Border Collie – Everything You Need To Know

border collie

Border Collies love feeling as if they are working with purpose. As frequent contenders in competitions and even show business, Border Collies have a lot of energy that they need to work off. They enjoy training and learning new tricks, but can be shy around strangers and unfamiliar animals.

History & Origin

Because Border Collies have been around for so long, the history and origin of Border Collies is not widely unknown. It is widely unknown what kinds of dogs were used in the development of the Border Collie as we know it today, but it is believed that spaniels and greyhounds are part of the mix.

It is known that the breed has been used for centuries to herd sheep and other farm animals in England and Scotland before gaining popularity in the United States. Today, Border Collies are still used in herding livestock and animals, but also frequently appear in dog shows and obedience performances.


There are a number of different color combinations that Border Collies can be found in, including black, blue, blue merle, brindle, gold, lilac, red, red merle, sable, sable merle, saddleback sable, white and black, white and blue, white and blue merle, white and red, white and red merle, and white ticked.

Border Collies can also have a variety of markings. Standard markings for Border Collies include tan points, white markings, white markings with brindle points, white markings with tan points, ticked white markings, ticked white markings with brindle points, and ticked white markings with tan points.


Border Collies are serious animals who enjoy having a purpose. Because they have been used for herding in the past, Border Collies like to stay busy and be challenged with activity. Border Collie’s need for activity makes them great for training and teaching new tricks.

Border Collies prefer families that are mature and calm. While they love their owners, they are timid around strangers or animals they are unfamiliar with. For humans and animals they are familiar with, they can be incredibly affectionate and love to cuddle.

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Most Border Collies will be longer than they are tall, with the average male growing to 20-23 inches in height and the average female growing to 18-21 inches in height. Both male and female Border Collies usually weigh between 30 and 45 pounds when they are full grown, but some can be as small as 25 pounds and some as large as 55 pounds.

Border Collies are considered medium size dogs.


Although Border Collies are relatively healthy dogs, they are still prone to disease and health conditions. Some of those conditions include canine epilepsy and canine osteochondrosis. Other conditions Border Collies can develop include lens luxation and hip dysplasia.

Owners should know the symptoms of the conditions and other canine diseases to ensure their Border Collie remains as healthy as possible. The quicker a condition is treated, the better chance of recovery for the dog.


Border Collies are a high energy level breed, which make them great for families looking for a competition dog or can provide enough physical stimulation to keep the animal happy.

Border Collies are not recommended for everyone and all families. While they are okay when left alone once in a while, they become restless easily, which can lead them to be unhappy. Border Collies are great for families that live on farms or otherwise have the space to allow their dog to run and roam around their land.

If a family does not have the time to give their Border Collie the attention and stimulation it needs, they may want to consider a different breed of dog that is more compatible with a sedentary lifestyle.


Like all dogs, Border Collies require fresh water consistently throughout the day. Owners should also ensure they are providing their pets with and the nutrients and minerals they need to remain in good health. Because Border Collies are extremely active dogs, they may require more food than their lazier companions.

While Border Collies do not have unique requirements when it comes to the food they eat, discussing the frequency or amount of food a Border Collie needs should be discussed with a vet.

The amount of food a Border Collie will need and the frequency they should eat will usually change as they age. While Border Collies are still growing, they may need more nutrients to sustain their growth.


Border Collies have a medium coat length, so they will need weekly grooming. Their longer coat and active lifestyle can lead to tangles and mats to develop. If their coat is not brushed regularly, sticks or leaves can become trapped in their fur.

Because Border Collies shed seasonally, extra grooming will be necessary a few times a year. Seeing a professional groomer during these shedding occasions can help keep extra fur from getting stuck in carpets and on furniture.

Owners of Border Collies will also want to consistently check and clean their dog’s ears for wax, dirt, and debris to eliminate the chance of infection. Border Collies will also need their teeth brushed regularly and nails clipped frequently to avoid cracks.


Border Collies are great family dogs, although they do better in mature families with older children. Border Collies are incredibly active and sophisticated, so they enjoy families that can provide them with mental and physical stimulation.

Because Border Collies have herding in their blood, they have a tendency to want to keep other animals and people in line. This can cause frustration for both children and Border Collies when young children are chaotic and messy. For families interested in adopting a Border Collie, it may be best to wait until children are a bit older and mature.

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