Border Collies are endearing, and full of energy. They’re a total powerhouse when it comes to the overall work rate. Specifically bred for herding purposes, they will take every bit of hardship to please their owners. You might have to face some Border Collie behaviour issues including Border Collie barking, but we will help you learn how to resolve any issues.
They require low maintenance and can be trained pretty effectively. Plus, they have an intelligent brain too. If you’re looking for a pet that never gets tired and is always up for games, then look no further than a Border Collie.
Keep reading this article to learn more about this amazing breed especially if you’re considering getting a Collie for your home.
Let’s have a look at some vital stats of Border Collies:
|Dog Breed Group||Herding dog group|
|AKC Breed Popularity||Ranks 35 of 197|
|Average Height||19-22 inches (male), 18-21 inches (female)|
|Weight Range||30-55 pounds|
|Temperament||Very intelligent and full of energy|
|Features||Loyal and loves to cuddle.|
|Life Expectancy||12 to 15 years|
Origin of Border Collie
The Border Collie was first known as a Scotch Sheep Dog and has been around for over 100 years. Queen Victoria was a Border Collie enthusiast in the late 19th century when the dog took on its current name. He’s the world’s best sheep dog, with excellent instincts, high intelligence and a good work ethic. This canine has an intense stare known as “the eye” which he uses to intimidate stock.
The Border Collie’s coat can be many colours, including bi and tri-colours, solid patterns, sable or merle. He’s full of energy and needs regular intensive exercise, not just a short walk or a run around your backyard. He’s best with mature children, not young ones, and he’s devoted to his family but reserved while around strangers. The Border Collie is a seasonal shedder and requires regular brushing. His height is 18 – 22 inches.
Border Collies weren’t popular as pets for a long time, because they were bred for a few specific purposes such as herding the livestock and keeping the potential threats away.
Apparently, their smaller stature might not give the vibe of being threatening, however, when it comes to their agility and vocal ability a.k.a barking, they can scare away most predators and herd the livestock back to the pen.
It is speculated that they originated somewhere between modern England and Scotland during the time of the agricultural revolution. Even to this day, they’re considered the top breed for herding jobs in European nations. Even Queen Victoria commended the ability of Border Collie on her visit to Scotland, after that they were given royal status.
Till the 20th century, these high-energy dogs were only used for herding jobs, such that they weren’t popular in other areas. Soon that changed and Border Collies became mainstream. Which led to a number of issues, such as that there became a major distinction between the show quality Border Collie and the regular Border Collie.
The regular one had all of its characteristics intact and was being bred by the shepherds without any issue, on the other hand, the show quality one was being bred just for the looks, which made it weaker and lose some of the highlighting characteristics such as the agility.
Generally, Show Collies are the perfect fit for a family dog since they can be tamed rather easily and have overall fewer exercise requirements as compared to their farm counterpart. Nevertheless, you can opt for the purebred Border Collie, given that you understand them and realize what issues they bring to the table.
Today Border Collies are recognized by all of the major kennel clubs around the world, however, their herding ability is often neglected when standardizing them as a breed. But that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the company of this highly energetic dog.
Border Collie Behaviour Issues
If you’re looking for a dog that is obedient and can be trained very easily, then a Border Collie might just be the best choice. Since they were raised for herding, they can be trained with low effort and be great pets, but that isn’t the end.
As it turns out, they might have some inherent issues that can potentially rule them out as a pet choice. We’ll look in-depth about these issues, and why they are so prevalent even in the modern Border Collies. Roughly most of these issues can be resolved with immediate training, while some of them can persist because they’re genetic.
Some of the questions that are frequently raised about Border Collies are following:
Do Border Collies Bark A Lot?
This gets asked around every time there’s a mention of Border Collies. Sad to say that if you’re expecting this breed to stay quiet and remain calm, then you’re on the wrong side. Due to their highly energetic nature, they can get pretty vocal as well, which can upset a lot of people, especially your neighbors. It can be a real tough job to find the actual cause behind a barking Border Collie.
They’re intelligent dogs, but most of the time they fail to distinguish real threats from normal situations, which sets their alarm on. Like for example, a stranger is approaching your doorway, there’s a high chance a Border Collie would start barking at them continuously unless the stranger goes away. They crave attention, a lot of it, and to get that attention they’ll bark. But don’t make the mistake of giving your dog attention when it is barking, it will further condition them to bark for attention, and in turn, make them bark even more.
Rather, make sure to give them lots of attention so that they avoid barking. Border Collies are always supercharged for action, you need to have some sort of energy outlet for them. Pent-up energy can increase the vocalization and cause them to get stressed. In old times, they used to exert all their energy in herding the cattle, however, as pets, no physical activity looks demanding enough to them. You can take them on long walks, and they’ll still demand more from you. You can incorporate healthy activities like looking for hidden objects, fetching the ball, or the best of all playing frisbee with them.
Border collie exercise is very important and cannot be neglected at all. Border Collies are crazy for frisbees, they’ll jump way above their weight and catch the frisbee midway through the air. Once they’ve exerted all their energy, you’ll have a handsome smiling Border Collie that won’t bark, at least for a while.
The best way to deal with Border Collie barking would be to socialize them with strangers right from the beginning, otherwise, they’ll continue to be vocal at such times. Another way to mitigate this issue would be by training them to bark on command, with the passage of time they’ll avoid barking on their own and would wait for your command to bark.
Why do Border Collies Chase Things?
All dogs love to play race and chase, like if you’re running then they’ll start chasing you. In the same way, these cute Border Collies love playing chase as well, but the kind of chase they play can be intense. Since they don’t get tired easily, you might find yourself running more than you can handle. This isn’t a big issue for the owner, since they’re accustomed to it.
However, it becomes a major issue when the Border Collie is chasing someone else, like a stranger. For the stranger, it would get extremely horrifying to get chased by such a small dog endlessly.
Border Collies are very sensitive when it comes to visual stimuli, events such as a stranger nearby can put them in chase mode, and cause a ruckus everywhere. One way or another, these Border Collies will find a way to exert their energy, even if it means chasing a butterfly floating around, or a small bird pecking in mud.
Physical Traits of a Border Collie
Both show Collie and regular Border Collie are similar in terms of physical traits such as height and fur color variation. Border Collies are a medium-sized breed, and they fall somewhere between a small spitz dog and a regular shepherd dog. They usually have a double coat, though single coat variation does exist as well.
Male Border Collies would grow up to be around 19 to 22 inches, whereas the female ones will be around 18 to 21 inches. An adult would weigh somewhere between 15 to 20kgs, depending on the level of activity and the type of diet.
They have a very distinctive white muzzle and white patterns usually underneath them complemented with another fur color like black, tan, or red. Recently, there have been more variations in Border Collies as well such as blue, brindle, and lilac.
They are prone to shedding almost every season, therefore grooming them can be quite hard, but since they’re usually meant for outdoors you won’t have to deal with fur inside your house.
Bringing Home a Border Collie Puppy
So you’ve finally decided that you’ll be bringing home a Border Collie pup, they make great loyal pets, but there are few things you need to be prepared for when bringing the puppy for the first time. This is crucial for the first-time dog owners, as well the folks who’ll be raising a Border Collie for the first time as well.
Below are some of the most important things that you’ll have to keep in mind:
They are highly impressionable
All animals learn to adapt and live according to the stimuli provided by the environment. Humans are the most impressionable beings on earth, and this can be observed from their childhood and well after their adulthood. Similarly, Border Collies are some of the most impressionable dog breeds out there. They are highly observant of their owners and can sense even the slightest disparity in your mood.
You can use this trait to your advantage as well, like training them more effectively, they’ll gladly follow all your orders. But on the other side, if you’re not feeling well and something is off, this can cause them to panic. If you act aggressively, then they might get sad, since they relate all this to fear of loss, discouragement, and abandonment. So, always make sure to appreciate their efforts and give them treats from time to time. This way they’ll adapt more quickly and stay calm.
They Learn Very Quickly!
Think of them as the brightest students in class, Border Collies will do whatever it takes to get the best grades. They can be trained without much hassle, unlike other dog breeds where you might have to hire a specialized trainer to train them. Border Collies are truly intelligent and can make complex decisions on their own, and learn from the experience. You can stay sure that a Border Collie won’t repeat the same mistake again.
This trait is passed down from their ancestors who were trained for the herding jobs and would work tirelessly to please the shepherds who kept them. During their herding days, they knew exactly when it was time for the sheep to graze, and the time to bring them back.
They are not afraid to take a decision on their own, even if it means going against the will of the owner. Once a task is assigned to them, they’ll take care of it all without being bothered by anyone.
Training them as puppies is highly advised, however, they can be trained as adult dogs too. But adult dogs might have a harder time incorporating most of the training routines. Puppies on the other hand will pick on the cues easily and learn without any repetitions. Take, for example, if you stop the Border Collie from entering a specific section of your house then it won’t enter again. Similarly, if your dog is pulling its leash, then pulling the leash slightly once or twice might be enough to stop it from pulling it once more.
Border Collies have a curious mind and they keep trying new things out continuously, you should never stop a dog at a young stage from trying new things. It negatively affects their mental health and can lead to a whole lot of issues.
They’ll Wear You Out!
If you’re someone who’s into staying fit and wants a running partner that’ll take you to the next level, then don’t think twice and get a Border Collie. These furry creatures never wear out, they’ll run, chase, and jump endlessly. On the other hand, if you live in an apartment, then don’t consider this breed to be an ample fit for you. They really need the border collie exercise in order to stay healthy, both physically and mentally.
Border Collies enjoy going out with their owners, they will kill for a fetch game with you. If you’re not able to provide them with the right exercise opportunities, then be ready to find spoilings in your house, torn sofa sets, and broken pots.
They Don’t Like Being Confined
Border Collies are free-spirited and hate it when they are confined to smaller spaces. Normally, they were kept in dog kennels but only during the night time, during the day they would be herding the sheep. Confinement can lead to strange issues, such as the Border Collie herding your family members, toys, and other pets. These issues would keep on mounting unless you fix the underlying problem.
Make sure you have ample space in your backyard so that the dog can roam and play. Their herding behavior cannot be isolated, but it can be supplemented with exercises. Even in the show Collies, their instincts will kick in once in a while and within no time they’ll want to do the herding job.
Final Word on Border Collie Behavior Issues:
A Border Collie would never disappoint you at all. Even though it can get quite hard to manage them due to their exercise requirements, still you’ll learn to love each other well. Their average life span ranges from 12 to 15 years, which can be quite a commitment. Nevertheless, Border Collie is a dog that’ll always keep you and your family entertained with its amazing feats.
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