. This way, if your Border Collie does develop some “kind” of medical issue later on in life, you won’t be on the hook for the total cost of treatment.

Now, will a pet insurance policy be suitable for everyone?

No, probably not. But how will you know until you know what they will and won’t cover and how much it will cost you to be insured?

For more information, please see our  Best Pet Insurance Companies article.

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