Border Collie Los Baganes
The Border Collie
The Border Collie is, by definition, a working dog, but it is not exclusively so. Its intelligence means that it has a quality of adaptivity: consequently, with the right owner, the life of a pet can be as agreeable to a Border Collie as the work for which it was initially born and raised.
The Border Collie is a brave dog that runs around in order to herd together the animals over which it is watching. Furthermore, it has an impressive gaze and a great capacity to intimidate for purposes of gathering, controlling and directing sheep without having to resort to biting them! The Border Collie is also a dog of great intelligence, which means that it is capable of taking the initiative whenever necessary - in other words, the perfect dog (or so think us!).
The intelligence of a Border Collie cannot be compared with that of a human being: it is so tightly related to its work instinct and the desire to please that it cannot be understood outside of this context. Owing to the fact that the Border Collie was initially bred to be of assistance to shepherds, its intelligence is innate; a deep-rooted knowledge that enables it to satisfactorily undertake any decision related to the work for which it was first reared. At times, however, there is almost a humane confusion owing to the Border Collie’s fixation with a functional and practical hierarchy. The Border Collie is extremely loyal to its owners; so much so that a bitch will enable her puppies to be taken away and killed in front of her eyes without letting forth so much as a growl of objection (not that we have ever tested this theory for ourselves, we hasten to add!).
The Border Collie’s temperament and work instinct are the result of centuries of evolution and they can at times dominante its survival instinct. Its obedience means that training a Border Collie is a very gratifying task; they learn extremely quickly and retain the information for longer than any other breed. Another aspect of their temperament is a tendency to be timid: for this reason, it is important to both socialise and handle them them from a young age. This is what we do here at Los Baganes and the new owners never complain when faced with this task...
The Border Collie’s method of working has always been valued above pure aesthetics. The standard of the modern iteration of the breed is centred around its practical nature; this helps to explain the huge variety in colour, size, fur and the like. One trait is valued above all others: its solidity.
A Border Collie should be discernible from merely one look at its head: the classic shape is that of a wedge, so to speak, but it can also be reminiscent of a fox or a pointer, together with sometimes having a more arched skull. With regards to ears, they can be erect, folded or horizontal. The eyes of this breed tend to be brown, although blue eyes are also quite common.
The build of the Border Collie is very important owing to its historic task. The working collie has a low lying head, and it has a long neck in order to help it keep its balance. The shoulders should be low and directed backwards to both assist speed and reduce the jolt that arises upon stopping suddenly. Long extremities and a narrow thorax are indicators of greater speed and provide considerable space for the dog’s lungs and heart. The length of the back and of the hips is necessary for purposes of resistance and grace. The tail should be downward facing.
Preference for one type of fur or another is dictated by the type of work that the Border Collie was initially bred for. A smooth, silky fur with a dense undercoat is ideal - it is better for reasons both practical and aesthetic. It is also possible to come across Border Collies with a coat as fine as that of greyhounds.
When it comes to colour, many Border Collies are black and white; the distribution of these colours follows no specific pattern, but a dominance of black is preferred. When it comes to the Border Collie in general, however, the range of colours is extensive: black and white, blue, chocolate, sable, tricolour, merle, Australian red, lilac... (just take a look at pictures of our own!).
Regardless of the colour of the Border Collie’s coat, the tip of the tail is nearly always white: this is so that it is easy to locate the dog when it is out in the open.