In the UK, a breed of dog was bred, which is rightfully considered the smartest, most intelligent of all breeds in the world. This fact has been scientifically proven. It’s about Border Collie.
The direct destination of this species is a shepherd. So if you want an obedient working dog, Border Collie is the perfect option. In addition to herding skills, these dogs can be excellent companions, fun playmates, and participants in various sports.
History of the Breed
The history of the Border Collie began hundreds of years ago. In those distant times, both in Scotland and in neighboring England there were many farmers who kept a lot of livestock. Without skilled dogs, it was very difficult to graze animals and control herds on huge pastures. The native four-legged shepherds of the Border Collie fell in love with all farmers, without exception, these nimble and intelligent dogs became indispensable helpers during herding herds.
There is a version that Borders evolved from the crossing of dogs that arrived with Vikings and local Sheepdogs. The breed is attributed to around 1570. The first description of the working qualities of representatives of this species was dated 1881. The Border Collie was officially recognized and registered in 1976.
Like any herding dog, the Border Collie is an extremely active, fast, and strong animal. The whole general appearance indicates that such a dog can move a lot without knowing tiredness. The growth of adults is 45-54 cm, weight is 15-22 kg.
The neck is not too long and very muscular, with an elongated head resting on it. Small triangular ears, erect. Small brown eyes are oval in shape. The exception is the representatives of the marble-colored breed, they may have light eyes. The color of the nose depends on the color of the coat. Canines not large, scissor bite.
The body is elongated, with well-developed muscles. The chest is wide. The limbs are slender, long, and muscular. Paws are oval, toes are arched. The tail is luxurious, in the shape of a saber, covered with long hair. If the dog is calm, it keeps the tail down, the tip remains slightly raised, if excited or in motion, the tail curls up to the level of the hock.
The hallmark of Border Collie is their distinctive stride. These dogs move very gracefully as if they are flying over the ground. The fact is that during a fast run, it is impossible to notice the moment when the dog’s legs come off the ground.
Border Collies are divided into two types, according to the coat:
1. Short-haired Border Collie – the coat is thick, short, with a dense, well-developed undercoat. The guard hair is not too coarse.
2. Border Collie with an elongated coat – topcoat of medium length, dense with a dense, soft undercoat. Unlike the short-haired Border Collie, it has a mane, a luxurious “fox” tail, and “pants”. On the front of the head and on the ears, the hair is short.
In both cases, the coat has almost no specific smell and weakly sheds. Any color is allowed. According to the standard, the predominance of white in color is unacceptable.
What character your Border Collie will have depends largely on the attitude towards the dog in the family and on the correct socialization. It is recommended to conduct it as early as possible. If you do not teach Collie to the environment, to strangers, to cars, the dog will be shy, insecure, fearful, and unsociable. With proper socialization, a more playful, agile, and friendly dog is difficult to find.
Border Collie is devoted to all household members. The dog loves to spend time with all family members but still distinguishes the owner from everyone. The dog is ready to follow him throughout the day, but will not be too intrusive. Collie watches from the side and waits to be called.
There is one negative character trait in the representatives of this breed – it is cunning. Combined with a developed intelligence and quick wits, cunning helps these dogs avoid unwanted work and do whatever they please. As soon as the Border Collie notices the owner’s weakness, he will definitely use it for his own good. So the owner of such a dog must show firmness, stop the manifestations of such cunning and self-will.
Collie gets along well with children. The dog plays with pleasure with kids and teenagers. It is a pleasure for her to run after the ball with the kids or play catch-up. But parents of very young children should not leave them alone with Collie, since during the game the dog can accidentally harm the child.
With other pets, Collie is friendly, but due to herding instinct, she tries to bring everyone together and lead everyone. At the same time, he does not show the slightest aggression. For the Border Collie, the main thing is that, whenever possible, all pets, both people and animals, are constantly in his field of vision. Representatives of the breed are not inclined to fights.
Taking care of Border Collie is not difficult if you teach your dog from puppyhood to all the hygiene procedures that need to be carried out to maintain beauty and health. The list below lists the necessary care items for your Border Collie dog:
- Brushing out the wool 1-2 times a week will be enough.
- During molting, which happens twice a year, comb out daily. In the breed, the molt is not strong, but regular combing is still necessary.
- Bathing once every 4-6 months, but Border Collie loves to run so much that often bathing has to be done unscheduled, as the pet gets very dirty during the walk.
- It is important to teach your puppy to brush his teeth from an early age, as it is difficult to get an adult dog to brush his teeth. This hygienic procedure should be carried out twice a week with a special paste. This will prevent bad mouth odor and tartar.
- Border Collies are prone to ear diseases. That is why you should carefully examine your pet’s ears once a week, checking for excessive accumulation of secretions or if there are any inflammations or wounds. You also need to clean your ears with a special solution purchased from a veterinary pharmacy.
- Wipe eyes with damp wipes as needed.
- Active Border Collies usually grind their nails on the road surface during walks, but if you notice that they are too long, you need to cut them off.
If well cared for, the Border Collie can live 15-22 years. Nature has awarded these dogs with good health, strong immunity, and extraordinary endurance. Despite this joyous fact, health problems do happen. Border Collies are prone to the following conditions:
- dysplasia of the hip joint is a hereditary disease;
- progressive retinal atrophy;
- epilepsy – sometimes inherited;
- Collie eye anomaly – an inherited condition that causes changes and abnormalities in the eye – sometimes can lead to blindness. These changes may include choroidal hypoplasia (abnormal development of the choroid), coloboma (a defect in the optic nerve head), staphyloma (thinning of the sclera), and retinal detachment. Usually manifests itself before the age of two;
In order to detect any disease in time, it is necessary to regularly show the dog to a veterinarian for preventive examinations. It is important to vaccinate on time and treat the pet with drugs from internal and external parasites.