Red and white border collies are beautiful dogs and make wonderful pets for the right owners. Border collies are known for their great intelligence, playful spirit, and high energy levels. Responsible border collie owners understand how to best support these clever working dogs by giving them plenty of physical and mental stimulation.
It’s always important to understand the specific needs of a breed before you bring home your new pet. If you make sure to research the traits and needs of your new dog, you’ll be setting up your pup for a lifetime of health and happiness.
How Many Colors of Border Collies Are There?
You may have noticed mostly black and white border collies around your local dog park, but the AKC actually recognizes sixteen distinct colors , including red and white. Red and white border collies might be mostly red with white markings, or mostly white with red markings. Though recognized by the AKC, red and white is actually considered one of the rarer colors.
But no matter which color pup you prefer, border collies all share some specific breed traits that dog owners need to take into consideration.
The Smartest Dogs Around
According to dog researcher Stanley Coren, border collies are the smartest of all the dog breeds. They were originally bred to be herding dogs, and like other working breeds that meant the border collie needed to be super smart.
Border collies are commonly used to herd sheep and other livestock. They can remember and perfectly execute an extremely high number of commands, and their drive to please their owners makes them the perfect assistant for a farmer.
A border collie is happiest after a hard day of work. Giving them a chance to use those big brains is crucial to caring for a border collie. If they get too bored, they’ll find their own stimulation, which will likely result in destructive behaviors.
Not all border collies live on farms though. Lots of border collies are out living their best lives with active families. An excellent companion for anyone who likes to get outside and move every day, the border collie is also a wonderful choice for owners who enjoy dog sports like agility, flyball, and advanced obedience.
While that high IQ makes them one of the most trainable dogs, prospective owners should know that training a border collie is not optional. Their great intelligence makes it easy for them to outsmart unsuspecting humans, so a lifelong foundation of obedience training will help your pup remember who’s boss.
Border collies love learning and pleasing their people. When properly cared for and exercised, their personalities are lively and cheerful.
When they aren’t given the proper mental and physical exercise, border collies become frustrated and destructive. They can be stubborn, and their herding talents mean that they may try and herd young children by nipping and barking at them. There can also be a risk that they grow up to be timid and mistrustful around strangers, so lots of early socialization is key.
But, when properly raised and cared for, border collies aim to please. They’re known for anticipating their owner’s commands, and learn extraordinarily quickly. Bonding with your border collie through training and activity will grant you an affectionate and loving best friend for life.
Care and Grooming
Border collies have beautiful coats that come in two lengths, but they aren’t high maintenance when it comes to grooming. Brush them out a couple times a week, and brush more often when they get dirty or shed their coats. But other than that, simply make sure their nails are kept trimmed and their teeth are kept clean.
For any dog, it’s important to talk to your veterinarian about diet. Whether you feed commercial kibble or prepare food yourself, your vet can help you make sure your pup is getting all the nutrients he needs to thrive.
With all the training necessary for a border collie, you may want to ask your vet about nutritious training treats for rewards.
Border collies are generally healthy dogs, but any breed is subject to specific health concerns.
If you’re getting your pup from a breeder, do your due diligence to make sure they’re reputable and perform the recommended health screenings for issues like hip dysplasia. A border collie should have his ears regularly checked for infection, and it’s best to try and brush his teeth regularly.
High energy dogs like border collies often thrive when allowed to roam off leash. Whether it’s on a trail where they can go investigate exciting smells in the trees or in a park where they’re free to sprint for that frisbee, many border collie owners find their pets adore being let off the leash.
However, it’s imperative for your dog’s health to approach any off leash activities safely. There is always risk of injury or even a lost dog when pets are permitted to run free.
Make sure dogs are allowed off leash in your local park or hiking trails, and get those recall skills down pat before you try anything without a leash. Depending on your dog’s temperament, you might find it’s best to look for areas where there aren’t often other dogs or other people around.
For increased peace of mind, the Fi smart collar provides 24/7 location and activity tracking. Using GPS technology, the Fi collar empowers you to check on your dog when she’s with the dog walker, notify you when she wriggles under the fence in your backyard, and help you feel secure when you let her run free in the park.
A Perfect Pup for Active People
Overall, when matched with the right pet parent, border collies make delightful pets. They’ll keep you on your toes with their antics, but if you give them a job to do they’ll love you for life.