Alert. Energetic. Intelligent. Border Collies are the workaholics of the dog world. They thrive on rural properties where they are skilled livestock herders and enthusiastic family pets.
With never a dull moment in sight, Border Collies are the perfect addition to any farming estate.
Where I'm From
Most of today's pedigree Border Collies are thought to have originated from a congenial and trainable sheep herding stud called Old Hemp, born in Scotland in 1893 and bred by Adam Tefler. The herding dogs soon developed a reputation as intelligent, hard workers that easily understood commands as well as for their calm and focused demeanours.
Old Hemp's descendants, which greatly influenced today's Border Collie bloodlines, entered Australia in the early 20th Century and were bred with earlier imported sheepdogs. Since then Border Collies have earned their keep as livestock drivers and fantastic pets throughout Australia.
What I Look Like
Most often a distinctive black-and-white colour, Border Collies can also be found in chocolate-and-white, tan-and-white, mixed merle and other related shades. They can be medium to longhaired with a thick double coat.
The Australian working dog variety of Border Collie are mainly shorthaired and adaptable to the harsh Australian climate and terrain.
How I Act
Border Collies are extremely smart and benefit from obedience training alongside socialisation from a very young age. Able to work vigorously over long periods of time, Border Collies love mental and physical challenges, and appreciate reward from their human handlers. They will do almost anything for their beloved master but need a strong authority to keep any mischievous streaks in check. Rigorous exercise and doggie sports are a fantastic way to keep them healthily occupied.
As a herding dog, Border Collies' instinct is to gather their flock. If this flock does not include sheep and cattle, people and especially young children are in danger of getting their heels nipped to keep them in line!
Far from a couch potato, Border Collies are sturdy dogs made for hard farm work. They have a lot of energy and if kept as city pets need at least one hour of exercise per day as well as regular participation in dog sports to stay in shape and intellectually challenged. Border Collies can become destructive, especially in urban homes, if left too long to their own devices without any work or company.
Border Collies do not suit a laid-back family with small children looking for a stay-at-home dog.
Looking After Me
Border Collies are a relatively healthy breed. However, some ailments that could cause concern as they age include hip dysplasia, deterioration of eyesight and allergies. It is advisable to check the temperament and medical history of a puppy's parents and view veterinarian clearance certificates to ensure you get a healthy dog. Be very wary of uncertified backyard breeders.
Life expectancy is between 10-15 years.
Border Collies are not particularly fussy eaters. They thrive on a high-quality, high protein diet and should be fed twice a day.
Depending on length of their double coat, Border Collies need to be brushed a couple times a week. Longhaired varieties require more attention and grooming. Shorthaired work dogs are able to get away with being a little rougher around the edges and only require a weekly groom.
Am I the pet for you?
Border Collies best suit families on large properties with the time and patience to correctly train their dogs and give them the stimulation they need to be healthy and happy.
Border Collies are excellent dogs for livestock herders that need an excellent canine herding hand.
- Border Collies can be great for families with large open spaces that love to head outdoors with an extremely high-energy dog. They can be easily trained and are very clever, perhaps the most intelligent dog breed. Border Collies are ranked number 1 in professor Stanley Coren's esteemed The Intelligence of the Dogs, which ranks dogs according to their working trainability and ease of understanding new commands.
- A well-trained Border Collie is the perfect addition to a livestock ranch where they can put those herding instincts to good work. They also make excellent guard dogs and excel in dog agility competitions.
- Border Collies were bred specifically to help shepherds herd sheep and cattle over difficult terrain. As a result they are super smart and do their droving work extremely well. However, in urban environments as household pets, Border Collies may be overly exuberant for laid-back owners. They require carers with VERY active lifestyles and/or a big backyard to run amok in with lively teenagers or additional canine playmates. Like all dogs, Border Collies should be supervised when around children.
- Working Border Collies with an overactive herding instinct are not suitable household pets and can even view children as sheep that need to be herded! Never let this go unchecked. Consistent early training and participation in dog sports can help curb this kind of behaviour.
The Cutest Border Collie Puppies I swear Border Collies are in the top 10 most adorable puppy breed list!
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I have an amazing 10 year old border collie who was diagnosed with hip dysplasia and arthritis at 6 years old. He has been having courses of Zydax injections, a special mobility diet and Glyde since then which is starting to not be enough, he is also kept slim and has daily 30 minute walks. He has started his second course of anti-inflammatories this year as the last course of Zydax didn't work as well, which is not ideal long term as I understand. Our vet has recommended a total hip replacement. The issue for me is that my dog has fear aggression towards vets, he hyperventilates and is under enormous stress at each visit despite having vets try to help him overcome his fears over the last few years (he had an injury at 12 months and was kept a vet for a few nights and has never been the same since). I am worried that at his age this operation could place him under incredible stress and I wonder whether that risk is worth it. My boy is still happy, not limping or in pain very often and has a wonderful life at present and I know our vet is thinking of the future of a dog with hip dysplasia and arthritis and I know a THR would solve this completely , but what do you think about his stress levels and being 10 years old? Its such a huge operation?
My border collie Harry is breathing 60-200 plus breaths per minute. My vet has ran out of ideas. Harry had echo and ecg with no result there. He has high alkaline, protein and white blood cells in urine. He had the extra urine test direct from bladder and has no uti. He is sleeping more each day. I'm watching him deteriorate it seems and have been told to watch him for a fortnight. It's been a very tough five days since then and he needs help. I'm hoping there's a vet who specialises in border collies perhaps? The emergency vet told us to try dna testing for heart failure but our vet said his heart was fine. I'm running out of hope and would really appreciate any names or numbers or advice you could give me?Thank you so muchSharon Cartwright 0415642842TerrigalNs
Hi.My Name is Rachel, and I'm needing advice as to what dog would best suit me. I have a physical disability, I can walk and drive a car. I use crutches when I'm outdoors, but when I'm at home a I can walk around without them. I wear a caliper on my left leg. I have always wanted to have a dog as a companion, but I am not sure what breed would be best. My activity levels are ok, but I couldn't say that I am able to go for long walks. I have a park across from me, that is dog friendly. I live alone now, and I am 52. I hope someone can help me.SincerelyRachel Simpson
Our dog has a phobia of the heating system clicking on and off. It's gotten to the stage where he won't enter the lounge (where the noise is most audible) & sit with us, something he loves doing, he just stands shaking in kitchen. I've looked at a few things like a calming spray, collar etc but I'm just not sure what would be best. Any advice