Border Collie Dog Breed Information and Care

Border collie dog standing indoors in profile

Border collies are a medium-sized dog that is extremely athletic, clever, and energetic. It has a sharp expression, a powerful and nimble physique, a ready-to-go mentality, and keen instincts. The breed is descended from British Isles sheepdogs, and it is called after the English-Scottish border. Border collies are a popular breed that may make good companions for active families. Overall, this is a popular dog breed that forms strong ties with fully involved human partners.

Breed Overview


HEIGHT: 18 to 22 inches at the shoulder

WEIGHT: 28 to 48 pounds

COAT: Rough or smooth medium-length double coat with a coarse outer coat and soft undercoat

COAT COLOR: Solid color, bicolor, tricolor, merle, or sable, usually seen in black, blue, blue merle, brindle, gold, lilac, red, or red merle (with or without patches of white)

LIFE SPAN: 10 to 17 years

TEMPERAMENT: Intelligent, energetic, responsive, keen, athletic, loyal, alert


ORIGIN: Scotland

Characteristics of the Border Collie

This breed is highly motivated, devoted, and hardworking. Border collies are happiest when they are working or playing, and they will only settle down for cuddling time when their workweek is through. Border collies are extremely sensitive to noise and will warn you to any movement, including guests, pedestrians, and other dogs. They may also be affected by loud noises such as fireworks and thunder.

Affection Level High
Friendliness High
Kid-Friendly High
Pet-Friendly Medium
Exercise Needs High
Playfulness High
Energy Level High
Trainability High
Intelligence High
Tendency to Bark High
Amount of Shedding Medium

History of the Border Collie

The border collie is descended from British sheepdogs and was developed on the English-Scottish border (after which it was eventually named). The border collie has stayed loyal to its roots as a tough, hardworking working dog. In the mid-1800s, Queen Victoria became a fan of the breed, which helped to cement its reputation as the ultimate sheep-herding dog.

The border collie has maintained its reputation as a very intelligent worker over the years. In the previous century, the breed was introduced to sheep farms in Australia and New Zealand. Border collies have excelled at herding, agility, Frisbee, and a variety of other sports. The AKC formally recognized the border collie in 1995.

Border Collie Care

A border collie cannot stand being left alone. It's not enough to give your dog space to run about; he also needs someone to run around with and something to do. This dog may acquire tendencies such as chasing automobiles, digging, chewing up furniture, or barking when bored. If you want your border collie to thrive, you must provide it with plenty of activities. This dog will also engage in traditional herding behavior, prodding and nipping at humans and other pets to bring them into line. If you have many pets in your home, this might cause problems.


Border collies are exceptionally high-energy dogs, which must be understood. To keep the body and mind active and in excellent form, this breed requires a lot of exercise and hobbies. You must be able to provide a lengthy, brisk walk (ideally two) for a total of two hours every day at the very least. Border collies are known for chasing vehicles and bicycles, so you'll need to walk on a leash. To work off some of the energy and give the dog a goal to fulfill, play fetch or Frisbee in a secure place. They thrive in most canine sports, notably agility and disc dog competition, despite their superior herding abilities.


The border collie has a medium-length double coat with a harsh outer coat and a soft undercoat that can be rough or smooth. They should be on a regular basis; weekly brushing is necessary to keep the coat from tangling. A bath is only required every three months or so.

Although active border collies' nails may be naturally worn down, it's vital to examine and clip the nails on a regular basis. This will aid in the health and comfort of the feet. You should also brush your dog's teeth at least two to three times each week to maintain oral hygiene.


The breed is one of the sharpest canines and is quick to pick up new skills. Training is vital, and for this smart dog, it should not be difficult. Also, make sure your dog is well socialized so it will feel at ease in a variety of scenarios.

Common Health Problems

Responsible dog breeders seek to uphold the highest breed standards set by organizations such as the AKC. These dogs are less likely to inherit health problems from their parents. However, the breed might have certain inherited health issues. The following are some things to keep in mind:

  • : This is a condition in which the hip sockets form abnormally.
  • Osteochondrosis (OCD): This results in the abnormal development of the cartilage on the end of a bone.
  • Epilepsy: This is a neurological disease that causes seizures.
  • Collie Eye Anomaly: This is an inherited disease seen in this breed. It impairs the vision but is usually mild in border collies. Breeders can screen for this.

Diet and Nutrition

A border collie will need two meals a day of .75 to 1 cup of dry dog food each time, depending on the dog's size and activity level. Be sure to provide fresh, clean water.

The dietary requirements of your dog will fluctuate with time. If you see that your dog is gaining weight, consult your veterinarian to devise a treatment plan. You may need to adjust your eating schedule, meal type, or volume. You should also assess if you're giving this naturally energetic dog adequate daily exercise.

Where to Adopt or Buy a Border Collie

Border collies may often be found in shelters or as rescue dogs. Many border collies are surrendered because their owners are unprepared for the amount of attention and exercise this breed requires. If you think a border collie is perfect for you, The Border Collie Society of America is a fantastic location to start your search. Their breeder recommendation list includes contact information for both breeders and rescue organizations across the United States. Adoption fees are typically a few hundred dollars, while a breeder may charge between $700 and $2,000 for a border collie puppy.

Border Collie Overview

  • Loyal and hard-working

  • Excellent at dog sports and agility

  • Highly intelligent and trainable

  • Can get destructive if not given enough exercise, stimulation, and companionship

  • Not suitable for small space living as they need a yard (or a farm) to expend energy

  • Strong herding instincts may make them unsuitable for households with small children or other pets

More Dog Breeds and Further Research

If you think a border collie is the dog for you, do some further study on the breed before purchasing one. Consult with veterinarians and other pet specialists, as well as other border collie owners, ethical breeders, and rescue groups.

If you’re interested in similar breeds, look into these to compare the pros and cons.

There is a wide variety of  out there. With a little research, you can find the right one to bring home.

  • Would a border collie be a good apartment dog?

    The breed is not ideal for apartment life because to its high energy level and demand for action. It's preferable if you can give a large enclosed yard or, better still, a farm or ranch with herding labor.

  • Are border collies good with kids?

    The breed's proclivity for nipping and nudging may make it less suitable for extremely little children, who may seem to this herding dog as stray sheep. Border collies, on the other hand, may be taught to behave appropriately around youngsters. The breed can work nicely with older, gentle children.

  • Is a border collie a good choice for a first-time dog owner?

    It is not a breed that is suggested for first-time dog owners. To survive, the breed demands a lot of connection with its owner and more activity than other dogs, which might be daunting for a new dog owner.