The Border collie is a breed of herding dogs, considered one of the smartest in the world, and one of the favorites of the French. If you plan to breed a dog of this species, however, it will be beneficial for you to learn more about him, his physique, his character and his activities in order to give them the life that suits him best. Here we teach you everything you need to know about this remarkable dog breed.
The origins of the Border Collie
Although it is accepted that this dog is from Great Britain, the details of its origins are more disputed and uncertain. The oldest record of its existence is Bedwick’s 1780 engraving of a sheepdog exhibiting both characteristics of the breed we know today as well as others of the Longhaired Collie.
The bedwick shepherd testifies to the existence of herding dogs in England in the 18th century, a period coinciding with the arrival of “Stumpi Tail Beardies” and Merino sheep in Scotland, during which different species of dogs were crossed, sometimes accidentally, sometimes intentionally in order to ‘improve their performance.
Thus, the breed of Collies that we know today probably originated from these crosses of sheepdogs and other Collies (notably Bobtail, Bearded, and Welsh). In the 19th century, after crossbreeding with English Pointers and Gordon Setters, these herding dogs gained popularity in the dog shows, whose goal was to select the most beautiful as well as the most efficient dogs in order to breed them. From these different competitions and crossings is born Old-Hemp 9 in 1893, considered the progenitor of the whole breed. Despite such a distant history, it was not until 1982 that it was finally recognized internationally, thanks to the efforts of Barbara Carpenter, dean of dog handlers.
The character of the Border Collie
Given their origins, dogs of this breed are the best one can hope for when it comes to herding a herd. They are highly intelligent and lively, very alert at all times and inexhaustible. These qualities make them excellent dogs for Agility. Thanks to their intelligence, they can adapt perfectly to a pet life, especially since they are rather quiet. However, their master will have to find ways to make them expend their great energy and to stimulate them mentally. Otherwise, they can develop unwanted compulsive behaviors in order to exercise.
For example, this reserve of energy along with his predatory instinct could encourage him to run after other animals that live in the same house. During their breeding, it is important to make sure to socialize them well : indeed, they are quite sensitive and have difficulty in loneliness. They are otherwise very attached to their master. However, they are not very sociable by nature, tending to be initially wary of strangers.
The physique of the Border Collie
These dogs are fairly normal in size, measuring between 45 and 52 cm for females, and 50 to 55 cm for males. They are relatively light for their size, ranging in weight from 18 to 30 kg. This unimpressive build in no way prevents them from being working dogs outstanding, at the same time enduring, energetic and athletic.
They have a relatively large skull, with generally brown or minnow almond-shaped eyes (or blue for those with merle coats) and semi-erect, erect ears. They have a thick, mid-length coat that can vary greatly in color, with a white neck and legs. However, a predominantly white coat often indicates poor health and genetic diseases.
Although they are usually in healthy, they are subject to certain diseases. Among these is hip dysplasia, which can however be avoided in the majority of cases with a good diet and enough physical exercise, as well as the x-ray of the parents to avoid aggravating genetic factors. They are also more prone to epileptic seizures, as well as certain eye disorders such as the collie eye abnormality (however detectable by genetic test and treatable from the puppy’s first 6 weeks), as well as retinal atrophy. A dog of this breed typically lives between 12 and 15 years old.
The Border Collie in everyday life
While these dogs are originally intended for work, their intelligence and their docility make them very good pets too, if their owner takes care to make them expend their great energy and stimulate their intelligence through games and outdoor activities. Thus, it is important for their development to spend a lot of time outdoors.
Also, they do not require a lot of maintenance: it is enough to make sure to offer them a balanced diet and brushing their hair regularly. They naturally avoid disease thanks to their robust health. It is quite possible to do them live with children and other animals as long as we get them used to it from the first weeks. If they grow up with children and animals, they quickly become very close to them thanks to their docility, playful nature and protective instinct. In short, although they are primarily working dogs, they can adapt very well to a domestic life, as long as they have the opportunity to exert themselves physically and mentally.
even though Border collie are at the origin of herding dogs, their great intelligence and their playful, docile and affectionate character also make them very good pets. With a dynamic master who knows how to channel their energy with games and outdoor activities, they will be fully developed, and it will suffice to ensure that they are guaranteed a good diet to give them a good life. They thus make faithful companions who adapt well to life with other animals and children.
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