For dog lovers, we are here with the characteristics of our next dog breed, Border Collie. This breed of dog got developed for gathering and controlling sheep in the hilly country border of England and Scotland. This breed of dog is most popularly known for intense eyes, and with these eyes, he controls the flock. This dog comes up with limited energy, working drive, and stamina. All these features make him a premier herding dog. This dog is used for herding on farms around the world.
This dog breed is highly trainable and intelligent, who even excel in many canine sports that include agility, flyball, obedience, and flying disc competitions. Look at some characteristics of this dog.
|Life span||13-16 years old|
|Height||Males: 48-56 cm
Females: 46-53 cm
|Weight||Males: 14-20 kg
Females: 12-19 kg
|Length of wool||long-haired|
|Color||Black, black and white, black and tan, brown and tan, marbled, brindle|
|Price||300 – 900 $|
The border collie dog is a highly sensitive dog that is responsive to the subtlest command. It can predict the desires of its owner in advance.
This is a workaholic dog that thrives on physical and mental stimulation. Border Collie has a positive way to direct its energy.
Border collie dog herds anything movable. Thus this dog can also become a problem if left open to move into neighbor houses. They need a securely fenced yard.
It is good to get these dogs well socialized to prevent shyness.
Border Collie’s do not roam around, but sometimes their intelligence and curiosity can let them escape.
A border collie dog is a great companion for a person of any age, for an alone owner, or a large family with several children. These dogs have an excellent mind, they perfectly understand their owner and can be trained in a wide variety of commands. These dogs love children very much, and in general, they love people.
Without the slightest fear, you can leave one or more children with a border collie dog, and be sure that the animal will not show the slightest hint of any aggression, and even protect and try to protect your child from careless actions. Border Collies are very devoted to their family, they see the meaning of their existence in making their owners happy and helping them in every way possible.
This is expressed literally in everything – no matter what functions are required from the dog, it will do everything in its power to meet the requirements. Of course, you should not expect too much from the animal – the owner must always understand the limits of his pet’s capabilities. Although do not hesitate, this breed will be able to surprise you, and more than once.
In the past, the Border Collie was widely used as a herding dog, and even now it is ubiquitous in the highlands of Scotland, the Alps, and other places, and therefore the shepherd’s instincts do exist.
In relations with other animals, this breed either remains neutral or tries to make friends. They are generally very friendly and open dogs, sociable and kind. This is not a guard for the protection of a private house, just because of its friendliness and openness. Although they can raise barks and create anxiety, it is not common for the Border Collie to attack a person. He treats strangers on the street neutrally, without any special emotions. If this is someone you know, the dog will most likely immediately try to make friends with him.
A border collie dog has a fairly high level of energy and needs daily walks, physical activity, and, which is highly desirable – exercise for the mind. They are very flexible and adaptive dogs, they can live both in a private house and in a city apartment. However, it is desirable that they have plenty of free space. Also, do not forget that keeping a dog with such long hair in an apartment may not be very convenient. Especially if anyone in your family suffers from allergies.
Simple saying that Border Collie is a dynamo. The nature of such dogs is energetic, alert, smart, and hardworking. These dogs can learn very quickly such that many times, it is challenging to keep them challenged. These dogs always want to get busy and become bored if kept alone. Thus at many times, they can even show their annoying behavior, including digging, barking, or chasing cars. These dogs do not lie on the front porch. When you sip the glass of lemonade, these dogs keep on performing their activities. These dogs are strong-minded and independent, and the conclusion to herd becomes misdirected.
Read also: Australian shepherd vs border collie
- What’s in the bowl?
King Salmon Kibble & King Salmon Oil
Doggy Daily and a bliss ball (cut up)
chicken & beef topper
Added in some peanut butter, frozen green peas, and frozen strawberries for the POP of color and other benefits
Monthly feeding of a border collie puppy
As for the nutritional norms of puppies, for the first six months they look like this:
- a puppy of 2 months old requires from 153 to 238 gr. stern;
- a 3-month-old baby needs 179-292 grams of feed daily;
- A 4-month-old puppy should receive between 191 and 318 grams. feed, daily;
- a 5-month-old puppy should consume between 194 and 339 grams. stern;
- A 6-month-old puppy should consume between 194 and 325 grams.
It should be remembered that the range in the amount of feed given will vary depending on the physical condition of the dog. Correctly developing border collie puppies aged 6 months or more can be switched to three meals a day, while the amount of food can be gradually reduced. After reaching one year of age and normal physical development, the young dog should begin to accustom to adult food. The number of feedings is limited to two approaches. It is not recommended to increase the frequency of feeding, which can be reflected in the overweight of the animal.
Border collie puppy feeding
In the puppy stage, it is very important that you give your dog food of the highest quality since it will depend on it to have good development and growth, with strong and healthy muscles and bones. Meat should be the main ingredient, and you should divide the recommended portion into 4 meals a day up to 6 months; then you can reduce the intake to 2 or 3 times a day, is better to give it three times.
Choose an energetic and nutritious puppy food that favors the balance of the intestinal flora and, if possible, without cereals. You can opt for the Acana Puppy & Junior, Orijen Puppy, or Taste of the Wild Pacific Stream Puppy feed with salmon, three natural feed with high percentages of meat accompanied by vegetables, and without gluten or cereals.
What should an adult border collie eat?
From the year or year and a half, you should change the puppy food for adult dogs. As always, make a gradual change, mixing the two foods progressively until the previous feed is eliminated.
The Border Collie is a very active dog, so it needs a feed with a high protein content that, in addition, is good for its delicate stomach. The best feeds for the breed are natural ones, such as those we have already commented on in puppy feeding. You can continue with the same brand of puppy food, changing to an adult one such as Acana Wild Coast food for dogs with fish or Acana Sport & Agility for dogs that exercise more; Orijen Canine Adult Red Meat natural food for dogs, with wild boar, lamb, and bison; or Taste of the Wild Wetlands Canine with Roast Duck, with a different and exquisite flavor.
Border collie senior
As energetic dogs like Border Collies get older, they need fewer calories, fat, and energy. If we do not change the feed or the amount that we give him each day, the most likely is that he will be overweight due to the decrease in exercise and to continue eating the same as before. Switch to a senior, light, or low-fat range to help your Border Collie maintain his weight or reduce what is necessary.
Some Border Collies are somewhat special with food and find it difficult to eat their feed. If this is the case for your dog, you can accompany the feed with quality wet food such as those offered by Criadores, Natures Menu, or Taste of the Wild. Wet food is also adapted to the different stages of its life, in addition to light ranges.
The Border Collie is an agile and elegant medium-sized dog. The male Border Collie stands for 19 to 22 inches tall and weighs around 35 to 45 pounds. The female Border Collie stands for 18 to 21 inches, which weighs about 30 to 40 pounds.
The Border Collie has an athletic build, a well-proportioned body, a moderately broad chest, a strong, muscular lower back, and a strong neck. The head is moderately long, with a distinct transition from the forehead to the muzzle. The muzzle is strong and moderately broad. The lobe can be black, dark gray, or brown, and its color depends on the color of the coat. The eyes are set wide apart, oval in shape, mostly brown in color, blue in merle color. The ears are medium in size, semi-erect or erect (less commonly). The tail is long, set low, at rest, it is lowered down, the tip is slightly curved upward.
The coat of the border collie is of two types: smooth-haired and long-haired (abundant mane, pants, fluffy tail that looks like a fox). Classic color: piebald, with a white collar, blaze, and toes on a black base color. However, other colors can also be found, the main requirement is that the white color should not prevail. The merle color looks very impressive.
Exercise and training
The border collie should go outside and take walks of at least 40 minutes, 3 times a day. In addition, in one of the exits, you must offer him the possibility of running and spending all the energy he has. Lack of exercise and spending too much time will only cause your dog’s boredom and, as a consequence, possible frustration and destruction of household items. Due to our way of life, sometimes it is not possible 3 daily walks of 40 min with our pet, but you can change this for 1 hour of exercise each day to satisfy the needs of your border collie.
You can take him to agility courses or areas with obstacles such as tunnel, slalom, or jumping for a joint and rewarding workout. This type of training satisfies your needs and reinforces your bond, as well as making you spend a lot of fun and comforting time together. At Tíanimal we offer you games to make your own Agility tour, if you have a garden or patio, do not hesitate to buy them for your Border Collie!
These dogs also need to exercise their mind and be entertained with something that stimulates them. The brain games for dogs or interactive toys like KONG or porta treats are ideal for your border collie to develop their intelligence. It always offers new challenges and toys, increasing the difficulty to make it something stimulating and fun.
Most common diseases in border collie
These dogs are generally very healthy but can even prone to many health conditions. Not all Border Collie can develop these diseases. However, it is good to be aware of them when considering this breed. If you are planning to buy a puppy, then find the best breeder to show the health clearance of the pup’s parents. Health Clearance shows that the dog has got tested and cleared for a particular situation.
Among these diseases we have:
THE MDR-1 (Drug susceptibility of the mdr1 gene)
The MDR1 gene is responsible for producing the protein Glycoprotein P, which is responsible for regulating the absorption, metabolism, and elimination of drug substances. It is like a drug transporter and protector where its main function is to be a functional protective barrier for the brain against drugs and other toxins.
When the gene undergoes a mutation and is not functional, certain drug substances accumulate in the brain, other organs and become toxic causing neurological damage, coma, and even the death of the animal.
Collie family dogs are the most likely to present this mutation.
Several drugs are commonly used that can cross the leptomeningeal barrier in the case of MDR1 gene deficiency. The best known are Ivermectin (antiparasitic) and Loperamide (antidiarrheal).
Through a test, you can determine if your dog has a functional gene then you can administer medications normally, or if it is mutated you will have to look for alternative medications.
CEA (Collie Eye Anomaly)
It is a hereditary disease also known as “Choroidal Hypoplasia”. This disease is an eye disorder where the choroids are not well developed. The choroids are layers of blood vessels and connective tissue that lie between the retina and the sclera. It is dark in color and is responsible for nourishing the inner part of the eye and absorbing light.
This disease manifests itself with a lack of development in the choroids, so the layer that would normally appear dark is pale.
This is a benign disease, which affects both eyes but can vary in intensity from one to the other. The dog retains its vision, however, these specimens can produce offspring and are seriously affected.
CEA is due to a recessive mutation on canine chromosome 37. The disease is easily recognizable on a fundus ophthalmic examination of the eye at 5-8 weeks of age, because the choroid is pale and thin, almost transparent, and the vessels’ blood vessels are easily seen. These ophthalmological tests should always be done before 3 months of age to determine whether or not the individual appears to have the disease, since after that age the retina changes to its adult color, and the pigment masks the deficiencies in the choroid.
There is only one test to determine if the dog is a carrier is through a DNA test, where the presence of the mutation on chromosome 37 is checked.
TNS (Trapped Neutrophil Syndrome)
It is a degenerative disease of the immune system, in which neutrophils are white blood cells and their function is to defend the immune system. These white blood cells are produced correctly within the bone marrow, the problem is that they do not reach the bloodstream as normal. Therefore, the immune system is unable to fight an infection, and no matter how small it may be, the puppy will not be able to defend itself, dying in a few months.
The symptoms will vary from one specimen to another, generally, the problems start at an early age (2-6 weeks). Where most infected puppies die before reaching 6 months of age.
This is a hereditary disease so it is important to know if our Border Collie is free or is a carrier if we are thinking of crossing it.
IGS (Imerlung-Grasbeck Syndrome)
It is a genetic disease in which there is poor absorption of vitamin B12 or Cobalamin in the small intestine, affected dogs cannot absorb this vitamin and begin to show symptoms of its deficiency.
Symptoms of the disease appear between 6-12 weeks of age, since the puppy is born with a reserve of vitamin B12, and when this is depleted, symptoms such as lack of growth, anemia, lethargy, lack of appetite appear.
The good news is that once the disease is diagnosed, supplementation can be given to regulate cobalamin in regular doses for life.
Immersing-Gasbeck syndrome is a genetic and autosomal recessive disease, which means that the puppy only develops it if he inherits the 2 mutant genes (one from the father and the other from the mother); so the specimens that only have one mutated gene will not present any symptoms.
It is a serious neurodegenerative disease, which generally affects the dog from the age of 5. Although there have been cases of dogs of 6 and 7 months.
Its cause is unknown, it is suspected of immune dysfunction of the autoimmune type where it produces progressive damage to the neurological system.
The initial manifestations appear in the pelvic limbs (hind legs) with incoordination in movements, alteration in reflexes, alteration of perception, and absence of pain.
As the disease progresses, the dog presents paraparesis and paraplegia, ataxia, dragging of the fingers, decreased muscles of the hindquarters and pelvic region, urinary and/or fecal incontinence.
The treatment is only symptomatic, since this disease has no cure, this treatment will only be to give good or acceptable quality of life to our dog.
Although there is no protocol, moderate exercise treatments such as swimming, physical therapy help prevent hind leg atrophy from not using them. Vitamins E and B help reduce the degeneration of the nervous system. Also, amino-caproic will help us to give a better quality of life.
For its diagnosis, myelography of the thoracic and lumbar spinal cord and a cerebrospinal fluid examination can be used.
CL (neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis)
It is a type of epilepsy produced by a set of inherited neuronal disorders, characterized by the accumulation of an abnormal material called auto-flowering and yellow-brown lip pigments, which affect neurons and soft tissues.
This leads to progressive degeneration of brain and eye cells and severe neurological weakness that will result in early death.
Dogs that suffer from it begin to show symptoms after one year of life, these signs are visual loss, abnormal behavior, loss of motor coordination.
Unfortunately, dogs that suffer from this disease due to its severity rarely survive for more than 26-28 months.
This disease has no treatment and can only be diagnosed through a genetic test, there is a specific CL test for the Border Collie.
This occurs when the articular capsule that is the membrane that surrounds the joint becomes loose, and there is no tension to hold the hip to the pelvis together. As a consequence, the femoral head and the acetabulum of the pelvis do not fit perfectly, they separate and over time there is osteoarthritis of the hip.
This causes pain in the extremities, difficult to carry out movements, produces friction between both bones, and damage to the articular cartilage deteriorating the muscles and the joint. So it is considered a degenerative disease.
Hip dysplasia is not a congenital disease. It is a disease that has a genetic (hereditary) and a multifactorial part that affects medium and large-breed dogs.
Its diagnosis is given using a radiological study, therefore special care must be taken when selecting our breeding dogs.
On the other hand, there are bone environmental factors that have to do with the development of the puppy. Where a good balanced and adequate diet at each stage of development is vital for good growth and development of bones and joints. Another factor is inadequate exercise, whether due to excessive exercise, impact exercises, jumping, or overstressing the bones and joints can cause the development of the disease.
A balance with a proper diet and moderate exercise is the best prevention for hip dysplasia.
It is an anomaly of the part of the ulna that articulates with the humerus, this anomaly affects the articulation between the ulna and the humerus with the radius, which makes these three bones do not fit perfectly.
There are different types of joint deformity that result in different types of disease, these are:
- Dissecting Osteochondritis (OCD)
- Coronoid process fragment
- Unjoined Anconeus Process
- Humerus-radial Incongruence or Elbow Incongruence
Which as a result causes pain, difficulty in mobility, lameness, inflammation, cartilage degeneration, and osteoarthritis.
This disease is genetic, there are also external factors that develop the disease such as diet, excessive physical exercise, and trauma.
Like hip dysplasia, this is a hereditary and degenerative disease, hence the importance of reproducing only healthy specimens.
History of the Border Collie
The Border Collie is originally from Great Britain from the border region between England and Scotland. This is how its current name came about. From the beginning, his main task was the herding of sheep and as early as 1570 the first extraordinary shepherd dog in the region was mentioned in the book “Treatise on Englische Doggess” by John Caius. They needed obedient, robust, and weatherproof dogs that could cope well in the harsh climate of this area. The shepherds let their dogs compete against each other in organized competitions, the so-called ” Sheepdogtrails “.
A particularly eager male named “Old Hemp” is considered to be the progenitor of today’s breed. Thanks to his excellent herding skills, he was the region’s most sought-after breeding dog around 1893. The cynological umbrella organization FCI recognized the Border Collie as an independent breed in 1976. She is part of the first FCI group (herding dogs & cattle dogs). In 1978 the Border Collie was first entered in the Club’s Stud Book for British Sheepdogs. The Border Collie is still an excellent herding dog, who reacts very quickly and is great at cooperating with people. In the last few decades, breeders have increasingly sold it as an active family dog.
Border Collie grooming
How often should we brush it?
The double layer of his coat keeps him safe from the elements, and he needs weekly brushing to distribute the oils from the coat and prevent knotting.
Brushing may help Border Collies more often during the shedding period may help to reduce hair loss around the house.
This breed, in fact, loses hair only during the spring and fall seasons, to prepare its coat for the change of summer and winter.
While we brush the fur of our four-legged friend, let’s take the opportunity to check his fur. We look for signs of redness or inflammation.
The most commonly affected spots are the nose, mouth, eyes, and under the legs. We check that our Border Collie’s eyes are clean, without accumulation of tears or mucus, and without redness.
With these periodic checks (we try to do them once a week) we can find any problem long before it worsens, and we can intervene with the help of our trusted veterinarian.
You may also be interested in: Adopting a Border Collie: all the reasons and who is its ideal owner
Bathing the Border Collie
For the Border Collie, take a bath only when it is really needed. Remember, we are talking about a dog that is really ready for anything.
A bath every four months is enough for your hygiene, or when it gets too dirty or smells bad, at most.
However, in addition to bathing, you need to take care of other parts of your body for proper regular and constant cleansing.
First of all, let’s check your ears at least once a week, for dirt, redness, or even a bad smell. These are all signs of a possible infection.
Just in case, let’s clean them with a cotton swab or paper towel, soaked in a special veterinary detergent, to clean them and prevent problems.
Take care that no water gets into the dog ears, and in case we dry them immediately. Otherwise, bacteria and infections could form in the ear canal.
In addition, we brush the dog’s teeth at least two or three times a week, to eliminate the accumulation of tartar and the bacteria that lurk in our dog’s mouth.
If possible, it is even better to brush your dog’s teeth once a day to avoid gum disease and bad breath.
Finally, you should check the Border Collie’s nails once a month, and then shorten them to prevent them from growing too long and injuring the legs or preventing them from walking properly.
Pros and cons
- They are very attentive, they can see that there are some times when they should not bother or chase you because you are sick, upset, or busy.
- They quickly learn the things you want them to know ALWAYS AND WHEN you are good at teaching them.
- They are easy to handle because they quickly understand how they have to behave in certain situations.
- Its presence is noticeable. For some, it may be a disadvantage but I love to feel good company even if sometimes they try to attract attention in an exaggerated way (getting on your knees, crying, licking your feet…).
- They are excellent companions on walks as they do not hesitate to explore new terrain and run, jump, jump, etc.
- They have a lot of energy. Although this for me has almost never been a problem because I have learned to tire him out both physically and mentally.
- They can be a bit shy around other dogs.
- They lose a lot of hair so they have to be brushed often.
Border Collie puppy price
The average price of a Border Collie puppy is $600. Often, especially on the internet, they are sold in pairs. But don’t trust yourself: always contact certified breeders who will show you the history of the pet.
You can always ask for the pedigree, which on the other hand is essential: it allows you to check the purity of the dog’s breed. An animal with a pedigree has certain characteristics of its breed that differentiate it from the rest.
Are border collies a good family dog?
The Border Collie is a cheerful, funny, and sociable dog. He will be very affectionate with the whole family, especially with his owner, not with other strange people and animals, whom he will tolerate but will not empathize excessively.
What’s bad about border collies?
Border Collie requires a lot of mental and physical stimulation. If you do not have time for this, they will quickly get bored and will look for alternatives to entertain themselves such as biting shoes, furniture, among other destructive behaviors.
They are clearly not dogs that will be waiting for you quietly on the sofa when you get home. They need to keep busy all the time, if not, you may find some unpleasant surprises when you get home.
Do Border Collies bark a lot?
it is very easy for the Border Collie to develop hobbies such as barking a lot, obsessive behaviors such as obsession with certain things, anxiety, depression, and stress. Working with Borders is not easy, they tend to have to receive a lot of attention from the owner and time, a lot of time.
Do border collies like to cuddle?
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