A Border Collie is a hard-working herding breed of dog that originated in the border country of England and Scotland. Border Collies are highly intelligent herding dogs. Like most working dogs, they have a tendency towards neurotic or destructive behavior if not given enough to do. more...
They are still frequently used on farms all over the world for assisting with the handling of livestock. Though known to be reserved with strangers, these dogs can also be protective of a human family member and affectionate to those they know.
Because Border Collies have historically been selected for working ability, and not looks, they vary widely in appearance. In general, they are medium-sized dogs without extreme physical characteristics and a moderate amount of coat. Their double coats can be anywhere from slick to lush, and can come in many colors, although black and white is by far the most often seen in the show ring and herding trials and therefore the most common in public perception; tricolor (black/tan/white) and red and white also occurs regularly, with other colors such as, blue and white, red merle, blue merle, or sable seen less frequently. Eye color varies from deep brown to amber or blue with occasionally one eye of each color. The ears of the Border Collie are also highly variable -- some have fully erect ears, some fully dropped and other are semi-erect (similar to that of the Rough Collie). Although working Border Collie handlers sometimes have superstitions about the appearance of their dogs (many handlers do not prefer red dogs, or mostly white dogs), in general a dog's appearance is considered to be irrelevant. It is much more useful to identify a working Border Collie by its attitude and ability, not its looks.
Those dogs bred for the conformation ring are much more uniform in appearance than working Border Collies, since to be successful show dogs they must conform to kennel club standards that are specific on many points of the anatomy and furnishings. Kennel clubs specify that the Border Collie must have a keen and intelligent expression; the preferred eye colour is generally brown. In deference to the dog's working origin, scars and broken teeth received in the line of duty are not to be counted against a Border Collie in the show ring, although how many show collies actually work might be arguable.
Border Collies are extremely energetic and require a lot of attention. They are better off in a household that can provide them with plenty of exercise and a job to do. Like most herding breeds, they will attempt to herd family members, cats, squirrels, bicycles, cars, or anything else that moves in the absence of other charges. Border Collies make bad pets for people who cannot provide a considerable amount of daily exercise, both physical and mental. Many Border Collies end up in shelters or rescue groups because families, attracted by their appearance, discover that they cannot provide the attention and effort required for this driven, active, easily bored breedâ€”though this problem can be alleviated by giving the dog lots of mental and physical stimulation. This can be done by taking them to training classes and for long, brisk walks. Participating in dog sports such as dog agility, flyball, sheepdog trials, and obedience are also popular with Border Collie owners for this reason. It may also help to have more than one dog; with Border Terriers and other Collies the most ideal companions. Among some breeders of the breed in Britain, there is a common saying: "no sheep, no collie", referring to the dog's usual unsuitability to people who just want a "smart dog". Border Collies love to play and do not always know when to stop on their own; owners must ensure that they do not overexert themselves, especially in hot weather, which can be dangerous.
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