Border Collie

  • Overview

    Border Collies are intuitive herding dogs who love being given a task to complete. They live up to their reputation as the smartest dog breed by quickly responding to training and excelling in canine sports and obedience. They are a light-weight, agile dog who stands between 1 ½ feet and almost 2 feet tall and weighs between 30 and 45 pounds.

  • Personality

    Border Collies can get a little bit of an attitude if they feel that their drive to work is not being understood or rewarded. They will not be content to laze about on the couch for hours on end, and if they're asked to do it, they could become destructive, stubborn and ornery. Provide them with plenty of opportunity to be active, whether it's in the form of a long walk, a vigorous play session, a run around the yard, agility or obedience games or even accompanying you on errands. The Border Collie will relish activity in all forms, and he will work to please his owner, no matter what he's asked to do. Still, Border Collies are remarkably receptive to training. They learn commands with ease and seem to anticipate their owner's commands and desires before they hear them. Training them can be a joy.

    These alert dogs are constantly interested in their families' habits and actions. They will "herd" family members around the house and they won't take well to being left alone. Their ability to perceive their owners' emotions means that they bond very closely to them and don't like to be separated from them. They are loyal, responsive and gentle toward those they trust. Their herding instincts can lead them to be stand-offish and anxious around strangers or other dogs, so frequent opportunities for socializing will help them learn to trust new people.

  • Coat Care

    Border Collies have either rough or smooth double coats. The outer coat is coarse and protects the Border Collie from harsh weather conditions. The under coat is soft and warm. Rough-coated Border Collies have medium-length coat with longer feathering on the legs, chest and belly. Smooth-coated Border Collies have shorter hair all over their body with minimal feathering around their legs. Their coats are usually coarser and not as smooth to the touch. Border Collies are most often seen in black and white patterns, with a white blaze along the face, neck and tail. Some are other bi- or tricolor patterns, and some are merle.

Brushing

Bordor Collie's weather-resistant coat needs to be brushed and combed weekly with a metal comb, to remove tangles, and a slicker brush, to remove dead hair. Brushing helps distribute protective oils throughout the coat and prevents matting, especially in rough-coated Border Collies. They shed seasonally, so frequent brushing will help reduce the amount of hair that they lose around the house.

Bathing

Bathe your Border Collie about once every four months.

Hair Clipping

Clipping or trimming your dog’s coat is far easier than you would ever imagine. With the right clipper, trimmer and scissors, giving your dog a haircut is easy on your wallet and your schedule.

Dogs with combination coats generally require routine trimming. It lessens the chances of matting, tangles and the infestation of fleas and other pests, thus reducing the risk of skin infections. There is no set timetable. Judgment should be made on an individual basis, depending on functionality and owner preference. There are a wide array of trimmers available that will make each snip a snap. It’s a good idea to take your dog for a short walk to calm him down before you groom him. Thoroughly brush the coat to remove tangles and mats. Use trimmers to trim excess fur off the dog's body, choosing the appropriate clip attachment to achieve desired length. Start with the shoulders and progress towards the tail. Use a trimmer or a scissors to even out areas around the tail, paws, sanitary areas and chest, as needed. Groom the head and face last, being watchful for sudden movement. Trim with the flow of the fur, away from the eyes and nose.

Nails

Many dog owners are apprehensive about trimming their dog’s nails because they are nervous about cutting into the quick. But with the right conditioning and careful cutting, nail clipping can be a simple, stress-free activity for you and your dog.

Provide your dog with plenty of positive reinforcement and even treats to help associate nail clipping with a positive experience.  As you start to clip, gently press on your dog’s paws to help him become accustomed to the feeling of having his nails clipped. Then, work gradually, shaving down just a thin portion of the nail at first to make sure you don’t reach the quick. Clip one nail, reward your dog with a treat, and stop to give him some positive reinforcement before moving on. Gradually increase the number of nails you clip in one sitting to help your dog get used to the process. Never trim extremely long nails down to a short nail in one sitting, because this is an excellent way to accidently quick the dog’s nail. Instead, work gradually, shaving small portions of your dog’s nails off each time.

You can tell if you’re getting close to the quick by the texture of your dog’s nail. The nail is hard closer to the surface and becomes softer as you get closer to the quick. If your dog’s nail starts to feel softer, that’s a good indication that you’re getting close to the quick.

Eyes / Ears

Not all breeds and coat styles require routine trimming in and around the eyes and ears but all should undergo regular inspection and cleaning around these sensitive areas. Doing so will help prevent the development of infections that could seriously damage these amazing organs.

It is always important to routinely clean your dog's eyes and ears, and examine for potential infections. Small dogs, like Dachshunds, Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Papillions and Japanese Chins, and dogs with hanging ears like the Saluki,  have sensitive ears that need to be checked weekly for infection and cleaned with a cotton ball. Gently wipe a cotton ball moistened with mineral oil, olive oil or witch hazel in your dog's ear, being careful to avoid the ear canal. Never use a Q-Tip, which could cause damage to the inner ear if your dog suddenly shakes or jerks his head. Bushy hair growth within the ear can be thinned with tweezers or blunt scissors. Use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around the eyes, ears and face. Small dogs like Papillions and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels are prone to developing tear stains around their eyes, so clean around their eyes with a cotton ball or soft cloth and use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around their eyes.

Teeth

Brush their teeth twice a week.