Border Collie is a medium-sized herding breed that originated in the border countries of Scotland and England. It is the best companion for countryside people who own livestock because of its herding instincts.
On average, a mother Border Collie gives birth to 4-8 puppies at a time. The development phase of this breed is a bit different than any other herding breeds. Here’s all you need to know about the different life stages that these hardworking herders go through:
Newborn Border Collie
Newborn Border Collie puppies are born deaf, deaf, and toothless. They weigh around 7-14 ounces at the time of birth. Moreover, it is common for the pups to lose water weight within first 24 hours of their birth. It is a natural process after which the puppies should start gaining weight.
Neonatal Period (0-3 Weeks Old)
The Border Collie puppies will start to develop and gain weight within two days of their birth. The puppies will start doubling their weight from the first week which will continue till the 6th week. On a daily basis, the puppies will gain about ½ ounces a day. If your puppy doesn’t experience the same changes, it’d better to see a vet.
Neonatal period is a period where the Border Collie puppies are very weak. So, they need extra attention and care which of course is done by their mother. During these days, make sure to keep the puppies close to their mother as they know the best for their babies. You shouldn’t bath the pups for three weeks and let their mamma do all the cleaning for them.
As the puppies will be very young, they will only be able to drink their mother’s milk. The antibiotics present in the mother’s milk will increase their immunity and help them fight any infections. It is common for the puppies to spend most of their time sleeping.
Transitional Period (2-4 Weeks)
The transitional period brings one of the most memorable moments of your Border Collie puppies that you don’t want to miss. They will open their eyes for the first time and would be able to see the world within the second week. By the end of week 3, they will be able to stand and walk slowly.
The taste buds of the puppies will develop and they will be able to taste foods other than their mother’s milk. When they become 4 weeks, they will become a little independent from their mamma. Likewise, they’ll start to wander around to explore and play with their siblings.
Socialization Period (3-12 Weeks Old)
The socialization period is the time where your Border Collie puppies will start socializing with other dogs and pets. They won’t be totally dependent on their mother’s milk and will be able to eat semi-solid food. When the puppies reach 6 weeks, they will weigh about 3 to 6 pounds, multiplying their birth weight by 4 times.
It is okay to let your puppies experience and get used to the different smells and sounds of the outer world. However, it is equally important to keep the little ones with their mom because they’ll learn all the doggy skills from her.
When the puppies are five weeks old, they should given the vaccination of Parvovirus. Similarly, in the 6th and 9th week, the puppies should be given a combination vaccine (Cough and Hepatitis, Distemper, Parainfluenza, and Parvovirus).
And after they become 12 weeks old, vaccinations for Rabies and Coronavirus should be given. Along with that, a combination vaccine and Leptospirosis vaccine should be given till 16 weeks.
Juvenile Period (3-6 Months Old)
When the Border Collie puppies become 14 weeks or about 4 months old, they will stop gaining weight at a rapid pace. Now, they will gain only one pound a week until they reach 6 months of age. This stage is also called the Elementary School Age because the puppies will experience a slight increase in confidence.
As the puppies will be entering adolescence, they will have voracious appetite. It is because they will have to support high level of metabolisms and energy in their body. During this period, they puppies will have developed all of their puppy teeth and are transitioning to adult teeth. By the time they reach six months of age, their motor skills are properly developed.
You should’ve already begun training the puppies with all the basic commands followed up by pre-agility training.
Adolescence or Sexual Maturity Period (6-16 Months Old)
When your Border Collie puppy reaches the adolescence stage, it is already about become sexually mature. They’ll have developed complete adult teeth and pricked ears with dropping tips. As the Collies are pack dogs, they will form a strong bond with their pack which may also consist of other animals and people.
Talking specifically about female Border Collie, they’ll start experiencing an estrous cycle from the time they are six months old. Meanwhile, the males will become sexually mature by the age of seven months.
Transition to Adulthood Period (16 to 36 Months Old)
Though there aren’t special milestones for Border Collies in this period, they will still continue to grow. If fed and taken care of properly, they won’t have problems maintaining their health and weight. Females are considered to be adult once they’re 24 months old whereas males become adult when they reach 36 months.
Talking about vaccinations, the adults should also be vaccinated with the combination vaccine, Leptospirosis, Lyme, and Coronavirus vaccine.
You can also check Border Collie Diets and Supplements for information on how and what to feed your Collies.
Follow Doglime for more dog breeds and their different development stages.