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I'm a new member. My main reason for joining this Board was to enquire as to owner experiences concerning how long their border collies have lived. My BC, Hamish, has been with me two months short of 17 years. While he no longer runs the fields at lightning speed, he still spends time with me on walks that are now yards, not miles, long. He has joint stiffness but he still has a strong appetite and normal body functions. All the literature on the net and library suggest a time span of between 12-14 years. Needless to say, he has proven those sources wrong. I would welcome anyone's experience on aging BCs.

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I would welcome anyone's experience on aging BCs.

 

Family legend tells of the time they told the vet that the sick dog was only 14 (I think), because the vet might think it was best to have the dog put to sleep if the dog was old. No prizes for guessing the breed.

 

Kennel club breed results (I know, I know) have 12 as the median age of death, but the graphs show a fair number of dogs living to 15 or more.

http://users.pullman.com/lostriver/breeddata.htm - that seems to have 12-13 as average as well, but then you don't know the higher range.

http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/item/570

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My two girls lived to be 15 + a bit. They did okay for their last year, but their last couple weeks were difficult for each of them.

 

Buzz we lost at age 10 to cancer.

 

I'm glad to hear your 17 yr old is getting around well and enjoying himself!

 

Ruth and Agent Gibbs

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I've hear rumors of Border Collies who lived longer than 20 years. They are a very hardy breed if cancer doesn't get them.

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My sister had her old Border Collie for 16 years, and Stinky showed up as an adult. Her mind was still there, but her hips failed her. Stinky was deaf & mostly blind, but her cranky, cantankerous self right to the end. My friend's dog's father died at 17.

 

I've informed my Nick that he has to live forever :)

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18 seems to be farely common among people I have talked too. Happy is "old"..she is 12..she can still easily run full bore for hours and still be ready to work. my ACD/GSD pups have been sleep beside me on the couch while Happy keep bouncing in front of me throwing squeeky toys in my face. her sight is going but other then that her only sign of arthritus is in one rear leg, that she injured in flyball years ago(dog crossed into her lane in front of her, she had to come to an abrupt stop and slid into a jump so hard she snapped it in 2) the leg she hit that jump with, she has little use of, but other then that, she is limber as can be. Misty is 10..she can still sail over a 5 foot wall with no trouble. Im not worried about loosing either of them anytime soon lol

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I'm a new member. My main reason for joining this Board was to enquire as to owner experiences concerning how long their border collies have lived. My BC, Hamish, has been with me two months short of 17 years. While he no longer runs the fields at lightning speed, he still spends time with me on walks that are now yards, not miles, long. He has joint stiffness but he still has a strong appetite and normal body functions. All the literature on the net and library suggest a time span of between 12-14 years. Needless to say, he has proven those sources wrong. I would welcome anyone's experience on aging BCs.

 

My first border collie I got in 1983 lived 1 month short of her 18th birthday. She lived well I might add, to the end. Still jumping on the bed and going for short walks. Her hearing was bad and relied on the other dogs for sounds and "whats going on." She was on a home made diet since 9 months of age, and had limited vaccinations. I don't know if that contributed or not. All my other border collies lived 15 to 16 age with the same diet and health needs. None of my dogs got cancer or had any problems. I don't know if I just got lucky or what.

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I would say 15 years is pretty typical. Just from being involved with people who have border collies, I would say 17 or 18 is possible, but not all that common, compared to the number of border collies out there. I had a border collie/Aussie cross who lived to nearly 18 (he was with someone else at the time). He might have lived even longer, but an accident took his life.

 

Of the two border collies that have left me, both were well on their way to their 16th birthdays. I have a 15 1/2 year old now who has survived mast cell cancer and has a very serious heart murmur, but she's still hanging in there and is still pretty active, though she can't go great distances anymore. With the older dogs, I see hearing going, and often some slight form of dementia, perhaps, but generally they seem to go along pretty well and then have a sudden, sharp decline.

 

I also have a 14 year old who shows *no* signs of slowing down.

 

J.

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The oldest of my border collies is 12-1/2, and so far 12-1/2 looks pretty much just like 5. She's greyed out, but then she's been grey since 2 years. She does seem to have some impaired hearing in one ear, but otherwise she's still keeping up with the youngsters. I wouldn't be surprised to have her around another 3-4 years, or longer.

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I lost my first BC to lymphoma a only age 11. That was hard. But my current old guy, Jesse, is going to be 14 in February. Although he slowed down at age 10 and retired at age 11, and is now mostly deaf and pretty weak in the hind end, he just keeps trundling along, happy as can be! :) So long as he's comfortable, happy and eating well, I figure he can last as long as he likes. I have a friend who once had a border collie and a BC/heeler mix who both lived to be 17.

 

I'm hoping my current young dogs likewise have plans to live forever. ;)

 

~ Gloria

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My older girl will be 13 in February and she still runs around with the younger dogs with no problems. She still works sheep though I make sure to set her up with nicer dog broke sheep because the flighty sheep can beat her now and I hate to see her fighting to get to the heads when her body just can't quite do it anymore. Plus I think either her hearing is going or she just thinks she knows better by this point because sometimes no matter what commands I give she is bound and determined to put the sheep where she thinks they need to be; like she will fetch them straight to me even if I am trying to drive them into another pasture. Oh well, it makes her happy to work so I'll make sure she has some work to do as long as she can and hope she lives forever!

 

My boy's dad lived to be 16. He is 10 now and I hope he follows in his dad's footsteps!

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I lost one at 16, one at 14 (she was epileptic and took a lot of hard on her system drugs), one is 12 (lives with my ex), and I lost a 12 year old 2 years ago to hemanginosarcoma.

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As a kid we had a 17 YO male that was still working cattle on a daily basis when he was killed in an accident. A lost teenager hit him with her car on our private road into our place. His mate died a year before that at 16.

 

I'm a new member. My main reason for joining this Board was to enquire as to owner experiences concerning how long their border collies have lived. My BC, Hamish, has been with me two months short of 17 years. While he no longer runs the fields at lightning speed, he still spends time with me on walks that are now yards, not miles, long. He has joint stiffness but he still has a strong appetite and normal body functions. All the literature on the net and library suggest a time span of between 12-14 years. Needless to say, he has proven those sources wrong. I would welcome anyone's experience on aging BCs.

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Just looking at the Rainbow Bridge page of a UK agility site and the 7 BCs on there atm come in at 10, 15, 2 at 16 and 3 at 17.

 

Of course it could be that those people whose dogs reach a very advanced age are more likely to post them on there.

 

I must know hundreds of BCs from all types of breeding (but hardly any show bred) and it seems to me that 13 - 15 is most common.

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I lost my fist BC at 12 due to hemangiosarcoma. She also had had a minor heart issue that she was diagnosed with at 9 y/o. But up until just a few weeks before I lost her, she still acted like a dog that was 7-8 y/o.

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I lost one a few months shy of her 18th birthday. At that point she was virtually blind, definitely deaf, very arthritic, incontinent, epileptic... and showed signs of substantial cognitive dysfunction (senility). She also developed bloody diarrhea at the least sign of stress (strange food, being boarded, etc.; this was difficult as I was applying for out-of-town jobs at the time). It was a gradual decline, and it was hard to pinpoint the time at which it would clearly be kindest if we were to bid her goodbye. Only a bit more than a year before that point (the summer when she turned 16), she was eager to play soccer, and was certainly enjoying a very high quality of life.

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I've lost two in a row at 11.5 years old to hemangiosarcoma. My oldest is currently 11 years old and I have to admit to being worried that I will lose her too. It does seem that if they survive past that cancer peak age (about 11 years old) that they can live to be quite old.

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I very much appreciate all of the responses I have received to date about the potential longevity of my nearly 17 old. While his continued presence is of great concern, the quality of life issue is also on our mind. Unlike Alchemist's experience, my dog has yet to face any serious health issues. When they eventually occur, the next question for me is whether I will need to consider an early termination for him. This possibility will be extremely difficult for me to face.

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Paladin,

I think one thing you can take from this thread is that 17 is reaching the limit of a long lifespan for a border collie. If there comes a time in the next year or two when you need to make that decision, I don't think you'll need to think of it as early, but rather as his time. It sounds as if he's had a long, happy life and is still going strong, and I'm hoping you won't be faced with such a decision for a long while yet! But if/when the time for that decision comes, you shouldn't worry that you're cutting his life short.

 

J.

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I'll second what Julie said, and add that dogs that have enjoyed lifelong good health usually just suddenly wear out at the end. You know your dog and you'll know when it's time and there is nothing cut short or early about such a good long life.

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Thank you both. Your comments are true, of course. He has had a useful, productive life and continues to contribute, though on a lesser scale, as always. When he passes, he will be missed and remembered.

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I know this is an old thread but I was doing some searching on BC and longevity. Mazzy, a BC mix,is 16 and still going strong. We do our walk around the block everyday. First part of the walk she's pulling on the leash, the second part she slows down for me. She sleeps a lot, but she still jumps into my Jeep when we go places.

She's such a kind, gentle soul...

 

52a4f4e7-6c8e-4f52-bdc6-ba9e36e22af8_zps

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After I got Juno, my mother started telling me about the Border Collie they had on a small croft in Scotland. The only problem she ever had with Flossy was stealing eggs. She said that Flossy would sneak in to the hen house and somehow eat the eggs withoug breaking the whole shell. Often they would pick up eggs to find them hollow. Anyway, she swears that Flossie lived to 23!! My mum is quite with it, but I have noted that she exaggerates at times so I took this with a grain of salt. Last year I talked to my mum's sister who still lives near the old croft and I asked her to tell me about Flossy. I never asked her age directly but she mentioned times in her childhood where Flossy was present and how Flossy was still at the farm long after she had left to get married. Putting it all together, it seems that she did live over 20 years. Even though Flossy lived on a farm she wasn't a working dog so maybe the goodlife plus a solid diet of eggs kept her young?

Bill

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I think more of it is the genetics that we would like to think- farm dogs are prone to 'accidents', fewer dogs were neutered or spayed etc.

 

Plus we remember the dogs who lived for longer and forget those who died younger? So when you look at the 'average' you're not usually thinking 'ah yes, but half of the dogs lived longer than that age and some of them might have lived much longer',

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