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Border Collie | history, characteristics, feeding and care

Border Collie | historia, características, alimentación y cuidados

Lobo Azul |

Among many dog ​​breeds there is only one that stands out for its great intelligence and this is given by the quality of response at the time of training. This is what Dr. Stanley Coren says in his book “ The Intelligence of Dogs .” We are talking about the Border Collie or also known as Border Collie in Spanish, currently considered the most intelligent dog in the world . If you already have a Border Collie as a pet, you will have been impressed by its agility, fidelity, obedience and learning ability. Continue reading and you will know how to best care for this exceptional breed.
  • Medium size .
  • Weight : Between 17 and 20kg.
  • Hair type : Long (12cm) or short (8cm) double layer hair.
  • Character : Strong, dominant and faithful.
  • Health : Good health
  • Life expectancy : Between 12 and 15 years.

Origin and history of the Border Collie

The Border Collie is a fairly old dog. Its first appearance was made in Europe specifically on the border between Scotland and England. It was introduced by the Gallic tribes we know as Celts between the 5th and 1st centuries BC. Although it was originally used as a herding dog , today it is one of the most notable breeds in sports and dog show competitions, almost always achieving unsurpassed results.
border collie breed
Historical records dating back to 1570 attest to the Border Collie's sheep herding activities in the regions of the United Kingdom. He was a dog that could lead the herd regardless of the presence of the master or the weather conditions, with efficiency and a firm personality. By 1860 this breed began to become more popular after it was known that they were Queen Victoria's favorite pets and a portrait of one of her dogs was exhibited on this date that is very similar to the current Border Collie.
border collie
The name Collie has several connotations. Some researchers claim that it is a word of Celtic origin that means "useful." Others believe that it comes from the word coley , which means "black" or from the Welsh word coelius , which expresses "faithful." There are also those who claim that the word comes from the word colley , referring to a type of Scottish sheep. As far as “ Border ” is concerned, it is much clearer because it reminds us of the place where this breed appeared or its first ancestors to set foot on European lands, which is on the border between Scotland and England. Its translation in the Spanish language is Border Collie .

Physical characteristics of the Border Collie dog

The Border Collie is an athletic dog in very good shape . It is very well proportioned. It has a lot of energy and must always be in motion. It is advisable for its upbringing to keep it in open outdoor spaces where it can carry out its exercise routines. It is an animal that enjoys very good health. There are two specimens of this breed: the short-haired and the long-haired.
short hair border collie
These are its physical characteristics:
  • Size . The Border Collie is a medium-sized dog. Its height is usually between 45 and 55 cm. Males are a little taller than females, measuring 50 to 55 cm and females between 46 and 52 cm.
  • Weight . As it is a medium-sized dog, the appropriate weight does not exceed 20 kilos. Males weigh between 17 and 20 kg. and females between 15 and 18 kilos.
  • Head . The Border Collie is a dog with a wide and powerful head. His cheeks are thin.
  • Snout and nose . Its snout is elongated and pointed, short and very strong. The nose is generally black with well-developed orifices. Depending on the coat, the nose can be brown.
  • Jaw . Strong teeth and jaws. Its bite is scissor-shaped.
  • Ears . Medium sized and separated. Some specimens of this breed have them upright, semi-drooping or completely fallen. Your auditory system is very sensitive to external noises.
  • Eyes . Oval, medium and separated. His look is very expressive and sweet. They always show joy or attention to any movement. The predominant color is brown, but there are usually specimens that have blue or two colors (blue-brown) with each eye being a different color.
  • Neck . Strong, of medium length and muscular that widens in the part that joins towards the back.
  • Body . Rectangular in shape and very well proportioned. Longer than tall. It is a very slim and athletic dog.
  • Extremities . Its limbs are strong and muscular. Its legs are strong and oval in shape.
  • Line . It is long, low and curved upwards at the tip.
  • Fur . There are two types: long hair (12 cm) and short hair (8 cm). In both cases this breed has a double coat. The color varies between black, brown, black with white, tricolor, blue merle and blue merle tricolor. This breed also includes specimens in shades of brown tricolor, red merle, red merle tricolor, seal, seal merle, sable, sable merle, lilac and lilac merle.
border collie blue merle
Life expectancy. The Border Collie is a dog that enjoys very good health as long as we give it the proper care. If this is the case, it can live between 12 and 15 years.

Intelligence, character and personality of the Border Collie

There are three things that stand out in this breed of dog and they are: its intelligence, character and personality.


It has an innate intelligence that makes it stand out above any other race. If in any breed of dog its ability to learn the rules of obedience is achieved after 30 or 40 repetitions, in the Border Collie its learning is achieved after 5 repetitions and it must be taught new rules of obedience, since It is a dog that, if it falls into monotony, immediately shows a lack of interest in continuing to do the same routine that it has already learned. That is why their learning capacity is exceptional and surprising things can be achieved, as long as their coach is willing to enrich that learning.

Character and personality

The Border Collie is a dominant breed, with a strong personality. It is made to lead flocks with all the security and firmness as if its own owner did so. As a companion in the home, he is a faithful ally and great guardian. He is always attentive to the slightest noise or movement and will take care of family members in complete safety. It is a very energetic dog and likes to always be on the move, so if you decide to have a Border Collie in your family, you should know that this breed needs you to take it for walks and do recreational activities at least three or four times a day. If you use the Border Collie as a task or work dog, it will never let you down because it loves to feel useful.
train border collie
Another important thing that stands out about this breed is its look. It is a very observant and intuitive dog so, if you are happy or sad for any reason, your companion will be the first to sense it since it is a very sentimental breed that creates a very strong bond with its master . He has a very close relationship with children. In short, he is a very disciplined dog.

Border Collie puppies

Border Collie puppies are very active and restless dogs . Like any puppy, it must be kept with its mother until weaning, which begins with the appearance of the first teeth. The food to be replaced should be rich in calcium and protein, ideal for medium-sized dogs in the growth stage. Remember that you should not overfeed your puppy so daily portions of 120 grams divided into three batches is more than enough.
border collie puppies
Regarding their training, this should begin from 6 weeks after being born. Start with simple rules like throwing him a ball and having him bring it to you, calling him to come to you, and using positive reinforcement to motivate him for his good actions. When it comes to care, remember to take it for a strict medical check-up since the veterinarian will know how to tell you the vaccination times and will know how to tell us if our pet is growing healthily and happily.
border collie puppy puppy
In our blog you can learn more about how to train a puppy.

Border Collie nutrition and health

If there is a weak point in the Border Collie, it is its stomach, so you must be very careful with the food you select for this breed of dog . It is not that this breed is complicated to eat, but because it has a delicate stomach we must try carefully until we find the right type of food.


The food we select must be ideal for medium breeds. When he is a puppy, he chooses foods rich in calcium, protein and rice-based cereals. You can combine a dry food with a wet one, but you should do it little by little and with a lot of observation for any reaction that may occur. When your Border Collie begins the adult stage (this is achieved after one year), select quality food and feed with a high protein content since this breed likes to always be on the move and its energy expenditure is high. Food portions at this stage should not exceed 450 grams per day.
border collie feeding
Already entering the last stage of life and when it begins to age, you must prevent this animal from reaching this moment in life overweight and that will depend on the diet you have given it throughout its life. In any case, consult with the veterinarian who will know the type of food and the proportions he needs, although it is advisable to reduce the dose a little since his life is not as active as when he was a puppy or a young adult.


The Border Collie is a breed that is generally in good health . They are very active dogs whose intelligence also helps them maintain a healthy mind. Likewise, it is very important that you pay close attention to your visits to the veterinarian. Twice every six months would be more than enough to establish the vaccination schedule and general check-up unless a condition appears and we have to go to the doctor.
border collie feeding
In any case, some hereditary diseases that can occur in this breed are:

Hip dysplasia

It is caused by a femur and hip problem. This causes a lot of pain and limits the animal's movements. To prevent its appearance, it is important that the animal receives the necessary type of food in addition to the appropriate portions according to its age and is not exposed to excessive physical training. That is why you must be aware of the relationship between food and adequate physical activity so that this hereditary disease does not appear.

Osteochondritis dissecans

This disorder affects the joints. The Border Collie is a very active animal and always makes unexpected movements or turns. In one of these sudden movements it can happen that the bone found under the cartilage in the joints dies due to no blood flow. If you notice that your animal begins to limp after a few days and this does not improve, then you should go to the veterinarian to take an x-ray and apply the appropriate treatment.


This disease has a high genetic load. The epileptic attacks that may occur in your dog can appear due to socio-environmental problems such as an explosion, explosion, storms or also caused by poisoning or further such as brain damage. If this case occurs in your Border Collie, the treatment it receives will be for life. This breed, unlike others, has a longer life expectancy.

Eye problems

Border Collies sometimes have vision problems. One of the problems that can appear and is hereditary has to do with a congenital deformation in the eye membranes due to an anomaly in their development. This can lead to partial or complete loss of vision. The appearance of cataract is also another of the diseases that can appear, although it is treatable and curable, you must be attentive; So when you take it to your veterinary visit, ask for an eye examination to be sure that your pet is not suffering from any of these diseases.


Because Border Collies are highly physically active animals and are always exposed to fields, gardens, parks and other types of places where other types of animals and other breeds of dogs live, they are very prone to having some types of parasites such as ticks or fleas . Because it is a very hairy dog ​​and that is something that these types of parasites love, we recommend that you do almost daily and very thorough checks every time you brush it. We suggest that you use some of the products that your veterinarian can recommend such as pipettes, powders or antiparasite collars. Dogs of this breed that live outside of cities such as in the fields where they have contact with other types of animals, must be fitted with a pipette or collar to avoid mosquito bites that cause Leishmaniasis.

Border Collie Care

Border Collies have a rather delicate digestive system and do not always react well to changes in food brands. It is important that you try little by little until you find the right feed. If you notice that your dog is vomiting then it is a sign that the food is not doing him any good. If you change the brand or flavor, we recommend that you introduce it little by little until you find the right food and the animal feels comfortable and satisfied. A tip: try hypoallergenic (gluten-free) pet foods .
border collie puppy
Another care that we must be very aware of is brushing. Border Collies are dogs that have a double coat of hair and it is very common for them to harbor many parasites. Border Collies with long, thick hair (because there is another type that has finer and softer hair) usually have a lot of knots in their hair, so a couple of brushings a week and a thorough check-up would be more than fine. Within the care you should not forget the moment of the bath. These dogs have a very elegant appearance and their coat, if well cared for, makes them look very distinguished. It is recommended that we bathe him every four or six weeks. Use special products for long-haired dogs. When we bathe him, avoid scrubbing him with circular movements, rather use your fingertips to massage his skin and undo any knots that may have formed.
border collie coat
The Border Collie is a very intuitive and sentimental animal . He likes to be in company and is able to perceive any mood we are going through. They do not like to be alone and it is not recommended that they remain alone for a long time because they easily become stressed and distressed by not perceiving the presence of their owners. We recommend that you give him a lot of love and affection. Reward him when he does his job well with positive encouragement, a squeeze or caress, or one of the pet treats on the market. Talk to him and he will know how to respond with gestures to some words that he can get used to recognizing.

Education and training of the Border Collie

The education and training of a Border Collie must be done both physically and mentally. The first thing you should know is that this dog breed requires high physical activity . In general, people who are very active and who practice sports such as jogging or cycling or who go hiking , Border Collies would be the ideal pet to be in company and take with them. It requires daily walks, which do not exceed two hours in its routine, always divided into 40-minute sessions. Take him to a park and let him run and interact with other dog breeds, and it is also good for him to get used to being among people to improve what we call his socialization process.
border collie coat
If you are a very sedentary person and you do not like to go out for a walk or walk, then it is better to forget about having a Border Collie, because otherwise this animal will become a torment that will not stop barking and destroying everything in its path. If you want to know the reasons why a dog howls, visit our article: Why do dogs howl? In short, you will have a nervous and crazy pet that will destroy the entire house, and this is a consequence of lack of attention. Another thing you can practice and that Border Collies love is taking them to parks or training places where there are circuits with bar jumps, tunnels where they can jump, crouch and do all kinds of stunts. Dogs of this breed always stand out in sports and agility competitions .
tricolor border collie
On the other hand, don't forget that we are talking about the most intelligent dog in the world . You have to stimulate their mind and memory. To do this, we recommend that you play memory games with him, such as hiding something and having him look for it and bring it to you, or maybe play hide and seek. Also games with images give surprising results. Use specific words that your Border Collie can recognize such as “come here”, “sit”, “go”, “run” in short, keys that he can recognize at the first call of your voice. These dogs are very intelligent and you will be impressed with what they can learn in 4 or 5 lessons. There are also many interactive toys on the market that can help stimulate their intelligence.
border collie dog
Finally, don't forget that this breed learns very quickly so don't fall into countless repetitions or always teaching it more of the same. Always offer him new training and things to learn, to take on new challenges with greater degrees of difficulty and complexity and you will see your pet grow and develop in a joyful, healthy and happy way. Discover other dog breeds on our blog:
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