$500 – $3,000
Available in these colours:
Border Collies come in a variety of colours, including Red & Brown Merle, Tri-colour, Black & White, Brown and Blue Merle.
Characteristics & Tendencies:
TENDENCY TO DIG10%
About the Border Collie
The Border Collie is highly intelligent, with an instinctive tendency to work and is readily responsive to training. Its keen, alert yet loyal nature demonstrates that it is at all times kindly disposed towards stock. Any aspect of structure or temperament foreign to a working dog is uncharacteristic.
The Border Collie is a well-proportioned dog, with great balance and capable of enduring long periods of active duties (for its original purpose as a sheep dog!) They are hard-working creatures, and tenacious yet energetic in nature.
Top health issues
What are the most common health issues for Border Collie?
- Hip Dysplasia
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
- Collie Eye Anomaly
- Osteochondrosis Dissecans (OCD)
Common Border Collie diseases & conditions, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment in detail:
Due to their active lifestyles, hip dysplasia is not a rare occurrence in Border Collies. Hip dysplasia is a genetic disease that causes the hip joints to form improperly and is the primary cause of painful hip osteoarthritis in dogs. It generally occurs in large or giant breed dogs, however can also occur in smaller breeds as well. It is usually affected by factors such as excessive growth rate, types of exercise, improper weight and nutrition. Symptoms of hip dysplasia may show in dogs when they are as young as four months of age, whilst for others the disease may develop in conjunction with osteoarthritis as they age. These symptoms may include decreased activity, difficulting or reluctance rising, jumping or running, lameness in the hind end, loss of thigh muscle mass, pain and stiffness.
Hip dysplasia is diagnosed radiographically by the presence of degenerative changes and/or subluxation of the hip joint(s). There are multiple treatment options ranging from lifestyle modifications to surgery. These may include physical therapy, joint supplements or anti-inflammatory medications, or common surgeries such as double or triple pelvic osteotomy (DPO/TPO), femoral head ostectomy (FHO) or total hip replacement (THR).
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is a late onset, inherited eye disease affecting many breeds of dogs. It affects the retina, which is the picture screen at the back of the eye, and causes the blood vessels of the retina to atrophy and die. The first symptom noticed is usually dilated pupils – a ‘glow’ or increased ‘eye shine’, and the dog may appear to have difficulty seeing in the dark or dusk (“night blind”). Breeds commonly affected include Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Labrador and Golden Retrievers and Rottweilers. There is no cure for PRA, however an eye exam by a registered Ophthalmologist will diagnose the disease. DNA testing for late consent PRA is available, and is done by taking a cheek swab of your Border Collie. The PRA DNA test identifies one type of PRA, which is related to night blindness. There are another two types of PRA, for which there are currently no DNA tests available.
Epilepsy is a chronic condition causing repeated seizures, and is the most common chronic neurological disorder in canines. The prevalence of epilepsy is significantly greater in purebred dogs versus mixed breed dogs, where males are affected more than females. The condition can be inherited (genetic or idiopathic epilepsy), caused by structural problems in the brain (structural epilepsy) or stem from an unknown cause (epilepsy of unknown cause). Your vet may suspect that your dog has epilepsy if they have at least two unprovoked epileptic seizures more than 24 hours apart. Seizures may also be caused by eating poison, liver disease, low or high blood sugar, kidney disease, strokes or brain cancer.
Collie eye anomaly (CEA), also known as “collie eye defect”, is an inherited development disease affecting Collies, Shetland sheepdogs, Australian shepherds, Border Collies and Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers. In CEA, there is a mutation in the gene that determines the development of the eye, causing the blood vessels that support the retina to be underdeveloped. When this mutation occurs, it is always in both eyes, although it may be more severe in one eye than the other. Unfortunately, CEA may not be diagnosed until the dog’s vision is impared, although there are stages to this disease that ultimately lead to blindness. CEA may not be reversed, but surgery may help minimise the negative effects. The best way to eliminate CEA is to avoid breeding dogs with the gene or evidence of CEA on ocular examination.
There are a number of allergies in dogs. The main types of allergies include skin allergies, food allergies and environmental allergies, which all pose challenges for dogs and their owners. It is important to note that symptoms for different allergies can overlap as well.
Skin allergies are the most common type of allergic reactions, and are primarily caused by flea allergy dermatitis, food allergies or environmental allergens. Food allergies may range in symptoms from skin conditions (hives, facial swelling, itchiness), gastrointestinal signs (vomiting and/or diarrhoea) or a combination of both. Perhaps the most alarming of all types of canine allergies is an acute allergic reaction. Dogs, like people, may go into anaphylactic shock if they have a severe reaction to an allergen. For Border Collies, the most common allergens include pollen, grass, food (such as wheat, chicken or soy), medications (penicillin, opiates etc), perfumes, shampoos and other cleaning products and latex.
The best way to treat an allergy is avoidance of the cause and allergen. In addition to any necessary lifestyle modifications, your veterinarian may prescribe medication for your dog to help control the signs associated with the allergic reaction.
Osteochondrosis dissecans (OCD) is a developmental condition affecting various joints in large and giant breed dogs. It occurs where there is a disturbance in endochondral ossification, the metamorphoses of cartilage to bone. This is often due to a disruption in the blood supply to the bone, resulting in abnormally thick regions of cartilage and causing lameness, pain and subsequent osteoarthritis. OCD is usually found in puppies between four and eight months, and affects males more than females. The condition appears to be genetically acquired, and is fortunately treatable by a veterinarian. OCD may be treated with conservative treatment, used for mild cases and younger dogs, or surgery for more severe cases.
How much does a Border Collie eat?
Border Collies should do well on a high-quality dog food, whether commercially manufactured or home-prepared with your veterinarian’s supervision and approval.
Any diet should be appropriate to the dog’s age (puppy, adult, or senior) and adjustments will be required as their needs change with age. Some dogs are prone to getting overweight so watch your dog’s calorie consumption and weight level. Treats can be an important aid in training, but giving too many can cause obesity. Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times.
How often does the fur fall off?
There are two types of coats in this breed. The rough coat is medium-length and feathered, while the smooth coat is shorter and coarser. Both are dense, weather-resistant double coats. Shedding season usually occurs in Spring or Summer. During shedding season, daily brushing is required.
Are Border Collies high maintenance?
Grooming is the same for both types of coats: going over the dog with a pin brush once or twice a week, more often if needed, to keep the coat free of mats, tangles, dirt, and debris. His weather-resistant double coat needs weekly brushing to keep coat oils well distributed, and to prevent matting in the rough variety. Bathe only as needed — about every four months or when he’s really dirty or smells terrible. As with all breeds, the Border Collie’s nails should be trimmed regularly, around once a month. Check your Border Collie’s ears once a week for dirt, redness or any bad odour that may indicate an infection. Wipe them out weekly with a cotton ball dampened with gentle, pH-balanced ear cleaner to prevent problems. As you groom, check for sores, rashes, or signs of infection such as redness, tenderness, or inflammation on the skin, in the nose, mouth, and eyes, and on the feet. Eyes should be clear, with no redness or discharge. Your careful weekly exam will help you spot potential health problems early.
How much exercise does a Border Collie need?
This high-drive, athletic breed is extremely energetic and requires daily exercise beyond just a walk around the block or a quick romp in the backyard. They thrive when they have a job to do and space to run.
A Border Collie who doesn’t work must be provided with vigorous exercise every day – at least one good walk a day with the opportunity to have free running a number of times a week. When they are fully mature, they will be happy to go jogging or trip along beside a bike.
This is a breed for an active owner and not for someone who prefers to stay indoors or who travels away from home frequently. BCs often participate (and excel) in herding events, not to mention obedience, agility, rally, and tracking competitions and dog sports like flyball.
How often should a Border Collie visit the vet?
Veterinary care is essential to a dog’s health and well-being, however the frequency of treatment and checkups will depend on the dog.
Scheduled six-monthly health check visits with your vet are important to ensure your Border Collie is healthy and happy throughout all life stages. In these annual visits, your vet will complete a physical examination, take your dog’s temperature and check his heartbeat, among other things. Routine maintenance for your dog gives you a chance to track your dog’s growth and development and discuss any concerns with your vet, and forms a key part of preventative care.
Are Border Collies kid-friendly and sociable with humans?
The Border Collie is a loyal, loving family pet who is highly intelligent, with an instinctive tendency to work. They are alert, lively, energetic, full of life and need to have this energy and enthusiasm directed positively.
They are generally gentle and good natured dogs and are happiest when they are with their family.
Early socialisation is especially vital with the Border Collie, entailing positive exposure to a wide variety of people and situations from early puppyhood through to about seven months.
The Border Collie is easy to please and makes a good family dog as long as he is raised properly and receives training from a young age. He gets along with children and other pets, though his natural instinct to herd will cause him to nip, chase, and bark at kids (especially very young children) and animals if these instincts are not redirected elsewhere. Due to these tendencies, they do best with older, well-behaved children.
They are remarkably bright workaholics and require an owner with the time, energy and means to keep them occupied. These energetic dogs will settle down for cuddle time when the workday is done.
Obedience training that starts early and continues throughout the BC’s life will help to redirect his natural herding instincts. Providing him with lots of vigorous exercise as well as having a job to perform like agility, herding or obedience work is key to a border collie’s happiness and will provide them with the much needed mental stimulation and help keep them happy.
Are Border Collies difficult to train?
Border Collies are eager to please, are highly intelligent and highly trainable. They are superstars at canine activities such as herding, obedience and agility. They were originally developed for their intense herding drives and not as pets. For this reason, it’s not uncommon that a new pet owner finds training the average Border Collie puppy to be a challenge.
A Border Collie’s intelligence and tractable nature will make him easy to train but his high intelligence also means that he will need lots of stimulation to fulfil his natural instincts. As they were originally bred as working dogs, they require an owner that can invest the time and energy in their training to help the dog live up to its full potential.
Due to the Collie’s tendency of running after everything with the aim of taming it, consider training your Border Collie to stay calm.
Say the command only once – Border Collies are highly intelligent and they will understand the command the first time you give it. After saying it, go ahead and teach the behavior instead of repeating it. He will expect that you will say it multiple times before he responds to if you repeat it when training him.
Use treats to guide him in learning behaviors. If for instance, you are training your Collie how to sit, then you can use his favourite treat by bringing it in front of his nose and then moving it slowly above his head to encourage him to sit. However, you do not have to use treat him every time. You can withdraw the treat the moment you realise that he is learning
Compatibility with other pets
Do Border Collies get along with other dogs or cats?
Border Collies usually get along with other pets.They are affectionate towards friends but may be sensibly reserved with strangers.
Any tendency towards aggressiveness or extreme shyness is not desired.
Need for company
How often do they need to be around humans?
A Border Collie won’t tolerate being alone. It’s not enough to provide room to roam; your dog needs someone to roam with and something specific to do.
The ancestors of the Border Collie were selected over centuries for one kind of work. This breed is the type of dog that may enjoy being in the company of her owners, but whose instincts are honed to herding, rather than socialising with people. They are sensitive animals and will “shut down” and refuse to perform any behaviours for people who treat them harshly.
Take care to establish your authority and control as a kind, benevolent owner. A well-trained Border Collie does not fear her owner, rather she is close-working companion who enjoys doing whatever she is asked, simply to please her owner..
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