Border Collie

Border Collie

The Border Collie is a dog of exceptional character. It is considered the most intelligent dog breed. It is easy to train a Border Collie: it can learn commands, recognize objects, and even do calculations by barking a certain number of times corresponding to the correct answer.

Breed Information

Another NameWorking Collie, Traditional Collie, English Collie, Farmer Collie
HeightMales 50-53 cm
Females 47-52 cm
Weight15-20 kg
FurWith long and short hair
ColorBlack and white, red, tan, blue, gray, sable
Lifespan10-17 years
FCI ClassificationSheepdogs and Cattledogs (except Swiss Cattledogs)
GroupService dogs
PriceFrom $400

Breed Photos

Origin History

The exact origins of Border Collies are unknown, but their appearance is often attributed to the nineteenth century and the hilly region of the border between Scotland and England. Border from English means edge. This is where the name was coined. The breed is derived from the Collie Landrace. It is believed that the word “collie” comes from an old Celtic word meaning “useful”.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, the name Border Collie appeared. Also, the distinction between dogs for work and show animals began to appear. Simultaneously, there are two different registries of Border Collies in Great Britain: the International Sheepdog Society, which pays special attention to the Border Collie and the Kennel Club’s breeding capabilities – specializes in the standardized appearance of the breed.


Border Collies are medium-sized and have short to medium-length coats that can be smooth or coarse (less often wavy). They can have up to 17 different coat colors, color combinations, and spots. They can also have monochrome, two-color, three-color, merle, or sable coat.

Collies intended for work are usually less uniform in terms of appearance than Border Collies bred for shows because they must meet the Kennel Club’s standards and are deliberately selected with the condition of a more standard appearance.

Border Collies usually have a height of 46 to 56 cm and weigh from 12 to 20 kg. And males are the largest and heaviest. Border Collies have oval eyes, and the ears can be drooping, erect, or erect, depending on the individual animal.


The Border Collie is a dog of exceptional character. It is considered the most intelligent dog breed. It is easy to train a Border Collie: it can learn commands, recognize objects, and even do calculations by barking a certain number of times corresponding to the correct answer. It is a very active breed, both physically and psychologically, needing constant training and stimulation. They need “work”, whatever it may be, to channel all their energy and stay healthy. They are very athletic and agile, can run for hours without getting tired. They are also very obedient, extraordinarily affectionate, and loyal.

Border Collies make good pets. They have a close bond with people, including children, and make ideal team players. The breed gets along well with other pets. Sometimes their herding instincts get in the way, as dogs may chase other animals (especially cats), trying to chase them away if the hunted animal is unresponsive.

They can also be wary of strangers, which makes them good guard dogs. Early socialization, as well as constant training, will prevent bad habits related to herding instincts. They will also help remove potential timidity or even aggressiveness toward strangers.

They should not be left for long periods. These dogs are better suited for a family where someone is home during the day. It is also a good option for the owner to take the dog to work as they become bored. The result of their boredom is disruptive behavior. Border Collies will actively look for something to do to pass the time. They may chew on furniture, walls, carpets, shoes, or any other object they find interesting.

The “eye” or “herd eye” is considered the hallmark of the breed. An intense and almost hypnotic gaze that Border Collies use to control and gather the herd. This peculiarity allows them to dominate the animals they herd entirely. And when a collie is watching, it is complicated to interrupt their focus.


Border Collies are not demanding breeds in terms of grooming. Most of them have medium-length coats that need to be brushed once or twice a week to comb out dead hair.

Besides brushing their teeth weekly, Border Collies need only basic hygiene (keeping their ears clean) and medical attention. They are likely to wear out their claws naturally, but they should be checked and trimmed as needed.


Due to their intelligent nature and shrewdness, Border Collies learn very quickly by understanding everything. It is essential to train them from a young age to prevent bad habits.

Barking, whining, and nipping is examples of bad habits they can develop out of boredom without enough stimulation. A focus on specific tasks will help keep their attention sharp.

This is a team and athletic dog breed, so they are used in various sports: flyball, agility games, frisbee competitions, and, of course, herding and sheepdog competitions. When they have a leader, they are calm, well-behaved, and perfect athletes or friends.

Common Diseases

The life expectancy of a Border Collie is an average of 12 years. Although Border Collies are generally considered a healthy breed of dog, they have many health problems that they are more prone to or may inherit, such diseases as:

  • hip dysplasia (HD);
  • collie eye anomaly (CEA);
  • epilepsy;
  • progressive retinal atrophy (PRA);
  • elbow dysplasia;
  • hypothyroidism;
  • stress factors.


Representatives of the breed are, for the most part, quite energetic. To keep them healthy and active, choose dry food with 25-31% protein and 18-20% fat. Older dogs and those with sedentary lifestyles should choose dry food with 22-25% protein. Overweight animals should choose a food with 5-8% fat.