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Border Collie: nature, care and diseases

Border collie

Border collie is considered the best shepherd dog in the world. He reigns supreme in herding competitions - Sheepdog Trials - organized since 1873 in Great Britain.

The name of the Border Collie breed comes from the English word "border ", which is the border, because originally border collies were breeding in the border areas between Scotland and England.

According to the FCI classification, they belong to group I.

  • Border collie look
  • Border Collie character
  • Border Collie care
  • What to feed your Border Collie?
  • Border Collie disease
    • Hypersensitivity to ivermectin and milbemycin
    • Filamentous myopathy
    • Congenital deafness
    • Cerebellar atrophy
    • Collie Eye Disease (CEA)
    • Corneal dystrophy
    • Little
    • Chronic superficial keratitis
    • Lens luxation in border collies
    • Primary ciliary dyskinesia
    • Vitamin B12 malabsorption
    • Lipofuscinosis
  • Is it worth choosing a border collie??

Border collie look

Border collie breed description

Border collie is a medium-sized dog (the height of dogs of this breed is about 50 - 53 cm, weight approx. 15 - 20 kg) with good proportions and a streamlined silhouette built into the rectangle.

Breed description

  • The head of this breed is wide, the stop is clearly marked, the ears are vertical and set wide apart.
  • Teeth strong, evenly placed, scissor bite.
  • Eyes set wide apart, matching the color of the coat.
  • Deep and broad chest, tail reaching to the hock.
  • The coat is medium long and hard.

Border collie coat

Border collie has the following colors:

  • black and white,
  • chocolate - white (border collie brown),
  • blue - white,
  • border collie blue merle,
  • border collie tricolor.

Border collie - the dogs are fluid in motion and the low lifting of their paws gives the impression of stealth.

The lifespan of this breed is approximately 10-17 years.

Border Collie character

What character does Border Collie dog?

Border collies are vigorous, active and non-aggressive dogs.
  • Breed dogs border collie they are extremely intelligent and easy to arrange.
  • Their ability to learn quickly, combined with zeal and faithfulness, make them good guides of the herd, which is why they were most often used and they are for guarding sheep. A well-trained Border Collie is able to separate the lambs from their mothers and divide the herd into groups without barking or biting the sheep, but only forcing them to obey with their attitude and eyesight.
  • Border Collies are distrustful of strangers, alert and attached to the owner and household members.
Border collie character

Border Collie care

How to groom a dog?

The coat of these dogs comes in two varieties:

  • semi-longhair,
  • shorthair.
It does not require special care treatments, as it is resistant to weather conditions due to the fact that they are working dogs and have two-layer construction. The topcoat is dense, medium-thick and hard, and the undercoat is short, dense and soft. The most important form of care is brushing, which is a good idea to get your dog used to it from an early age so that it can undergo these treatments without any problems.

Semi-long hair tends to tangling and felting, so it is worth spending time at least for this treatment once a week.

The dog needs bathing infrequently, preferably as needed.

What to feed your Border Collie?

What to feed a border collie?

A dog of this breed does not have any special nutritional requirements, it is important that the food used is complete and of good quality to cover the dog's needs for all nutrients. The diet should be adjusted to the dog's physical activity.

Among the owners of the breed Border collie the use of the BARF diet is popular due to the high content of proteins and fats as energy sources, and not, as in the case of some ready-made foods, carbohydrates.

Border Collie disease

Border collie disease

Hypersensitivity to ivermectin and milbemycin

This is one of the basic dysfunctions that can occur in u collie sheepdogs.

It is caused by a mutation within MDR-1 gene, which encodes information on the structure of a transport protein that is part of the blood-brain barrier.

This mutation increases the permeability of this barrier for certain substances, which results in the disturbance of the functions of the nervous system.

Puppies are often genetically tested for this mutation in kennels.

Administration of drugs containing ivermectin or milbemycin (e.g. Advocate) causes in dogs with the mutation:

  • seizures,
  • salivation,
  • coma,
  • death.

Treatment is symptomatic treatment only.

The owner must also know about the possibility of this mutation, who often buys preparations for fleas or deworming himself.

Filamentous myopathy

It is a genetic disease related to a defect in the cells of the muscle fibers.


With filamentous myopathy in the Border Collie, muscle tissue degeneration occurs, manifested by:

  • muscle wasting,
  • trembling,
  • tired quickly after exercise.
These symptoms usually appear around. 3 months old, and the disease is unfortunately incurable.

Congenital deafness

Congenital deafness is a genetic disease involving the degeneration of the vestibulocochlear nerve.

Already in puppies it is observed double-sided deafness.

Unfortunately, the disease is incurable, but in the right environment, dogs can function normally.

Cerebellar atrophy

Cerebellar atrophy consists in underdeveloped cerebellar tissue and most often manifests itself already in 4 week old puppies, when they begin to walk.


In the case of cerebellar atrophy, we can observe:

  • head tremors,
  • ataxia and hyperextension of the limbs,
  • sometimes nystagmus.
The disease is incurable, but with minor clinical signs, the animals are able to function.

Collie Eye Disease (CEA)

It runs with underdevelopment of the reflective membrane and reduced pigmentation of the choroid and retina.

It is diagnosed on the basis of an ophthalmological examination of dogs aged approx. 7 weeks, which reveals, among others.in. the tortuous course of the vessels in the choroid and the folds of the retina in the form of gray stripes, as well as a fissure within the optic disc.

In adult dogs, genetic tests are necessary for diagnosis.

The disease can cause amblyopia or complete blindness.

Corneal dystrophy

Clinically, this disease manifests itself bilateral corneal opacity, associated with the deposition of lipids in the form of white inclusions.

It should be distinguished from corneal ulcer and lipid deposition due to systemic hyperlipidaemia.


It is a developmental defect of the eyeball consisting in its smaller size compared to the normal eyeball.

It may affect one or both eyes and may also be associated with other defects such as prolapse of the third eyelid, if eyeball cysts.

The disease is incurable and may occur together with blindness, and symptomatic treatment involves the use of moisturizing preparations such as "artificial tears " and local antibiotic therapy in the case of damage to the surface of the cornea.

Chronic superficial keratitis

It is an inflammatory disease that can lead to blindness.

It occurs on both sides, and ultraviolet light is considered a predisposing factor.

It manifests itself in dogs of all ages and consists in the loss of translucency of the cornea due to its vascularization and pigmentation.

Treatment consists of topical immunosuppressive drugs that are used for the rest of the pet's life.

Lens luxation in border collies

Lens dislocation is the displacement of the lens as a result of a hereditary disorder of their structure.

The ligaments securing it are ruptured and most often it is an emergency, requiring quick intervention.

Often in its course it comes to vision loss or the need to remove the eyeball due to the deepening inflammation.

Primary ciliary dyskinesia

The disease consists of a disturbance in the movement of cilia in the snapshot epithelium of the respiratory system, seminal tubules, the ear canal and the ventricles of the brain.

It can occur in dogs of all ages and the most common symptoms are chronic cough, runny nose and dyspnoea, responding to antibiotic treatment, but recurring when they are stopped.

Diagnosis is difficult and treatment is symptomatic.

Vitamin B12 malabsorption

This disease in Border Collies is genetic and most commonly occurs in aged dogs less than 6 months.


This disease manifests itself:

  • lack of appetite,
  • weight loss,
  • chronic diarrhea,
  • coagulation disorder.

It is diagnosed by measuring the concentration in the blood vitamin B12 and folic acid, and heals by administering this vitamin parenterally.


Lipofuscinosis belongs to the group of storage diseases and is manifested by disorders of the nervous system in the form of seizures and ataxia, as well as progressive loss of vision.

Is it worth choosing a border collie??

For whom it will be an ideal breed of dog?

Border collie is a dog that has been, is and will be a working dog.

Dogs of this breed need a lot of exercise, interest and occupation, otherwise their inactivity is extremely destructive.

These dogs belong to the shepherd dog breed, which is focused on continuous work with people.

They also work well with children, as caring is in their blood - they are very patient. Of course, they get along very well with other dogs.

They are kept mainly on farms where they are responsible for guarding sheep, but they are also becoming more and more popular in cities, among people interested in agility.

You can see what agility competitions look like in the video below

Watch Border Collie, Tex, Win 2015 Masters Agility Championship | FOX SPORTS
Watch this video on YouTube

Many border collies are trained for Flyball competitions that are becoming more and more popular in Poland, in which they successfully cope.

The Border Collie breed is not suitable for extremely busy people who will not be able to provide a large dose of activity for the dog.

The best guardian for border collies is one who spends a lot of time in nature, likes sports and will have a lot of time to play with a dog of this breed, train him and will be able to keep him busy constantly.

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