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Border Collie

Tags: herding, Kid-friendly, Protective guardian

The "border" part of our name refers to the hill country between England and Scotland where our breed was developed to herd large flocks of sheep. Back then, Collies owed some genetic allegiance to Persian sheepdogs and possibly some to the Nordic reindeer-herding dogs brought to the British Isles by Vikings. What dog-breeders got was a medium sized (20 to 22 inches at the shoulder and up to 44 pounds) Collie that's born and bound to herd. Our coats come in two finishes -- rough or smooth -- and an abundance of colors -- solid, bi-color, tri-color, merle, sable, white patches, ticked, and on and on. England's Queen Victoria was a great fan of Border Collies. But it wasn't until 1995 that the AKC let us in.

Rave review

  • Affectionate, devoted family friend
  • Agile and active
  • Born to run, happy to walk
  • Busy is better than bored
  • Coat need regular care
  • Confident and self-assured
  • Courageous canine
  • Energizer doggie
  • Even-tempered, good-natured

Report card

  • Herding instinct
  • Independent thinker
  • Intelligent and ready to learn
  • Lives to work
  • Loves kids and vice versa
  • Outdoors enthusiast
  • Perfect protector
  • Pleased to please
  • Caters to the country, tolerates town
  • Ready to romp
  • Socialization and training must start early
  • Spirited
  • Steadfast and strong
  • Willing watchdog

What to expect

While I don't expect a backyard flock of sheep with every ranch house (or raised ranch or split level) I call home, I would appreciate a regular outlet for my energy and ingrained herding instinct. Please look into canine sports activities and competitions, even before you bring me home, and start my training early. Six months is not too early for a dog that's born to herd. Also, mind my feeding during my growth spurt (4 to 8 months of age) to avert a lifetime of bone problems. Ask your vet if you're not sure about feeding and strenuous exercise.

Watch for

Generally one of the hardiest, healthiest breeds. But watch for possible hip dysplasia, collie eye anomaly, neurologic disorders, allergies and deafness.

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