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The Border Collie is a working and herding dog breed developed in the [wiki title=”Anglo-Scottish_border” base=”EN”]Anglo-Scottish border[/wiki] region for herding livestock, especially sheep. It was specifically bred for intelligence and obedience.

Considered highly intelligent, extremely energetic, acrobatic and athletic, they frequently compete with great success in [wiki title=”Sheepdog_trial” base=”EN”]sheepdog trials[/wiki] and dog sports. They are often cited as the most intelligent of all domestic dogs. Border Collies continue to be employed in their traditional work of herding livestock throughout the world.

Description

In general, Border Collies are medium-sized dogs with a moderate amount of coat, which is most often thick and sheds often. They have a double coat that varies from smooth to rough and is occasionally curled. Whilst black and white is most commonly seen colour pattern of the Border Collie, the breed appears in just about any colour and pattern known to occur in dogs. Some of these include black tricolour (black/tan/white), liver and white, and red tricolour (red/tan/white) have also been seen regularly, with other colours such as blue, lilac, red merle, blue merle, brindle, and Australian red (also known as ee red, blonde, recessive red, or gold) which is seen less frequently. Some Border Collies may also have single-colour coats.

Temperament and needs

Border Collies require considerably more daily physical exercise and mental stimulation than many other breeds. The Border Collie is an intelligent dog breed; in fact, it is widely considered to be the most intelligent dog breed. Although the primary role of the Border Collie is to herd livestock, this breed is becoming increasingly popular as a companion animal.

In this role, due to their working heritage, Border Collies are very demanding, playful, and energetic. They thrive best in households that can provide them with plenty of play and exercise, either with humans or other dogs. Due to their demanding personalities and need for mental stimulation and exercise, many Border Collies develop problematic behaviours in households that are not able to provide for their needs.

Health

Life span

The natural life span of the Border Collie is between 10 and 14 years, with an average lifespan of 12 years. The median longevities of breeds of similar size are usually 12 to 13 years.

Leading causes of death are cancer (23.6%), old age (17.9%) and cerebral vascular afflictions (9.4%).

Common health problems

[wiki title=”Hip_dysplasia_(canine)” base=”EN”]Hip dysplasia[/wiki], [wiki title=”Collie_eye_anomaly” base=”EN”]Collie eye anomaly[/wiki] (CEA), and [wiki title=”Epilepsy_in_animals” base=”EN”]epilepsy[/wiki] are considered the primary genetic diseases of concern in the breed at this time. CEA is a congenital, inherited eye disease involving the retina, [wiki title=”Choroid” base=”EN”]choroid[/wiki], and [wiki title=”Sclera” base=”EN”]sclera[/wiki] that sometimes affects Border Collies. In Border Collies, it is generally a mild disease and rarely significantly impairs vision. However, other eye conditions such as PRA slowly disintegrates the retina and can cause Border Collies to lose almost all of their vision at night which can progress into complete daytime blindness. There is now a DNA test available for CEA and, through its use, breeders can ensure that they will not produce affected pups. There are different types of hip testing available including OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) and [wiki title=”PennHIP” base=”EN”]PennHip[/wiki]. Radiographs are taken and sent to these organizations to determine a dog’s hip and elbow quality.

Two types of hearing loss occur in the breed. The first type is pigment associated and is found in Border Collie puppies, although the puppies can have congenital sensorineural deafness from birth as well. The second type is known as adult onset hearing loss. These dogs have a normal auditory brainstem response test as pups but gradually lose their hearing some time between one and eight years of age. A study is currently underway at The Translational Genomics Research Institute to identify the genetic cause of adult onset hearing loss in the breed.

Border Collie. (2017, July 15). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Border_Collie&oldid=790674284

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