Border Collies are some of the most intelligent dogs in the world and their capacity to learn new tricks and figure out problems is the stuff of legends. These medium sized herding dogs are also excellent as agility dogs, Flydogs, Frisbee dogs and competitive obedience dogs.
With all the intelligence is also a very active breed of dog that does not do well in small, confined spaces. They can adjust to apartment life provided they have at least two 40 minute intensive exercise periods per day and have lots of toys and things to play with when they are left alone. Without exercise and a job to do these dogs can develop problem behaviors such as chewing, barking, and other types of destructive habits. Ideally a home with a well fenced yard that allows the dog to be outside and active when the family is away is the best option.
The great news is that these active dogs make outstanding pets. They do need early and routine socialization, just as any other breed. Many are natural herders and will spend time herding anything in the yard that moves, including people and kids. This behavior needs to be curbed to prevent any accidents from happening. They are so smart that just a few training sessions will have everything in place. They respond well to positive reinforcement and require no punishment based training to understand just what you want.
The breed looks very much like a miniature version of the Collie, although there are some differences. They have moderately long hair over the entire body and the tail while the legs and face are covered with much shorter hair. There is actually a shorter coated variety as well, both which are considered acceptable in breed standards. Although most people think of black and white when they picture the breed they can also be brown and white, tricolored, red and white, yellow, yellow and white, sable or all black. White markings on the face and feet are common.
The Border Collie needs a moderate amount of grooming, usually a once a week routine will be all that is required. They do shed lightly during the year with heavier sheds seen in the spring and late summer months. It is important to avoid bathing the Border Collie unless it is absolutely needed as this can lead to skin problems.
The Border Collie is more prone to flea allergies than many other breeds. Routine flea treatments year round can prevent this issue. Talk to your vet about different options including topical applications and powders but be very careful with worming products and other medications. Your vet can test your dog for a possible genetic factor that can make using specific types of medications fatal.