The intelligence and appetite for work make the Border Collie a truly exceptional dog. But it is to be reserved for very experienced masters because this shepherd dog requires a training to the extent of his talent, he can only fully express that working with a herd.

Her flock instinct can lead to serious behavioral problems if the animal is not assigned to daily tasks.

Physical Characteristics

The Border Collie is a medium-sized dog with athletic morphology, a triangle head, a narrow snout and hazel, black or light blue eyes (sometimes they are of different colors). He often wears one erect ear and the other folds.

Origin

The Border Collie originates from a region straddling the border between Scotland and England, the Borders region that gave it its name. The breed comes from crosses between sheepdogs such as the Bobtail and the Bearded Collie and hunting dogs such as the Setter.

It has been used as a sheepdog in France since the 1970s.

Character and Behavior

The Border Collie is a workaholic and demonstrates a disconcerting intelligence when working with the herds of animals on which he watches. He is at once lively, alert and enduring.

His willingness to control everything that is moving around him – from his carefully selected herd instincts – is obsessive and needs to be managed through strict and appropriate training.

Besides breeding, it is likely to be used as a police dog, search and rescue dog. Note also that the skills of this dog are very popular in agility competitions and sports such as canicross or flyball.

Common Diseases

The leading causes of death are cancer (23.6%), old age (17.9%), stroke (9.4%) and heart disease (6.6%). It should be noted that their lifestyle exposes them to the risk of accidents (road accidents, attacks of other dogs).

Hip dysplasia is by far the most common genetic condition encountered in Border Collies. 12.6% of the dogs studied by The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) are affected.

Colley Eye Anomaly (AOC) is a congenital disorder that progressively affects the development of parts of the eye, especially the retina. The severity of the disease is very variable, it can be mild, cause a slight visual impairment or blindness.

The diagnosis is confirmed by a DNA test. It is an autosomal recessive disease, it affects both males and females indiscriminately and an animal can transmit the mutated gene to its offspring without being ill itself.

Grooming

How often to groom collies?

It is important not to wash and groom your dog regularly. Indeed, in order to let the layer of protective fat reform, a maximum wash once a month is sufficient. Beyond that, your dog may develop sensitivities or discomfort in his skin. His skin may dry out and generate a need to scratch that will amplify the discomfort.

Choose a shampoo adapted to the PH of the dog’s skin and dry the dog’s hair properly. If you want to remove mud, prefer a simple rinsing with water and a good drying.

The border collie has a long coat that requires a little maintenance. You will have to brush it regularly (at least once a week) and give it a bath every four to eight weeks to keep its coat clean and healthy.

Make sure to buy utensils to take care of him, especially utensils for long-haired dogs. This includes a brush, a comb, and a nail clipper.
Prune his claws every four to six weeks.

Living conditions and tips

Owning an animal with such capabilities is the envy of many. But few have the skills because the Border Collie requires training to the height of its natural qualities. You must have a long experience with dogs before setting your sights on this animal.

In general, it is strongly discouraged to possess such a dog for anything other than the work of the flock which is the condition of its development and balance, because it requires a large daily dose of physical and mental stimulation.