Although the Border Collie was originally a pure herding dog and was used by shepherds and on farms, the beautiful and clever dog quickly enjoyed increasing popularity away from the herds of sheep.
In the meantime, he is a family dog that is kept with pleasure, who feels particularly at home with active people with a lot of dog sense, who not only exercise him sufficiently physically but also encourage and challenge him mentally again and again.
This is very important because the Border Collie, due to its intended purpose, needs a task in order for it to become a balanced member of its family.
Border Collie Dog Breed Information
Other names: Scottish Sheepdog;
Size: ♂ male: 48 – 56 cm ♀ female: 46 – 53 cm;
Weight: ♂ male: 14-20 kg ♀ female: 12-19 kg;
Provenance/Origin: Great Britain;
Color: white must never prevail, otherwise, versatile colors are allowed;
Coat of moderate length or short hair, each with a dense topcoat and undercoat, weatherproof;
Life expectancy: 13 – 16 years;
Character/nature: persistent, intelligent, attentive, easy to handle, independent, sensitive, friendly;
Disease: risk hip dysplasia, collie eye anomaly, MDR1 defect, double merle.
Border Collie Facts
The Border Collie is primarily a working dog, so it’s not for everyone. However, two different lines are now being bred. A working line and a show line. The latter is often touted as a family dog. Here the focus is more on appearance and less on good herding and working qualities.
The Border Collie does not need to be kept busy, busy, and tired around the clock. Much more important is a meaningful task that he can pursue and in which he also has to use his brains. It is also important to give the dog enough rest breaks or to teach it to switch off every now and then. The breed otherwise works ad nauseum.
With the help of a Facebook campaign, a memorial was erected to Old Hemp, the progenitor of all Border Collies, along with his breeder Adam Telfer. It was unveiled in 2015 and is based in Northumberland where the outstanding male was born.
The breed owes its name to the fact that it was originally bred on the border between Scotland and England (Border Country). Also, “Collie” means something like “useful”.
The breed is considered to be the smartest dog breed ever. So it’s no wonder that Border Collies holds a number of records. For example in skateboarding or for the fastest way to roll down a car window. Border Collie Chaser, on the other hand, was known for being able to match more than 1000 words to the right objects.
Not just a star as a herding dog. Many Border Collies are also excellent “actors”. Like the Border Collie Mix Maui, for example, who played the dog of the two main characters in the series “Crazy About You” for years. Border Collies also appear in the popular “A Pig Called Babe” films or in the series “Our Little Farm”.
At Cherry Capital Airport in Michigan, Border Collie Piper worked (until early 2018) with other dogs as a “Wildlife Manager” and ensures that everything runs smoothly and safely on the tarmac. How? The four-legged friend drives away birds and other wild animals so that air traffic can be carried out unhindered.
Border Collies move in a slinky or crouching manner when guarding a herd. Despite this special posture, they can move very smoothly and are very similar to cats.
To guard the herd and nudge them in the right direction, the Border Collie uses a technique called “the eye.” An intense and fixed gaze that triggers the escape reflex in herd animals. In fact, this look is part of the natural hunting repertoire: stare, stalk, hunt, grab and kill. The last two points are of course undesirable for a herding dog and have been bred away.
Where does the Border Collie come from?
The Border Collie comes from Great Britain and was most commonly found in the border areas of England and Scotland, which can also be derived from its name.
Border is the English word for frontier and collie is believed to come from the Gaelic (from “colley”) and means something like useful. And the dog was always useful for the shepherds, who historically bred it for hard work in the harsh climate of Great Britain from around the 16th century.
They were so proud of their herding dogs, who took good care of their sheep, that they had them compete against each other in competitions called “sheepdog trails”.
The actual origin of the Border Collies as we know them today, however, goes back to a herding dog named “Old Hemp”, who is also referred to as the progenitor of the breed.
Around the same time, the ISDS (International Sheep Dog Society) was formed, which to this day has not established a breed standard for the Border Collie, but only values herding traits, especially for their sheep, who put dogs.
However, the Border Collie was recognized by the FCI in 1976 and is managed there with its own breed standard for breeding.
Understanding the Border Collie
In order to understand the nature and character of the Border Collie, it is extremely important for future owners to deal with and familiarize themselves with the original task (see history and origin) of the dog: tending sheep.
Because as a herding dog, the Border Collie had to fulfill certain duties, and specifically desired characteristics in this dog breed were perfected through targeted breeding.
How heavy does a Border Collie get?
The Border Collie is one of the medium-sized dogs. Bitches are often a little lighter built than the male representatives of the breed. Males weigh about 14-20 kg, females 12-19 kg. The weight should match the size. A small Border Collie weighing 20 kg can certainly have too much on its ribs.
How big does a Border Collie get?
The stick size of males and females differs only slightly. The female Border Collies have a shoulder measurement of 46-53 cm. Males can get a little bigger. Here the average is about 48-56 cm.
How Long Does a Border Collie Live?
Life expectancy is 10-17 years. While genetic factors cannot be influenced, an owner can still positively influence many cornerstones of a healthy Border Collie life and give his four-legged friend a beautiful and species-appropriate existence.
So if you keep your Border Collie sufficiently and sensibly busy, ensure a healthy diet and good veterinary care, you contribute a lot to a long lifespan.
Nevertheless breed-specific illnesses can of course reduce life expectancy, as can incorrect or inadequate husbandry.
Employ yes, overwhelm no!
If you want to buy a Border Collie, you will often come across the advice to keep the dog busy and to offer it something to do. This is correct and very important when it comes to keeping this dog breed.
However, the Border Collie does not need to be kept busy non-stop. On the contrary. This breed is so devoted to obedience and work that the dog will continue to work tirelessly even when exhausted and at the end of his tether.
So if you constantly challenge your dog and physically exercise it, you can even overload your four-legged friend without wanting to. Because many owners often think that the dog is still having fun, for example when he fetches the stick again and again, although he is actually dead tired.
However, if you consider the Border Collie’s task within the herd, it quickly becomes clear that this dog does not work continuously, but has many breaks in between, in which it has to be attentive but is not constantly moving.
The Border Collie only becomes active on the shepherd’s command or when a sheep moves too far away from its flock.
Attentive and responsive
Anyone who is a professional at herding sheep must constantly keep an eye on the flock and react at lightning speed if their protégés go astray.
According to this, the Border Collie is a dog of enormous intelligence and with a long attention span, which sometimes has to decide and act independently even without the shepherd calling out.
This can become a problem in everyday life if the dog also reacts to other fast-moving stimuli without giving the owner much time to adapt to this situation.
The Border Collie can run after playing children and try to round them up, or he rushes after cyclists, joggers or even cars.
Such situations, if not managed by the owner, can make the dog a danger to himself and others.
Anyone who observes a border collie driving a herd together will quickly realize that its behavior is hardly different from the actual hunting behavior of a dog or wolf.
The Border Collie sneaks up as inconspicuously as possible and in a wide arc and rushes the sheep in the desired direction. What is missing, however, is grabbing and killing the “prey”, since this behavior is of course not desired in the herding task.
There is no question that a sheep can also be defiant at times, perhaps protecting its offspring and accordingly opposing the Border Collie. Therefore, the dog needs a certain assertiveness and a dose of fearlessness if he wants to keep the upper hand in the herd.
If necessary, the Border Collie even uses its teeth. This should be considered when keeping it, because even if the dog is otherwise very friendly and related to its people, it can use its teeth at its own discretion if it deems it appropriate in certain situations.
Of course, breeders will usually discourage dogs with such behavior from breeding, but some drives and instincts just run too deep.
Border Collie: Quick learner
It is true that the Border Collie learns very quickly. Not only does he internalize the desired characteristics and commands very quickly, he can also quickly develop bad habits if the upbringing is not consistent enough and the owner lets misbehavior go unnoticed several times.
So if the Border Collie is successful with a behavior (e.g. pulling on the leash), it will be very difficult to train it out of it again.
It takes a lot of dog knowledge, patience, tact and experience to train a Border Collie. A dog school that is particularly familiar with this breed of herding dog is a good partner when it comes to training issues and will support you in training the Border Collie.
Is the Border Collie suitable as a family dog?
Like any other dog breed, the Border Collie is of course also suitable for families. However, good upbringing and consistent training of the dog are part of a harmonious and peaceful coexistence.
Before you buy one, you shouldn’t let yourself be blinded by the pretty appearance of the Border Collie, but rather understand what challenges a working or herding dog entails.
If the family can invest enough time in the dog and meet its needs, nothing stands in the way of a great and lifelong partnership.
With children, however, you should take precautionary measures, which, however, mainly apply to other races as well:
The Border Collie may be friendly to people, but it is still an animal and due to its original role as a herding dog, it can also attempt to herd the offspring of the house. Therefore, do not leave him alone with small children and only allow him to play with the dog under supervision and guidance.
Explain to your children the correct and responsible handling of a dog and what they should pay attention to. Respect for the four-legged friend is absolutely necessary and behavior such as pulling the border collie’s tail or disturbing it during its rest breaks should be avoided as far as possible.
Training the dog is also essential when living with children. He must classify all family members as higher in rank and must not show any aggressive or dominant behavior.
Different focal points in breeding
In the meantime, two different focal points have emerged in breeding: actual breeding as a working dog and beauty breeding, which places less value on herding behavior but places greater emphasis on external appearance.
With this beauty or show breed, it is often explicitly pointed out that animals of this line are well or at least better suited as family dogs. Therefore, always ask the breeder exactly what he focuses on in his animals and inquire extensively about parent animals and other ancestors.
However, do not believe that a pronounced herding behavior like the Border Collie can be wiped out after a few generations of breeding and you will definitely get a pure family and companion dog. It is not that easy. In most cases this will not be the case.
Are there differences between the male and female Border Collie?
Apart from the heat, there are hardly any differences in nature and character between males and females. Certain character traits are not gender-specific, even if they like to claim they are.
For example, there are bitches who, like their male counterparts, sniff everywhere and even mark during the walk. And contrary to popular belief, ladies can also be aggressive or dominant towards other dogs.
On the other hand, you will find male dogs that are easy to train and affectionate. Characteristics that are more ascribed to the ladies of the dog world.
That’s why breeders often recommend not to fixate on a specific sex, but to select the right puppy and only look “underneath” afterwards to find out who you’re taking home with you.
Because the actual basic character and the later strength of character can be decisively influenced by the owner through training and education. For better or for worse, of course.
However, there are significant differences when it comes to heat, which usually occurs in Border Collies 1-2 times a year. While the males are often downright in love when a bitch is in heat, refuse to eat or howl heartrendingly at night, the bitches tend to be clingy, withdraw a little, suddenly become less obedient or suddenly mother objects.
Of course, it is also important to note that the lady dog loses blood when she is in heat, you have to take appropriate care measures in the household and keep an eye on possible admirers when you are out and about.
Prejudices in the Border Collie
Advantage Border Collie: The Border Collie needs around the clock activity
As a herding dog, a Border Collie helps the shepherd and must always work with concentration. However, when the sheep are in the stable, the dog has its peace and is unemployed during these times. This can also be the case for several days. From this example we can see very clearly that a Border Collie needs activity and thinking tasks, but not permanently. You are not doing your dog any good if you constantly exercise it physically, because it will rarely show you when its limits have been reached.
It is important to give the little powerhouse a break and to practice the “pause” command early on. A Border Collie would sooner die than give up a task and hop into its basket.
Prejudice Border Collie: The Border Collie is not a family dog
This prejudice is only partially true and always depends on the experience of the owner and the consistent training of the dog. The Border Collie is also very suitable as a family dog and can become a loyal companion for all members.
However, since many inexperienced and new Border Collie owners are quickly overwhelmed by this breed, harmonious coexistence with the family does not work later. Nevertheless, an attitude of professionals (like a shepherd) is of course still the best case.
Prejudice Border Collie: The Border Collie is not an apartment dog
Admittedly, a Border Collie feels really comfortable outside in the garden or in the yard. However, this does not mean that he must be kept in a large house or on a farm.
An apartment can also be a nice home for the dog if it is given enough employment opportunities and its mental fitness is not neglected. As is so often the case, it depends on the owner whether the Border Collie feels comfortable and is kept in a species-appropriate manner or not.
Prejudice Border Collie: The Border Collie needs a way to “herd”
Of course, herding is his true purpose and it’s great when he can pursue it. However, there are also other ways of mentally promoting your dog and constantly presenting him with new challenges. In dog sports, for example, or in rescue or therapy dog work.
The Border Collie as a therapy dog
In order to become a therapy dog, basic obedience, strong temperament, friendliness towards people and conspecifics, resilience and a good bond with the dog handler are essential.
In addition, targeted training is necessary in advance, in which a new therapy dog can ideally also learn from already established and experienced conspecifics. Aggressive behavior, fear of contact, shyness towards strangers and hunting instinct have no place in a therapy dog.
Since the Border Collie, as a herding dog, is used to working closely with its human, one important requirement is already met. His cleverness and friendly nature are also good building blocks that can be strengthened and expanded during his training.
If he successfully completes the training, he can be used in various institutions and make a significant contribution to people’s mental and physical well-being.
Examples of possible locations are:
- retirement homes
- homes for the disabled
- rehabilitation clinics
- psychiatric clinics
Border Collie Life Expectancy, Lifespan
Are you looking for a Border Collie puppy, Border Collie mix, Border Collie stud dog or do you want to help a Border Collie in need? There are border collie ads here.
How old does the Border Collie get?
The Border Collie has a life expectancy of 13-16 years. Lifespan used to be a few years less.
This may be due to the fact that there are now reliable tests for some of the known hereditary diseases of this dog breed that help to identify and treat such diseases early on, or to improve breeding by not mating affected animals.
As a result, various clinical pictures are now less common and, with a little luck, may even be eradicated in the future.
Why does the Border Collie have this life expectancy?
Unfortunately, the specified range of up to 16 years is not a guarantee. There are certainly dogs that die earlier, but of course there are also those that live a little longer.
There are various reasons for what ultimately determines the actual lifespan of your Border Collie. Because just like us humans, not every dog is equally fit and healthy.
There are animals that sit in the waiting room of the veterinary practice and are very susceptible to illness, while others only show up there for the vaccination appointment.
Circumstances that affect the dog’s lifespan include housing conditions, a history of hereditary diseases, good or bad medical care, diet, and general fitness.
In general, however, it can be said that the Border Collies are among the more robust breeds in terms of health and their average life expectancy is in the middle to upper third of the comparison with other pedigree dogs.
How do I know if my Border Collie is aging?
Just like us humans, the aging process in dogs is gradual and not every Border Collie shows the first signs of getting old at the same age.
Often, however, one speaks of a senior from the age of 8 and dogs are reported accordingly in the senior class at exhibitions. Bitches are no longer mated at this point, although many breeders refrain from having further litters from the age of 6 in order not to damage the bitch’s health.
You can tell exactly when your dog is slowly reaching an advanced age by the following signs:
a) The Border Collie’s ability to adapt decreases. He no longer tolerates long journeys, strange places, loud noises or other pets as patiently as he used to and may seem stressed about unfamiliar things.
b) Performance and activity decrease and the dog has longer periods of rest. Had the Border Collie dropped dead when he was young rather than completing a game or task on his own, he is now more likely to get out of breath and become exhausted after long walks or training sessions. The sleeping phases are now often longer and some Border Collies lie in the basket a little longer in the morning than was previously the case.
Treat him to these downtimes and let him recharge his batteries. However, it is important to encourage seniors to exercise again and again so that they remain fit and healthy. Adapt play and walk times to the advancing age and don’t let the dog overexert himself. This is because some dogs have such a strong will to work that they remain focused even when exhausted.
c) The structure of the coat can change with age. It looks dull, sometimes feels very shaggy and rough. No need to worry and no reason to brush the dog intensively or to bathe it all the time. The fact that his coat changes is age-related and completely normal. Just like the gray snout and the fine gray hairs on the face and also in the rest of the fur.
Life becomes a bit difficult and the typical ailments of old age can now appear for the first time: cataracts, stiff joints, poor hearing, impaired vision and other problems. Some symptoms can be treated or alleviated by the veterinarian.
Does the Border Collie often ride in the car? Maybe a dog ramp makes sense for easier entry!
e) Some dogs suddenly become incontinent and cannot control their bladder properly or hold it in as long as they used to. Therefore, do not be angry if the border collie accidentally enters the apartment every now and then as it gets older. Show him a spot in the house or yard where he can loosen up 24 hours a day, or take him outside more often. In addition to the normal walks, a few extra minutes outdoors several times a day are enough to avoid a mishap in the house. Dog diapers can also be bought in specialist shops for the nocturnal hours. Involuntary urination is often uncomfortable for the dogs themselves because they have been taught not to urinate in the home. Be sensitive and understanding.
f) Many dogs lose their appetite with age and lose weight accordingly. Switch to a high-quality senior food and make sure that the Border Collie does not become too thin. The same applies to the other extreme: if the dog moves less but still likes to eat and eat well, then reduce the amount of food or feed it a reduced-calorie food.
Border Collie Origin and History
Are you looking for a Border Collie puppy, Border Collie mix, Border Collie stud dog or do you want to help a Border Collie in need? There are border collie ads here.
Origin of the Border Collie
The Border Collie comes from Great Britain and has its origins in the English-Scottish border area.
For centuries, the local farmers and shepherds had dogs that helped them with their daily work, looked after the livestock and guarded the house and yard.
They preferably needed obedient, robust and weatherproof dogs that could do well in the harsh climate of this area.
When selecting the working and herding dogs of the time, however, little or no value was placed on the animals’ appearance and health. Only willingness to work and good herding qualities were decisive in the selection.
In organized competitions, the so-called “Sheepdogtrails”, owners even let their best dogs compete against each other.
There, the four-legged friends were able to prove their special suitability for herding sheep and the winners were given preference for breeding.
Even today, sheepdog trails are an important criterion when it comes to assessing the breeding quality of a Border Collie.
They are now organized and held by the ISDS (International Sheep Dog Society) and have been since 1906.
The first descriptions of herding dogs, which come very close to the Border Collie, can be found in “De Canibus Britannicus” from 1570, a list of all dog breeds known at the time by Dr. John Caius, who was none other than Queen Elizabeth I’s personal physician.
How did the Border Collie get its name?
The fact that the Border Collie emerged from various herding dogs in the border area of England and Scotland can be gathered from its name. Border, which means border, refers to the actual origin of this breed.
On the other hand, there is no consensus when it comes to the word collie. There are different approaches to clarify the origin of this word:
Some claim the word collie is related to the German word “Kuli”, which means worker or day labourer. In fact, there is even a breed called the “Altdeutscher Kuli” that was also used as a shepherd dog.
English words like “coal” or “coly” refer to the color black. Since many of the herding dogs of that time had a black and white coat color, this name origin is also conceivable.
However, the most accepted theory today is that the name derives from the Gaelic word ‘colley’, which roughly means ‘useful’.
The name Border Collie was first used by James Reid in 1915. He was the first executive director of the International Sheep Dog Society and used the name to distinguish the Border Collie from other collie species.
Old Hemp – Progenitor of the modern Border Collie
The Border Collie, as we know it today, is actually a fairly young breed of dog, which has its origins in 1893.
Because in that same year the male Old Hemp (Auld Hemp) was born, who is now regarded as the progenitor of the breed.
He was already very close to what Border Collies look like today, but that wasn’t particularly important at the time. Much more important were his excellent qualities as a herding dog, which he demonstrated again and again from the age of 12 months in the “Sheepdogtrails”.
He never lost a competition. This made him extremely interesting for breeding and Old Hemp fathered more than 200 puppies, to which he largely passed on his good herding abilities.
Because of the immense number of Old Hemps offspring that have been used to bred and improve the breed, many of today’s Border Collies are descendants of just about every bloodline.
Other well-known personalities with Border Collie
- Anna Paquin (actress)
- James Franco (actor)
- Tiger Wood (Professional Golfer)
- Selena Gomez (singer and actress)
- James Dean (actor)
- Jeff Bridges (actor)
- Beatrix Potter (writer)
- Ethan Hawke (actor)
- Jon Bon Jovi (actor and singer)
Border Collie Diseases / Hereditary Diseases
Border Collie Diseases – What are typical diseases in Border Collies?
When should you take your Border Collie to the doctor?
Regarding routine examinations and routine appointments:
a. You and your dog have vaccination appointments about once a year. With a puppy you have to go to the vet several times for vaccinations in the first few weeks of life.
b. wormers! Depending on the risk of infection, your Border Collie will have 2-4 deworming appointments per year (possibly more). The minimum is a wormer every year, just before the vaccination.
If your Border Collie changes eating or drinking habits:
a. When food or – worse – food and drink is refused. This is often the first warning sign of an illness
b. If you drink a lot. This could indicate inflammation.
c. If a lot of food is eaten, the Border Collie still loses weight. Intestinal parasites could be behind it.
If your Border Collie is behaving strangely. Go to the vet…:
a. With inexplicable tiredness and lassitude, especially with apathy.
b. With inexplicable nervousness.
c. In the case of apparently unfounded aggression (often a sign of pain!).
i.e. In case of increased scratching or tingling in the fur. This can be a sign of pain in the corresponding part of the body, of parasites (mites, fleas, …), of allergies or skin irritations.
e. When “sledding”. The dog slides across the floor on its hindquarters because its anus itches. This happens, for example, with an infestation with tapeworms and inflamed anal glands.
If your Border Collie “looks unhealthy”:
a. The fur is dull and shaggy, possibly has bald spots.
b. The eyes are cloudy, maybe they have a discharge.
c. The ears appear red, the skin is injured, plaque has formed, the ears smell bad.
d. The nose is dry, hot and/or has a discharge.
e. Teeth have a lot of tartar, teeth are chipped or badly discolored, gums are inflamed, bleeding or swollen. Be careful with excessive bad breath, a disease of the oral cavity or the gastrointestinal tract can be the cause.
f. Your Border Collie’s stool has blood mixed with it, foreign bodies, tapeworm limbs or roundworms in the stool.
If your Border Collie is having trouble moving normally:
a. A lameness in one or more legs is a reason for an early visit to the vet.
b. Head tilt is an alarm signal!
c. The same applies to balance disorders. Off to the vet!
Mind you: You take your dog to the vet as soon as ONE of the above points applies to the Border Collie. Don’t wait for more…
What diseases can reduce the life expectancy of the Border Collie?
The average life expectancy of the Border Collie is around 12-15 years. Like dogs of other breeds, Border Collies can suffer from heart conditions that reduce life expectancy.
Epilepsy is said to have been observed more frequently in Border Collies in recent years. Like all dogs, Border Collies can also develop allergies that can at least affect life.
Hip dysplasia also occurs in Border Collies. A number of infectious diseases are also often fatal in dogs – but hopefully your dog is vaccinated against rabies, distemper, parvovirus, hepatitis and leptospirosis?
My Border Collie has diarrhea – what to do?
In most cases, diarrhea in dogs is not a bad thing. The possible harmless causes are for example:
food intolerance. The Border Collie ate something that didn’t suit him. Have you changed the food or tried a new treat on him? Did you possibly feed leftovers? Fatty food often leads to soft stool or diarrhea in dogs.
Eating too hastily / too much eating. If this happens to your dog more often, you might want to question the feeding routine. Does your border collie have enough time to eat in peace?
Psychological stress. Sensitive dogs can react to anything that deviates from their usual daily routine. Travelling, unknown visitors, exciting other dogs, …
The following procedure has proven itself in diarrhea:
Do not feed anything or very little for a day.
Make sure the water bowl is refilled quickly. The Border Collie must be able to compensate for the loss of fluids. If your dog drinks little or not at all, there is a risk of dangerous dehydration – in this case consult the veterinarian. Dehydration is particularly problematic in puppies and small dogs.
When you start feeding again, offer small portions at first. Try a dog food that you know your dog will tolerate well. Alternatively, you can prepare light food: boiled rice, boiled chicken (boneless!), boiled carrots and some low-fat quark or cottage cheese. Be sure to remove the bones from the meat.
Your dog needs veterinary help if:
… the border collie’s droppings are mixed with blood. You may see reddish streaks, but sometimes all you can see is an unusual, dark coloration of the stool. There could be an internal injury or other illness. Some infectious diseases have (bloody) diarrhea as an accompanying symptom.
… other symptoms of illness appear. Watch your dog closely. At the first sign of fever or other signs of illness (such as vomiting), see a veterinarian.
… the diarrhea doesn’t go away within a day or two.
My Border Collie is vomiting – what to do?
When dogs are nauseous, they often eat grass to induce vomiting. The vomit then consists mainly of yellow bile. Puppies, on the other hand, occasionally vomit their food and then eat it again.
This is nothing to get excited about, allow the puppy to do so. Vomiting, like the diarrhea described above, is in many cases completely harmless. Maybe the Border Collie didn’t tolerate his food? Maybe he ate too much or too fast? Perhaps your dog is currently under psychological stress or reacts sensitively to changes in its daily routine? In all of these relatively harmless cases, the vomiting should go away within two days.
However, do not hesitate to visit the vet if:
You notice blood in the vomit: There is an internal injury or serious illness that needs treatment.
You notice that the Border Collie has wheezing or breathing difficulties, possibly coughing spasmodically: perhaps a foreign body is stuck in the esophagus and/or windpipe. This can induce vomiting and lead to injury or even suffocation if not removed. There is an emergency!
You notice that additional symptoms of illness appear (fever, diarrhea, great fatigue, …). Vomiting can be an accompanying symptom of many serious infectious diseases that require veterinary treatment. In addition, poisoning is a possible cause of vomiting.
Like diarrhea, vomiting leads to dehydration of the body, which can be life-threatening. Short sized puppies and dogs dehydrate faster. So be sure to seek veterinary help if the vomiting persists.
My Border Collie has an ear infection – what do I do now?
An ear infection in a dog is only noticed after the dog has been in pain for a long time. Then the dog tilts its head, shakes its head and/or scratches its ears frequently. Such inflammation can be extremely painful and, in the worst case, “wander”. Then not only the outer ear is affected, but also the middle ear or even the inner ear.
Take your border collie to the vet as soon as possible if you notice the symptoms of an ear infection. If you get a purulent/putrid smell from your ears, you need to be quick.
The vet will clean, disinfect and treat the ear depending on the cause of the infection. Common causes include:
An initially harmless injury that has become infected.
mites. The so-called ear mites occur mainly in puppies. Basically, however, all dog mites can appear in the ear area. The veterinarian must then treat with mite-killing ointments or drops.
Foreign objects such as awns, grass seeds and other small parts. The foreign bodies must be completely removed so that the inflammation can heal.
allergies. They’re pretty difficult to diagnose. Changing the diet often helps.
Infections with viruses, bacteria or fungi. Such infections can occur independently or as a result of a mite infection. Whenever the protective function of the skin is disturbed (due to injuries), these pathogens have it particularly easy. The vet treats with antibiotics or antimycotics in the form of ointments or drops.
In addition to cleaning and disinfecting the wound, the vet may apply an ointment to aid in healing.
How do I prevent ear infections?
As described, there is not much you can do about an existing ear infection – the vet has to do that. However, you can use the following tips to keep your Border Collie’s ears healthy:
Remember to check the dog’s ears regularly.
Pathogens thrive in warm, humid, dirty environments. So keep your dog’s ears clean and dry:
Foreign objects are removed immediately.
You can wipe the ear cups with a cloth. Cloths should be soft and lint-free, like tea towels or kitchen towels. Never use the same cloth for both ears, as you could transmit pathogens.
You may need to dampen the cloth to fully remove the dirt. Then wipe with a dry cloth.
Please do NOT do the following: Insert tissues, cotton swabs or other objects deep into the ear canal. The risk of injury is very high.
What are typical Border Collie hereditary diseases?
- Hip dysplasia (HD – divided into degrees of severity A – E)
- CEA (Collie Eye Anomaly)
- PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy)
- Juvenile CataractPLL (Primary Lens Luxation)
- Gray Collie Syndrome Epilepsy
- deafnessdouble merle
- Imerslund-Gräsbeck syndrome
- Ceroid lipofuscinosis
- MDR1 (Multi Drug Resistance)
- TNS (Trapped Neutrophil Syndrome)
Important: These are diseases that the Border Collie can get, but does not necessarily have to.
Tips/Checklist for a Healthy Border Collie Dog Life!
- Always provide fresh drinking water.
- Feed appropriately.
- Avoid obesity and malnutrition.
- Keep dog bowls clean.
- Keep sleeping area clean, wash dog blankets regularly.
- Coat care: Remove ticks, fight parasites at an early stage.
- Dental check: is everyone still there? Canceled? tartar? Excessive bad breath? What are the gums like?
- Eye and ear control.
- paw control.
- Keep appointments for vaccinations.
- Don’t forget deworming (at least once a year, e.g. before vaccination).
- Happy dogs live longer (and better)!
- Make sure you get enough exercise every day. Border Collies want long walks – and lots of play!
- Provide mental exercise. The Border Collie is often cited as the smartest dog breed. He wants to learn and he wants to work.
Don’t underestimate the importance of the last points. Border Collies in particular tend to develop pathological behavior (neuroses) when they are under-challenged.
Do I need a medicine chest for the Border Collie?
Yes, every dog owner should have a medicine chest ready for their four-legged friend. The reasons are very simple: Your border collie could be injured so badly that you have to give him first aid before you can go to the vet.
If you live in the country, it can also happen that no veterinarian is open at the moment and the veterinary emergency service is difficult to reach or far away. Accidents and injuries seem to tend to happen at inconvenient times.
The most important components of the first aid kit
are therefore dressing materials.
Here are a few tips for equipping your medicine chest:
What belongs in the dog owner’s medicine cabinet?
- Something to disinfect wounds. Octenisept spray, for example, is popular and well tolerated. Blue spray or iodine can also be suitable – if in doubt, get advice from a veterinarian.
- dressing material. These include e.g. B. wound dressings, plasters and bandages.
- Bandage material for dogs must be particularly robust, hopefully plasters are water-resistant.
- Something to aid in wound healing. Bepanthen ointment is recommended more often.
- Cracked paw pads should be kept supple with a fat cream.
clinical thermometer. For hygienic reasons, your dogs should have their own thermometer.
- Tick tweezers, tweezers, or other tool used to remove parasites and foreign bodies from the skin.
- rescue blanket
- Pill crusher to cheat your border collie’s pills under the food, for example.
- A book on dog first aid (for you)
- muzzle or sling
- activated charcoal
- styptic pen
- magnifying glass
- Small collection containers for feces, urine or other samples
- Long-term medication
- Disposable syringes (good for measuring and instilling medication)
- Cooling pack / cooling pad scissors
You should also always have the phone number of your veterinarian and the veterinary emergency service ready.
Either write it down on a piece of paper and attach it in a clearly visible place (next to the phone, on the fridge, etc.), or save it straight to the phone.
Fever in the Border Collie
In order to be able to assess whether your Border Collie actually has a fever, the dog’s normal temperature must first be found out. You can determine this by measuring the fever of the dog from time to time when it is completely healthy. It is advantageous to practice this as a puppy so that your four-legged friend does not defend himself in an emergency and makes the investigation impossible.
The normal temperature in dogs varies between 37.5 and 39 °C and is different for each dog. This means that a four-legged friend with a low normal temperature can be very uncomfortable with a body temperature of 39 °C, while it is perfectly normal and healthy for another Border Collie.
Puppies generally have a slightly higher normal temperature of 39.5 °C. This should be considered when assessing the disease. Also, a healthy adult Border Collie sometimes has a temperature between 39 – 40 degrees after a lot of exertion. What is normally classified as a mild fever is harmless after physical exertion. However, the resting body temperature should quickly return to normal.
Normal temperature: 37.5 – 39 °C
Slightly elevated: 39 – 40 °C
Fever: from 40 °C
Dangerous: from 41 °C if the temperature lasts longer
On the other hand, it becomes acutely life-threatening when the fever approaches the 42 °C mark. At these temperatures, the body’s own proteins clump together and this process is irreversible. If no quick help comes, the dog dies.
Medication should be used if the fever lasts for several days or rises above 41 °C. Fever is always a case for the vet!
Measuring the temperature of the Border Collie made easy!
Fever must always be measured rectally in a dog. A flex-tip thermometer is ideal, but not essential.
If your dog does not cooperate with the procedure, ask another person for help or tie the four-legged friend up.
A muzzle or a muzzle sling can be put on very defensive candidates.
The dog can stand or lie down, it doesn’t matter.
Insert the lightly greased thermometer while holding the rod firmly by the root.
Wait for the beep and read the temperature.
From 40 °C you should call the veterinary practice.
There are many causes of fever. Without a thermometer at hand, you recognize a fever among other things:
warm or even hot ears
Your dog drinks more
when caressed, the body feels very warm (e.g. also under the armpits)
the dog looks tired and exhausted
maybe your four-legged friend is looking for cooler places (tiles) or is panting more.
Poisoning in dogs
Poisoning is always an emergency!
Every second can count, so you should know how poisoning manifests itself and what initial measures you should take.
Unfortunately, some poisonings also develop very gradually (e.g. through unsuitable food). And, tragically, rat poison takes time to take effect, which is why it can even take a few days after ingesting poison before your Border Collie shows symptoms.
But it is not only poisoned baits or unsuitable food that cause poisoning. Cleaners, medicines or fertilizers in the household can also threaten the life of the Border Collie. That’s why you should get everything out of reach of your four-legged friend that could potentially be dangerous for him.
How do I recognize poisoning in a dog?
Your Border Collie may have very pale mucous membranes. There is a risk of circulatory failure and you need to see a veterinarian as soon as possible!
Breathing problems arise. You may also hear unusual breathing sounds.
Very strong and rapid panting
The temperature may drop and the dog may tremble severely.
Muscle or abdominal cramps occur.
Blood in the urine or in the vomit is always an emergency. Here, too, go straight to the practice!
The Border Collie either retches without vomiting or throws up.
The dog salivates/drools abnormally
Your dog may become unconscious.
The pulse is racing
What should I do if poisoning is present or suspected?
Of course, many of the symptoms listed here can also have other causes. In the case of poisoning, however, several of the symptoms often appear at the same time. Do not hesitate to consult a vet immediately. In the case of poisoning, the time factor can be very important. You should act fast. Even if it turns out that your dog has a different problem, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Therefore it is said of (suspected) poisoning:
Immediately to the vet!
Keep the dog warm
Call the practice beforehand and point out the possible poisoning so the team can prepare and know about the emergency that is about to come.
Do not induce vomiting! With some poisons, this can do more harm than good.
However, some dogs vomit spontaneously after being poisoned, so never put a muzzle loop on them.
If poison has been ingested orally, charcoal tablets can be administered as a first measure. You should know the dosage long before the actual emergency.
Bring a sample of what the dog ate.
If you suspect poisoning because your Border Collie has been behaving strangely lately or is showing signs, you can take a stool or urine sample with you to the practice. In this way, the laboratory can possibly draw conclusions about the poison.
Picking up some vomit is also suitable for this. Wear gloves so you don’t come into contact with the poison yourself.
Border Collie diet and food
Does the Border Collie tend to be overweight?
Due to its high level of activity and willingness to work, the Border Collie does not tend to be overweight.
The two-legged can opener still has to be careful with the nutrient content and amount of food.
Since very few Border Collies in families are as busy as they would be when working in a herd, their energy requirements are correspondingly lower.
In addition, this breed was bred to get by with little or at least lean food. The risk of oversupply and thus an unbalanced diet is high.
As a rule, they utilize feed very well. Accordingly, small amounts of fat, carbohydrates and protein are required. However, these should then come from high-quality sources.
In addition, this inbred orientation does not mean that the Border Collie should leave the bowl hungry.
So it is better to choose a low-energy but still qualitative and balanced food – or to use food that the dog has to work for.
Border collie nutrition for puppies
When the Border Collie puppy moves from the breeder to its new home, it is important to keep the food it is used to.
Under no circumstances may this be abruptly exchanged for another. The possible consequences range from mild diarrhea and vomiting to severe and persistent digestive disorders, which are associated with dangerous water loss, intolerance and inflammatory reactions.
Since the digestive tract of young dogs is still sensitive, it must be done carefully and gradually. It is advisable to mix the usual food with the new food instead of replacing individual meals entirely.
Feeding frequency must also continue for the first two weeks. If the breeder has filled the food bowl three to five times, new owners should do the same. And preferably at about the same times. After two weeks, the frequency may be slowly reduced, meal by meal.
Tip: Rely on high-quality puppy food. Deficiency during growth can lead to permanent damage to health!
How much does the Border Collie get to eat?
How much the Border Collie gets to eat depends on various factors. Below:
content of the feed
Growing young dogs and Border Collies that are on the move for hours a day naturally need more than a quiet senior. A male with a large shoulder more than the petite and low bitch.
Added to this is the quality of the feed. If this is of high quality and rich, smaller amounts are sufficient to cover daily needs.
With inferior or simply less rich feed, it has to be more. It is therefore advisable to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and to pay attention to the dog’s appearance in the long term.
If too much or too little is fed, this becomes very clear very quickly.
Dry food for the Border Collie
The simplest, least odorous and also most practical way of feeding when travelling, is dry food. Therefore, it is preferred by many dog owners. The belief that dry food has a cleaning effect on the teeth is also a convincing argument for many owners.
A balanced diet is just as possible with dry food as with canned food – as long as a high-quality product is chosen. However, the dry feed can also cause problems. Below:
The dry feed only swells up in the stomach, so saturation sets in with a considerable delay
Due to the low water content, sufficient additional fluid intake must be ensured at all times
Due to the preservation and production of conventional dry food, this is usually less digestible, and the nutrients cannot be digested and absorbed as well
In terms of smell and taste, the dry feed has less appeal for the Border Collie
In addition, the cleaning effect and tartar abrasion of the dry food is overestimated. Very hard, large chunks – which the dog actually has to chew – can have a somewhat cleaning effect, but they don’t come close to brushing your teeth.
If the food then still contains large amounts of carbohydrates, chewing is tantamount to cleaning with breakfast cereals. The teeth will certainly not get any cleaner than this.
Nevertheless, dry food does not have to be completely eliminated from the menu. However, in addition to this, other means should end up in the bowl.
What food for Border Collie?
We are always asked what food we recommend for the Border Collie. Dogs often struggle with diarrhea, bad bowel movements, dull fur and scratching.
It is important that the food tastes good to your Border Collie and that it receives all the necessary nutrients. Many types of food offer a sufficient supply and keep the dog healthy. It is therefore almost impossible to list all the very good types of feed.
The food is individually tailored to Border Collies according to a nutrient calculation developed by a veterinarian. It is slightly more expensive than the food from the supermarket. I love my dog, so it is important to me that he is healthy and active. These are the benefits I’ve personally done with Futalis:
My Max likes the food.
The fur shines.
Our dog is healthy and energetic.
He maintains his ideal weight.
The food is individually tailored to the dog breed and age.
And the most important thing: Our Border Collie had a great bowel movement and didn’t get any diarrhea. The droppings are not too soft and not too hard.
What should you consider when feeding a Border Collie?
Border Collies are rarely gluttons, barely noticing what they are eating. Rather, they want variety in the feeding bowl. And that’s actually an advantage.
No feed, no matter how good, can offer all the nutrients, vitamins and minerals in the individually required amounts. If the same feed is always chosen for every meal, deficiencies and surpluses can creep in over the long term.
It is therefore better to offer different products and sources of nutrients. It does not have to be a multi-course meal at every feeding. Changing something every few days is enough.
This can be canned food mixed with dry food. Raw, dried or cooked meat, vegetables and fruit are also recommended.
These can also be added to the normal feed or given as a snack.
Tip: Active and intelligent, the Border Collie is happiest when it’s working. This also applies to the feed. Instead of always placing a well-filled bowl in front of him, he should be allowed to work for his food every now and then.
As a reward for completing tasks and listening to commands, hard to reach in special toys or hidden in the garden – the possibilities are numerous.
What is good dog food and how can I recognize it?
Reputable manufacturers of dog food do not hide behind vague descriptions and incomprehensible technical terms. Instead, all ingredients are clearly listed – preferably with the exact origin and type.
Is it muscle meat or offal and from which animal?
Are herbal ingredients mentioned or are the exact vegetables, fruits or herbs used listed?
What is the percentage of meat in the feed?
Are there preservatives in the feed and in what form?
Cereals should be included as little as possible.
A food that answers all of these questions directly on the packaging and without a long search passed the first test. However, this supposed openness can of course also be used as a sales-promoting trick.
So don’t be fooled by surprisingly long lists containing dozens of exotic herbs, berries, vegetables and additives.
A few, but high-quality ingredients are better. As well as a single, clearly identified meat source in contrast to five different unspecified.
If the feed has a meat content of at least 70%, the ingredients are clearly listed and if neither fillers nor artificial preservatives are used, the feed is usually of good quality.
Why should I pay attention to quality when it comes to Border Collie food?
As long as the Border Collie also eats the inexpensive food from the supermarket and tolerates it, it seems pointless to invest in high-quality and comparatively expensive food.
However, this apparently logical calculation does not add up. Deficiencies and intolerances can develop insidiously and go unnoticed for a long time. If they are then noticed, the necessary examinations and treatments at the vet become expensive.
Good dog food, on the other hand, can not only increase life expectancy, it also makes a significant contribution to maintaining health. In the long term, a balanced and high-quality diet for the Border Collie can save money and time.
Is the coat shiny, is it dense and is the skin irritated?
Hair loss, dull fur, bald spots and constant itching and inflammation can indicate allergies and intolerance to certain ingredients and additives in the food.
Is the defecation normal?
Diarrhea, constipation, mucous secretions and severe flatulence are signs that the Border Collie is not getting the food.
Is the Border Collie’s immune system strong?
If infections keep coming up, if the dog often has inflammation or is generally exhausted, there could be a deficiency.
Of course, all of the symptoms mentioned are not always due to an unfavorable choice of food. Only examinations by the veterinarian and exclusion diets provide information about this.
What should be considered when feeding neutered Border Collies?
The prejudice that castrated male or female dogs would automatically be overweight persists. However, this is not justified in reality. Depending on the degree of development, the sex drive can be an immense stress factor and the dog can actually become a little calmer overall.
However, this does not automatically result in weight gain. If the four-legged friend is still active, is still challenged by walks and dog sports or actual work in a herd, he also keeps the slim figure. If this is not the case, like any other dog, he will gain weight.
The amount of feed and nutrient content must be appropriate for activity and age in every situation. Castration is no exception.
What is poisonous or indigestible for the Border Collie?
Due to the Border Collie’s high level of intelligence and quick comprehension, not only its owners tend to forget that it is not a human being.
However, this is essential when it comes to food. Just because something is healthy for the two-legged friend or even just digestible, it is far from being so for the four-legged friend. Possible consequences of this are not just short-term digestive problems.
Depending on the amount and type of food, life-threatening poisoning can occur – from a treat, a loving gesture, a small gift from the table.
As nice as it may be to let the Border Collie share your own meal, it is not always healthy or even reasonably safe.
Therefore, the following says fingers and paws away:
- Stone fruit pits
- Spiced foods
- cow milk
- Raw beans, potatoes, eggplant and peppers
- Raw pork/wild boar
- Spicy foods and dishes, such as horseradish and hot peppers
- Grapes and Raisins
- Onions, garlic, leeks
The consequences of poisoning are not always immediately apparent. Some substances that are toxic to dogs only show their effect after a long time, weaken the heart muscle, lead to frequent – seemingly unfounded vomiting and diarrhea – rashes, exhaustion and much more.
Of course, acute poisoning is also possible. If the Border Collie has eaten food that is possibly toxic to him, a veterinarian or a veterinary clinic should be consulted immediately. Waiting to see if symptoms appear can waste the time needed to rescue.
Drinking water – always fresh please!
It should go without saying, but it should be mentioned at this point: Your dog should have access to fresh water throughout the day. While the rule that leftover food should be cleaned up after a certain period of time is true, the same is not true of the water bowl.
It is also important to clean the water bowl thoroughly every day. Best with hot water. So don’t just refill the bowl. Otherwise germs can easily spread and the water will be contaminated.
Of course, especially in the hot months, fresh drinking water should always be available for the Border Collie. So use a sufficiently large bowl or even a larger water dispenser. Some four-legged friends prefer a feeding station where the bowls are height-adjustable. This is back-friendly.
Dogs who are lazy about drinking can be encouraged to drink more with a drinking fountain.
Yuck, my border collie eats poo!
Try to get rid of this bad habit as soon as possible. For the time being, you can leave your dog on a leash so that you can intervene quickly if the worst comes to the worst and pull your Border Collie away from a pile of excrement. If you don’t want to prevent him from running free, use a muzzle temporarily.
You should definitely train the command “Off” with your dog. See also Border Collie training. When training, use very tasty treats that really motivate the dog or use his favorite toy.
In the case of incorrigible four-legged friends, some owners swear by a hot sauce that is inconspicuously added to a pile of excrement. This surprise effect is intended to drive out coprophagia in the four-legged friend.
Why some dogs pick up and eat diaper contents, piles of conspecifics or the legacies of other animals is not fully understood. Hunger is often the reason for street dogs. The many flavor enhancers in industrial dog food also ensure that the excretions still smell appealing.
However, sometimes this disgusting behavior has been accidentally trained. If the owner freaks out every time the four-legged friend eats feces, the dog gets the full attention of its master or mistress. Of course that’s great! Often a real theater is made. In order to gain this undivided attention, the Border Collie may deliberately attack the piles.
Since coprophagia poses health risks for both dog and owner, it is important to remedy the situation. Parasites and germs can otherwise make you ill and spread from dogs to humans (e.g. when the dog licks its hands).
Is grass harmful to my Border Collie?
No. If your dog nibbles a few blades of grass from time to time, this is not a concern.
Or maybe you’ve watched your Border Collie eat grass or leaves only to choke a few minutes later. Most of the time, the dog will also vomit and foamy or yellowish liquid will come out in addition to the grass that has just been eaten. After that, the four-legged friend is usually fine again and everything is the same as before. If this is the case, you don’t need to worry any more.
Some dogs instinctively use the blades of grass to induce nausea. For example, if your four-legged friend has eaten something that is difficult to digest or his stomach is upset for other reasons, vomiting will help to calm the stomach again.
If you often observe how your dog shows this behavior, especially in the morning, try postponing his last meal in the evening a little. It could be that you are simply very hungry in the morning and your stomach is absolutely empty. Shortening the intervals between meals often makes the grass nibbling go away.
However, if the Border Collie shows this behavior very often or then retches without vomiting, it is better to consult a veterinarian to clarify whether there are other causes behind the phenomenon.
Should the Border Collie fast?
It’s true, in the wild, wolves don’t always catch prey, and stray members of the same species don’t always find enough to eat. But of course not voluntarily. You don’t need to impose a fasting day on the border collie. This has no detoxifying or otherwise cleansing effect. A period of 24 hours is far too short for that anyway.
Therefore, only let your four-legged friend “starve” if he is about to have an operation, is suffering from diarrhea or vomiting, or if the doctor thinks it makes sense for the dog to fast for other reasons.
Do seniors need different food?
It may make sense to reduce the amount of calories in the old Border Collie or even switch to a senior food. The reason for this lies in the often reduced urge to move. Older dogs sleep more often and longer and need extended periods of rest.
However, if the four-legged friend still eats the same portions as when he was a younger dog, he may be taking in more calories than he is burning and this can lead to obesity over time. This in turn is not good for the dog’s health and can lead to joint and/or organ damage.
Feed the senior high-fiber food to keep their digestion going and fill their bowl with easily digestible foods. If the Border Collie has problems with its teeth or chewing hard chunks of dry food is too difficult, moisten the chunks a little or switch to a type of wet food. The latter is particularly good for the dog’s water balance.
If the Border Collie has been passionate about chewing bones up to now, you should be more careful and rarely offer this chewing pleasure. Bones can lead to constipation and also damage the dog’s teeth.