The border collie is considered the most intelligent dog in the world, according to Stanley Coren, professor and researcher in neuropsychology of the famous book “The intelligence of dogs”, published in 1994. The border collie is a breed of dog which is distinguished by his great ability to learn in different areas: basic obedience, advanced dog, canine skills, grazing or agility among others.
But beyond its intelligence, the border collie stands out from other dog breeds for the strong bond it creates with its owners, its remarkable beauty and its predisposition to physical exercise. Although the border collie dog is not a suitable breed for everyone, it is a dog with many qualities that deserve to be known, especially if we are big dog lovers.
If you have a border collie dog, or you are thinking of adopting a border collie puppy or an adult, quite simply, you want to know more about this wonderful dog, keep reading our dog breed sheet of ‘ Pets Feed ‘ and find out all about his behavior, characteristics, or care.
Although the origin of the border collie dog breed is somewhat uncertain, it is known that it has developed and officially recognized in the British Isles. Some archaeological remains found indicate that the direct ancestors of certain breeds of dogs, including the border collie, arrived in the British Isles between the 5th and 1st century BC by the hand of Celtic tribes. In fact, it is suspected that their name could come from the language of these communities, because “collie” means “useful” in Gaelic.
These tribes settled in Ireland, but the border collie that we know today developed between Scotland and England. Celtic dogs were bred with dogs from the United Kingdom, giving way to several types of collie dogs, such as the Bearded collie, one of the direct predecessors of border collie dogs.
In fact, its name literally means “border collie” by establishments located between the borders of Scotland and England. Already at that time stood out as a sheepdog to guide the cattle, work that still plays today for his agility and his intelligence.
It was not until the 20th century that various dog organizations, such as the Fédération Cynologique Internationale or the Kennel Club, began to recognize the border collie dog breed in an official and standardized manner.
Physical Characteristics of the Border Collie
The Border Collie is a medium sized dog, thin and very agile, slightly longer than tall. His particularly physical form makes him able to exercise for hours, mixing activities such as running and jumping. Its legs are strong, long and muscular, one of the most notable characteristics of the border collie, which undoubtedly promotes the ability to perform any physical activity.
On the other hand, its expression on the face attracts attention, active and attentive, with a fixed and deep look unique among all breeds of dogs. The tone of her eyes is usually brown, but she may also have heterochromia, one eye of each color, usually one blue and the other brown. Their ears are of medium size, and they can appear drooping on the sides, at an average height, or completely erect according to the specimen, although all are equally valid. Its muzzle is long and thin, and ends in a pointed and broad nose which is generally black or dark.
The border collie can present various physical variations because the standard of the breed conformed to the specimens presented for the exhibition. This means that specimens intended for work may have different physical characteristics, but there are always more that they share and which guarantee that they are pure specimens of the breed.
The size of the border collie is medium and it is a fairly compact animal. In general, a male specimen can measure around 50 centimeters, a little less in the case of females. As for the weight, it is normal that he is about 20 kilos, and it is that he is an athletic and nervous dog, so it is difficult for his muscle mass to be too high. The collie has a body mass which is always consistent with its height and length, and which shows an athletic dog always ready for physical activity.
The border collie coat stands out because it is always bright and showy. It can exist in two varieties, the long-haired border collie and the short-haired border collie. The difference between the two lies only in the length of the outer layer of the coat, but both have a very dense and soft inner layer that serves as protection against low temperatures and against rain. The long-haired border collie is generally more appreciated and sought after, but the truth is that the two varieties occur in the same proportion and that there is no difference between them beyond the typology of the coat.
The outer layer, rough to the touch, can appear in different shades, usually in two colors. The most common are black and white, brown and white, or white and beige. There are also tricolor or unicolor specimens, but they are less common. The spots can also take various forms and extensions, which makes it really difficult to find two almost identical specimens.
Character and temperament of the Border Collie
As found after reading the physical characteristics, the border collie dog breed is not particularly large, however, it is one of the dog breeds that stands out in terms of activity and energy. For this reason, many people consider that it is a dog that should only live in rural areas, however, a good routine of walks, exercise and stimulation can transform it into a dog that adapts perfectly to city life.
Possession of border collie dogs is recommended for active families, passionate about sport, dog training or hiking, and it also requires a family nucleus capable of devoting the time and stimulation they so badly need. The full potential of the breed will greatly benefit from the owner’s skills as an owner who will be rewarded with an obedient, shepherd, tireless and orderly dog.
We are talking about a dog that needs time and dedication, unlike other calmer breeds. The absence of these elements makes the border collie a destructive, hyperactive, anxious, nervous and even barking dog. Negative behaviors are a consequence of the anxiety you may feel due to lack of energy or boredom.
On the other hand, the border collie is a dog very loyal to its human companions, very intelligent and a born observer who quickly understands how to express pain, happiness and excitement of people. He will be complacent and tender with his family, while with strangers, he can be shy and reserved.
And if you are wondering if the border collie character is compatible with children, know that any balanced and healthy dog who understands the limits of play with little ones and who understands the tranquility they need is perfect for playing with them . We recommend marked goals like fetching the ball, doing circuits or any other activity that improves both the child’s creativity and the dog’s stimulation. Children should also learn how they should treat animals and what they should and should not do. This is a very important factor for a good connection to be generated.
Being one but disciplined, it will be very easy to train him as a sheepdog, because you have a smart dog who will understand that you shouldn’t harm lambs at all, just steer them. It is also incredible the behavior he assumes with other dogs and pets, in addition to being respectful, he is generally the leader of the pack for his mental capacities.
Border Collie Health
In recent years, the Border Collie dog has become increasingly popular and excessive, which has led many illegal individuals and breeders to significantly increase the population of this breed, without having the necessary knowledge to ensure proper rearing. puppies.
All this has had a very negative impact on the breed, causing an increase in hereditary diseases and the appearance of certain behavioral problems, mostly related to aggression and fear.
- The health problems that affect the most the breed is:
- Ocular abnormality of the collie.
- Trapped Neutrophil Syndrome.
- Lipofuscinosis or storage disease.
- Ocular abnormality of Colley.
- Multidrug resistance gene.
- Imerlund-Gräsbeck syndrome.
- Hip dysplasia.
In order to avoid them and to detect them in time, it is recommended to regularly consult the veterinarian, to follow the schedule of the obligatory vaccinations and to deparasitate the dog internally and externally.
The average life expectancy of a Border Collie is between 10 and 14 years when properly cared for and fed with a good quality diet, adapted to his age.
Border Collie dogs love space and freedom of movement. It is not surprising, because in the veins of these animals the blood of their ancestors, herding dogs, rages. So, keeping Border Collies in houses or apartments is not recommended.
If you decide to settle such a pet in the house, then take care of long active walks for him. If the dog lives in the yard, in an aviary, then he must have a warm booth and a lot of free space. When releasing the border to run freely in the yard, outside the enclosure, you need to be sure that the fence is reliable. The fact is that dogs of this breed, due to the shepherd’s instinct, tend to make shoots.
On a walk, if the walking area is not fenced off, it is not recommended to let the dog off the leash. The Border Collie loves to chase anything that moves. It can be a small cat, a huge dog, a cyclist or a car. In any case, having received freedom, the dog can find itself in a dangerous, unpleasant situation.
It is not difficult to take care of a Border Collie if, from a puppy’s age, you teach it to all the hygiene procedures that need to be carried out to maintain beauty and health. The list below lists the necessary care points for a Border Collie dog:
- Brushing out the wool 1-2 times a week, this will be enough so that there are no pellets.
- During molting, which happens twice a year, comb out daily. In the breed, the molt is not strong, but regular combing is still necessary.
- To bathe once every 4-6 months, but the boarders love to run so much that often bathing has to be done unscheduled, since the pet gets very dirty during the walk.
- It is important to teach your Border Collie puppy to brush his teeth from an early age, as it is difficult to get an adult dog to brush his teeth. This hygienic procedure should be carried out twice a week with a special paste. This will prevent bad mouth odor and tartar.
- Border Collies are prone to ear diseases. That is why you should carefully examine your pet’s ears once a week, checking for excessive accumulation of secretions or if there are any inflammations or wounds. You also need to clean your ears with a special solution purchased from a veterinary pharmacy.
- Wipe eyes with damp wipes as needed.
- Active Border Collie dogs usually grind their claws on the road surface while walking, but if they notice that they are too long, they need to be cut.
Because of its need to be busy and its great desire to please, The Border Collie likes to train. It’s a great way to exercise your mind and body. They are like a gift for those who wish to participate in competitions of obedience, agility, ball recovery, freestyle and grazing.
Lack of exercise can cause the dog to behave very badly and to be aggressive. An adult needs at least two hours a day of exercise.
Border collie Dog Breed Highlights
The Border Collie’s friendly nature allows him to get along well in any family, but excessive energy requires the same activity from the owner. Daily long walks, an active lifestyle, sports – that’s what the owner of such a pet will have to do. For example, a dog of this breed is not suitable for pensioners or people with disabilities. That is why it is important to familiarize yourself with all the features, advantages and disadvantages of the breed you like before buying a puppy. Below are the main pros and cons of the border collie.
- Border collie is the most intelligent dog breed on the planet.
- In the right hands, the Border Collie is extremely easy to train.
- Good with children.
- High maintenance on all fronts.
- Border collie requires a considerable amount of exercise and mental stimulation.
- A strong sense of herd drive.
Border collie fun facts
- This breed occupies the first position in the classification of Stanley Coren on the intelligence of dogs. Although the study analyzes a dog’s obedience after several repetitions of an order, not intelligence as such, it is true that the border collie has a unique ability to understand an order and obey him in less than 5 repetitions, with a 95% success rate in compliance.
- The border collie is one of the best dogs for the practice of Agility, a sport based on obedience from a distance where it can also eliminate a good part of its contained energy.
- The popularity of the border collie has been increased thanks to Queen Victoria’s penchant for this breed, as she had several specimens. This is why border collie records in the UK and Ireland have skyrocketed for a long time.
- The Border Collie is capable of walking up to 70-80 kilometers per day, there have been cases when the dog ran more than 80 kilometers per day.
- According to scientific research, the intelligence of the border collie is at the level of a three-year-old child.
- Borders are unusually hardworking dogs. They are able to work without rest for about 12 hours a day.
- The most intelligent dog among all dogs in the whole world was proclaimed the Border Collie named Rico.
If you think this breed is the most suitable for you, then you should find an experienced breeder with good references who can offer you all the health guarantees on the puppy and who also provides important breed and care information. it needs in the different stages of your life.