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Border Collie - Wiki
Subject: Border Collie - Wiki
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Border Collie - Wiki


Border Collie
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

[Photo] Border Collie fetching at a sheep dog trial.

The Border Collie is a hard-working breed of herding dog that originated in the border country of England and Scotland. They are regarded by many as the most intelligent dog breed. Like most working dogs, Border Collies are highly energetic, and as a result have a tendency towards neurotic or destructive behavior if not given enough to do. They are still frequently used on farms all over the world for assisting with the handling of livestock. Though known to be reserved with strangers, these dogs can also be protective of a human family member and affectionate to those they know.

Appearance
Because Border Collies have historically been selected for working ability, and not looks, they vary widely in appearance.

In general, they are medium-sized dogs without extreme physical characteristics and a moderate amount of coat. Their double coats can be anywhere from slick to lush, and can come in many colors, although black and white is by far the most often seen at conformation shows and herding trials and therefore the most common in public perception; tricolor (black/tan/white) and red and white also occur regularly, with other colors such as, blue and white, red merle, blue merle, or sable seen less frequently.

Eye color varies from deep brown to amber or blue with occasionally one eye of each color. The ears of the Border Collie are also highly variable -- some have fully erect ears, some fully dropped and others are semi-erect (similar to that of the Rough Collie). Although working Border Collie handlers sometimes have superstitions about the appearance of their dogs (many handlers do not prefer red dogs, or mostly white dogs), in general a dog's appearance is considered to be irrelevant. It is much more useful to identify a working Border Collie by its attitude and ability, not its looks.

Those dogs bred for the conformation ring are much more uniform in appearance than working Border Collies, since to be successful show dogs they must conform to kennel club standards that are specific on many points of the anatomy and furnishings. Kennel clubs specify that the Border Collie must have a keen and intelligent expression, and the preferred eye colour is generally brown. In deference to the dog's working origin, scars and broken teeth received in the line of duty are not to be counted against a Border Collie in the show ring.

Temperament
Border Collies are an extremely intelligent breed with an instinctive desire to work. They are also extremely energetic and require a lot of attention, but are very responsive to training. In many cases, having another dog can help, providing mental and physical stimulation for both dogs. They are better off in a household that can provide them with plenty of exercise and a job to do. Like most herding breeds, they will attempt to herd family members, cats, squirrels, bicycles, cars, or anything else that moves in the absence of other charges. This might even include birds in mid-air.

Border Collies don't make good pets for people who cannot provide a considerable amount of daily exercise, both physical and mental. Many Border Collies end up in shelters or rescue groups because families, attracted by their appearance and intelligence, discover that they cannot provide the considerable attention and effort required for this driven, active, easily bored breed???though this problem can be alleviated by giving the dog lots of mental and physical stimulation, for example having more than just the one dog.

This can be done by taking them to training classes and for long, brisk walks. Participating in dog sports such as dog agility, flyball, sheepdog trials, tracking, dog dancing, Disc dog [1], dog sledding races and obedience are also popular with Border Collie owners for this reason. It may also help to have more than one dog. However, in some cases, having two dogs may increase your workload as they may lay around waiting for you to be the one to direct them. Some owners believe that a Border Collie will benefit from having a personal trainer. As with many breeds, temperaments vary widely among individuals.

Among some breeders in Britain there is a common saying: "no sheep, no collie", referring to the dog's usual unsuitability to people who just want a "smart dog." A dog bred from prize winning sheep-herding stock may well be less suitable as a companion dog than one which has its immediate ancestry more rooted in domestic environments. Border Collies love to play and do not always know when to stop on their own; owners are advised to ensure that their dogs do not dangerously overexert themselves, especially in hot weather.

Some owners have great success with mental exercising of this breed. Border collies receiving a great deal of attention from their owner will normally learn a stronger understanding of language than basic commands. What might be "Frisbee" for another dog, can be "Get your frisbee from the backyard", resulting in the dog opening a simple door mechanism, exiting the home and returning with the desired object, or "Do you want to go on a walk?" will result in the dog returning with the leash in their mouth and standing by the door. Most new words or phrases can be mastered in one or two tries, and normally if associated with another familiar phrase. The learning process is similar to a human child learning his first words.

Health
Hip dysplasia is widespread among purebred Border Collies. Elbow dysplasia or Osteochondritis also occurs, along with epilepsy and hypothyroidism. Dogs homozygous for the merle gene are likely to have eye and/or hearing problems.

Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL) is a type of lysosomal storage disorder that results in accumulation of lysosomal storage bodies in the cells of many tissues of the affected animal. This leads to progressive neurodegeneration (degeneration of brain and eye cells) and results in severe neurological impairment and early death. The mutation causing the form of the disease found in Border Collies was identified [2] in the laboratory of Dr. Alan Wilton of the School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. Affected dogs appear normal at birth, but begin to exhibit symptoms early in life ??? around 1- 2 years of age. The age of onset and severity of the disease can vary greatly among individuals. The symptoms include progressive motor decline with seizures and loss of coordinated muscle movements, cognitive decline and abnormal behavior. Visual impairment may occur. Due to the severity of the disease, affected Border Collies rarely survive beyond 26-28 months. There is no treatment or cure at this time.

Collie eye anomaly (CEA) is a congenital, inherited eye disease affecting Border Collies and other breeds involving the retina, choroid, and sclera. It can be a mild disease or cause blindness.

Both Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL) and Collie eye anomaly (CEA) are caused by a simple autosomal recessive gene defect. The mutations, or changes to the structure of the genes, probably occurred spontaneously in a single dog but once in the population has been inherited from generation to generation like any other gene. The disorders show an autosomal recessive mode of inheritance: two copies of the defective gene (one inherited from each parent) have to be present for a dog to be affected by the disease. Individuals with one copy of the defective gene and one copy of the normal gene - called carriers - show no symptoms but can pass the defective gene on to their offspring. When two apparently healthy carriers are crossed, 25% (on average) of the offspring will be affected by the disease, 25% will be clear and the remaining 50% will themselves be carriers


Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (NCL) and Collie eye anomaly (CEA) can now be tested for genetically. The DNA tests not only diagnose dogs affected with this disease but can also detect those dogs which are carriers, displaying no symptoms of the disease but able to produce affected pups. Under most circumstances, there will be a much greater number of carriers than affected animals in a population. It is important to eliminate such carriers from a breeding population since they represent a hidden reservoir of the disease that can produce affected dogs at any time.

Origins
The Border Collie is descended from droving breeds originating on the Scottish and English border. Mention of the 'Collie' or 'Colley' type first appeared toward the end of the nineteenth century with the current Border Collie type emerging with dogs such as Old Hemp and Wiston Cap.Old Hemp, a tri-color dog, was born September 1893 and died May 1901. He was bred by Adam Telfer from Roy, a black and tan dog, and Meg, a black-coated, strong-eyed dog. Hemp was a quiet, powerful dog that sheep responded to easily. Many shepherds used him for stud on their bitches, and Hemp's working style became the Border Collie style. It is believed that Old Hemp's blood runs in the veins of almost all Border Collies today.Wiston Cap is the dog that the International Sheep Dog Society (ISDS) badge portrays in the characteristic Border Collie herding pose. He was the most popular and used stud dog in the history of the breed, and appears in a huge percentage of pedigrees today. Bred by W. S. Hetherington and trained and handled by John Richardson, Cap was a biddable and good-natured dog. His blood lines all trace back to the early registered dogs of the stud book, and to J. M. Wilson's Cap, who occurs sixteen times within seven generations in his pedigree. Wiston Cap sired three Supreme Champions and is grand-sire of three others, one of which is E. W. Edwards' Bill, who won the championship twice.

The breed has been known as the Working Collie, Old-Fashioned Collie, Farm Collie, and English Collie. It was in 1915 that James Reid, Secretary of the International Sheepdog Society in Great Britain, first called the dog a Border Collie.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Border_Collie
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Comments
elizabeth
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