Border Collies can be great family dogs, however an owner must be well versed on how to properly care for these dogs.
Border Collies are working dogs, that have plenty of energy. Make sure to provide plenty of chewable bones, and toys to help keep these dogs focused on something. These dogs like to chew, and if they lack chew toys they can quickly turn to furniture to satisfy this need.
Because of their high energy these dogs make great companions for active people. Hikers, and runners will find Border Collies to be good pets, as an active lifestyle suits these dogs very well. Children should be taught not to run from these dogs. Border Collies are herding dogs by nature, and should children try to run from them, they may receive a nip as the animals instincts take over.
Border Collies, like many other pure bred dogs, are subject to many common health problems. They often times suffer from hip dysplasia, and blindness runs in the bloodlines of many border Collies. Make sure to speak with the breeder, and find out if their dogs have been screened for the possibility of some of these disorders. Understanding these health problems can help an owner to prepare for any ailments which may befall their pet later in life.
As with all dogs, keeping up with vaccinations if a must. If treated will the average lifespan for Border Collies is between 12 and 15 years, but in a few cases they can live as long as 18 years. Plenty of exercise, and regular trips to the vet will help your dog live a long and happy life.
One of the first questions to ask yourself as a new owner of a Border Collie, is whether you should spay or neuter them. There are factors to consider on both sides. Do you plan on breeding the dog for personal or business reasons ever? Do you want to go through the process of adopting out the puppies should your dog accidentally get out or if you have other dogs in the house? Although the upfront cost of spaying or neutering your pet seems costly, it is really a benefit to your Border Collie and to you.
If it is a female, spaying is a lifesaver for both of you because she will go into heat, she will bleed, and possibly make unwanted messes ruining your carpets if she is indoors. You will be saving yourself from the possible health risks, behavior with your Border Collie being in heat, and unwanted puppies that may or may not be taken care of properly or experimented upon by others which often happens when they are adopted by unknown people. It could be an agency that tests products on animals and if you’ve ever seen that, it’s entirely cruel to any Border Collie or other dog.
If it is a male dog, and he ever gets out, you may have to help incur the costs of puppies fathered. Really though, it is the duty of a responsible Border Collie or pet owner to highly consider spaying or neutering your pet if not bred.
Border Collies, as a breed, are subject to a number of common health problems. Hip Dysplasia, or HD, is one of the most common health issues that the breed is known for. This involves the hip joint, which degenerates from the effects of the bone and the surrounding cartilage deteriorating from osteoarthritis. There is evidence that it may be passed down through genetics or be affected by a dog’s nutrition while young at various important growth levels.
Another health issue that strikes these animals is Collie Eye Anomaly, or CEA. This disease causes various parts of the eye, especially around the retina, to grow abnormally. The affected animal may show no vision problems at all or can be totally blinded but most have only mild problems. The dog can be tested before it is 12 weeks old to see if it has the disease through a genetic test, while adults can be tested through a veterinarian eye exam. A border collie may have CEA and not be affected, in which case it will pass it on to the next generation.
Focal or Multifocal Acquired Retinopathy, or FMAR, is a disease that causes the eyes to become inflamed. It manifests in the form of lesions that grow around the dog’s retina. This can cause vision problems and in the most serious cases cause the animal to go blind. There is no current indication whether this disease is passed down by the parents or is caused by other factors within the dog’s environment.