Border Collie Dogs, How Smart Are They?
Border Collie dogs were specifically bred to be intelligent and obedient. Border Collie canines hail from England, Scotland, and Wales where they are said to be the descendants of dogs that the Vikings used to herd reindeer. Border Collies (BC’s) are ranked, as one of the most intelligent and top herding dogs on the planet, although they can be a bit neurotic, is a fantastic breed. Never seeming to tire, loving their work, and working, Border Collies do not know the words quit or take it easy. These herding dogs, mostly for sheep, but also other livestock, are known for their staring and crouching style that enables them to mesmerize and herd almost any animal, which is why the Border Collie is considered one of the best herding breeds in the world.
Border Collie Dogs are focused and ready to work, Being super intelligent herders, Border Collies must be kept busy with anything to occupy them. If not kept engaged they will become bored and possibly turn destructive. BC’s will herd children, cats, ducks, geese, other animals, and almost anything that moves, and they can also be utilized to vacate unwanted birds from areas such as golf courses and airports. Border Collies also make excellent watchdogs, and are capable of taking verbal and whistle commands at long distances. It has been established that they are highly adept at learning and retaining a huge lexicon of commands.
Border Collies are highly trainable and able to excel in many sports such as agility, Frisbee™ trials, Flyball, tricks, and obedience competitions. They also serve as narcotics and bomb detector dogs, and even guide dogs for the blind and handicap assistant dogs. Using rewards based training. BC’s are capable of learning far more than the usual commands and tricks. They are able to learn, retain, and perform many tricks upon command, perform in a variety of dog sports, and herd livestock. Blessed with energy and stamina they can work or play all day long. Agility skills are a highlight of this breed and they perform at high levels in Frisbee™, sheepdog trials, obedience, and other sports.
Border Collies can have either rough or smooth coats, but if a rough is bred with a rough then there is not chance for a smooth coated puppy. When a smooth is bred with a rough then there is approximately a 50-50 percentage of rough and smooths being produced. Both coats come in a variety of lengths and textures, some long dense wooly coats can be extremely dense and require quite a lot of grooming time and effort. All coat lengths are weather resistant additionally in the smooth type there is a variance in the thickness and density of the undercoat. From five to six weeks forward the coat type can be identified on a Border Collie.
Smooth coats require less time and effort grooming and their coats will not mat, and pick up far less burs and debris than the longer rough coats. A wide variety of colors are available, such as solid color, bicolor or tricolored on blue merle, red merle, chocolate merle, liver, lilac merle harlequin, chocolate, lilac, blue, sable merle, sable, shaded sable, chocolate sable, black, white, red, or brindle. No matter the coat type or color, they are Border Collies with their own unique personality with neither of these physical characteristics determining that personality.
Border Collie Health
Border Collie Health, like humans have potentiality to develop serious and not so serious ailments and diseases. Many of these ailments and diseases vary in type and prevalence, from breed to breed. Consider this fact when picking out your new puppy, and beware of any breeder that makes a claim that the puppies of their particular breed are “100% healthy.” A reputable and honest breeder should know and share any health related issues that the breed you are purchasing or inquiring about might have, or that could potentially surface.
Border Collie dogs are considered to be for the most part durable and healthy. There are a few health issues they are prone, such as epilepsy, hip dysplasia, PRA (Collie Eye Anomaly), and deafness. Border Collies can have an issue with hearing loss as they age. Two other significant calamities, CL (ceroid lipofuscinosis, and TNS (trapped neutrophil syndrome) are fatal genetic disorders. Further information is available in your countries Border Collie Club website.
Prior to acquiring your dog of choice, beit a Border Collie or another dog breed, I recommend reading about canine health related issues and common breed specific ailments. By familiarizing yourself with the signs and symptoms of a potential disease or sickness, you will be empowered to be the first line of defense in support of your dog’s health and wellbeing. By completing routine physical examinations of your dog, frequent fecal inspections, as well as recognizing any gastrointestinal problems, all helps to assure optimal health of your companion. By observing and understanding your dog’s healthy behaviors and regular patterns, you will easily be able to identify when your dog is not feeling well, and to deduce if medical attention is needed.
In your position and role as alpha, you are responsible for providing the best possible care for your dog, assuring his or her wellbeing and comfort. Do not hesitate to consult your veterinarian if you observe your dog displaying peculiar behaviors or showing any signs of discomfort. It is very important to maintain your dog’s scheduled exams, mandatory check up’s and vaccination appointments. Uphold this duty, so that your Border Collie can enjoy the vitality of good health that he or she deserves, and is entitled to.
Long daily walks are recommended for maintaining a healthy dog, regardless of the breed. Walks can be opportunities to practice leash training, socialization, and aid to the over-all mental and physical well being of your dog. Border Collies require at least two hours per day of varied types of exercise, whether this is achieved through play, games or sport. Herding, agility, and other games are a great source of exercise and mental stimulation for a Border Collie.
Remember that loneliness and boredom are enemies of the Border Collie. It is advised that you should always provide your new Border Collie puppy with plenty of toys to keep boredom at bay and to reduce the chance of potential destructive negative behaviors from overtaking their naturally sweet disposition. Ongoing Intelligent activity is the norm for your new Border Collie.
Feeding Your Border Collie
Age, weight, and activity levels are a few of the factors that can change the food requirements of your BC. Once you have determined the appropriate amount to provide, feed an accurately measured portion, at regular times, to help maintain their optimal weight. If you wish to feed your dog a raw food diet or a mix, please do your research and consult your veterinarian prior to any adjustments to their meals. Be sure to keep plenty of fresh, clean water available for your dog, and it is considered a good hygienic practice to clean your dog’s bowl after each feeding.
Proactive Measures for Puppy Selection
If you want to buy a Border Collie puppy, be sure to find a reputable Border Collie breeder who will provide proof of health clearances for both of the puppy’s parents. Health clearances are official documents that prove a dog has been tested for, and cleared of any, or all breed specific conditions, however a clearance does not guarantee against acquired diseases or congenital abnormalities. Remember, even under the best breeding practices and proactive care measures, puppies can still develop diseases.
For the Border Collie breed, you should expect to see a health clearance from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) for hip dysplasia, as well as a clearance from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF), certifying that the eyes are healthy. You can also confirm health clearances by checking the OFA web site (offa.org). Two other significant calamities, CL (ceroid lipofuscinosis, and TNS (trapped neutrophil syndrome) are fatal genetic disorders that can be tested in DNA. You will want to see clearance of CL and TNS from the breeder you choose your puppy. For more information, refer to the Border Collie Society website.
The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA www.offa.org) maintains an open registry with evaluations of hips, elbows, eyes, thyroid, cardio, and additional canine health issues. They also provide clear definitions of the test categories to help you understand the grading system. PennHIP is another registry that tests and evaluates dog’s hips.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) conducts large canine research studies on diseases that affect purebred dogs such as Border Collie dogs. Their health program is under the direction of the Canine Health Foundation (CHF), and is in partnership with OFA, and additionally does breed testing and provides a centralized canine health database called, the Canine Health Information Center (CHIC). The results of these tests are maintained in a registry, and dogs that have completed all of the required exams, including testing of the hips, elbows, and eyes, receive a CHIC number. Along with the breed-testing program, there is the CHIC DNA Repository. CHIC is trying to gather and store breed DNA samples for canine disease research. The goal is to facilitate future research aimed at reducing the incidence of inherited diseases in dogs. You can search the database to find out if a specific dog has information listed about it. More information about CHIC is available here: Canine Health
To be accepted into the CHIC database, Border Collie breeders must agree to have all test results published. This enables the reader to see both good and bad results of the testing. Obtaining a CHIC number does not imply that the dog received good or passing evaluation scores. The CHIC registration also does not signify as proof of the absence of disease, and all information must be read and evaluated. CHIC allows the information collected to be readily available to anyone with an inquiry.
Border Collie Care
You are responsible for the welfare of your new Border Collie puppy or dog. Please treat him or her with respect and love, and this will be reciprocated tenfold. Dogs have been human companions for thousands of years, and they are living beings complete with feelings, emotions and the need for attachment. Before bringing home a new dog or puppy, please determine if you are capable and willing to provide all the needs that your new family member requires.
From the time you bring your Border Collie home, positive training is a great start to introducing your new pack member to your household. You should be aware and sensitive to the fact that dogs have an amazing capacity for memory and recollection of those experiences. With this in mind, please refrain from harsh training tactics that may intimidate your puppy and that potentially can negatively affect personality or demeanor. When you train your new puppy, give him or her the respect they deserve, and utilize all available positive reinforcements. The result of your positive, proactive training methods and behavior modifications will be that your dog’s abilities, traits, and characteristics that are buried within the genetic profile of their specific breed, will shine. I am an advocate for beginning with rewards based clicker training, followed by vocal and physical cues for your young dog to learn to become obedient to commands.
Crate training has positive benefits, and provides a safe place for your dog to nap, or simply to be alone. In addition, crate training at a young age will help your dog accept confinement if he ever needs to be transported, boarded or hospitalized.
Appropriate, early, and ongoing socialization will help you and your BC throughout his or her lifetime. Expose your new puppy or dog to a wide variety of situations, people, and other animals. This helps to prevent shyness, aggressiveness, possessiveness, and many other potential behavioral problems, meanwhile supporting the bond between the two of you. Remember never leave young children unsupervised around dogs or puppies. Also, be aware that situations of aggression may happen no matter how loving, gentle, and well trained a dog may be.
A routine care program is essential for any dog, and should always include basic hygienic practices. For the optimal health of your pet, scheduled care should include the care of the coat, nails and teeth. It is important to get instruction from your veterinarian for the proper cleaning method of the outer and inner ear.
The Border Collie coat is weather resistant and needs regular combing and brushing. They are an average shedder and during heavy shedding, need extra maintenance. Bathe or dry shampoo only when necessary. They shed daily, and frequent brushing benefits the splendor of their coat, helps control household hair mess, and is an opportunity to practice handling. Pin brushes are gentle, prevent hair breakage and can get through the outer to the undercoat. Slicker brushes work well BC’s thicker hair and are additionally good for the smooth-coat Border Collies harder to reach areas. Use your slicker behind the ears, elbows, and under the tail. Using a mat rake will help you liquidate the mats. Comb mats in small sections moving from the end of the hair towards the roots. Finish off by combing your dog with a fine-tooth comb.
Now Then: Lets Talk About Training Your Border Collie
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