The Border Collie originated from the borders of Scotland and England and is a descendant of dogs that were used by the Vikings to herd reindeer.
The Border Collie is tireless and loves working. It is a herding dog and can mesmerize sheep and cattle with it's intense stare. This breed can be trained to a very high standard. They are well known for their keen intelligence and are regularly used by customs and police to sniff out drugs and explosives as well as their more well known occupation of sheep dog.
Obedience and agility tests are a speciality for the Border Collie as this breed delights in competition and pleasing it's owner.
This breed was first recognized by the AKC in 1995.
Owners need to know that these dogs require a great deal of physical and mental exercise. Because they are such an intelligent breed it's important not to neglect the mental exercise or the dog can soon become bored and sometimes destructive.
Most people think of the border collie as being black and white but they do come in quite a wide variety of coat colors, however if you are thinking of showing your dog, white should never be the predominate color.
Though these are wonderful dogs, they certainly are not suitable for everyone. There are very few dogs that are as work-oriented as the Border Collie. They are not ideal pets for people who cannot spend a lot of time with them. These dogs are too intelligent to be left alone all day with nothing to do. This is a dog that needs to be continuously occupied. He needs a lot of physical and mental activity every day to satisfy his quest for learning.
Bored Border Collies do not make good pets, as they can become nervous and may start to develop behavior problems. Remember they have strong herding instincts and may try to herd your young children if they are not discouraged.
They will live quite happily with other dogs, and children, however they may be aggressive with other dogs of the same sex unless you are proving to be the alpha dog in the relationship. This breed can be very shy and sensitive so they should be socialized and trained at an early age.
The current average lifespan is 13 years
The Border Collie needs regular combing and brushing to keep the coat clean and shining. Extra care is needed when the soft undercoat is shedding. Bathe or dry shampoo only when needed. Clean the ears and eyes regularly and check the coat for ticks as part of his normal grooming routine.
Many Border Collies end up in rescue centers, left there by people who just can't cope with the hyper activity and herding instincts of this wonderful dog. If they are not trained at an early age the herding instinct can soon become a problem resulting in young children in the family being bitten by an over enthusiastic dog.
On the other hand, they are bred to herd sheep and cattle and if this instinct is not strong enough a farmer may decide to send his dog to a rescue center to be re-homed as a family pet instead of being used as a working dog.
The Border Collie is one of the most intelligent dogs with an insatiable appetite for work. If you are prepared to spend a great deal of time training and generally being in the company of this dog he will make a loyal companion and an exceptional family pet.