Is The Labrador Collie The Right Dog For You?
A Labrador Collie is quite possibly one of the most loyal breeds that you could ever have the pleasure of owning. They are also exceptionally intelligent and have wonderful temperaments, two outstanding traits that makes them the perfect personal companion.
Well before industrialization emerged in Great Britain, the British Isles solely depended on sheep for wool to sustain their economy, especially in Scotland. The need for herding these sheep resulted in the development of the Labrador Collie, which is suggested to be one of the hardest working dogs.
In 1570, there was mention of this variety in an English dog book which is believed to possibly be the birth time of them. Since then, many other sheep herding varieties have been bred.
Later in the 1900s, this breed was exported to Australia to herd the sheep there. They came to be in great demand as enthusiasm about their skills spread quickly. Many people today still believe today that they originated in Australia. Finally, in 1995, despite strenuous objection, the Labrador Collie was recognized as part of the herding group according to the American Kennel Club.
These are a medium-sized breed with a wedge-shaped head and ears that are usually fully or semi-erect. Their double coat is smooth and water resistant, coming in either short hair or long hair. Around the neck there is a substantial amount of extra hanging hair that looks much like a lion's mane. They come in a handful of color combinations but white is rarely a dominant color. The most popular variety is black with a white collar, tail tip and stockings. Adults stand around 20 inches tall and weigh approximately 40 pounds at maturity.
The Labrador Collie loves to herd sheep but it is equally happy tending to cattle. They are able to crouch, creep and spring into action when needed. These dogs are rated as one of the most intelligent and loveable breeds, so they enjoy a lot of human interaction and mental stimulation.
The Labrador Collie is faithful and loyal however, they usually choose to dedicate these qualities to just one person. These dogs develop intense relationships with one individual and will often exclude any other members of the household. Because of this, they are rarely an ideal family dog breed.
That being said, they can still be quite affectionate to frequent visitors but can be very reserved when it comes to strangers, making them outstanding watchdogs. They are protective and even-tempered and really thrive on human companionship from their one lucky, chosen individual.
The Labrador Collie is highly trainable and loves to learn new commands, tricks and games. Their brilliant minds require their owner to be consistent, dedicated and willing to invest a lot of time in training. Otherwise, the dog will become bored, frustrated, confused and stressed. This breed is well-known for being able to respond to many hand signals as well.
Diseases and Disorders
This is a fairly healthy and hardy breed but they do have a few disorders and diseases that are seen more than others.
- Hip Dysplasia – This is a malformation in the hip joint that causes arthritis, lameness and a great deal of pain.
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy – In this condition, the nerve cells located near the back part of the eye degenerate and can lead to blindness.
- Collie Eye Anomaly – This disorder involves the eye developing abnormally. Collie eye anomaly is an inherited disease and most lesions are inherited at birth. It affects the retina, optic nerve, sclera and the choroid.