Border Collie

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27-43 lbs
Great Britain
Scotch Sheepdog

The Border Collie is highly active, alert and eager to have a purpose.  They have above average intelligence and are very trainable. The Border Collie was bred for sheep herding, so they have a strong herding instinct.  Unfortunately, the herding instinct can cause them to chase animals, bikes and cars.  The breed needs exercise and daily activities. Border Collies enjoy and do well in agility training. Without physical and mental stimulation, the Border Collie can be destructive in the household, chewing on furniture, scratching at doors, barking, and howling.  They can also be prone to separation anxiety. Due to their dense undercoat, daily brushing and combing are necessary. Border Collies can be sound sensitive, which means they become stressed during thunderstorms or with fireworks.

sheep herding
Date of Origin
collie, shepherd dog

Border Collie Health

Average Size
Height: 19-22 inches Weight: 30-45 lbs
Height: 18-21 inches Weight: 27-43 lbs
Major Concerns
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Pannus
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Osteochondritis Dissecans
  • Portosystemic Shunt
Minor Concerns
  • Epilepsy
  • Lens Luxation
  • Multidrug Resistance
Occasional Tests
  • Eye
  • Hip
  • Blood Test
  • Physical Examination

Border Collie Breed History

The breed was known as the Sheepdog until 1915 when they started being called Border Collie.  The origin of the name comes from the place of origin of the breed, the border of Scotland and England. The Border Collie’s history is thought to go back to the first century B.C. When the Romans invaded England, they brought with them their herding dogs. Eventually the Roman empire collapsed, which gave way to Viking raiders entering the area.  These Vikings brought with them a small Spitz-like herding dog, which then cross-bred with the larger Roman herding dogs. The cross-breeding produced a highly intelligent, hard-working and agile herding dog. The Border Collie breed originated in Northumberland, which borders England and Scotland. The breed was developed for herding livestock.  All Border Collies today are believed to be descendants of a dog named Hemp. Hemp was an intelligent, agile canine known by local shepherds as “the best herding dog”. The Border Collie breed gained popularity when Hemp won the first official sheep dog trial in 1884.  Hemp herded the sheep by staring them down instead of nipping or barking at them. The Border Collie was officially recognized by the AKC in 1995.

Border Collie Breed Appearance

The Border Collie is a well-balanced, medium-sized dog with an athletic and muscular appearance. It is an extremely intelligent breed, with a keen and alert expression. The breed comes in two coat types, rough or smooth coat. Smooth coats are shorter than the rough coat. Both rough and smooth coated dogs have soft, double coats. Border Collies comes in many colors and patterns. They can be solid, bicolor, tricolor or merle. The most common color pattern found in Border Collies is a combination of black and white. The Border Collie’s nose color usually matches the main color of his coat.   The breed has a wide, flat skull and its muzzle is the same length as that of the skull. Dogs with the merle pattern sometimes have two different color eyes.  Their oval eyes are set well apart. The teeth of a Border Collie should meet in a neat scissors bite, they should have no over or under bites. The Border Collie’s ears are medium in size, set well apart and may be carried erect or semi-erect.  When the ears are held semi-erect, the tips may fold forward. Their muzzle is strong, tapering slightly to the nose. The Border Collie has a moderately long tail. When the Border Collie is working the tail is set low with a slight upward swirl. Their paws are oval in shape with deep and strong pads, and the toes are somewhat arched and close together.

Eye Color Possibilities
Nose Color Possibilities
Coat Color Possibilities
Coat Length
Short Medium Long
Coat Density
Sparse Normal Dense
Coat Texture
Straight Wiry Wavy Curly Corded

Border Collie Breed Maintenance

The Border Collie has a coat that needs regular grooming.   During the heavier shedding seasons, he will need to be brushed more frequently.  Brushing your dog does not only prevent the hair from getting matted, it also helps spread the oils across the coat. These oils can keep the coat healthy and shiny. Bathing your Border Collie does not have to be done frequently (every few months). Along with brushing your dog’s fur, it is important to brush his teeth. Regular brushing can help prevent tartar, which can cause gingivitis. The Border Collie’s ears should be checked frequently for ear wax, ear mites, and dirt. The breed needs regular daily physical and mental stimulation. He enjoys having a job to do and loves sports, including jumping for a frisbee, playing fetch or agility training. Since the Border Collie is an active breed he will need a higher caloric diet.  It is a good idea to read the ingredient label on all foods before purchase.  The first and primary ingredient should be a protein (chicken, duck, beef or fish), instead of grains or byproducts.

Brushes for Border Collie
Pin Brush
Flea Comb
Nail Clipper
Brushing Frequency
Daily Weekly Monthly

Border Collie Temperament

The Border Collie is a natural born athlete. The breed is high energy and extremely intelligent. The Border Collie is considered one of the most intelligent and obedient breeds, making him easy to train. The Border Collie usually does well with older children and other dogs of the opposite sex. Due to their herding instinct, they may have the tendency to run after small animals, moving vehicles or small children. They have the inclination to stare, which can upset another dog or animal. The breed can suffer from separation anxiety.  Additionally, the Border Collie is not a laid-back couch potato type of dog.  This busy canine needs a “purpose” or he can become destructive. The Border Collie is a wonderful and loyal dog.  It is imperative to socialize and train them from puppyhood. This is a great breed for individuals who are active and are committed to providing their Border Collie with a stimulating lifestyle.

Activity Level
Low Medium High
Rec. Walk Mileage Per Week
12 miles
Minutes of Activity Per Day
90 minutes

Border Collie Food Consumption

Cups Per Day
2.5 cups
Daily Cost
$1.8 - $2.3
Monthly Cost
$52.5 - $67.5

Border Collie Height & Weight

6 Months
Height: 16 inches Weight: 15 lbs
Height: 15 inches Weight: 13 lbs
12 Months
Height: 18 inches Weight: 30 lbs
Height: 16 inches Weight: 27 lbs
18 Months
Height: 20 inches Weight: 37 lbs
Height: 19 inches Weight: 35 lbs

Top Border Collie Breeders

Check out who made our list for the most reputable Border Collie breeders of 2017.
Wildblue Border Collies
Peyton, Colorado
Powerhouse Border Collies
Lancaster, California
Triskle Border Collie
Torrington, Wyoming
Wochme Border Collies
Lexington, North Carolina
J-Tail Border Collies
Reading, Pennsylvania
Cirrus Sky Dogs
Bryan, Texas
North Star Border Collies
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Twisted Acres Ranch
Benson, Arizona
The Wiebe Ranch
Bradley, California

Border Collie Owner Experiences

2 People
Go to Beach
Bike ride
Boat ride
Go Camping
Road trip
Learn a new trick
Dog Parks
Explore the woods
Catch treats
Our dog is a perfect cross between a border collie and an Australian shepherd, weighing approximately 60 pounds. He is taller than both the traditional border collie and the Aussie. His top coat is black and white with sable flecks throughout his face and legs. His undercoat is completely sable and white. He is very sound sensitive and quick to react to fireworks, backfiring, or any loud noise. Puppy training required a lot of patience, but he learned quickly and continues to learn as an adult. Does require hands-on activities with an owner at all times outside. Lives with two cats and doesn't chase. By no means a lapdog, but he is very loyal and emotionally expressive.
6 days, 21 hours ago