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Border Collie

Border Collie


The most outstanding characteristic of Border Collies is their desire to work above all other things. They herd with their heads lowered, eyeing the sheep with an intense stare. They notice every movement of the livestock, and they react by moving, at times almost imperceptibly, to take advantage of or counter it. Movement of both dog and stock should be calm and steady. These dogs are the world's premier sheep-working breed and are known for their athleticism, intelligence, and strong work ethic.

Border Collies are heading or gathering herders, as opposed to heelers: their instinct is to run wide around a herd or flock, gather the animals, and return them to the shepherd. Border Collies can be (and are) taught to drive stock away from the shepherd, but they do not usually do it by instinct.

Typical Border Collies are workaholics. They are happiest when they have a job to do, whether that job be herding, obedience, agility, or any of the other active occupations and dog sports at which they excel. They are extremely quick, high-energy, busy dogs, and they must have plenty of exercise. They are bred for endurance: a working Border Collie is able to run many miles a day over difficult terrain, then go out and do it again the next day; a one- or two-mile run is barely a warm-up this athletic breed. People without the time to give a dog plenty of good, vigorous exercise every day are usually happier with a calmer breed. A bored Border Collie can become neurotic, obsessive, and destructive.

Border Collies herd livestock, birds, other dogs, cats, children, squirrels, rabbits, deer, bugs, and often lawn mowers, vacuum cleaners, brooms, rakes, and anything else that moves. Although Border Collies herd by "eye" rather than by nipping at the heels of livestock, many are still nippy and will nip at the heels and legs of people when they run. Young children are common targets of that behavior, because they don't know how to control it. In other words, if not handled properly the herding behavior can turn a Border Collie into a real pest. They also tend to be car-chasers, and many Border Collie lives have ended early under the wheels of a car.

Border Collies are always underfoot. These dogs watch you constantly (as if you are the stock), and rush in front of you if they think something is going to happen. They thrive on attention and are very affectionate and people-oriented. However, good early socialization is important for puppies: adults can be reserved with people they don't know, and aggressive with other dogs. Border Collies are highly intelligent and quick learners, but they are slow to mature - they are "puppies" until around 2 or 3 years (or older), and many 10- and 12-year-old dogs are still very lively and full of energy. Don't expect a Border Collie to start acting mature and dignified at 3 or 4 years of age!

Photo Courtesy of Elthea Border Collies



Sue Thompson
Phone: 078-349 06783

Elthea Border Collies Border Collies bred for health, temperament, brains and beauty. Our dogs enjoy showing, junior handling, obedience and agility as well as being loving companions. Puppies occasionally available to the right homes, dogs at stud to approved bitches.
Please visit our website for further details or email



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