Border Collie Dog Breed – History, Facts, Training, and Care

boarder collie

Border Collie breed, the smarty pants of the dog world, is a beautiful dog originally bred in Scotland. Its extraordinary herding instincts, and its oozing urge to please are sure to win your heart.

These dogs have a stronger eye contact game than you could ever imagine. Collies don’t need to use their paws to fight; their intense stare is enough to intimidate flocks. That is why Border Collie can easily switch to an acting career if the sheepdog career fails.

Interested to know more about this all-rounder breed? Read this article till the end, you won’t be disappointed.

About the Breed

border collie

According to Merriam-Webster, ‘Collie’ is a Scottish word that refers to any breed of a large dog that originated in Scotland. Border Collie comes in smooth and rough-coat variants and has erect ears and a long snout. Border Collie dog breed is hard-working and is a jack-of-all-trades.

Border Collies are called the most intelligent dog for all the right reasons. Their extraordinary performances in various canine sports and record-breaking championships make other dogs look very ordinary in front of them.

They are not only brainiacs but also great actors. They prefer method acting, though. All this talent without going to any film school! Some professional actors need to take notes. Border Collies have starred in the films “Animal Farm” and “Snow Dogs,” as well as the popular 1990s television program “Mad About You.”

History of the Border Collies

collie dog

Border Collies are a herding dog breed that has been prevalent along the English-Scottish border for about 300 years. Although the Border Collie origin comes from the English-Scotland Border, neither Scottish nor English breeds are its ancestors.

Instead, the Border Collie is essentially a cross between a Roman herding breed and a herding breed of the Viking Spitz strain. Border Collie dog breed boasts a long history.

When the Roman Empire invaded Britain, the sheepdog tagged along. And was later introduced and bred to the Viking Sheepdog, and Border Collie was the result of this cross.

Queen Victoria, the monarch with one of longest reigns in British history, also played a significant role in the marketing strategy for Border Collies. She was a dog-lover; however, the Border Collie dog breed was among her constant and loyal companions for the most extended period.

Border Collie, purebred dogs, earned their success for being excellent sheepdogs. It is a great working dog, not your couch potato breed. They are a wonderfully workaholic breed who has been herding livestock for a living for hundreds of years.

Border Collies, with their alertness, exceptional herding impulse, and swiftness, always proved to be valuable assets to sheepherders. These herding dogs have always been a productive addition for people, so they were more like working dogs than pet dogs.

Although, herding sheep is not their only specialty. Due to their tenacity, many Border Collies are popular breeds as service, recuse and guard dogs.

Border Collie Facts

border collie short hair
  • Border Collie is widely considered one of the most intelligent dogs.
  • Border Collie dog breed is the most trainable dog breed.
  • This sheepdog breed has starred in two films and one TV show.
  • Border Collie dog breed has been a constant companion to Queen Victoria.

Border Collie Appearance

Border Collie is a medium-sized dog. They have both smooth and rough coats, although the more common Border Collie is rough-coated. The Scotch sheep dog is not only the most intelligent dog breed but also a charming-looking breed. The Border Collie has an athletic build and a slightly longer body.

border collie puppy

Border Collie has the fluffiest feathered tail that they wag around with affection at the sight of their owners. It’s mainly in the downward direction, with its size ranging from 12 to 16 inches.

There exist some variations, but the most typical eye color of the Collie breed is brown. Grey and deep blue are also among the possible eye colors in a Collie. No matter the eye color, Border Collie never ceases to cast a spell with its intense gaze!

border collie dog


Border collies are medium-sized dogs with an average size between 18-22 inches, with males tending to be bigger than females.


Like most animals, the weighing scale of male and female collies differs slightly. On average, a female Border Collie weighs between 26 to 41 pounds. The male Border Collie, on the other hand, is usually between 30 to 44 pounds.

collie breeds


The Border Collie comes in both rough and smooth coat variations. In both cases, the coats are double, with the undercoat being softer and the outer being rougher. In comparison to the type with rough skin, smooth skin is typically shorter and coarser in texture.

Both coat types have what is known as a “double coat,” which is made up of a lengthier, water-resistant undercoat and softer, thicker fur on top.


Border Collies are present in a variety of colors. Black, blue, blue merle, brindle, gold, lilac, red, red merle, sable, sable merle, saddleback sable, white and black, white and blue, white and red, white and red merle, and white ticking are the 17 standard Border Collie colors recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC).


Border Collies solemnly come in a solid color. They always tend to have some sort of markings on their body, with the white blaze (like the arrow on bald but handsome last air bender, Avatar) being one of the most common ones.

If you get lucky, there’s a chance your Border Collie, in fact, does know air bending (real). The markings can be speckled and patterned differently, though.

Border Collie Puppy

border collie mix

It is almost impossible to differentiate between Border Collie puppies and adorable stuffed dog toys; that’s how cute they are. With the dreamy look in their eyes, swoon-worthy face shape, cutest paws, and fluffiest body, the Border Collie puppies are irresistible with their oozing charm.

The innocent-looking pups, when born, weigh as light as 7-14 ounces. The weight gain progresses as they tend to grow older. Reaching the age of 6 weeks, a Border Collie pup weighs about 3 to 6 pounds.

The age to reach maturity in female and male Border Collies is slightly different. Male Borders don’t become adult dogs until they are 36 months old, while female Borders do so until they are 24 months or 2 years old.

Are you still looking at the pup’s picture with hearty eyes? We don’t blame you. But in order to learn more about this loyal breed, keep scrolling down.

border collies

Border Collie Temperament and Personality

Just like the people from the countryside enjoy physically-demanding things. Border Collie’s origin being Scottish County land makes them dislike sitting idle in a confined space or staying indoors.

They don’t adapt very well to apartment living. Widespread fields or a giant backyard is a must if you ever think about having this high-energy dog breed as a family pet.

It is not your quiet, calm breed. They are super loud and bark a lot as they get stimulated easily, which is why they tend to bark at objects moving at high speed. Hence, chasing cars, bikes, and skateboards is common to them.

border collie puppies

Borders are affectionate, making them good canine companions, but their sociability also depends on how they were brought up. They can be shy with strangers at first, but they mingle easily. Due to their playful nature, they get along with other pets just fine, keeping their herding instincts in check.

Border Collies might not be ideal for first-time dog owners. They need a lot of attention and time and require you to be the active owner.

Border Collie Health and Care

It shouldn’t come to you as a surprise that with a Border Collie, you don’t get to go on slow, lovey-dovey walks. Sorry to burst your bubble, but this herding champion breed is not for you if you are a lazy person.

Exercise Requirements


Border Collie is a high-drive, extremely energetic dog breed. You must follow a vigorous exercise schedule to ensure your Border Collie gets enough physical and mental stimulation. Excessive exercise for at least an hour daily is a must; there is no question about that.

Although, a minimum of two hours daily is ideal and enough exercise. These energy balls are tireless; they love to utilize their maximum physical capacity and keep their brains active (just smart dog things). They won’t say a single woof if you extend the time of enjoying dog sports and running long distances.

And for all those exercises and walking outdoors, you will need a dog collar. Best Dog Collars For Border Collies and Best No Pull Dog Collars will prove to be helpful.


Border Collie dog breed is relatively healthy compared to other dogs. Most Border Collies are likely to enjoy a lifespan of about 12 to 17 years.

But, no dog breed is safe from health issues. This is why it’s important to know the health problems that your Border Collie might face or is prone to in the future.

boarder collie

Possible Health Problems

We have listed some health-related problems for you below.

  • Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA): This condition results from a genetic mutation that impacts vision and causes developmental defects in the eyes. Retinal detachment due to CEA can lead to blindness. Border Collies are known to be widely affected by the CEA, but they can also occur in other dogs.
  • Hip dysplasia: In dogs, hip dysplasia is one of the most prevalent orthopedic conditions. According to statistics, the illness affects 70% of dogs. It refers to the weakness of the hip joint. It is more common in older dogs.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy: It is an inherited condition in Borders. The eyes are genetically predisposed to losing sight in progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). Consequently, Border Collies are slightly more affected than other dogs to suffer from this illness. Although PRA is not painful, it cannot be cured. 
  • Trapped Neutrophil Syndrome: TNS is an inherited syndrome found in Border Collies that directly affects the immune system. It is neutropenia, a decline in the number of white blood cells called neutrophils, thus reducing Border Collie’s body strength to fight diseases and infections.
  • Epilepsy: It is a brain disorder characterized by frequent seizure attacks. Some Border Collies show symptoms like fly-catching or tail and shadow chasing.
  • Border Collie Collapse: Border collie collapse, also referred to as BCC. What does it look like? The symptoms of a usual collapse episode start 5 to 15 minutes after the start of exercise and include dizziness, dulled or absent-mindedness, wobbling, staggering, and falling to one side.It is also characterized by the exaggerated lifting of each limb while walking and the jittery running style. Apart from that, scuffing of the back and forelegs; and crossing of the legs when turning, all these signs indicate BCC.

In order to make sure your Border Collie is a purebred dog, contact a trusted and renowned breeder and check for certain features to identify it yourself.

Food and Diet of Border Collies

mini border collie

Just like any other dog, it is super essential to feed your Border Collie a nutritious, balanced diet. A Border Collie would appreciate, need and love raw/cooked meats, muscle meat, bones, fish, or eggs. Their diet should ensure 25 % of protein intake and animal or oil-based healthy fats.

You should know your dog’s preferences, whether they like a fluffy, delectable omelet or a runny Japanese-style half-fried egg. The royal instincts are sitting somewhere in the back of their head. However, make sure your Border Collie isn’t allergic to eggs due to a rare genetic mutation.

The diet also depends on your dog’s size, height, weight, and activity level. For example, if your dog frequently goes on hiking, long-distance run, and exercises daily, it is an active dog. It will need more food than a comparatively less active dog and lots of water too.

How Much Food Should You Feed Your Border Collie a Day?

Ideally, 1.5 to 2 cups of healthy and top-quality dog food a day is enough.

Food Allergies

Not all Border Collies, but many have problems digesting grain and are likely to be allergic to it; that’s why it’s not recommended. Sometimes, chicken, eggs, or soy products can also cause allergic reactions.

Border Collie Breed Grooming

Like all other dogs, a Border Collie also needs constant grooming to look like the magnificent creature that it is. Some of its grooming needs are as follows:

border collie colors
  • BathingThis work-oriented breed loves to contribute with its blood and sweat. So they are likely to get dirty. These high-energy dogs need a bath once every 2 to 3 months. But this span may fluctuate if you take your Border Collie often on adventurous trips.
  • Coat BrushingBorder Collie comprises a double coat, which means it does contribute its fair share of shedding hair. During the peak shedding season, brushing every two days is ideal to keep them clean.
  • Ear & Eye CleaningBorder Collie is prone to eye infections. Frequent eye exams and cleaning are highly recommended. About the ears, you should clean them at least once a week to get rid of any dirt, debris, and excessive wax-build up.
  • Teeth BrushingOn average, to ensure the oral hygiene of your Border Collie, brushing their teeth at least three times a week is advised.
  • Nail TrimmingTrimming Border Collie’s nails once every week is more than enough. Or when you hear the sound of nails thrashing against the floor while your dog is running with that forbidden object in its mouth at the speed of light. This is when you know it’s time.

Border Collie Training

brown border collie

The Border Collie is not only highly intelligent but also highly trainable. They have a strong desire to learn new habits. Given their high energy level, Border Collies require a lot of intense exercise and agility training for the best possible mental and physical stimulation.

When their mental stimulation is at its highest, they concentrate better during training sessions and take up new skills more quickly.

Keep in mind consistency is the key when it comes to training. It’s best you start obedience training from a young age. Using treats and dividing the training into several short sessions can help you give better results.

Thanks to their super-intelligent brain, Border Collies, when trained properly, quickly adapt to the good and healthy habits you try to instill.


Altogether, the Border collie is an exceptional sheepdog that is not only super intelligent, loyal, and beautiful but also a great actor. Which dog breed can ever beat that? Easy trainability, breed loyalty, and affectionate personality make them so loveable.

If you have read this article till here, hurray, you are an expert on Border Collie. Don’t ever miss the chance to brag extensive insight about this breed you got from this article.

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Cody Mitchell
Cody Mitchell is a pet lover and a passionate pet writer. He has worked as a professional writer for over 6 years, with a focus on creating compelling content for pet-related brands. His work has been featured in major publications. When he's not writing, Cody can be found playing with his two dogs (a labradoodle and a cocker spaniel) or cuddling his cat.

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