It’s amazing when a Border Collie puppy grows up and starts to show signs of doing what the breed was originally bred to do, without this pup even being trained to do it!
Even when they are quite young, you may notice your Border Collie already herding a ball or two, or rounding up leaves that are blowing about. How can they already know to do this?
If you want to show or breed your Border Collie, you may need evidence or proof that they are purebred. So, in this article, we’ll show you how to tell if a Border Collie is purebred:
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Does your Border Collie resemble the breed standard?
One way to try and guess whether a Border Collie is a purebred is to take a look at them and see how much they correspond to the Border Collie breed’s Kennel Club standard.
According to the American Kennel Club, a Border Collie should have an energetic, smart and affectionate temperament, with adult male Border Collies standing at 19 to 22 inches, and female Collies having a height anywhere from 18 to 21 inches.
A Border Collie conforming to the AKC’s breed standard is also extremely intelligent, and displays a keen, alert expression – the AKC find this very important!
If anything about a Border Collie would impair its ability to round up sheep, this trait should be faulted severely by the judge. However, the AKC finds “scars or broken teeth acquired in the line of duty” to be acceptable.
Check out the Border Collie’s family tree
Did you get your Border Collie from a breeder? If so, you may have been able to see your Border Collie’s parents and even grandparents when you went to see the litter.
All the dogs in your Border Collie’s family should have documented pedigrees, from which you should be able to form a family tree.
In fact, if you do enough research, you should be able to trace your own Border Collie’s lineage right back to the very first generation of American Border Collies!
Look at the Border Collie’s temperament
According to the American Kennel Club, a purebred Border Collie who corresponds to the AKC’s breed standard must be “energetic, intelligent, keen, alert and responsive”.
The AKC also say that a Border Collie should be a hard worker, who shows affection to friends, but who is wary of strangers in a sensible way.
However, the AKC also says that Border Collies should stand their ground when approached and should always be alert and interested.
What distinguishes a Border Collie?
The Border Collie has some truly unique traits and features that help them to do their job. So, what are some of these qualities?
Well, first of all, there’s the Border Collie’s notorious “eye”, a unique staring gaze that helps the Border Collie to herd their flock quickly and with ease.
Then, there’s also the Border Collie’s unique style of working, where they gather and fetch their stock with lots of wide loops around the sheep.
After this, a purebred Border Collie can be seen slowly approaching the sheep, “stalking” them.
A purebred Border Collie is also incredibly smart. With just a glance at their flock of sheep, a Border Collie can quickly figure out what the sheep are about to do next, and so, can immediately spring into action, knowing exactly what to do.
When they are living as a pet, you can still spot the Border Collie’s “eye” in action at the dog park or in the yard, as they watch the motions of other dogs or rolling balls and toys closely.
You may also have witnessed the Border Collie’s intelligence in a range of situations – it may be your Border Collie has figured out how to open a gate or door to get something they wanted.
How should a Border Collie look?
The American Kennel Club has a very specific view about how a Border Collie ought to appear. As we touched upon previously, the AKC has specified an ideal height for both fully-grown male and adult female Border Collies.
The AKC says that a Border Collie’s eyes should be set far apart, and should also be of moderate size while being an oval shape.
The rims of the Border Collie’s eyes should be completely pigmented, while blue eyes in Collies with a coat of any other color than merle is not preferable.
The Border Collie’s ears should be medium-sized and set well apart too. One or both ears are allowed to be sticking up, either all the way or partially. What’s more is, if the Border Collie’s ears only partially stick up, the tips of their ears are only permitted to fall either forward or outward to the side!
The Border Collie’s skull ought to be comparatively flat, with a moderate width. The Border Collie’s muzzle and skull should be about equal in length too, and the top of the Border Collie’s skull should be in parallel with the top of their muzzle, with a moderate but distinct look.
The AKC also says that a Border Collie’s muzzle ought to look strong, and it should taper slightly to their nose.
The sides of the Border Collie’s head should also taper smoothly into their muzzle. The Border Collie’s underjaw should also be well developed and equally as strong.
As well as this, the AKC specifies that a Border Collie should have a completely pigmented nose, with well-developed nostrils. A Collie should also have strong, healthy teeth that meet in a scissors bite.
The AKC even have a ratio for the Border Collie – a 10:9 length to height ratio. This is all very specific criteria!
Why not test your Border Collie?
Did you know that you can carry out genetic testing on your Border Collie to conclusively get to the bottom of their pedigree? With Healthy Pet’s Mars Vet Dog Wisdom Panel 3.0 DNA Swab Test Kit, you can simply swab your Border Collie’s cheek, send the swab off in a postage-paid box, and get the results of your Border Collie’s genetic background back in only 2 to 3 weeks!
This home testing kit can detect more than 250 types and varieties of breeds. This includes 99% of the breeds recognized by the AKC!
What’s more, this dog DNA home testing kit will test for 3 of your Border Collie’s generations, up to your Border Collie’s great grandparents.
This home dog DNA testing kit will even give you an adult weight prediction for your Border Collie so that you can make better nutritional choices for your pooch.
So if you want to quickly find out whether your Border Collie is a purebred as well as get loads of other useful information about them, this kit is the way to go.