Border collies are a high-energy member of the Herding group. They are typically between 30 and 50 pounds, and the most common color is black and white. They can also be other colors including liver and white, or merle and white. Border collies require a high amount of physical and mental exercise to keep them happy. If you are considering this breed, you should keep in mind that they enjoy an active lifestyle and you should give them at least some basic training. They are eager to please and easy to train, but when when they get bored, they can be very destructive. You want to make sure you provide proper care for your border collie. Here are some tips for caring for this hard working breed:
- Border collies do not do a good job of exercising themselves, unless you call chewing up your house good exercise. They do much better if you help them exercise. They excel in obedience, agility, and other forms of training because they thrive on both physical and mental exercise. These dogs were bred to herd sheep all day, and to use their brain to get the sheep where they wanted them to go. If you do not want them to herd the cars or the neighbor's bike going down the road, you will need to find other activities to occupy their brain.
- Pure physical exercise is also required to keep a border collie happy. Some like to chase a ball or frisbee, while others will hike with you all day long if you give them the opportunity. Make sure you give them some type of physical exercise every day. Learn about dog training because obedience training is also a form of exercise for the border collie.
- A border collie's coat is not difficult to groom, but it does require regular brushing if you want to minimize shedding. It should be brushed with a fine wire brush at least a couple times a week to help remove dead hair and to stimulate the oils in their skin. Dog grooming won't be a problem if you keep up a routine with your border collie.
- Do not bathe your dog any more than once every couple months. They tend to have dry skin, and bathing will dry the skin even more.
- Border collies like to chew; it is a good idea to keep a good quality beef bone around to prevent them from chewing on the furniture.
- They are excellent climbers and jumpers. If you are going to confine them with a fence, you will want to use a kennel with a roof on the top. This will keep them from jumping, or climbing out.
- You should take your dog to the vet at least once a year for a checkup, shot update and heartworm test. You should also discuss any other concerns you have about your dog with the vet.
- Feed your border collie a high-quality dog food to keep him in the best shape. If you are unsure what kind to feed your pet, consult your veterinarian.
- Border collies are very loyal, and will bond with the family. They should be socialized with other adults, children, and pets from a young age. If they are not properly socialized from a young age, they can be wary of children, and may have a difficult time getting along with other animals.
- Wipe the ears gently with a soft cloth once or twice a month, to keep them free of dirt and prevent infections.
- Border collies usually do a great job of keeping their nails worn down and short. If your dog does need his nails trimmed, do not trim above the pink part of a white nail, or the darkest part of a black nail. The best method is to only trim the very tip, and to do this on a regular basis. If you are uncomfortable with trimming your dog's nails, a veterinarian or professional groomer can provide this service to you.
If you are looking for a dog that loves to hike or jog with you every day, this is your breed. Border collies also make excellent competitors in obedience, agility and herding trials. They love attention and thrive on training. They are a highly intelligent breed, and can even be manipulative if you do not know how to handle them. If you are looking for a dog to be confined to a small place all day while you are at work, and then lie by your feet at night, this is not the breed for you. They will lie by your feet at night, but only after you have played ball with them all afternoon.