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Border Collie

Border terrier dog breed guide

Border Collie
origin:Great Britain
life expectancy:12-14 years
classification:Herding
height:46 to 56 cm
weight:12 to 20 kg
exercise: Demandingtraining: Easyclimate: Coldin/out: Outdoorgrooming: Needs groomingfeeding: Mediumsize: Medium
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History [ edit ]

The Border Collie is a tenacious, hard-working, highly intelligent, herding breed of great tractability,  that originated in Northumberland on the Scottish/English border. The breed is descended from old British droving breeds with a little mix with Spaniel blood. An outstanding herder, the Border Collie is a hardy, agile, untiring sheepdog, capable of incredible feats of athleticism, endurance and intense focus and it is undoubtedely the most popular farm dog in Great Britain and Ireland. Very trainable,  it is the favorite breed to compete in obedience and agility competitions but  it is also very good as a police dog, helping in drug and bomb detection. They are also being trained to assist handicapped and blind people.  Border Collies are mostly bred to preserve their working ability and intelligence rather than for physical beauty for it is believed by many owners that the emphasis placed on appearance may ruin the breed for its traditional herding work.

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General Appearance [ edit ]

The Border Collie is a medium sized, neat and agile dog without extreme physical characteristics. It moves in a free, smooth and tireless way, giving the  impression of ability to move with great stealth and speed.
The low-slung body, essential for his super-performance at work,  is athletic in apperance and  is slightly longer than the height at shoulder. The chest is deep and rather broad and the loins deep and muscular, but not tucked up. The ribs are well sprung. The skull is fairly broad with a very distinct stop. The slightly blunt muzzle tapers to the nose which has well developed nostrils. The ears, medium sized and textured, well set apart, are highly variable: some dogs have fully erect ears, some fully dropped and other semi-erect.  The oval, fairly large eyes are set wide apart and are dark brown in colour except in merles where one or both or part of one or both may be blue. Expression is mild, alert showing keen intelligence.  The tail, moderately long, reaches at least to the hock and is sometimes raised when the dog is excited, but is never carried over the back. Set on low, the tail is well furnished and with an upward swirl at tip. The coat is double and is usually moderately long. The topcoat is dense and medium textured and the undercoat is soft and dense giving good weather resistance. The mane is quite heavy. The hair on the face, ears and front legs is always short and sleek. Border Collies come in tri-color, red and white, black and white, black and gray and all black. The commonest base colour is black and  white should never predominate.

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Temperament [ edit ]

The Border Collie is a very intelligent, keen, alert and responsive dog, neither nervous nor aggressive. They thrive on praise, are sensitive and very trainable, excelling at obedience and agility. Border Collies are highly energetic, have great stamina, and require a lot of attention. It is an easily bored breed which needs not only extensive daily exercise, but also a job to do. Exercise is necessary both for its muscles and for its brain. Border Collies are too intelligent to lie around the house all day with nothing to do but they are a gift for masters who wish to reach high levels in dog sports such as agility skills, flyball, obedience, dog sledding races and sheepdog trials in which Border Collies are leaders. Brisk walks and training classes may help to keep the Border Collie busy or the company of another dog (other Collies or Border Terriers). Otherwise, if they are ignored and left alone for long periods, they can become neurotic and destructive. Border Collies are generally reserved with strangers and can also be protective of a human family member and affectionate to those they know. This breed gets along quite happily with children and other dogs, but it may be aggressive with other dogs of the same sex. They should be supervised with small non-canine pets, although there are plenty of Border Collies that live and get along well with family cats. Also Border Collies are not the best suited dogs for very small children for they do not suffer roughplaying gladly and may take a swift nip at those who insist in annoyng them. But they make the ideal They pets for active and grown families who are prepared to spend a lot of time with them.

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Health [ edit ]

They are generally a hardy breed  but purebred Border Collies are prone to Hip dysplasia.  Elbow dysplasia also occurs, as well as  epilepsy and hypothyroidism. Dogs homozygous for the merle gene are likely to have eye and/or hearing problems.

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Dog trivia [ edit ]

Border Collies are so smart at several dog sports that, in England, they occasionally are given competitions separate from all other breeds.
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