Talking Breeds - Border Collies

Talking Breeds - Border Collies

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The brightest and bravest of breeds, the Border Collie needs a hands-on family and plenty of activity to keep him happy.

Considered one of the brightest breeds of all, the Border Collie is a super smart problem solver who is quick to pick up complex tasks. Though this doesn’t mean training them is always a doddle – they also sport an independent streak, which means they require persistence! They are hard-working dogs, harking back to their early days as sheep herding dogs in the UK. This makes them a great match for an active family, but not one that’s short on time – they will become incredibly destructive if left alone for long periods of time, or not exercised for an hour or so per day.

Because Border Collies are hard wired to work and quick thinkers, they naturally excel at agility training. While they’ll need to wait until 18 months to begin training in earnest (to avoid injury due to developing growth plates), this type of activity encourages obedience and bonding – their stellar performances will lead to plenty of praise! They’ve also been known to master complex dance steps and piano playing – anything that provides mental stimulation is right up their alley.

Border Collie Health

Border Collies are a relatively healthy breed, though they are not immune to hereditary diseases.  The breed has a genetic predisposition to hip problems and progressive retinal atrophy – a degenerative disease that causes blindness. They may also develop a genetic condition called Ceroid Lipofuscinosis; a storage disease which causes a build-up of sugars on the brain.

In terms of care, a standard high-quality food alongside their rigorous exercise regime will help their health flourish. Their medium length double coat, which comes in a wide array of colours - though they are most commonly seen in the classic black, chocolate, gold and white combinations, requires a good brush at least twice a week to avoid matting. They also benefit from fortnightly baths – though this can be dropped back to once a month in the winter months.

All in all, the Border Collie provides a loyal, loving and affectionate four-legged friend who will fit in well with owners who have plenty of time to spend with them. While they are a low maintenance breed in many respects, do be aware they require a lot of time dedicated to mental and physical stimulation. 

Breed snapshot:

  • Height: 46–56 cm
  • Weight: 12-20 kg
  • Lifespan: 10-17 years

4 week Action Plan: Getting fitter with your pet

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