How long do Border Collies live? It’s a question that all dog parents wonder when brining their new furry friend home. Of course, we want Border Collies and any other dogs to live as long as possible. But in order for that to happen, we need to keep them as happy, healthy, and safe as possible. So, consider all the factors of your dog’s breed to help them live their best life.
What is a Border Collie?
Border Collies are a popular breed due their high intelligence and athletic abilities. They love to be kept busy and they often have a hard time sitting still. Because of this, they need a family that’s okay with a challenge and willing to satisfy all their Border Collie’s needs.
During the Roman occupation of Britain, Romans brought along livestock as a food source. So, of course, they needed herding dogs to control the livestock. The Roman’s herding dogs were large and solid, but when Vikings raided Britain, they brought some very different dogs with them. The Vikings’ dogs were small, fast herders. Once the two unique herding dogs started being bred together, the Border Collie was born.
Border Collies have since become known as the best herding dog breed. Even as puppies, they can pick up on a natural instinct of herding sheep. They’re also excellent at agility courses and anything else that they can use their high intelligence for. That’s why they’re such popular working dogs today.
Most Border Collies are known for their signature black and white look. They have a fluffy coat and pointy ears that sometimes flop. They almost always have white around their snout and belly, but it can be paired with all types of colors including black, brown, red, gray, and brindle. It’s also possible for them to have different eye colors, including blue, brown, amber, and hazel. They usually weigh anywhere from 27 to 55 pounds.
These dogs have thick medium-length coats that shed regularly. They need their fur to be brushed at least weekly, but it should never be trimmed. They have soft double coats, which means their coats have two layers: a dense undercoat and a protective outer layer. This type of coat protects them from extreme weather conditions, which is especially helpful since they love to be outside. Cutting or shaving this type of coat could permanently damage it, causing it to not protect your dog as well.
Border Collies are affectionate, smart, and playful. But above all else, they love having a job to do. They excel best at farms, where they can herd animals to their heart’s content. But they can also adjust to a family setting as long as they still get an equal amount of exercise and mental stimulation. They prefer a home with a large fenced-in yard to run around in.
Like most herding dogs, Border Collies may exhibit herding instincts even in your household. This means they might try to “herd” small animals and children, sometimes nipping at their heels. This can be avoided by keeping them busy. They thrive on learning new things, so daily training sessions are crucial. These energetic pups can get along with just about anyone, but they’re sure to keep you on your toes!
How Long Do Border Collies Live?
Border Collies live for an average of 12 to 15 years. This is a fairly long lifespan for a medium to large breed. The oldest known Border Collie named Bramble actually lived to be 25 years old! And somehow, he survived that long on a vegan diet. In general, vegan diets aren’t recommended for dogs because canines are omnivores who need meat to thrive. Yet, it’s still incredible that a unique diet like this helped Bramble live a long, healthy life.
How to Lengthen Your Border Collie’s Lifespan
Border Collies might not be one of the longest living dog breeds, but any dog could possibly outlive their lifespan with proper care. So, it’s important for you to help give your dog the best life possible to hopefully help them live longer.
Exercise Them Mentally and Physically
Active dogs like Border Collies need humans who are home often and willing to exercise them daily. If you live on a farm, giving your Border Collie a job to do is an easy way for them to keep themselves busy. But in a home setting, they might become bored and destructive if they don’t have enough to do. Border Collies require about 90 minutes of physical exercise each day, so you must be committed if you want to bring one of these dogs home.
Exercise for a Border Collie can consist of walking, running, playing, hiking, swimming, or even going through agility courses. Variety is a great way to ensure that your pup doesn’t get bored with their routine. On top of physical exercise, you’ll also have to keep their mind busy. Schedule training sessions with them so they can always be learning new things. If you’re busy, you can also give them a puzzle toy with a treat hidden inside to help keep their mind busy too. An active family is best for a Border Collie’s advanced needs.
Watch What They Eat
Your dog’s diet is a huge factor for how long they live. Most of the cheap kibble brands at your local pet store just won’t cut it. While dry dog food is the most convenient option, it’s also the most processed. Oftentimes, kibble is packed with carbs and other filler ingredients that have minimal nutritional value. This leaves less room for quality meat sources and nutrients. So, when choosing dog food for your dog, look closely at the ingredient list. Ideally, it should be high in quality protein, but low in carbs.
However, if you can afford something higher end, then why not give it a try? Wet food, raw food, fresh food, and even homemade food can have more health benefits than kibble. But if you choose one of these instead, make sure you do your research first so you know how to properly portion it. Any diet can be unhealthy if it doesn’t have a good balance between protein, fat, and vitamins. Their treats should also be just as beneficial as their food.
Visit the Vet Often
The key to keeping any dog healthy is keeping up with regular vet visits. In general, Border Collies are a very healthy breed, but even the healthiest dogs can run into problems without proper care. Some common health problems that Border Collies often face are hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, deafness, and epilepsy. So, it’s a good idea to have your vet evaluate your Border Collie’s hips, eyes, and ears regularly.
You should bring your pup to the vet at least once a year for a checkup. During that time, you can discuss any concerns you have and ensure that your dog is up-to-date on vaccinations, heartworm medications, and flea preventatives. In some cases, your vet could pick up on a problem that you had no idea about. Vet visits can be pricey, but it’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your furry friend’s health.
Give Your Border Collie the Best Life!
How long Border Collies live greatly depends on all the factors in their lives. These dogs are generally very happy and healthy, but they need you to manage their routines and diets in a way that can benefit them. If you don’t think you can provide your dog with high amounts of exercise, training, and quality food then a Border Collie might not be the right dog for you.