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Border Collie


Picture of Border Collie

Photo courtesy of Peet J. de Rouw





It was about 350 years ago when the Border Collie originated in the Border Counties of Scotland, where they were developed by local farmers to work their livestock. Famous for their low and quiet approach to the herd and gentle attitude, these relentless workers thrive on the mental and physical challenge which herding presents.



This breed loves to be highly stimulated and thrives on work. Regarded as one of the most intelligent dogs due to their affinity for training and eagerness to learn, it is this very characteristic that in turn can be detrimental if the dog is not placed in the right environment. High maintenance dogs requiring lots of attention and time from their owners who must be prepared to bring the dog into their life as part of the family.  Requiring daily extensive exercise, these friendly and affectionate dogs need to be included in family activities as often as possible to avoid any behavioral problems.


If there is any doubt about how smart Border Collies are take a look at Kate and Gin, the dancing dog, doing Canine Freestyle  on Britain's Got Talent





Height:    46-56cm  (18-22in)

Weight:     12-20kg  (27-45lb)

They come in black and white, blue and white, brown and white, red and white, blue merle and white and tri-colour. The most common is the black and white. The coat is the most prominent feature consisting of a double coat, with a moderately long, dense, medium textured topcoat. The undercoat is short, soft and dense for good weather-resistance. The length and composition of the coat makes the present day pedigree Border Collie unsuitable for work.



It is recommended that these dogs receive a thorough brushing twice a week to prevent knots and matting.  In the summer they require baths every couple of weeks but in winter once a month is ample.


Life Expectancy

10-15 Years


Health Concerns

The Border Collie is a fairly robust dog however can be afflicted with hip problems and progressive retinal atrophy, a degenerative disease of the eyes that causes blindness.



Anyone who wants a dog to be one of the family and is willing to invest time, effort and money will not find a better dog. However people who spend a lot of time outside their home environment and leave their dog at home are in for big trouble. The Border Collie requires lots of exercise and obedience training is highly recommended to provide mental stimulation, beginning with puppy classes.  Once matured they will be able to participate in activities such as agility, trial, Frisbees, jogging, swimming and any other activity you would like to throw at them including 'dancing'.




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Working Dogs: This group  includes more breeds than any other. These dogs were bred to do a variety of work from guarding, herding, pulling sleds and rescue for example. A few in this group include Australian Cattle Dog, Boxer and Bullmastiff to mention a few.




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