All you need to know about the Border Collie breed
Half pricked ears
Oval eyes, colours include brown and blue
Coat types include slightly longer than sleek and coarse double coat. Colours include black & white, red & white, black, tri colour and black & gray
Medium size with a light frame. Athletic body - strong and agile, quick and coordinated
Slightly wide head with a tapered muzzle
Long tail, sometimes raised, but never curls over back
• Energetic with great stamina
• Highly intelligent and trainable
• Strong herding instincts
• A hard working dog that thrives
   on mental and physical
   stimulation
• Very alert and aware of its
   surroundings
• Very sensitive and often
   responsive to the subtlest
   command
• Forms a strong bond with
   its owners but might be
   wary of strangers
Border Collies are in general a very healthy breed, but like any other dog breed they are prone to certain health conditions. Not all Border Collies will get any or all of these conditions, but it's very important to be aware of the conditions and have ample knowledge of the signs and symptoms related to these conditions before considering this breed as a pet. Some conditions include Hip Dysplasia, Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA), Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), Epilepsy, Allergies and Osteochondrosis Dissecans (OCD).
If you feel that you still want to take up the responsibility of becoming the owner of one of these special dogs, here are some tips that would assist you:

• Before you decide to get a Border Collie, think whether it will fit in with your lifestyle and whether you are willing to put in the time and effort this breed requires. Think twice if you live in an apartment, townhouse, have small children or have a busy schedule. Talk to owners of Border Collies and learn all you can about the breed.

• Consider adopting a rescue dog. We have a number of wonderful dogs looking for good homes. Past experience has shown that rescued Border Collies bond closely with their adoptive homes. Adopting an adult dog also has some advantages; for example you have a very good idea what the dog will look like and of what its temperament will be. Some of the dogs are still quite young. Although some may have behavioral problems, many are perfectly normal dogs.

• If you buy a puppy make sure it is healthy. Puppies can inherit conditions such as eye disease, hip dysplasia and epilepsy from their parents. A responsible breeder will not breed dogs with inheritable disorders. You should ask the breeder whether an inheritable problem exists in the bloodline of the parents. You can also contact your veterinarian for more information. The puppy should also be free of parasites and appear active and healthy. Look out for puppies with any discharge from the eyes or nose or dirty ears. Puppies should not be fearful or aggressive. It is always a good idea to meet the parents. Puppies are ready to leave their mother at 7-8 weeks of age.

• Dogs should be inoculated against infectious diseases such as distemper, parainfluenza, parvovirus, hepatitis, leptospirosis and rabies. Puppies are inoculated at 6-8 weeks with follow up inoculations at approximately 12 and 16 weeks and thereafter the dog must get an annual booster. Dogs should also be kept free of parasites as ticks in particular can cause fatal illness. There is no vaccine against biliary fever, caused by ticks and therefor it is essential that your Border Collie be kept free of ticks. There are some excellent products available nowadays that do exactly that.
Feed your dog a high quality dog food recommended by your veterinarian. It is best to buy your dog food from your vet; supermarkets stock cheaper food, but remember that you get what you pay for.

• Provide your Border Collie with lots of exercise and mental stimulation. It is certainly not good enough to keep a Border Collie in a yard all day, even if it is a spacious yard. Border Collies enjoy chasing a ball, jogging, swimming, long walks and your company. Border Collies need a job to do, even if it is only chasing a ball. You can get involved in all sorts of interesting activities with your Border Collie, e.g. herding, agility, obedience, flyball and search and rescue. Your vet will be able to tell how to get in touch with some of these clubs.
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