A champion of selective breeding for fast-paced work with livestock, the Border Collie is widely considered the most intelligent breed in the world. The early breed developers selected for a dog that would follow precise commands over great distance, resulting in a dog that’s best-suited for an active and engaging lifestyle with plenty of room to roam.
The Border Collie originated along the Anglo-Scottish border (thus the breed’s name). And even the word ‘collie’ probably has a Scots-Celtic origin. This word is most likely derived from the Celtic word for ‘useful’. These borderland dogs were, no doubt, of great use to the shepherds who employed them.
When it comes to herding, the best Border Collies have a powerful and confident gaze that can transfix livestock. This combined with her deep-seated desire to keep everyone together in a unit makes the Border Collie a natural at driving and collecting livestock.
particularly in places like Australia and New Zealand, where they assist with maintaining enormous flocks of sheep and herds of cattle. But they’ve also diversified their game and stepped out as champions of obedience games and agility courses..
Female: 46-53 cm
Male: 48-56 cm
Female: 12-19 kg
Male: 14-20 kg
Intelligent, alert, tenacious, responsive and energetic
Fairly healthy compared to other pure breeds, but known problems are hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, epilepsy and the Collie eye anomaly – potential blindness.
UK (England-Scotland border)
There’s no getting around this breed’s need for lots of space, activity and exercise.
Smooth or rough double coat
Mostly black with a white streak on the face, neck, legs, tail tip and feet (with or without tan); but also bicolour, tricolour, solid colour (except white) or merle.
A strong drive to ‘work’ means this breed needs mentally stimulating activities such as hide-and-seek, agility training or playing with dog toys that provide mental stimulation.
The Border Collie represents an extreme angle of selective breeding, in which the desired dog exhibited very specific physical and mental abilities without the need for a standardised ‘look’, so to speak. As a result, the Border Collie possesses certain trademark personality traits without a highly regulated aesthetic.
Border Collie insurance offers practical solutions, because this is a hardy, physically fit breed that’s easy to care for. All versions of the breed feature a double coat with rough and smooth variations. It requires weekly brushing to keep the oils well-regulated. For this breed, the real challenge lies in keeping them engaged rather than in grooming or upkeep.
Border Collies can become lightly neurotic if they feel underutilised. This can lead to chewing, digging and even ‘herding’ other pets or (worse yet) the youngest members of the family. They’re not aggressive, but they can display bullying behaviour. With that in mind, this is not a suitable dog for an inactive or sedentary family.
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