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Border Collie

Border Collie Dog Breed

Aliases: The Border, the Working Collie, the Farm Collie, the English Collie and the Old-Fashioned Collie

Life Span: 12 - 15 years - although some have lived to be 18 years old.
Litter Size: 4 - 8 puppies with the average being 6 puppies
Group: Herding, AKC Herding, Working
Color: Black/White, Chocolate/White, Red/White (Yellow/White), Blue/White (Slate), Lilac/White, Sable/White, TriColor, Saddle Pattern, Blue Merle, Red Merle, Sable Merle
Hair Length: Long, Medium
Size: Medium
Shedding: Moderate Shed
Male Height: 19-22 inches (48-56 cm.)
Male Weight: 30-45 pounds (14-20 kg.)
Female Height: 18-21 inches (46-53 cm.)
Female Weight: 27-42 pounds (12-19 kg.)
 General info courtesy of Additional information about this breed can be found on their website.

Thyroid Disease - High Risk

The Border Collie ranks #29 among all breeds for autoimmune thyroiditis prevalence. There is a high risk of obtaining a dog that will develop thyroid disease. For this reason you should make sure you, or your breeder, are testing all dogs before breeding.  It may even be a good idea to test dogs that you don't plan on breeding so that any instance of disease can be traced back to breeding pairs and eliminated.

 Rank Among Breeds  Number of Dogs Tested  Percent of Dogs With Disease
 #29  2,197  11.2%

You can download the full report (on all breeds) by the Michigan State University Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health. Here

Other Health Problems

Generally a quite hardy breed, the Border does have some special medical conditions to be aware of:

  • Hip Dysplasia: Canine Hip Dysplasia (CHD) can cause mild to severe lameness.
  • Osteochondritis Dissecans: a degenerative disease of the joints, associated with over-nutrition and too-fast growth of puppies.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy: manifests as night blindness, slowly progresses to total blindness. 
  • Collie Eye Anomaly: can cause blindness, but is not a progressive disease
  • Epilepsy: a neurological seizure disorder. There is no test for this. 
  • Deafness: Congenital deafness can be a problem.
  • Issues with Anaesthetics: Since Borders have such low body fat they may be more sensitive to barbiturate-based anesthetics.