Border Collie

...the dog that never stops!

Border Collies, otherwise known as sheepdogs, are bred to herd livestock. They are probably the most intelligent breed of dog in the world and as such require a lot of mental stimulation and a large amount of daily exercise. They can happily run 60 - 80kms per day so this is the dog for a very active family, perhaps where jogging is a regular fitness activity.

Sadly, because of their hyperactive nature, these dogs are often surrendered to dog shelters, having been found too demanding for many families. Think carefully whether your family can sustain the exercise required before choosing a Border Collie.

Border Collies left bored and under exercised, will quickly become neurotic and destructive, digging holes, chewing fixtures and destroying everything including their kennels and bedding. Even fences are not safe! Also, consider if you have young children, whether your children will be able to cope with this boisterous dog. Equally, elderly people might be unable to handle a Border Collie, because despite being only medium sized, they like to run, jump and play with gusto.

Speaking of jumping, Border Collies can clear a 2 metre high fence so make sure your backyard is really secure. However, assuming you are the energetic type with lots of time to devote to this dog, the Border Collie will reward you as a very loyal family member with the ability to learn amazing skills such as turning door knobs or waking you up at exactly the same time every morning. They will also alert you to strangers. They are incredibly healthy and low maintenance in terms of veterinary visits and grooming. Although they do shed, a good brush once a week and the occasional bath will suffice.

Their other behaviour you might find challenging is their strong desire to herd everything - other animals, the children, cars - if it moves they will want it to move in their chosen direction. You will never completely train this out of the dog, so remember all exercise needs to be on lead.

<ul> <li>Medium size</li> <li>Very intelligent</li> <li>Need considerable daily exercise</li> <li>Weekly grooming - some shedding</li> <li>Very healthy breed</li> <li>Strong herding instincts</li> </ul>