The average life expectancy of a Border Collie is about 12 to 15 years. This life expectancy could be cut short by multiple conditions, therefore, please ensure that you get the necessary health checks and clearances before breeding your border collie.
First and foremost, you should never ever breed two merle Border Collies together. Breeding merle-to-merle will inevitably cause deafness as well as vision problems in future generations, because of genetic conflict. Breeding merle-to-merle Border Collies is only done by irresponsible and ignorant puppy farmers. Generally, to get merle in a border collie litter, a breeder has to breed for that color (which is fine, as long as it is not by breeding two merles together.)
The Collie Eye Anomaly is one of the worst possible conditions that affects Border Collies. Although the risk rate is not overly high, there is virtually no way to detect this condition. If your dog shows signs of blindness, take it to the vet as soon as possible.
The breed is also vulnerable to Idiopathic Epilepsy, a rather common inherited medical condition in Border Collies. The typical symptoms generally appear between 1 year and 4 years of age; usually through visible twitches, seizures, or convulsions. Such fits can be worrying and you need to address the situation with your vet from the first time you notice them. Although the dog’s welfare is rarely the core of the issue, such seizures and convulsions may put the dog in a harmful situation and is often terrorizing the dog, who now lives in fear and anxiety.
Hip dysplasia is somewhat prevalent among Border Collies, especially when breeders don’t score their breeding stock. Hip and elbow dysplasias are almost impossible to eradicate, and can often only be soothed using medication.
Future Of The Border Collie Breed
As mentioned earlier, historically, the Border Collies were used primarily as a working breed. Their innate sense of herding made them the most popular sheepdog. In fact, so intrinsic is a Border Collie’s herding mentality that it has tendencies to herd cars, children, and anything that is moving as a group. In a nutshell, it was seen as the perfect farmer’s dog. However, this is rapidly changing.
Although the instinct of a Border Collie paired with its loyalty will always make it a great working breed, more and more dog breeders have preferred to use agility training methods to train their Border Collies. As you have seen earlier, Border Collies are incredibly smart, fast, and reactive. This makes them ideal for agility training. In addition to that, Border Collies are highly intelligent which means they can find their way around obstacles which is so essential when it comes to agility breeds.
Such intelligence is often thought to have originated after generations of selective breeding when farmers wanted very smart dogs to work with at a long distance.
Simply put, Border Collies have gone from being seen as a herding breed to being seen as an agility breed. You will not see a list of the best agility breeds without finding a mention of the Border Collie somewhere at the top (generally first.) This is not to say that they are no longer used for herding, but there has been a shift in their overall usage to agility training and in their image seen as an agility breed.
Talking about the Border Collie can never come to an end, especially if you are someone so fond of these awesome dogs.