Border Collie, Breed of the Week
Is the Border Collie the dog for you? Let’s take a close look at this breed and see what makes it tick.
First, some basics. The Border Collie is:
- A herding dog
- A medium size dog
- A shedding dog
- An active dog with a ton of energy
- Highly intelligent
Here’s what the AKC has to say about the breed:
This high-drive breed is extremely energetic and requires exercise beyond just a walk around the block or a romp in the yard. They thrive when they have a job to do and space to run. Due to their tendency to herd objects and people, they do best with mature, well-behaved children. They love their families, but may be somewhat reserved with strangers. They are seasonal shedders, and require regular brushing.
So last week I met four Border Collies, all in one house. GORGEOUS dogs. Full of energy. Even the seven year old male was ready to romp at the drop of a hat.
These four Borders are agility dogs, competitors. High energy, smart, well trained, loving – this is an amazing breed. If you’re young, have plenty of energy, want the best companion in the world, love challenges and being outside, the Border Collie is the absolute perfect dog for you. But wait! There’s more!
Pros and Cons
What I really wanted to know, before getting to the pros and cons of having a Border Collie, is where they differ from the Australian Shepherd. According to the AKC, the Border Collie and the Collie are from the same line. But in my eye, the Border and the Aussie look very much alike. Same basic size, shape, markings, work ethic – how does one tell the two apart? Here we go –
- The Border Collie isn’t as protective as the Aussie – I saw this in my friend’s BCs – they about licked me to death, and I’ve never yet met an Aussie that’s overly comfortable with strangers, much less affectionate
- Aussies are bouncy and Borders are steady and steely, intense – I see the word “intense” over and over in reference to the Border Collie
- The “Eye” – this is also referred to over and over, along with the intensity – the Border Collie’s gaze is steady and strong
For more on the difference, primarily as concerns working herd dogs, in Borders and Aussie, this is an excellent article.
Dog Breed Info has this to say about the Border Collie (I had to snip this because it’s the perfect description)
Border Collies are represented among the leaders in competitive levels in various sports, excelling in agility skills, obedience, sheepdog trials and Frisbee™. These competitions are right up their alley, and they are commonly used and often win. For those who wish to reach high levels in dog sports, the Border Collie is a gift from heaven.
Finally, the pros and cons!
- High intelligence
- Medium in size
- Eager to please, easy to train
- Not too many health issues
- Decent life span, 12 to 15 years
- High intelligence means destruction when bored
- Active, active ACTIVE – daily walks aren’t enough for this breed – they need to work, need a job
- Will herd anyone and anything, including children
- Shedding – a double coat that blows twice a year and requires regular brushing to maintain
To sum up, the Border Collie is a brilliant dog, perfect for a farmer or an active adult or teen. They require extensive training and exercise to keep them from becoming destructive or neurotic. Borders need firm boundaries and plenty of space. They need a job. Borders are the perfect dog for competition – agility, fly ball, obedience, etc. Loving, affectionate, what’s not to love about the Border Collie? Just know what you’re getting into first.
Best Treats for Borders
And last, what treats would the Border Collie like? The four I met all devoured their Pig Ears immediately. Their mama was happy to hear that Jones is all natural and 100% American sourced and made. She also sent me photos of the dogs happily gnawing on Jones bones after a trial, keeping them quiet and occupied so mom and dad could rest a spell.
I’m imagining the Border Collie would also love a good Hoof from Jones. Busy work for the teeth and gums. I know they’d love a good Braided Stix, as well as a Bandit’s Bone. The Bandit’s Bone is a no brainer. They’re awesome for nearly any dog. And of course, the Canine Christmas Cruncher is perfect as a stocking gift for your favorite Border Collie!
I hoped I’ve helped with your decision! Let me know what I’ve missed, since I’m not a Border owner. Also, ask questions if you have them. Thanks for dropping by!
Spreading the good chews …