Border Collie – Canis Lupus Familiaris
Ranked number one in Stanley Coren‘s The Intelligence of Dogs and typically extremely energetic, acrobatic, smart and athletic, they frequently compete with great success in dog sports, in addition to their success in sheepdog trials and are often cited as the most intelligent of all dogs. Border Collies also remain employed throughout the world in their traditional work of herding livestock.
In general, Border Collies are medium-sized dogs with a moderate amount of coat, which is often thick and frequently sheds. They have a double coat which varies from smooth to rough, (and occasionally curled). Whilst black and white is most commonly seen colour pattern of the Border Collie, the breed appears in just about any colour and pattern known to occur in dogs. Some of these include black tricolour (black/tan/white), liver and white, and red tricolour (red/tan/white) have also been seen regularly, with other colours such as blue, lilac, red merle, blue merle, brindle, and Australian red (also known as ee red, blonde, recessive red, or gold) which is seen less frequently. Some Border Collies may also have single-colour coats.
Eye colour varies from brown to blue, and occasionally eyes of differing colour occur; this is usually seen with merles. The ears of the Border Collie are also variable — some have fully erect ears, some fully dropped ears, and others semi-erect ears (similar to those of the rough Collie or sighthounds). Although working Border Collie handlers sometimes have superstitions about the appearance of their dogs (handlers may avoid mostly white dogs due to the unfounded idea that sheep will not respect a white or almost all white dog), in general a dog’s appearance is considered by the American Border Collie Association to be irrelevant. It is considered much more useful to identify a working Border Collie by its attitude and ability than by its looks.
Dogs bred for showing are more homogeneous in appearance than working Border Collies, since to win in conformation showing they must conform closely to breed club standards that are specific on many points of the structure, coat, and colour. Kennel clubs specify, for example, that the Border Collie must have a “keen and intelligent” expression, and that the preferred eye colour is dark brown. In deference to the dog’s working origin, scars and broken teeth received in the line of duty are not to be counted against a Border Collie in the show ring. The males’ height from withers comes from 48 to 56 centimetres (19 to 22 in), females from 46 to 53 centimetres (18 to 21 in).
Border Collies require considerable daily physical exercise and mental stimulation. The Border Collie is an intelligent dog breed; in fact, it is widely considered to be the most intelligent dog breed. Although the primary role of the Border Collie is being a livestock herding dog, this type of breed is becoming increasingly popular as a pet. In January 2011, a Border Collie was reported to have learned 1,022 words and acts consequently to human citation of those words.
Due to their working heritage, Border Collies are very demanding, playful, and energetic. They are better off in households that can provide them with plenty of play and exercise, either with humans or other dogs. Due to their demanding personalities and need for mental stimulation and exercise, many Border Collies develop neurotic behaviors in households that are not able to provide for their needs. They are infamous for chewing holes in walls, destructive biting and chewing on furniture such as chairs and table legs, and digging holes out of boredom. One of the prime reasons for getting rid of a Border Collie is their unsuitability for families with small children, cats, and other dogs, due to their strong desire to herd. This was bred into them for hundreds of years and still one of their chief uses outside the household. However, it is still possible for them to live happily with other pets.
Though they are a common choice for household pets, Border Collies have attributes that make them less suited for those who cannot give them the exercise they need. As with many working breeds, Border Collies can be motion-sensitive and they may chase moving vehicles.
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