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Border Collie: Training, Characteristics, Exercise, Health

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About Border Collie

Country of Origin, History of Border Collies

The Border Collie is a type of herding dog that originated in Northumberland lying on the border of Scotland and England in the United Kingdom. The breed had been developed from old British droving/gathering breeds and spaniels. The mention of the ‘Collie’ or ‘Colley’ type of dogs first appeared towards the end of the nineteenth century. A tri-color dog known as Old Hemp has been regarded as the common ancestor of all Border Collie dogs of the day.

Old Hemp had been bred from a black and tan dog and a black-coated, strong-eyed bitch. Hemp had been a quiet and powerful dog that sheep responded to very easily.

In an effort to produce a dog that could excel at rat baiting and rabbit coursing, Black and Tan Terriers were crossed with the Whippet.

By 1860 Manchester had become the breed centre for these new terriers, and so they became known as Manchester Terriers. Because of their demeanor, they were called the Gentleman's Terrier in Victorian times.

Border Collie Tools

Breed Selector Tool - is the Border Collie the right breed for you?

Is the Border Collie the right breed for you and your family?

Find out by using our Free Dog Breed Selector Tool

Check Your Border Collie's Learning Style

Are you aware dogs also have a learning style that can greatly affect their ability to housetrain as well as be trained correctly. Evaluate your Border Collie's learning style and personality using our free Learning Style tool so that you are better able to provide him with the proper Border Collie training methods.

Is your Border Collie dominating over you?

Does your Border Collie bark unnecessarily? Does your Border Collie come to you when you call? Download a FREE Report on Dog Dominance for you and your Border Collie and learn how to control your dog.

Do you make these mistakes with your Border Collie?

Are you inadvertently snow-balling bad behavior in your Border Collie? Evaluate your Dog Training Style from our Free Tool and learn how best to deal with your dog.

Border Collie Calorie Calculator

Do you know how many calories your Border Collie needs every day and how many cups of food you should be giving it every day? Click here to use our Border Collie Calorie Calculator.

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A General Appearance of the Dog

This dog is active and alert. The Collie’s body has strong foot pads and muscular hindquarters. The ears are not cropped and are medium in size. The overall body shape is balanced and appears to be athletic. The Border Collie is strong and can endure the physical demands of work appropriate to the breed. In addition, Collies are known to be intelligent animals, and their facial expression is lively and alert.


The Border Collie is bred in several color combinations, which include solid color, bi-color, tri-color, merle, and sable.

The dog’s coat can be either rough or smooth. The Border Collie’s coat is thick and water resistant. The topcoat is straight or wavy and is coarser than the undercoat. The undercoat is short and dense, with a softer feel than the topcoat.


This breed is shorter in height than in length.

Male: 19 to 22 inches
Female: 18 to 21 inches.

Weight: 30 - 45 pounds.

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Border Collie Personality Traits

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The Spanish Water Dog is an extremely intelligent, fearless, ever-active, strong, attentive, happy and well balanced versatile working dog with strong herding, hunting and guardian instincts. It is a devoted companion. It is reserved, not shy, with strangers. They can be protective and territorial.

Are they suited to families with kids?

Most of them are good with children and other animals if properly socialized.


If Border Collies are left alone for long periods of time without any mental or physical stimulation, they can become destructive and suffer from behavioral problems due to neglect.

A Border Collie needs consistency during training. For example, any words or body movements used during training need to be consistently repeated; otherwise, the Collie will perceive any differences as a new command. As previously stated, Border Collies are very intelligent and will pick up on subtle changes in an owner’s or trainer’s behavior.

When Border Collies are puppies, they experience physical elimination simply as a ‘need,’ not a discipline. The dog will feel a need to urinate or defecate and not have the ability to control the urge. An owner or trainer needs to have the Collie pup go outdoors on a regular schedule every day for at least six months. The time outside should be between thirty and sixty minutes. Border Collies tend to drink a great deal of water during the day, so they need to be put outside frequently and consistently.

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Free Course on Border Collie Training & Obedience
Stop All Bad Behavior, Excessive Barking and Biting

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Border Collie Activity Level

 How active is the breed?

Because of their genetic predisposition toward activity, Border Collies can become restless when confined inside a home or pen. These dogs respond well to indoor activities such as playing with familiar toys, new toys, and learning new tricks. These activities provide the mental stimulation required by this breed of dog. Outside, the Collie enjoys physical exertion such as running across large areas, engaging in 'herding' behavior, and playing 'catch' with familiar objects.

Exercise Needs

Indoors or outdoors, the Border Collie can learn how to play 'hide and seek' with people or with hidden treats. This breed easily learns how to locate objects due to its sharp sense of smell. The dog will engage in this type of play for hours. If the dog must be left alone for a period of time, a companion dog will help keep him/her from getting bored. Also, hiding treats and toys around the yard will provide amusement for the Collie.

Sometimes Border Collies are not inclined to become active when left alone. They may require someone to prompt them and assist them in active behavior.


It is important to care for the Border Collie’s undercoat, especially during times of the year when the dog sheds. It is recommended that the Collie’s feet be groomed under the knee only; the hair on the tail and upper-leg areas can be left alone. This is mainly due to the dog’s preference for the lower leg areas to be closely trimmed.

There are several grooming tools which can help groom a Border Collie, such as a matt splitter, a palm brush, and a nail clipper. A matt splitter should be used sparingly to break apart areas of thickly matted fur. A soft-bristle palm brush will result in a smoother coat and a relaxing massage for the dog. Owners can also use a ‘parrot’ (rounded) nail clipper, but it is recommended that a professional groomer or veterinarian perform toenail clipping to prevent harm or discomfort from ‘short trimming’ the dog’s nails.

The breed requires weekly grooming, which includes combing and brushing, to maintain its coat, prevent shedding, and detect insects or fleas. The Collie has a soft, short thick undercoat and an outer coat that is long and dense. The Border Collie requires bathing only if necessary, not on a regular basis. The ears should be checked for ticks and fur in and around the openings of the ears should be trimmed to a short length.

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Free Border Collie Training Secrets

Free Course on Border Collie Training & Obedience
Stop All Bad Behavior, Excessive Barking and Biting

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Health and Care

While the SWD seems to be a very healthy breed there are some issues that the SWD have, just like all other breeds. There are cases of Hip Dysplasia in the breed, so choose your breeder carefully.

All breeding dogs should have their hips tested, either by OFA or PennHIP. There have been a few cases of PRA reported in Europe so it is advised that all breeders should test their breeding stock for PRA and other such genetic eye diseases with a yearly CERF exam. A responsible breeder will be able to produce the results in writing.

Like other Water Dogs and related breeds, they grow hair in their ear canals and can be prone to ear infections. The ears must be kept dry and clean. . Because these dogs are (as a general rule) so active and energetic as puppies, they may seriously injure themselves from too much running and jumping when their skeletal structure is still developing.

National Breed Clubs

Life Expectancy: About 10-14 years.

Group: It is officially recognized as a Pastoral dog by the Kennel Club of the United Kingdom. In the United States, the Border Collie is officially recognized as a herding dog by the American Kennel Club (AKC).

AKC Popularity Ranking: 35

Also known as: Sheep Dog.

Train Your Border Collie To Listen To You

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You'll learn new commands to obedience-train your dog as well as how to housebreak your dog in 6 days or less.

You'll also learn how to eliminate bad habits like barking, nipping or biting, jumping, or pulling on the leash.Here's just s small fraction of what else you'll learn in the course:

  • How to lead and think like a pack dog - the new psychology.

  • 3 dangerous mistakes that most Border Collie owners make when they are trying to potty train their dogs.

  • The 2 main reasons why your dog barks excessively and how to control its excessive barking.

  • How to obedience train your Border Collie to permanently end behavioral problems like Jumping, Aggression, Pulling on Leash.

  • A surprisingly easy way to teach your dog cool new tricks.

  • How to improve your dog's lifespan and keep it from getting overly heavy with a healthy and nutritious diet.

  • Getting Pro help fast - how to get access to our expert trainers when you need them most.

  • One hidden psychological trigger that all Border Collies have... that practically allows you to "analyze" and "control" your dog's every action.

  • Priority access to the free online seminars conducted by our training experts.

Whereas other dog training related web sites and books offer generic information for dogs in general, ours is the ONLY web site that offers Border Collie information specifically, from a renowned panel of experts - because as you probably know, Border Collies have their own special training requirements that other dogs don't have.

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Our Dog Experts

The Border Collie training information you will read here was developed by a panel of renowned dog training experts whose combined wisdom represents nearly 100 years of specialist experience training dogs.

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