Border Collie


Border Collie, breed of herding dog from Great Britain. This breed is named for its use by sheep and cattle farmers in the border counties of England and Scotland. The ancestors of the border collie were reindeer-herding dogs brought to Scotland by the Vikings. Eventual crossbreeding between these dogs and Scottish sheep dogs produced the border collie.


Border Collie: A rugged yet graceful dog, the athletic border collie excels at herding sheep, frequently staring the flock into submission. The border collie, developed by farmers in the region between England and Scotland and usually identified by a black-and-white coat, is valued for its intelligence, independence, and devotion.

The border collie has a muscular, strong-boned body with straight front legs. The male stands about 48 to 56 cm (about 19 to 22 in) high at the shoulders, and weighs about 18 to 23 kg (about 40 to 51 lb). The female stands about 46 to 54 cm (about 18 to 21 in) high, and weighs about 16 to 19 kg (about 35 to 44 lb). The deep chest is moderately broad, and the neck slightly arched. The broad head has a blunt muzzle, tapering to the nose. Medium-sized, erect ears are set well apart, with the tips sometimes falling forward or outward. The long, low-set tail may end in an upward swirl.

The wide-set oval eyes of a border collie are usually brown. The American Kennel Club (AKC) approves blue eyes only if a border collie has a merled (black with gray) coat. Blue eyes are considered a fault in a border collie with any other coloring. The border collie has a dense coat that is either smooth with hair about 2.5 cm (about 1 in) long covering the body, or rough with flat-to-wavy hair up to 7.5 cm (up to 3 in) long, and shorter, smoother hair on the face. This coat usually is colored with a varying pattern of black, white, and tan.

The border collie is an athletic dog with endurance, agility, and grace. This dog’s smooth, tireless motion enables it to change direction and speed instantly. It covers short distances swiftly. The border collie is intelligent and learns new tasks quickly. It is friendly and makes a good family dog, but also is a good watchdog. A border collie requires daily brushing and a great deal of exercise; without exercise, it can be destructive and cranky.

The AKC granted the border collie individual recognition in 1995. The AKC accepts only border collies registered by the American Border Collie Association (ABC), the American International Border Collie (AIBC), or the North American Sheepdog Society (NASD).

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