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The Border Collie is from Great Britain. The breed is the result of more than a century of breeding for the function of herding the herds. The name comes from the Celtic word "Coalley" which means "black", and the Welsh word "Coelius" which means "Loyal".

The fact that it was created primarily for work, the Border Collie's appearance has always been left to the background. Breeders have always preferred to ensure that the dogs are more and more fit for their needs, which would be dogs that lead the flocks. This being the main objective, many breeders have never registered their dogs in the Book of Origins / Canine Clubs. The competitions attended by these dogs were only for herding and never in beauty competitions.

The Border Collie arrived in America and immediately enchanted sheep farmers with its quick work and its ability to learn. In fact, this last quality opened the door for the race as one of the most competitive in obedience championships and other modalities. After working hard to gain fame as one of the most intelligent breeds, and not for aesthetic values, many Border Collie breeders fought for their recognition by the AKC as a show dog. In 1995, the AKC (American Kennel Club) recognized the breed and she entered the exhibition circle, and there the breed standard was made.

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The Border Collie is an affectionate, active and extremely intelligent dog. It is a breed full of characteristics that differentiate them from all other dogs.

They are extremely loyal to the owner and always want to please, and being with them, it is expressly indicated that the dogs have training, education and rules from an early age, or it can become a little complicated to control. They are always attentive, owner, so it may happen to be more guarded with people they don't know.

The Border Collie is from the Shepherd Dog Group, but they can adapt to the owner's lifestyle and routine, as long as he is aware that he is a dog that needs a lot of mental stimulation and walks / daily activities.

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The Border Collie is normally a very resistant dog, but of course we must always be aware, as they have a great tolerance to pain, which can hide any disease or discomfort they have. It is not a dog that usually gives many problems in terms of diseases, but even though they are generally healthy, there are some genetic components that can influence their health. The ultimate responsibility for maintaining the integrity of the breed rests with the breeders. Breeders need to have the responsibility and rigor, and the buyer needs to have the responsibility to buy only from those breeders who are committed to improving the breed, and their health. The most common genetic diseases of the breed are:

Dysplasias- (Hip, shoulder or elbow) - It is a disease that affects the joints and bones, it is a malformation in them, it is known that dysplasia can be genetic as well as environmental, in environmental cases, the factors factors are in the diet healthy / nutritional, biomechanics and environment that can affect the good development of bones and joints.

CEA / CH - Collie Eye Anomally- or Collie eye disease, is a common disease in Collies, but it also affects other breeds such as the Shetland Shepherd, Bearded Collie, Australian Shepherds, Lancashire Heelers and the Border Collie. It is characterized by the presence of choroidal hypoplasia (CH) which is what characterizes the disease, sometimes Colobomas and rarely, in the most severe cases, Retinal detachment, which leads to total or partial blindness. There is no cure.

CL - Neuronal Ceroyd Lipofucionosis- is characterized as a defect in the storage of lysosomes inside the cells of various tissues of the animal's organism, mainly at the brain level and which results in an accumulation of these corpuscles causing various types of disorders. Symptoms range from tremors, attacks, spasms and the death of the young animal aged approximately 2 to 3 years. It occurs in breeds such as English Setters, Tibetan Terriers, American Bulldogs and the Border Collie. This disease has no cure and is one of the most cruel, as it causes much suffering to the animal.

TNS - Trapped Neutrophil Syndrome- is a defect in the transport of Neutrophils (White Blood Cells) responsible for defending the organism from infections, Neutrophils are produced inside the bones, but do not reach the infected sites. Usually the puppies die before reaching 2 months, from generalized infections, or even after the first dose of vaccine. Far from being a rare disease, it can be misdiagnosed as Parvovirus, or Coronavirus, or any other common disease, simply because dogs die with the same symptoms: bloody diarrhea, vomiting, lack of appetite, etc. depending on the infection that affects them . It is difficult to diagnose, as the neutrophil count is normal in the blood count. There is no cure.

MDR1 - Multi drog resistance- is a mutation in the MDR1 gene that causes a deficiency in the production of a protein (P glycoprotein). This protein is responsible for pumping the metabolites of the ingested drugs out of the body's cells, mainly in the brain, where the lack of this protein causes the accumulation of toxic substances that cause nervous poisoning. The clinical correlation for this mutation is the (hyper) sensitivity of certain dog breeds, mainly collies, to some classes of drugs such as anticancer agents (doxorubicin, vincristine, vinblastine), immunosuppressants (cyclosporine), antiparasitic (ivermectin, moxidectin), hormones steroids (aldosterone, cortisol, dexamethasone), antimicrobials (tetracycline, doxycycline, levofloxacin, ketaconazole, itraconazole), analgesics (morphine, methadone), antidiarrheals (loperamide), antiepileptics, dialysis, dialysis, dialysis, among others.

Glau (Glaucoma) - It is a group of diseases that cause an increase in pressure inside the eye. This increase in pressure causes damage to the eye structures, and if not diagnosed and treated in time leads to blindness. In the dog 15 different types of glaucoma are described, most of which are of hereditary origin. Both eyes can be affected although not at the same time. Glaucoma can be divided into three categories: primary, secondary and congenital.

IGS (Imerslund-Grasbeck Syndrome) - Imerslund-Grasbeck Syndrome (IGS) is a disorder found in Beagles and Border Collies, where dietary cobalamin (vitamin B12) cannot be absorbed by the intestine. Both breeds have independent mutations in the cubulin gene (CUBN). The disease has an autosomal recessive genetic mode and both sexes are equally affected.

Affected IGS dog owners often point to a lack of appetite, lack of weight gain, lethargy and discomfort that intensifies after eating. Clinically anemia and excess protein in the urine are observed. Without chronic treatment, chronic damage to the brain and nervous system can occur.


As mentioned before, the Border Collie have a very high energy, which can be very difficult to handle for inexperienced or sedentary owners. It is a breed that needs an owner who understands it and has time to train it, stimulate its full potential, both physical and mental. They are always looking for work and new challenges. Although they are very resistant dogs, care must be taken not to overexert them. They do not show signs of tiredness or pain, so when activities have been going on for some time, you should encourage them to stop for a while. When the Border Collie does not expend the physical and mental energy they have, they can become self-destructive, compulsive, obsessive and with various behavioral problems. It is also necessary to point out that owners with little experience should study the breed well before purchasing one.

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Food varies from dog to dog, it is important to have a healthy and balanced diet, not forgetting vitamin supplements and chondroprotectors.

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Hair, colors and grooming-

The Border collie is generally easy to take care of the coat, they do not require frequent baths, in contrast they need to be brushed weekly, to always keep the hair healthy and without dead hair that can create allergies. The Border Collie does not normally have an unpleasant smell when they do not bathe regularly, it is said that they have an "auto-Cleaner", can get full of mud, just wait for it to dry, brush, and look like new. Like any other breed, Border Collie makes the change of the hair periodically and, those that have more hair the amount that we see fall is much more noticeable. Border Collies have two types of coat: medium and long, in terms of coat color, the Border Collie can have any color and pattern, only white can never predominate, in relation to the merle color, they can have blue eyes, in other colors are not desired

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Children and other animals-

With children it will always depend from dog to dog and their temperament or energy, usually they are not problematic, there may be cases of dogs that are fantastic with children and others that may feel uncomfortable with their energy. You should never force coexistence between your dog and your child, the connection between the two will happen naturally over time, but always with your supervision. When we have a Border and children at home we must be aware of their need for work as a sheepdog. Never let your dog try to shepherd your children or any family member. But as I mention above, it always depends on the dog and the dog's temperament, it is very important that if you have children or small children in the family, that you choose the best dog for the environment that will take him, this will always be a question that you should ask the breeder, who should know them and indicate the best dog for their lifestyle and environment. Border Collies with other animals, such as cats, birds, rabbits or other dogs, usually do not have any conflict, it is all a matter of socialization.

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Rebecca Hoy Vilar

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