- Group – Herding
- Height – 18-22 inches at the shoulder
- Weight – 12-20 KG
- Life Span – 12-18 years
The Border Collie enjoys working; if not actually herding sheep, he needs to be in the company of an athletic owner who will allow him to work out often. He’s intelligent and eager to please, so makes a fine companion for active and attentive owners.
The Border Collie’s history probably goes back to the first century B.C., when the Romans invaded Britain and brought with them dogs to herd their livestock. When the empire crumbled, Viking raiders are thought to have brought smaller spitz-type herding dogs with them, which they cross-bred with the larger Roman dogs to produce smaller, more agile sheep-herding dogs particularly well-suited to the climate and topography of the highlands bordering Scotland, England and Wales. These animals were bred for performance rather than appearance – and especially for their stock sense and innate ability to work long hours on rugged terrain with little human guidance.
All modern Border Collies trace back to a single dog named Old Hemp, who was born in the early 1890s in Northumberland, England. He competed in sheepdog trials from the age of one year and was undefeated in his lifetime, a record that apparently has never been matched. Other influential breed sires include Tommy and Sweep – both grandsons of Old Hemp – along with Craig, Wartime Cap and Wiston Cap, who was the 1965 International Champion and who possibly had the greatest influence on today’s Border Collies. Many excellent dogs were exported to America beginning in the 1890s. The International Sheepdog Society (ISDS) was founded in Scotland in 1906. The name “Border Collie” was coined in or around 1915 by the then-secretary of the ISDS. ”Collie” is thought to refer to the Scottish Highland colley sheep, with “colley” being an old Anglo-Saxon word for “black”, pertaining to the black markings on those sheep. Another theory attributes the origin of the name to the fact that “collie” is Gaelic for “useful,” which these dogs certainly are. Now headquartered in Bedford, England, the ISDS is still active in maintaining a registry and governing body for working Border Collies world-wide. Border Collies remain invaluable to ranchers and farmers and continue to excel in herding and agility competitions. Their intensity, agility, extraordinary instincts and trainability are prized equally with their physical size and attractive appearance. This breed is considered by most to be the world’s premier sheep herding dog. They are affectionate with family and standoffish with strangers. They require vigorous exercise and mental stimulation to remain content.
Personality and Temperament
Border Collies are intelligent, determined, and brave. They form a very close attachment to their family and are always eager to please.
This breed gets along well with other pets and children, as long as there is sufficient activity to keep everyone occupied.
Hair, Care and Grooming
Can be either smooth or rough. The smooth coat is short; the rough coat is medium to long and flat to Slightly waby. The Border Collie requires at least weekly brushing.
This breed is hardy, but some are prone to hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, and eye disease. Some are allergic to fleas or prone to epilepsy and deafness.
Training and Activity
This breed is very intelligent and eager to please, thus making training a very pleasurable and rewarding experience for both dog and owner.
The Border Collie needs to stay active to keep from being bored (and, therefore, behaving badly). He needs plenty of exercise or specific tasks on a regular basis.
Border Collies are energetic dogs, so feeding it the proper nutrition is important to its overall health and well-being. These nutritional needs can come from a high quality commercial dog food, but feel free to supplement with vegetables and fruit. You should always check that your Border Collie is getting the proper amount of amino acids, protein and vitamin B12 found in meat-based foods.