Where does the Border Collie come from?
This beautiful herding dog stems from the so-called landrace collies native to the British Isles. As its name indicates, this stunning breed originated in the borderlands between England and Scotland. The term “collie” is very old and comes from the Celtic term for “useful”. And useful they certainly are – to this day, Border Collies are invaluable helpers to the sheepherders of many countries all over the globe. But the breed only received its official name in the year 1915, when the term "border collie" was employed to distinguish these dogs from other Collie types, such as the Rough Collie or the Bearded Collie.
What is their temperament like?
Border Collies come with an immensely high working drive, a keen mind and extremely high energy levels. However, their friendliness towards people does not make these gentle canines good watch- or guard dogs. They are not usually aggressive to other dogs or animals, but their high prey drive can make them dangerous to smaller pets in the household. Also, if worked as farm dogs, they are said to be not safe around smaller animals such as rabbits, chickens or ducks. In general, Border Collies make superb family pets and amazing active companions for people who love the great outdoors: A Border Collie can easily keep up with an avid hiker for several hours.
How intelligent and trainable are Border Collies?
Not only are these extremely easy to train – they are also the undisputed most intelligent dog breed on the planet. Border Collies can learn hundreds of different voice commands, and one of them has even been found to distinguish an incredible one thousand different verbal clues. Also, these dogs are immensely agile athletes, which is why they are the star of the show in many different canine activities – such as agility, flyball, herding trials, conformation trials, advanced obedience work and even dock diving. They have gained quite a bit of popularity over the last few decades due to owners posting videos on YouTube that show their Border Collie performing all kinds of different tricks.
Are Border Collies healthy dogs?
In general, Border Collies are a fairly healthy breed, but there are a few genetic health problems they are prone to, mostly epilepsy and Collie eye anomaly. Other health concerns include deafness, especially in merle-coloured dogs with a high percentage of white in their coat. Less common diseases are for example diabetes mellitus, juvenile cataracts, hypothyroidism and osteochondritis. Border Collies usually have a lifespan of between 10 and 17 years.
The Border Collie’s Exercise and Grooming Needs
As Border Collies are serious working dogs, they need several hours of vigorous exercise on a daily basis. If you are an active person yourself, this extremely active breed could well be the perfect choice for you. And if you are not, getting a Border Collie can be a fantastic way to get into shape! These highly energetic dogs will enjoy exploring nature along with you. Because they are so easy to train, you can teach them to trot next to your bicycle or to accompany you on runs, camping trips and hikes.
Border Collies have beautiful, lush double-coats that are usually of medium length, but breed standards also allow smooth coats. Keeping them neat and clean requires less work than you might think – two or three brushes a week with a pin brush and a stainless steel comb should suffice to keep their coats from developing mats and tangles. If you want to make grooming even easier, spray your Border Collie with a canine detangling spray before brushing them.
Border Collies are absolutely amazing dogs – beautiful to look at and charming to live with. They are incredibly smart and excel in many different working- and companion roles. Always ready for some action, Border Collies are the perfect dogs for first-time owners.