Border Collie is the smartest breed in the world, used as a companion or working dog. With great desire, he "grazes" all living things, even a person, if there are no sheep or cows nearby.
- Breed name: Border Collie
- Country of Origin: UK
- The time of the birth of the breed: 1570
- Weight: 15-20 kg
- Height (height at the withers): males 50-53 cm, females 47-52 cm
- Life expectancy: 12 – 15 years
- According to the results of research by the University of British Columbia, they are recognized as the smartest dog breed.
- Border Collies love to herd everyone and everything, from poultry to humans.
- Are often involved in rescue and search operations. In addition, they make disciplined guides.
- They feel bad in apartments and cramped rooms.
- Will not fight with other pets, but in relations with smaller animals will prefer the role of an authoritative patron, requiring unquestioning obedience.
- Border collies are not born companions, but they are quite capable of becoming them after a full course of training.
- Learn at lightning speed and willingly execute the most difficult commands.
- Extremely freedom-loving. The aviary and the chain are not for them.
- Have no equal in competitive sports, in particular, in agility.
Border Collie - devoted clever women and incredible workaholics who openly despise a passive lifestyle and come to indescribable delight from any activity associated with increased physical activity and energy consumption. The ancestors of modern borderers were excellent shepherds, so the passion for order in these shaggy "managers" is in the blood. If there is no flock of sheep nearby, the border collie will graze any other animal, and only an exciting game can distract him from this activity. Representatives of this breed are loyal friends, capable students and unsurpassed intellectuals. However, in order for the animal to be able to unleash its potential, the owner will need maximum effort: the border collie is not one of those dogs that are content with a soft couch and a mountain of food in a bowl.
History of the Border Collie breed
The closest ancestors of today's border collies were sheepdogs of English peasants who lived on the border with Scotland. Hence the name of the breed – border collies (from the English "boarder" – "border"). These fastidious and frisky dogs grazed flocks of sheep, guarded manors and did not bother their phlegmatic owners with loud barking. At the same time, "farm collies" were not quoted by the British nobility and for a long time remained typical rural dogs.
A chance meeting of its representatives with the Queen of Great Britain, Victoria, helped to bring the breed out of the shadows. In 1860, English Shepherds took part in one of the first dog shows, after which they were presented to the royal court. The "Grandmother of Europe" liked smart and loyal animals, so soon several representatives of this glorious breed settled in Buckingham Palace. During the entire era of Victoria's reign, many border collies lived in her chambers, but the main favorite of the queen was a dog named Sharp, who was awarded an impressive memorial in Windsor after his death.
It was possible to officially register the Border Collie breed only in 1915, although the standard of appearance for its representatives remained unformed for another 60 years.
The most famous progenitor of modern borders is the shepherd Old Hamp, which was born in 1893 in the county of Northumberland. A strong tricolor handsome man was distinguished by outstanding intelligence and exemplary behavior, for which he was selected as a manufacturer for subsequent mating. It was the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of old Hamp who achieved their first successes at exhibitions, becoming prize-winners of international and European championships. Another famous representative of the breed is the dog Winston, recognized as the official symbol of the Border lovers club. According to the breeders, all modern individuals carry Winston genes.
Video: Border Collie
Border Collie appearance
Border Collie is far from the title of glamorous handsome. Modest spotted or marbled color, average dimensions, light shagginess of the wool cover to this day give them typical "villagers", whose main vocation is to run through the heather wastelands, drive away uninvited guests from their homes and herd sheep. But the lack of external gloss is more than repaid by the amazing charm and intellectual inclinations of the animal. According to the breeders of these charming modest people, the remarkable mind of the border collie is read in their eyes.
Wide skull with smoothed occipital part. Cheekbones are normal, without roundness, not flat. The cheeks are medium, without excessive fleshiness. The muzzle is of medium width, slightly tapering towards the nose. The transition from the nose to the frontal part is clearly expressed. The length of the muzzle is approximately equal to the length of the skull.
The jaws of the border collie are strong, strong, with a regular scissor bite (the upper canines cover the lower ones). The teeth are white, arranged evenly.
Oval, medium size. The distance between the eyes is wide. The shade of the iris is brown, but blue eyes are allowed for a border collie with a marble coat color. A wise, searching look.
Triangular, medium size, moderate thickness. They are widely spaced. Both standing and semi-standing postures are acceptable.
Nose and lips
Border collie lips are dry. The nose lobe is black, slate (with a blue color) or brown if the individual has a chocolate coat color. The nose is medium-sized, the nostrils are large.
Elongated, with excellently developed muscles, strong. There is a slight bend.
Wide and deep chest. The upper line of the back is characterized by a slight slope in the direction of the tail. The loin is muscular, the inguinal line is not tightened. The ribs are springy, rounded in shape. The croup is of medium width, elongated and slightly sloping.
The forelimbs of the border Collie are placed parallel. The elbows are pressed against the sternum, the shoulder blades are bent back, but they do not close together. Hind legs with sufficient musculature, wide, have a sloping line at the base of the tail. The hock joints are low and slightly tilted back. Paws in the shape of a regular oval with massive black pads and fingers gathering into a "lump". The claws of the paws are short and thick.
The tail of the border collie is saber-shaped, of medium length, reaching the hocks. Fluffy, bends closer to the tip with an uncool curl. In an emotionally excited individual, it often rises to the level of the upper back line.
Border collies can be both smooth-haired and moderately long-haired. Representatives of both varieties have a springy soft undercoat that performs warming and water-repellent functions. Unlike smooth-haired, long-haired individuals can boast of having a lush neck "collar" and fluffy "pants". In some dogs, so-called "feathers" or "feathering" may be present on the back surface of the front legs. At the same time, the muzzle, ears and the front part of the forelimbs should have a smooth and short coat.
To date, there are no restrictions on the types of border collie colors. However, priority is still considered to be black with white spots or tan, chocolate with light tan and white markings and merle (blue or marble). White markings are usually located on the forehead, chest, paws and tail and may have a speckled color.
Important: animals whose white color is dominant are not allowed to participate in exhibitions.
The average weight of an adult does not exceed 15-20 kg. Bitches are slightly smaller than males, the standard height of a female dog is 47-52 cm, a dog is 50-53 cm.
Appearance defects and disqualifying vices of the border Collie
The most loyal selection criteria apply to shaggy immigrants from English farms. Only an aggressive or cowardly dog with an inadequate reaction to the speech addressed to it and not conforming to the FCI standard can receive a ban on participation in exhibition and competitive events. All other shortcomings of the borders are condescendingly forgiven.
Photo of an adult border collie
Border Collie character
Border Collies are observant, good-natured hard workers with an extremely peaceful nature. English Shepherds will always prefer the performance of some responsible assignment or intensive training in the fresh air to aimless lying on the mat. Work for these dogs is not a routine, but the meaning of life, so you should not try to transform an energetic border into a "sofa citizen".
Border collies are not considered aggressive dogs, but animals still have a certain distrust of strangers. But these modest intellectuals love children quite sincerely. Of course, because they can be "grazed" all day long, tirelessly driving stray individuals from the "herd" into a safe zone and not letting them out of it until permission is received from the all-powerful and highly respected owner. By the way, about the relationship with the owner: it's hard to find a creature that can love you more than a border collie. These executive workaholics are ready to completely dissolve into their master, demanding nothing in return.
Education and training
Borders are dogs that need not only regular physical activity, but also constant training. They grasp lessons on the fly, in addition, this is one of the few breeds that does not need to be endlessly stimulated with sweets in order to work out the simplest skill. And yet discipline and perseverance in puppies are poorly developed: if an animal is tired of performing monotonous commands, it will simply change the type of activity to another, from its point of view, more interesting.
The owners of the borders themselves call their pets the best fitness trainers for the simple reason that there is no time for passive rest with them. Standard walks at a sluggish, relaxed pace with these comrades will not take a ride. The Border Collie needs a full-fledged run with games and challenging tasks for ingenuity and dexterity. Frisbee, flyball, bike-joring, agility, diving – these are the standard entertainments that representatives of this breed get hooked on very quickly. Sheepdogs also respect hide-and-seek and catch-up, but sometimes they can lose control of themselves and slightly bite the legs of the fleeing person during the game.
Border Collies perceive human speech well and understand the meaning of many words. Some owners use this feature in games. For example, with an animal, the names of toys are memorized, after which the owner pronounces the word denoting the object, and the dog must bring exactly the toy that the person asked for. No less delight among pets is caused by hunting for a hose connected to a water column and catching soap bubbles. Simply put, border collies love everything that involves the manifestation of at least some kind of motor activity.
Forced doing nothing is fraught with mental disorder for the animal, and for the owner – inevitable financial losses. A bored dog can turn even an ideal apartment into a decoration for a post-apocalyptic blockbuster. Border puppies are a bit self-willed, which is not a sufficient reason to postpone training for a later period. The sooner you teach your pet the rules of behavior in the house / apartment, the less material damage you will suffer.
Usually puppies are ready to learn the simplest commands at the age of 3-4 months. The average duration of training for a baby is 10-15 minutes, after which the animal begins to experience boredom and fatigue. When the dog reaches the age of 6 months, training is complicated, while not forgetting to repeat and consolidate the material passed. You can train and raise a pet yourself, by trial and error, or you can entrust this matter to a professional. The advantages of the second option are obvious: the animal masters the basic set of skills faster, and the owner saves his own time and nerves.
Care and maintenance
The ideal habitat for borderers is a country house or farm, where nothing will limit the activity of the animal. The maintenance of representatives of this breed in apartments also takes place, but only under the condition of good walking. If it is not possible to carry out such, it is worth choosing a less active pet.
When buying a border collie puppy, it makes sense to spend money on a powerful vacuum cleaner, since border shepherds shed seasonally, but extremely abundantly. Combing the dog during the molting period is required at least once every two days, otherwise, you will have to fight with the tangles. In the interval between molts, it is enough to do this procedure once a week. Before combing, the wool is slightly moistened with a conditioner diluted in water, which should significantly facilitate the process. It is not recommended to use a fluff and furminator, since their use negatively affects the structure of the coat.
To speed up the molting process, experienced breeders recommend using a simple recipe:
- dilute a small amount of shampoo in water and bathe the dog;
- repeat the procedure again;
- fill the bath with clean water, dilute the conditioner balm in it;
- moisten the animal's fur with the resulting solution (it is not necessary to wash it off);
- blot wet wool with a towel and comb thoroughly, thus removing the bulk of the undercoat and the outer hair.
Border collies like to swim in open water, but they feel uncomfortable in the bathroom. Washing the dog using a special shampoo is supposed to be no more than once every 1-2 months.
The claws of the borders are cut once a month. If the pet leads an active street life, this procedure can be neglected, because during jogging and training, the claw plate is simply erased.
To prevent the appearance of tartar and plaque removal, the dog can be given tomato juice or pampered from time to time with "cleansing" bones. Close attention should be paid to the ears, which actively "collect" all kinds of pollution. It is necessary to clean the ear funnel with a cotton pad soaked in lotion, which you can buy at any veterinary pharmacy.
The daily menu of the border collie must include meat (preferably not pork) and offal. The meat is served raw. If it is a frozen product, it should be doused with boiling water. It is allowed to include frozen sea fish in the animal's diet, from which bones have been previously removed. In addition, it is useful to mix fish oil, kelp and vegetable oil into the feed, which serve as a source of essential amino acids and trace elements.
Broccoli, zucchini, string beans, pumpkin, spinach and green apples are mandatory foods in the border collie diet. They are served, as a rule, mashed or crushed in a blender. Sour milk and eggs are given once a week. Buckwheat and rice are the most useful of cereals. For training, you should choose treats based on dried liver, as well as any other delicacies with a reduced fat content approved by veterinarians.
Of dry food, the most useful options are salmon, turkey and lamb. Since the activity of most boarders is off the scale, the optimal diet for them will be "drying" with an increased protein content (about 30%) and fat (up to 20%). In addition, the right food should contain chondroitin and glucosamine, as well as sources of Omega-3 and Omega-6. Varieties based on meat offal, as well as feed, which includes soy, corn and wheat, do not affect the work of the dog's digestive system in the best way.
Border Collie Health and Diseases
The average life expectancy of dogs is 12-13 years. An elderly animal can be determined by its attraction to a more relaxed lifestyle, while the appearance of the borders remains unchanged even with age. As for hereditary diseases, there are few of them. Most often border collies suffer from hip dysplasia, dissecting osteochondritis, retinal atrophy and epilepsy. Some individuals may have a congenital eye abnormality, often leading to blindness. It is possible to identify an animal affected by this disease at the age of 10 weeks.
Border collies are sensitive to barbituric anesthetics, which is due to the low content of adipose tissue in the dog's body. Extremely rare, but still there is such a disease as hypothyroidism, accompanied by disorders in the thyroid gland and hair loss. Pets of lazy owners usually suffer from obesity, which is a direct consequence of a passive lifestyle, as well as over-feeding the dog.
How to choose a puppy
We choose an active, contact, moderately well-fed animal and refuse sluggish, apathetic puppies with dirty ears and dry nose lobe. Previously, it is necessary to get acquainted with the parents of the future pet, and of course, to clarify information about vaccinations made to the dog. If pedigree and reference appearance are important, it is better to contact well-known nurseries.
In order to save money, you can go through virtual bulletin boards like Avito and buy a border collie puppy "with your hands". Sometimes unscrupulous sellers under the guise of purebred puppies sell mongrels of similar color, or mestizos, so it is better to come to a meeting with the owner of the animal with a specialist who will be able to distinguish a purebred individual from a pseudo-border.
Photos of border collie puppies
How much does a border collie cost
An animal from a decent kennel will cost in $500 - $600, and chocolate-colored borders are more expensive. In ads from single sellers, the average price tag for a border collie puppy with the RKF metric is approximately the same. The cost of babies from titled parents can reach $700. Purebred dogs with minor defects go by $250 - $350 . Mestizos without documents, who are barred from exhibitions and competitions, are often given away for free or for a nominal fee.