Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Get to Know Border Collie

The Border Collie is a highly intelligent dog that regularly wins awards for obedience. She needs lots of open space to exercise in. She is a working sheep herding dog and she is the happiest with a job to do. She will get too bored and possibly destructive just sitting around a house alone. She is considered to be one of the most intelligent dogs.

*Approximate Adult Size. The approximate adult size (two years old or older) of the male Border Collie is 19 to 22 inches to the withers (highest point of the shoulder) and 30 to 45 pound. The females range from 18 to 21 inches to the withers and 27 to 42 pounds. 

*Special Health Considerations. Most dog breeds have certain inherited health problems associated with that specific breed and the Border Collie is no exception. Some of the medical problems you might encounter are Progressive Retinal Atrophy (inherited disease of the retina that can cause vision loss and blindness), Canine Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis (inherited neurological disorder that can lead to progressive degeneration of brain and eye cells and can cause severe impairment and early death), canine hipand elbow dysplasia (genetic based looseness in the hip joint that can lead to arthritis pain and lameness), Collie Eye Anomaly, epilepsy and flea allergies.

This disease list is an informative guideline only. Other diseases may also be significant threats, please contact your veterinarian for a complete list. She should visit the veterinarian several times in the first year for shots, boosters and check up. Then, as an adult, she should visit the veterinarian yearly for shots and check up. As she gets older, six years and on, she should visit the veterinarian twice a year for check ups and shots. Remember; avoid feeding your dog sweets.

*Grooming. The Border Collie has a medium length double water resistant coat that needs to be brushed every few days, daily if possible. She should be bathed rarely as this strips her coat of its protective oils. Brushing will help her maintain a clean and healthy coat and also help you keep a closer eye on her health and strengthen your emotional bond with your pet.

Her teeth should be brushed at least twice a week with toothpaste and toothbrush designed for dogs. Brushing removes the accumulation of plaque and tartar which can cause cavities (rarely) and periodontal disease. Dog periodontal disease can lead to pain, loss of teeth, bad breath and other serious disease.

Her toenails may need to be examined for growth and clipped regularly. The toenails of the rear feet grow slower than the toenails of the front feet. Generally a guillotine type trimmer is the best for this chore and competent instructions to accomplish this can be found on the net. 

*Life Span. The Border Collie can live between 12 and 15 years with proper nutrition, medical care and excellent living conditions.

*History. The Border Collie originated in Scotland and England. The American Kennel Association first registered Border Collies in 1995.

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