This article also relates to: Welsh Red Collie
Believed to be a direct descendent of the Landrace Collie that was typically encountered in the British Isles, the Border Collie derives its name from its likely place of origin, along the Anglo-Saxon border. Originally bred as a working dog used to herd sheep in rural mountainous regions, and much earlier as a favourite amongst Vikings for herding reindeer, the Border Collie has established prowess as the traditional working sheepdog. The popularity of the Border Collie has remained constant throughout its history, appealing to owners because of its versatility, appearance and inherent working temperament.
Highly trainable, the breed needs ample exercise and responds well to instruction, demonstrating obedience, intelligence and enthusiasm. Socialisation is important for the Border Collie from an early age as it thrives on company and is prone to displays of shyness. The Border Collie possesses a double coat, making it well suited to extreme climates, and is commonly recognised in tricolour variations of black, white, tan, sable, chocolate, blue merle and brindle. The coat is typically medium length and the stature of the breed is athletic, with proportioned limbs, high-set ears and ovular eyes that are characteristically brown or blue if the dog is of a merle colouration.
Although possessing a strong tracking instinct and intelligence that demands physical and mental enrichment, the Border Collie is a relatively docile breed, engaging calmly with new situations and people, whilst being vigilant to threat and change. The Border Collie is a great companion dog, enjoying constant company and being obedient to its owner. On average a healthy adult Border Collie will weigh 12-20 kg, although there are discrepancies across gender, with a life expectancy of 12-15 years.
Bred for its hardiness, the Border Collie is generally healthy but cases of hip and elbow dysplasia, epilepsy and early-onset deafness have been seen in the breed, usually occurring between the ages of 1 and 8 years old.