The Border Collie has been bred for over 100 years with functionality as the number one priority. These sheep herding dogs were abundant in Great Britain during the 1800s, however they were made up of different types. Most of these dogs were considered to be “fetching” dogs who had the ability to circle stock and guide them back towards the shepherd.
Sheepdogs (as the Border Collies were called) became very popular and in 1873 the first official sheepdog trial took place to test the qualities and function of the animals. This led to one of the first famous Border Collies known as “Hemp”.
Hemp did very well at the trials and sired a high number of offspring. In fact, he is considered to be the father of the Border Collie. Hemp’s way of herding was done with intimidation, using eye contact with the livestock.
Although these dogs were very popular and functioned superbly at their sheepdog abilities, it wasn’t until 1915 that “Border Collie” was officially announced as the proper name for the breed. And as soon as the Border Collie came to America they were instantly appraised by serious shepherds who needed the animal’s magnificent herding abilities. Amazingly enough, it took until the year 1995 for the American Kennel Club (AKC) to officially recognize the Border Collie as a show dog.
As far as temperament is concerned, Border Collie dogs have enormous amounts of intelligence and are highly obedient. While these attributes are positive, it can make for a disastrous house dog when kept enclosed with little exercise. Border Collies are very loyal and protective towards its family, so be prepared for its reserved and guardian-like personality to spring up when in the company of strange dogs and other animals.
Taking Care of Your Border Collie
This is one dog that thrives on physical and mental stimulation each and every day. You can easily say that the Border Collie simply “needs a job to do” whenever possible. He is extremely work-oriented and genetically programmed for labor.
Border Collie dogs can certainly live outdoors in very mild to cool climates, but of course it prefers and enjoys the company of its family inside the house, especially at night. This is one animal that should not be forced to live in a small apartment.
Border Collie’s have a lifespan of up to 15 years, with 12 being the average. Fortunately, this dog breed does not have many health problems that arise. Major concerns are only CHD. Minor health issues that may come up are hypothyroidism, PRA, PDA, CEA, seizures, OCD, and lens luxation, but these occurrences are extremely rare.
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