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Border Collie Breed Information

Border Collie

Recognized By: ABC , ACR , AIBC , AKC , ANKC , APRI , CKC , FCI , KCGB , NKC , NZKC , UKC

Living with a Border Collie

Temperament: Border Collie is alert and energetic dogs. They are affectionate around people they know and reserved around strangers. Border Collie should not back down when someone approaches them. They should never show signs of fear, nervousness or shyness. Border Collies should never be vicious toward others.

Family Dog: Border Collies make great family pets for families who want a dog to spend plenty of time with. They get along well with other dogs and children but should not be left alone with either until their reaction can be determined. Some Border Collies have a tendency to snap because of their herding nature.

Shedding: Border Collies are average shedders with periods of heavier seasonal shedding.

Grooming: Border Collies require regular brushing to maintain their gleaming coat. Extra brushing may be necessary during the heaving shedding time. Border Collies should be bathed or cleaned with a dry shampoo only when necessary. They should be checked regularly for ticks.

Training: Border Collies are very obedient and trainable dogs that thrive on praise. Border Collies should be socialized at a young age to prevent shyness.

Exercise: Border Collies need lots of attention, daily exercise and mental stimulation. Participating in sports or competitions is right up the Border Collies alley and a great way to achieve both. Border Collies may become destructive if they get bored or do not have enough attention or exercise.

Living Conditions: Border Collies are definitely not recommended for apartment living. They can be active indoors but really need a large yard with room to run.

Border Collie Appearance

Appearance: Border Collies are a medium-sized dog with an athletic build. They have a strong body yet remain very agile giving them the appearance of effortless motion and endurance. Border Collies are very intelligent dogs and are known for their constant alert expression.

Size: Male Border Collies range from 19 to 22 inches tall and weigh between 30 to 45 pounds. Females are between 18 to 21 inches tall with a weight ranging between 27 to 42 pounds.

Head: Border Collies should maintain an intelligent, alert expression that gives them a sense of eagerness and interest about them. The head is flat and broad.

Nose: The Border Collie's nose color should match the primary color on the body. The nostrils should be well developed.

Eyes: The Border Collies eyes should be spaced well apart from each other. They should be of moderate size, oval in shape and any shade of brown in color. Border Collies with coat colors other than black will have significantly lighter colored eyes. The eye rims should be colored and not free from pigment.

Ears: The Border Collies are medium sized and spaced far apart. At least one of the ears should be carried erect or partially erect where the tip falls forward or out toward the side of the head. A Border Collies ears are sensitive and mobile.

Muzzle: The Border Collie's muzzle is strong, approximately equal in length to the rest of the head and tapers slightly toward the nose. The top of the head should be parallel to the muzzle.

Teeth/Bite: The Border Collie has strong, well-developed jaws. Their teeth should meet in a scissors bite.

Neck: The length of a Border Collie's neck should be proportionate to the body. It should be strong and muscular with a slight arch and blend gradually into the shoulders.

Body: The Border Collie's body is slightly longer than it is high. Balance and proportion are of the utmost importance in this breed. They have strong bones and an athletic build. The topline should be level from the shoulders to the loin which is slightly arched and then gradually falling to the rump. They have a deep chest with well sprung ribs, muscular loins and distinct tuck up.

Forequarters: The Border Collie's front legs should be parallel when viewed from front. The legs should be of ample length to perform the breeds required tasks, yet proportionate to the rest of the body. The length of the upper leg should be slightly less than that of the lower leg. The Border Collie's shoulder blades should be long and well laid back joining the upper arm at an angle. The shoulder blades should be of equal length to the upper arms. The shoulder blades should be well spaced allowing for the breed's characteristic crouch when nearing stock.

Hindquarters: The Border Collie's rear legs are big and muscular. The stifles should be well turned, the hocks strong and can be parallel or slightly turned inward.

Gait: Border Collies are very agile dogs. They have the ability to change directions and speed suddenly without breaking stride and maintaining their graceful gait. The most common Border Collie gaits are the gallop and the moving crouch. The trot of a Border Collie does not have long strides yet has the ability to cover maximum ground with minimum effort. They do not have a hard driving action like some other breeds.

Feet: The Border Collie's feet should be compact and oval in shape with deep, strong pads and moderately arched toes and strong nails. The toes should be close together and the dewclaws may be removed. The rear feet are just slightly smaller than the front feet.

Tail: The Border Collie's tail is set on low on the body and of moderate length. The tail should be carried low when the dog is working and upward with a curl at the end and wagging when the dog is happy or excited. The Border Collie's tail should never be curled over the back.

Color: The Border Collie's coat may be any colors or combination of colors and markings. They may have random white patches on the body and head provided it is not the predominate color.

Coat: The Border Collie can have one of two possible coat varieties. Both coats are close-fitting, dense, double coats with protection from the weather. The top coat may be either straight or wavy and has a more coarse texture than that of the soft undercoat. The rough coat variety is medium in length with the coat on the forelegs, haunches, chest and underside feathered while the coat on face, ears, feet, fronts of legs is shorter with a smooth texture. The smooth-coated variety has a short coat on the entire body and more coarse in texture than the rough-coated Border Collie. This variety may have some feathering on front legs, haunches, chest and ruff.

Border Collie Facts

Category: Herding, AKC Herding

Life Expectancy: Border Collies have an average life expectancy of about 12 to 15 years.

Characteristics: Border Collies are commonly used in the agility competitions and sports.

Border Collie Health

Allergies: Many Border Collies have an allergy to fleas.

Health: Border Collies are a generally healthy breed. They may be prone to hip dysplasia, epilepsy, deafness, PRA and Collie Eye Anomaly an eye disease common to Collies.

Litter Size: Border Collies typically have between 4 and 8 puppies in a litter with the average being 6.

Border Collie History

History: The Border Collie first originated in the border country between Scotland and England. The Border Collie was a result of breeding old British droving breeds and spaniels for the ability to work long days on rugged terrain. As a result today's Border Collie is full of intensity and energy and is a very trainable dog. Border Collies are known for their superb instinct, ability to reason and work away from its master. Border Collies have become a premier sheep herding dog, a job for which they are still used today. Border Collies are also used as drug and bomb sniffing dogs, in search and rescue operations and as guide dogs for the blind.

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