Devoted and Hard-Working A Two-Way Street: Border Collie Puppies for Sale
Border Collies look like the perfect family pet on paper. They are medium-sized, good-looking dogs that are affectionate, active, and smart. However, Border Collies require as much devotion and hard work as they receive. They have tremendous exercise requirements and need someone who can effectively cope with their compulsive personalities. If you are an active individual who has a lot of time to give to training and quality interaction with a dog, then you could not find a more loyal and committed friend than the Border Collie.
Stunning Physical Appearance of Border Collie for Sale
Border Collies are closely related to the Scotch Collie, even sharing the name. However, they having striking differences in appearance that go beyond size.
Female Border Collies are 18 to 21 inches tall. Males range from 19 to 22 inches at the shoulders, and both genders weigh from 30 to 55 pounds. Males have more muscle development than females.
Though not buff like a Pit Bull Terrier, the Border Collie is a strong, hard-muscled dog. The body is balanced, and the ratio of height to length is about nine to ten. Both eyes and ears are well-spaced with the former being oval and medium-sized. The ears do not have to be symmetrical as one or both may be either semi-upright or completely erect. Even completely upright ears have the tips fold forward or to the side. The head is medium in length and width, the strong muzzle the same proportions as the back of the skull. Border Collies have a strong neck and long limbs with a level topline. The tail is to the hock and is low-set and well-haired. Your impression should be of an alert and athletic dog. Border Collies, like many herding dogs, have tremendous stamina with an effortless ground-reaching gliding stride. They have a signature way of carrying their heads low during work. Their performance with sheep is classic with them possessing a strong “eye” whereby they can control an animal’s movements with their stare. A Border Collie can have one of two varieties of coat types. Both are dual in nature, but one has a straight soft outer coat and the other is rougher with distinct waves.
Border Collies have a wide range of possible colors. The Candian Kennel Club accepts every variant whereas the AKC is more restrictive.
- White and one of the following colors – Black,
- White with ticking
- Blue or blue merle
- Red or red merle
- Sable, sable saddleback, or sable merle
- Solid black
- Solid blue
Red and blue merle Border Collies can have blue eyes with no prejudice from conformation show judges. Blue and blue merle are not actually variations of the same shade. Blue occurs as a result of a dilution gene that acts on the “D” locus or location of a gene. The presence of just one dominant “D” allele will cause the dog to have a black coat. A dog could have a genetic code “Dd” or “DD” and be black. However, if both genes are recessive, then dilution or fading of the dark pigment will occur and these “dd” dogs will be a faded black ranging from charcoal to silvery-blue. Border Collies are usually a clear shade of bluish-gray. Blue Merle Border Collies have a dominant gene that causes black and white hairs to swirl together, appearing marbled and bluish.
First and foremost a herding dog, the Border Collie should be keen, alert, and focused. The breed’s constant intensity can prove to be too much for many owners. Intelligence is a hallmark of the Border Collie and is evident in the dog’s expression. These Collies are also attentive, hard-working, energetic, devoted, loyal, sensitive, determined, and responsive.
One of the top reasons for surrendering a Border Collie is for snapping at or biting a child. The intense nature of the breed does not tolerate many childish habits. A kid who bends over a Border Collie, goes in for face-to-face contact, or stares intently into her eyes may very well receive a nip on the lip or cheek. Moreover, many Border Collies have a powerful herding instinct, and children seem to them the perfect subjects. They will gather young children sometimes relentlessly, biting their heels or calves if necessary. Some dogs are less intense than others.
Border Collies are not particularly aggressive towards other dogs and have a background of working in pairs or teams. They do well with dogs close to their size and larger. Collies tend to treat small dogs like children, herding them constantly. A Border Collie does best with no small dogs or cats in the household. The breed’s prey drive, albeit modified for herding, is high. It has been known to chase down small critters and kill them. However, a well-trained Border Collie should recall immediately, keeping her out of trouble.
Border Collies are usually wary and reserved towards strangers. Socialization at a young age is paramount to prevent them from developing into fear-biters. Many Border Collies warm up to your friends over time, but a few will remain indifferent. A sharp bark makes Border Collies potentially good watchdogs, but they do not have a propensity for guarding.
Needs of Your Border Collie
The demands of a Border Collie are rather high. Grooming requirements are low, but these dogs need a lot of attention and devotion from you, plenty of exercise, a meaningful job, mental stimulation, varied training methods, and socialization.
A Border Collie is one of those breeds that can look stunning in the show ring with minimal effort. A quick brush and trim around the feet and he is ready to go. Similarly, at home, your Border Collie typically only needs you to brush him two or three times weekly to minimize loose hair, debris, and soiling. The fur is not prone to mats. Border Collies have a double coat that consists of a short dense undercoat and long silky smooth feathered outer coat. The coat serves the dual purpose of keeping the dog insulated in winter and circulating cool air through the layers of fur in the summer. You will see moderate shedding the entire year with “blowing” of the undercoat in the fall and spring. Avoid shaving your dog. Other aspects of the grooming process are as follows.
- Bathing – Once every 1 to 3 months
- Nail trim – Every 4 to 6 weeks
- Teeth – Should brush once or twice per week; Start when your dog is a puppy if possible
- Check ears – 1 to 3 times weekly; Look for signs of itching or redness, abnormal discharge, or foul odor
Training, Socialization, and Mental Stimulation
Most sources concur that Border Collies are the smartest dogs in the world. Not only do they able to attain an excellent repertoire of verbal commands, but they have emotional intelligence and can solve problems that occur in their environment or their work in the field. However, this does not automatically translate into a dog that is easy to train. Border Collies are sensitive and require a gentle and patient approach with positive reinforcement. At the same time, your dog may also try to trick and manipulate you so her agenda is met and not yours. A Border Collie puppy needs an imaginative approach to training because she can easily become bored. Providing interactive games or partnered activities for adults provides a multifaceted approach of mental stimulation, purpose, and owner bonding.
- Flyball – Team activity whereby dogs complete a short track with hurdles and fastest group wins
- Agility – Border Collies have a special knack for agility
- Herding trials
Border Collies can also benefit from a variety of puzzles and other problem-solving games. Socialization should be a large part of your puppy’s training because otherwise, her sensitivity will grow with age, making him more reactive to strange noises and people.
When you first bring home a young one from a litter of Border Collie puppies for sale, you may have to feed him three to five times daily. All that energy you see in your dog means a high metabolism. By the time your pup is six months old, you can decrease his mealtimes to two or three a day. Puppies require 30 to 50 calories per pound of body weight. The exact amount depends on how fast your pup is growing, activity levels, and how efficient he is at maintaining an appropriate body condition. You should be able to feel your puppy’s ribs easily but not clearly see each one under his fur. If the bones of his pelvis are prominent or your puppy generally looks gaunt, you need to feed him more. Consult with your veterinarian to figure out safe rates of increasing or decreasing food intake. When you buy dog food, concentrate on those manufacturers that provide high-quality proteins from meat sources, an educated approach to carbohydrates (whether none or whole grain, ancient grains, potatoes, or vegetable and berry alternatives), and healthy fats. Dog food should also supply vitamins and minerals through the ingredients or via supplementation. Again, your veterinarian can provide guidance, especially if you are considering home-cooked or raw diets. An adult 45-pound Border Collie will require approximately 1,000 to 1,300 calories a day while working dogs may require twice that.
Exercise is only part of the story when it comes to satisfying a Border Collie, but it is huge. Strenuous activities help alleviate boredom and burn off some of the breed’s boundless energy. You should plan on at least 60 to 90 minutes of daily exercise, but some dogs will be happier with two hours. Changing things up from one day to the next will also help keep your dog’s active mind engaged and busy. If you can find a compatible dog to play with a few times a week, even better.
Unhappy Borde Collie
A Border Colie that does not receive sufficient love, attention, exercise, or mental stimulation can exhibit several destructive or antisocial behaviors.
- Escape artist – Your Border Collie will not likely attack people but may harm the neighbor’s cats, rabbits, or ducks
- Howling, whimpering, and barking
Mini Border Collies
There are a few methods whereby breeders of Border Collie puppies for sale will try to get a mini version. One is by selective breeding of the smallest representatives over several generations. The other is by producing so-called designer dogs. Hybrid mini Border Collies can be viable alternatives if you know what you are getting into and if the breeder exercises the same ethical standards as for purebred dogs. You will not obtain a designer dog that has 100% of the looks and behavior you would expect from a purebred Border Collie. However, these dogs meet the goal of being under 20 inches tall and less than 30 pounds. The closest match to a Border Collie is breeding to the Miniature American Shepherd (previously Mini Australian Shepherd). Other Designer dogs include crosses with the Poodle, Chihuahua, and Pomeranian.