The Border Collie: A Complete Guide

The Border Collie has to be one of the most well-known breeds of dogs around. Known as a herding and working dog, they are known to be highly intelligent as well as exceptionally friendly.

This breed was developed in the border area between Scotland and England with the sole purpose of helping shepherd to herd their sheep.

They were seen as being perfect for this task due to their obedience and willingness to work.

However, even though there are a number of very real, and huge, positives associated with this breed, you also need to still have a significant amount of knowledge about the breed before owning a Border Collie.

Border Collie Puppies – Before You Buy…

Border Collie
Border Collie is a highly intelligent breed.

So, before you go ahead and purchase a Border Collie puppy, there are several key things to know. Also, you must be completely honest with yourself when deciding if this is the breed for you.

For example, the Border Collie has a number of rather specific needs, and you must be aware of them in advance since it has a direct impact on the quality of life that they will then have.

You must ask yourself questions such as these.

  • Have you ever owned a dog before?
  • Are you aware of just how much exercise this breed requires?
  • Do you know enough about their temperament?
  • Do you understand that there are certain health conditions that can affect them?

As you can see, this is all about your knowledge since that translates into the quality of life that you are then able to provide to your puppy.

However, we will cover all of these things in our complete guide.

What Price are Border Collie Puppies?

Border Collie puppies are not the most expensive to purchase, but do not think that this means that they are, somehow, a poorer type of dog to own.

The price is still determined by a number of factors. Is the breeder registered with the Kennel Club? What kind of pedigree does the Border Collie in question have? Where are you located?

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In the United States, a KC registered breeder is going to charge you somewhere in the region of $700 to $1000. In the UK, a KC registered breeder will charge approximately £550, with the price dropping to below £400 for a non-KC registered breeder.

How to Find Reputable Border Collie Breeders?

Even though there are a number of Border Collie breeders, you still need to be careful with the one that you choose.

Contact the Kennel Club in your country for some advice as they do keep a register of those breeders that meet their standards.

Do also consider contacting Border Collie clubs and other owners to get their advice as to which breeder they used themselves.

This kind of personal recommendation will always prove to be beneficial especially when you can ask them, and potentially meet, their dog.

3 Little-Known Facts About Border Collie Puppies

Border Collie
Keeping a Border Collie in an apartment would not be wise.

The Border Collie is a fascinating dog thanks to its various abilities.

Clearly, they are also better known in certain areas over others, but it is always interesting to learn more about them in advance.

So, to add a touch of fun, these three little-known facts may help you to just get a better understanding of the breed in general.

  • Their lineage

The Border Collie is one of the most popular breeds of dog on the planet. However, each Border Collie that has ever been alive can trace its heritage back to one single dog called Old Hemp. He was a stud dog in the 1890’s, and was seen as being highly intelligent especially when herding sheep.

  • The American Kennel Club was falling behind

Even though the breed, as we know it today, stems from at least the 1890’s, it took the American Kennel Club over 100 yeas to recognize it as an individual breed. In fact, they only added it to their list in 1995.

  • They herd children

The Border Collie was bred to have a strong herding instinct, and that is something that will become apparent pretty early on.

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In fact, if you have several children, then do not be surprised if you find your dog trying to herd them as if they were sheep.

Physical Traits of the Border Collie

When it comes to the physical traits of the Border Collie, then the first thing to know is that they are classed as being a medium-sized dog.

Also, they have a double-coat and even though black and white is the most famous color, it is not the only color combination out there.

Instead, they can be fawn and generally lighter in color with some being more of a slate shade.

They are known for being quite elegant, but you will also notice that their heads are quite broad as well with a muzzle that tapers down.

They do have quite strong features in a physical sense but without it being too overpowering.

Their neck is particularly muscular, and they have a tendency to hold it in a slight arch. Their forequarters have distinct bone structure, and their back legs have strong thighs.

In short, look closely at their skeleton and you will see a dog that is substantially stronger than you would expect.

The thing to remember is that this is a dog that has been bred for a specific role. They need to be strong, have good stamina, and yet also very agile so they cannot be too big either.

How Big is a Full-Grown Border Collie?

A full-grown Border Collie is really a medium sized dog, but as with most breeds, there can be differences between the sexes.

Also, the general health of the dog, and how you care for them as a puppy, will also have an impact on the way in which they develop and grow.

That being said, the male will be between 19 and 22 inches while the female is slightly smaller at 18 to 21 inches. For their weight, the male is 35 to 40lbs while the female is 30 to 35lbs.

What is the Life Expectancy of the Border Collie?

The life expectancy of the Border Collie can often be slightly longer than you would see with the absolute vast majority of breeds.

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The average can vary from anywhere between 12 to 17 years, and even though we may not be fully aware of why they can live so long; it is something to be admired.

Of course, feeding them correctly, looking after their health, and providing more than enough exercise will all play a role in extending their life as much as possible.

Intelligence, Temperament and Personality Traits of the Border Collie

Border Collie
Border Collie is going to be the perfect dog for you.

The intelligence of the Border Collie cannot be underestimated.

They constantly come top of intelligence tests, and then their actions when it comes to working, herding, and learning new tricks backs up those tests.

They are also exceptionally loyal and obedient. There is also always a willingness to please you, as can be seen by the way in which they are always willing to interact.

The only real problem with their temperament or personality is that they can come across as being slightly hyperactive at times.

However, when they have their focus on you, then it is impossible to break their concentration.

Training them is easy, but you need to start as early as possible. They will also learn rather quickly, and it is unusual for them to go ahead and get things wrong after being shown what to do.

You will generally find that they are wonderful around families, and you should have no concerns if you have children. They are not aggressive in nature, and are also pretty sociable.

The only problem with their personality is boredom. If they are left alone, or with nothing to do and no way to burn off that energy, then you could see them starting to display some types of behavior that you are not too happy with.

They have been known to even chase cars, as well as destroy items around your home, so do be warned.

Overall, if you are searching for a well-balanced and friendly breed of dog, then the Border Collie should certainly be on your list of possibilities.

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The Border Collie’s Diet

Even though the Border Collie does have a reasonable level of fitness and good health, their diet is still going to be rather strict if you want to make sure that your dog is able to have the best life possible.

As with any breed, you should always aim for a high-quality food since this will deliver the correct nutrients that they need in order to develop fully.

Also, change their food according to their age as their nutrient needs will also alter accordingly. For this, ask your vet for some advice.

A Border Collie is not going to be the most picky of eaters, but then you have to be careful with what you give them.

Feed an adult dog twice a day and around a cup full of food each time. Do not allow them to just eat whenever they want as a routine will prove to be healthier for them.

How Much Exercise Does a Border Collie Need?

The Border Collie is an absolute live-wire, so that does translate into them requiring a significant amount of exercise on a daily basis.

Also, they need a lot of mental stimulation, so they are perfect for obedience trials and agility tasks and they will always excel at them.

They do need space to run around and explore, so they are not going to be good for apartment living.

They are effectively a country dog, but as long as you can take them to a park and on a variety of walks, then they will enjoy their time with you.

Ideally, you should be providing them with somewhere in the region of two hours of exercise every single day. If you can possibly provide them with more, then they will be happy to go along with you.

Border Collie Health and Conditions

The Border Collie can develop a number of different health conditions with several of them being potentially passed down via their genes.

However, they are generally seen as being relatively healthy compared to other breeds with this contributing to their longevity.

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In general, the key health conditions that you should be aware of are as follows:

With a number of these health conditions, you should always check with the breeder if the parents have been tested and then ask for confirmation of this.

This should really reduce the chances of your puppy developing them, but of course, there are other general health conditions to look out for such as skin allergies as an example.

My Final Thoughts on the Border Collie

There is little doubt that the Border Collie is an extremely friendly breed of dog that is exceptionally loving and loyal.

Their intelligence just cannot be surpassed by any other breed, but you have to be prepared to take advantage of this and to provide them with things to do.

For this breed, boredom is not going to be fun for them, so be prepared to interact on a regular basis.

Their intelligence can even become a bit of a problem if you do not handle it correctly, but teaching them new tricks and training them should help.

Do not think that you can only own a Border Collie if you live in the countryside as that is not the case.

Yes, keeping them in an apartment would not be wise, but aside from that they will just love being with you no matter where they are or what they are doing.

So, if you are searching for a dog that can be a loving and loyal companion that is also very easy to train, then the Border Collie is going to be the perfect dog for you.

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3

OVERALL SUMMARY

3.5
Cost to Buy
8.5
Cuteness Level
9.5
Family Safety
9
Friendliness
5.5
Health Concerns
8.5
Life Span
6
Exercise Required
5.5
Food Required
OVERALL RATING 7 / 10

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