ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Border Collie - Energetic, Fun and Extremely Smart!

Updated on January 19, 2010

If are looking for a hiking or walking companion then look no further…the Border Collie just might be the dog for you! The Border Collie was developed in Great Britain, bred to herd sheep and other livestock. To this day, the Border Collie continues to help farmers and is not only a popular herding dog…but a trusted companion as well.

This wonderful and energetic breed is medium in size, lithe and muscular. They come in several colors including black and white (which is the most popular color combination), brown and white, and red or blue merle. They stand 18 to 23 inches in height, weigh 30 to 50 pounds and live approximately 10 to 14 years.

Very Energetic Dogs!

Border Collies are EXTREMELY energetic; therefore, they need an energetic owner (couch potatoes need not apply!). They can be one of the most demanding breeds as they need a lot of mental stimulation in order to remain happy and healthy. Many people that own Border Collies enroll their pets in agility classes and tournaments (such as fly-ball, obstacle course, and Frisbee catching). If bored, the Border Collie can develop neurotic behaviors such as tail chasing and excessive barking. They can also become destructive (say goodbye to your couch cushions!). If you do not enjoy long walks (or any type of exercise for that matter) it would be best to choose a different dog breed.

An adorable Border Collie Puppy!
An adorable Border Collie Puppy!

Two Coat Types Available

Border Collies come in two different coat types….smooth and long coated. Border Collies with smooth coats require less care (a once weekly grooming session should be sufficient). Border Collies with long coats should be groomed DAILY as their hair can quickly become matted and dirty if ignored. Special attention should be paid to the hair behind the ears and under the tail as these areas tend to form mats quickly.

One of the questions people tend to ask when looking for a dog is "Are they good family dogs?" While that is a great question to the case of this particular breed, the question should be…"Are you a good Border Collie family!?" Does your family have time for such an energetic breed? Does your family like to go camping, walking and hiking? Is your family looking for a dog in which to include on family trips and outings? Does your family enjoy participating in dog related events such as Frisbee tournaments? If you answered "Yes" to the above questions…then by all means…you have a Border Collie friendly family! Unfortunately, many people underestimate the amount of time that Border Collies need and they end up with an unhappy, often destructive pooch. Think long and hard before getting a Border Collie!

The Border Collie...born to herd!
The Border Collie...born to herd!
Blue Merle
Blue Merle

As for health problems, the Border Collie is generally a healthy breed. However, they have been known to develop hip, joint and eye problems. If you are getting a Border Collie to help you on your farm then you should have his eyes tested and hips "scored." It is also a good idea to have a hearing test performed as well.

Border Collies are generally good with other pets, however, it should be noted that their strong herding instinct can present problems. Don't be surprised if your Border Collie constantly tries to "round-up" your cat or constantly circles your toy poodle! They mean no harm…they are simply doing what comes naturally! If you would like to add a keen, loyal, energetic, alert, loyal and friendly companion to your family…by all means, consider the Border Collie! These Extremely intelligent dogs will add joy and love to your life! Again…please, no couch potatoes!

Bake some treats for your dog...take a look at these homemade dog treat recipes!



    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 6 years ago from California

      Excellent description of the kind of family Border Collies need. We are a hyper family. We have two Border Collie/MacNab mix dogs. As I write,one is placing a rubber ball next to my computer until I throw it. If I wait too long he will pick up the ball and drop it in my lap. He and his brother run and wrestle with each other, when they aren't playing catch.

    • profile image

      Memories1932 6 years ago

      What an excellent article. We have a border collie who is extremely smart and yes it's true border collies are demanding but they're not all high energy, ours certainly isn't.

    • terrecar profile image

      terrecar 6 years ago from Maryland

      Very good article. I adopted a Border Collie/Aussie mix puppy (my first mixed breed), and brought her home the day after I took an "early out" retirement. I am so glad I waited until I was home all day, so I could devote the time and training necessary for this wonderful, intelligent and very energetic dog. While I wouldn't recommend a Border Collie (or Australian Shepherd for that matter) for a working couple, I can say that ownership of this dog has enriched my life immensely; and this from an experienced dog owner.

      I find I can work at home with no problem as long as I devote time to exercising my girl and providing her with "problem solving" type toys. I am also fortunate to live fairly close to a canine swim center, which helps.

      Obedience training using positive methods is a snap with this dog. I have owned German Shepherds in the past--which I love and consider very intelligent--but I have never owned a dog that picked up training as rapidly as this one. My experience, though anecdotal, has been that my German Shepherds were more obedient, but this Border Collie mix is smart as a whip with a wicked sense of humor; the brunt of her jokes typically being me. It is an endearing though humbling trait.

      If you are willing to devote a lot of attention and training to a Border Collie or Border Collie mix, I think a good rescue organization would be a great option. A good rescue will have evaluated the dog before adopting it out. Thanks for a great article about a wonderful (if challenging) breed.

    • richtwf profile image

      richtwf 7 years ago

      Very useful hub and thanks for sharing this information. Cheers!

    • anothercindy profile image

      anothercindy 8 years ago from Newport Beach, California USA

      Remember: Border Collies are herding dogs. As such they are active and intelligent beyond most owners' capacity. (Minding sheep, penning them and herding requires strength, agility and independent thought.) If you consider this breed, be aware that an active outdoor lifestyle is required. Herding and agility competition, 3-6 hours of interaction with you and lots of routine work will keep this breed happy. Border Collies' exceptional intelligence generally makes for a poor in-home companion and obsessive behaviors: barking, chewing, aggression are symptomatic of too little work for this natural herder.