The Border Collie is a working and herding dog breed that was developed for herding livestock (especially sheep), in the Anglo-Scottish border region, this is where the name was most likely derived from. This breed is descended from landrace collies, which is a type that is found widely in the British Isles. It is also speculated that the name ‘collie’ comes from the old Celtic word for useful. Many of the best Border Collies today can be genetically traced back to a dog called as Old Hemp. Old Hemp was a quiet, powerful dog, and sheep responded easily to him. Many of the shepherds used Old Hemp for stud, and his working style became the Border Collie style.
This dog is medium in sized, and has a moderate amount of coat. The coat is a double coat and can vary from smooth to rough (sometimes curled). White and black are the most commonly seen colors in the Border Collie, however the breed appears in just about any color or pattern known to happen in dogs. The eye color of the breed varies from brown to blue, and on occasion one of each. The ears may be fully erect, while others are fully drooped, or semi-erect. The male dog’s height from the withers is between 19-22 inches from withers, and 18-21 inches for females. The average weight for the male is 30-45 pounds while it is 27-42 pounds for the female. The tail of the Border Collie must be slightly curved and must stop at the hock, the fur must be lush as well.
The Border Collie requires a considerable amount of daily exercise and needs mental stimulation. He is an intelligent dog breed and is widely considered to be the most intelligent dog breed. Because of their working background, this breed is very demanding, energetic, and playful. Because they have demanding personalities and their need for mental stimulation and exercise, often times the Border Collie can develop neurotic behaviors in those households that are not able to provide them with the exercise and mental stimulation that they need. They are well known for chewing holes in things, destructive chewing and biting on furniture, and digging holes when bored. Because of their strong desire to herd, they are often unsuitable for families with cats, dogs, and children. As with many working breeds the Border Collie may be motion sensitive and may chase moving cars.
The average lifespan of the Border Collie is 12 years, and the leading cause of death for the breed is cancer, old age, and cerebral vascular afflictions. Some common health problems associated with the Border Collie include; hip dysplasia, Collie eye anomaly, and epilepsy. Hearing loss, neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis, and Trapped Neutrophill syndrome are also common. Some less common diseases affiliated with the breed include; glaucoma, juvenile cataracts, osteochondritis, hypothyroidism, diabetes mellitus, and elbow dysplasia.