Starring black and white Border Collie.
Cleo's Blog | Dog Breeds | Herding | Popular

My Border Collie Is So Smart

Border Collies are one of the most amazing dogs. They are great herding dogs but are used as war dogs, sled dogs, therapy and assistance dogs, in competitive sports, search and rescue, hunting, and faithful companions.

Border Collie competing in flyball. How do they train dogs to do this!

Borders excel in Flyball and Frisbee competitions. In northern climates, they make up sled dog teams that are competitive in middle distance races.

These dogs love training and easily master new commands. They do extremely well at agility, fetching, fly ball, obedience, tracking, frisbee toss, and herding. An untrained or neglected Border Collie will become bored and frustrated, which results in negative or even destructive behavior.

They have a highly developed sense of smell, and with their high energy level, they make excellent tracking dogs.

Border Collie Description

Border Collies are medium-sized, weighing about 20lbs to 25lbs with an average height of 18 to 22 inches depending on their gender. They have a double coat that can be thick or smooth.   The most common color is a black and white combination. Some other color variations include black tricolor, red tricolor, chocolate, and a rare Australian red.

One difference between a border collie and a standard Collie is the hair length.  Border Collies have a lot of long hair, but it is not nearly as long as the Rough Collie.

Border Collie ears are similarly erect or partially erect, but their snout is not as long.  This makes them look more like the Australian Shepherd than a standard Collie.

Border collies were bred to herd sheep.  They also are used to find lost or runaway sheep and return them to the herd.

Border Collies do have some breed-specific issues.  Many Border Collies are allergic to fleas, and some are prone to epilepsy and deafness.  Border Collies have also been known to work themselves to exhaustion and can suffer from heatstroke in the hot weather.

The breed is descended from landrace collies, a type found widely in the British Isles.   Mention of the “Collie”  first appeared near the end of the 19th century, although the word “collie” is older and has its origin in the Scottish language. The word ‘collie’ may come from the old Celtic word for useful.

Border Collies obey the voice and by whistle commands when at work herding sheep or cattle. They can herd many different animal breeds from sheep, cattle, pigs, goats, and ducks.  They may even try to herd small children.

The Border Collie is easily house-trained. Even those that have spent most of their lives outdoors become great house pets. As with other breeds, the Border Collie will be restless and destructive if left alone indoors too long.

Overall the Border Collie can tolerate many conditions, from hot to cold, from apartment to home to the farm so long as they get plenty of daily exercises and mental stimulation. They are relatively healthy. They do need to be brushed two or three times per week. They are a medium-sized dog averaging 40 pounds.

Before you adopt a Border Collie puppy or adult, make sure you have space for them to run and that you have the time to spend training this dog breed with its very high energy level.

The natural life span of the Border Collie is between 10 and 17 years, with an average lifespan of 12 years. This is comparable to other dog breeds of similar size that also live 12 to 13 years.

They are frequently purchased to be household pets, but Border Collies need lots of activity and may not be suitable for everyone.  As with many working breeds, Border Collies may chase moving vehicles or cats.

Some enthusiasts oppose the use of Border Collies as show dogs for fear that breeding for appearance will lead to a decline in the breed’s primary purpose as a working dog.

Although not usually diggers, you should have a high fence that sits on or goes into the ground. Make sure you have security gates. These dogs are smart enough to find a way to open gates or jump over shorter fences.

If you take the time to train this highly intelligent dog, you will be amazed at all the things it can do.  It may even teach you a trick or two.