The Border Collie – Meet The Breed
As the name suggests the Border Collie originated in the Scottish borders and was developed for herding sheep.
Exceptionally intelligent and athletic they are often seen competing in sheep dog trials and agility. They can also be found doing what they do best which is of course working alongside sheep farmers herding their flocks.
Border Collies require considerably more daily physical exercise and mental stimulation than many other breeds. Widely considered to be the most intelligent dog breed The Border Collie ranks 1st in Stanley Coren’s “The Intelligence of Dogs.” Not for the novice dog owner the Border Collie can develop a number of negative and challenging behaviours if they are not trained and mentally stimulated from a young age. These can manifest themselves as follows:
- Uncontrolled herding of cars, children and other dogs. It is not uncommon to hear of a Border Collie being hit by a moving car when they have being trying to herd/chase it.
- Unhealthy attachment to an individual. This can then develop into resource guarding of that person.
- Obsession with balls, shadows and/or leafs.
- Digging and chewing
- Separation anxiety
However, in the right hands and with the right input this exceptionally intelligent breed can become a great companion dog.
For those readers in the UK you may remember “One Man And His Dog.” a TV show which televised sheep dog trials. Watching a Border Collie do what they do best is quite wonderful.
Breed Characteristics of The Border Collie
Life Span: 10 – 17 years
Temperament: Tenacious, Intelligent, Energetic, Responsive, Keen, Alert
Dog Breed Group: Working
Height: Female: 46 – 53 cm, Male: 48 – 56 cm
Weight: Female: 12 – 19 kg, Male: 14 – 20 kg
Colours: Black, White, Blue, Red Merle, Blue Merle, Sable Merle, Lilac, Brindle, Chocolate, Liver, Gold, Red
Interesting Fact: The Blue Merle colour comes from the dominant Merle gene and although it produces a beautiful coat colour this gene is also linked to a higher than average rate of deafness at birth
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