They are known as the most intelligent breed of dog in the world: these dogs are very easy to train, they are willing to learn and are perfect for competitions and agility-type sports. The Border Collie is a common dog breed in Europe, an incredible animal with many abilities and qualities. Do you want to know them? We tell you everything in this post.
Physical characteristics of the Border Collie
Border Collies are a rapidly recognizable breed: they are extremely agile, with a perfect morphology for exercising, jumping and running. Males tend to be around 53 cm tall, while females tend to be somewhat smaller, at around 50 cm tall. They weigh a maximum of 20 kg and their silhouette is elongated and dynamic.
This breed can be found in a wide range of coat colors, including spots. Common patterns include black and white, brown and white, black and reddish, chocolate, reddish or merle. There are two varieties of Border Collie: the standard long-haired Border Collie is the most common and popular, with a double coat of long hair that falls on both sides of its body. The other variant is the much rarer short haired Border Collie, whose hair is shorter but still thick and perfect for withstanding the cold.
Border Collies usually show heterochromia, that is, they have one eye that is different in color from the other, usually brown and blue.
This breed has other recognizable physical traits, such as muscular legs that show its predisposition to exercise and the tip of its tail, which is always white. As for their ears, they can be drooping, semi-erect or erect.
Border Collie personality
Although Border Collies are not very large, they are best suited for garden houses. Among their ancestors we find energetic and hardworking dogs, which is why the modern Border Collie is extremely active and restless.
This breed is recommended for younger adults with time and energy to spare – Border Collies are perfect for people with a passion for outdoor sports, but they also need an owner who will stimulate them mentally. With the right human companion, a Border Collie will grow into an obedient and intelligent friend who is always ready to have a good time and a day full of emotions.
Unlike other calmer breeds, Border Collies need a lot of time and dedication. Otherwise they will become nervous, anxious, hyperactive, and even destructive; they can also bark excessively. Negative behaviors are the result of stress, which they develop when they cannot release their energy or when they get bored.
These are very loyal dogs and will observe everything around them. Their curiosity and intelligence will help them learn when you are sick, in pain, sad, happy or excited, and they will accompany you in every mood. They are kind and willing to please, but they won’t open up to strangers unless they see you doing the same.
Most common border collie health problems
Due to their intense physical activity and stamina, Border Collies tend to be healthy, but a lack of exercise can cause anxiety and depression. They require more food than usual within their weight range: for this it is better to ask your veterinarian for the exact amounts. Over time, the most common health problem is for Border Collies to suffer from hip dysplasia.
Caring for a Border Collie
Since this is a very active breed, a Border Collie will need at least 3 3 hour walks daily, or 4 40 minute walks every day. If you don’t allow yourself that many outings, regular walks with active exercise are an excellent option, but remember that they also need mental stimulation. Border Collies will get tired of doing the same exercises over and over again, even if they are rewarded with treats, they can become frustrated with always following the same routine. For this dog, having fun means continuing to learn, pleasing its owners, and feeling fulfilled.
Both long-haired and short-haired Border Collies will require at least 3 weekly brushing sessions. Regular grooming removes dead hair and allows its coat to shine. A bath every month and a half will be enough to preserve its natural protective layer.
Living with a Border Collie
Border Collies are perfect breeds for children, as they are balanced and mentally healthy dogs that understand where the limit is when it comes to playing between roughness and care. It is advisable to play games with a clear objective, such as looking for a ball, following circuits, intelligence games or any other challenge that sharpens both the creativity of the child and the mental capacity of the dog.
They are an obedient and disciplined breed, making it very easy to train Border Collies to herd cattle. These dogs are intelligent and will easily understand that sheep should not be harmed, but directed. Border Collies can develop herding behaviors with other dogs, pets, and even their owner. They easily and quickly become leaders of the pack, but always being very respectful.
Train a Border Collie
While most dog breeds need 30 to 40 reps to learn a new trick, command, or skill, some studies say Border Collies only need 5. Of course, learning is relative and every dog is different, and Training Border Collies requires patience and effort, as we also know that they get bored easily.
Once the Border Collie knows the basic commands to follow, you can soon move on to advanced tricks and skills, and even dog sports like agility. Giving them the motivation to learn is extremely important: you can offer them rewards, but you can also reward them by taking them to new places to play or by offering them new toys. Physical and mental stimulation moves them.