Border Collies are a breed of dog that originated in the border region between England and Scotland, where they were bred to guide and control sheep in the rugged terrain of the region. One of the most distinctive characteristics of the breed is its dense, thick coat, designed to protect them against inclement weather.
The breed has a balanced body structure and medium size, with a weight ranging between 13.5 and 20 kilograms in males, and between 12 and 19 kilograms in females. Males have an average height between 48 and 56 centimeters, while females vary between 46 and 53 centimeters. The Border Collie is a long-lived breed, with a life expectancy of 10 to 17 years. In addition, it is classified within Group 1 of the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI), which groups Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs (except Swiss Cattle Dogs).
Breed history in brief
The breed originated in the border region between England and Scotland, where it was developed to drive and guard sheep in mountainous terrain. Although the exact origin of the breed remains uncertain, it is believed to be descended from a variety of Sheepdogs that inhabited the British Isles during the 19th century. Some of the breeds involved in the development of the modern Border Collie include the Bearded Collie and the Old English Shepherd Dog.
By the early 20th century, the Border Collie had become the leading sheepdog in Britain and worked on ranches and farms throughout the country. Over time, the breed's popularity spread to other countries such as the United States and Canada. To this day, it remains a famous working dog throughout the world, although it has also gained popularity as a family pet. In addition to its role as a sheepdog, the Border Collie excels in various dog sports, such as agility and flyball.
The physical appearance of the Border Collie is harmonious and perfectly proportioned. The body is slightly longer than tall, and the back is deep and muscular. The eyes are oval, medium-sized and brown, unless they have a "merle" pattern, which can result in a bluish hue. The medium-sized ears are carried erect or semi-erect, while the tail is long, low set and curved at the tip.
The dense coat of the Border Collie is double, with a soft undercoat and a rougher outer coat. In terms of coat length there are two varieties, moderately long and short. Coat coloration is varied, including black and white, red and white, brindle or merle variants.
The Border Collie is known for its ability to learn quickly and its positive response to reinforcement, two characteristics that make it easy to train. However, it is an independent breed with a strong working instinct, which makes it unsuitable for first-time owners. They are very energetic dogs that need regular exercise and adequate mental stimulation to keep them healthy and happy. These characteristics, together with their intelligence, make the Border Collie a very special breed.
Common health problems
The Border Collie breed is generally healthy, although, as with all breeds, it is predisposed to certain diseases or conditions. Some of the most common disorders in the breed are cataracts, deafness, hip dysplasia, idiopathic epilepsy, microphthalmia, progressive retinal atrophy, cerebellar cortical abiotrophy, lens luxation, chronic superficial keratitis and Collie eye anomaly.
In addition to the above conditions, the OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) recommends a cardiac screening examination and a series of tests to assess the following diseases: neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis, trapped neutrophil syndrome and autoimmune thyroiditis.
Do you still not know the true nature of your dog?
Unlock the secrets of your pet's DNA with our two ranges.