Border Collie

Border collies are intelligent dogs full of energy with a strong desire to herd anything, and everything, around them. Learn more about living with border collies.


18-22 ins


30-55 lbs


12-15 yrs

Border Collie
Table of Contents

Border Collie History

The Border Collie has a long and complex history, with the breed's exact origins still unknown. While some sources suggest that the breed originated in England, other sources suggest that it was initially developed in Scotland. It is likely that the Border Collie was developed from several herding breeds brought to the British Isles by invading Romans and Vikings during the Middle Ages.

The Border Collie became popular among shepherds in Scotland and Northumberland during the 19th century for its superior herding abilities. The breed was first recognized by The Kennel Club (UK) in 1915 and a breed standard was established in 1920. By this point, most of the breeds used to develop the Border Collie were no longer traceable, making it impossible to determine their full ancestry.

In 1976, one of the most influential Border Collies of all time, Smartest Sheep Dog in Wales and England winner 'Border' Commanding Knight of Osmotherly (KC), made his debut at London’s prestigious Crufts Dog Show and became an instant celebrity among dog enthusiasts around the world. This remarkable sheep dog had excellent herding instincts along with intelligence beyond compare. KC's offspring remain highly sought after today for their superior working talents as well as their docile natures.

Since then, roles for this intelligent canine have grown beyond herding and guardian duties on farms and ranches to include search-and-rescue missions, agility competitions, obedience trials, flyball tournaments, therapeutic work, Frisbee performances and more recently even acting gigs! In addition to their many talents as working dogs, they are also beloved family companions due to their loyal personalities and eagerness to please those they love.

Not surprisingly given their popularity amongst shepherds throughout history, some accounts credit them with being able to count up to five sheep while others claim they can actually count up to ten or more! Whether or not this is true remains a mystery but there is no doubt that this resourceful breed is capable of incredible feats when trained properly.

Border Collie Characteristics


18-22 ins


30-55 lbs

Life Span

12-15 yrs

Breed Size


Playfulness Level


Exercise Needs


Energy Level


Intelligence Level




Drooling Level


Shedding Level


Grooming Frequency


Children Friendliness


People Friendliness


Animal Friendliness


barking Level


Border Collie Appearance

Border Collies are a medium-sized breed of dog with a muscular, athletic frame. They have a broad head with pointed ears that are set wide apart, and their eyes are usually either brown or blue. Their coat can vary in color and texture, often featuring black and white markings, but they can also be red, sable, tricolor, brindle, merle, or all-black. The fur is typically longer on the neck and chest and shorter on the back legs. They have a thick double coat which has an undercoat to protect them from cold weather and a topcoat that resists water.

Border Collies stand between 18 to 22 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh between 30 to 60 pounds when fully grown. They have an agile body type designed for running, with long legs and a deep chest for powerful lung capacity. The breed is known for its intelligence as well as its herding instincts; Border Collies are often used to herd livestock such as cattle or sheep due to their agility and ability to quickly learn commands. Additionally, they make great family pets due to their loyalty and protective nature.

Despite their active lifestyle, they don't require much space to stay healthy; however they do need plenty of mental stimulation as well as daily physical exertion in order to stay happy and contented. Regular walks or jogs around the neighborhood will keep them fit while playing interactive games like fetch or tug-of-war can help fulfill their need for mental stimulation. With proper care and exercise routine these dogs can live up to 15 years of age!

Border Collie Temperament

Border Collies are known for their loyal and loving temperaments. They are incredibly devoted to their owners and thrive when given the love and attention they need. While friendly with those they know, Border Collies can be quite suspicious of strangers. This is why they make excellent guard dogs or watchdogs; they will alert you of any perceived threats or trespassers!

Border Collies are also highly intelligent and have been known as "the world's most intelligent dog". They require mental stimulation in order to stay engaged and active, otherwise their minds wander and boredom can set in. Border Collies excel at cognitive tasks such as agility, obedience, herding, flyball, frisbee, tracking, search and rescue—all activities that tap into their strong work drive.

In addition to being smart and devoted companions, Border Collies are incredibly energetic creatures. These dogs absolutely must have a job to do or some form of exercise and physical activity each day; otherwise they grow restless and frustrated. A bored Border Collie may engage in destructive behaviors such as digging, excessive barking/whining, chewing anything within reach, etc., so it’s important that an owner provide adequate outlets for physical exertion (e.g., walks/runs).

Border Collies also tend to bond very closely with one specific human member of their family—usually the one who is most active with them on a daily basis—and will generally remain loyal only to that person for life. As pack animals by nature, Border Collies do well in homes where there are other pets around; however this breed does best when given lots of love from its owners along with plenty of play time each day!

Border Collie Living Needs

Border Collies are lively, energetic and intelligent dogs that need plenty of mental and physical stimulation to keep them happy. They thrive on activities and challenges that will help them use their natural instincts to herd, hunt, or even do police or military work. In order to keep your Border Collie fit and healthy, it is important for them to have a balanced life which provides plenty of exercise, playtime and interaction with people.

Border Collies require an active lifestyle; they need regular exercise to maintain good health because they have high energy levels. The amount of exercise needed depends on the age, size and breed of your dog. It is usually recommended that you give your Border Collie at least an hour of intense activity such as running or swimming each day, plus some additional time for gentle walks or playtime. As well as physical exercise, it is important to provide your Border Collie with mental stimulation in the form of obedience training, agility classes or interactive toys like balls to chase.

In addition to physical needs, Border Collies also need social contact with other dogs and people in order for them to be happy and content. As pack animals, they enjoy spending time with their owners so regular walks in public places such as parks or beaches will help your dog become accustomed to different environments where it can interact with other animals and people in a safe manner. Socialization is essential for all puppies but especially for working breeds like the Border Collie who may develop problematic behaviour if left isolated from other dogs or people for too long.

When it comes to food requirements for your Border Collie, it is essential that you feed them a good quality dry food formulated specifically for their age group (puppy/adult/senior) as well as providing occasional treats like raw meaty bones throughout the week. This type of diet should provide all the nutritional needs that your dog needs while ensuring optimal health and wellbeing – however if any problems arise then consulting a vet should be sought out promptly.

Overall the needs of a Border Collie are quite specific when compared to other breeds due to their intelligence level. Therefore providing plenty of mental stimulation through activities such as obedience training and agility classes combined with regular physical exercise like running or swimming each day is vital in order for them to remain healthy both physically and mentally - this along with ensuring they have enough social contact will help ensure your Border Collie has everything he needs in order live a long happy life!

Border Collie Care

Border Collie care is essential for keeping this energetic, intelligent breed healthy and happy. These dogs require a high level of physical activity as well as mental stimulation, so providing plenty of opportunities for exercise and play are important. In general, daily walks or runs are necessary to keep them in shape, while fetching and agility activities should also be part of their routine. Besides physical exercise, they crave psychological enrichment like puzzles, obedience training, interactive toys, or learning new tricks.

When it comes to diet, Border Collies are no different than other breeds: owners should take into consideration age and size when choosing the best food for their pet. For example, puppies up to one year old should eat food specially designed for growth and development; adult dogs’ diets depend on the level of activity; senior dogs require food with lower levels of fat and calories to prevent obesity-related health risks.

In addition to diet and exercise considerations, proper grooming is key to making sure your Border Collie looks good and feels comfortable. Brushing their fur at least twice a week will help reduce shedding while also strengthening the owner-pet bond through physical contact. Depending on the environment they live in (e.g., if they spend time outdoors) it may be necessary to give them more frequent baths or use dry shampoo in between baths to keep them clean without drying out their skin.

Lastly, regular vet visits are essential for all dogs regardless of breed - especially Border Collies since they can be prone to certain genetic illnesses that need early detection like hip dysplasia or eye problems such as progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). Preventive care like vaccinations needed according to age is important not only for you pet's health but also for avoiding zoonotic diseases (diseases transmissible from animals to humans). Annual checkups help detect potential health issues before they become serious diseases which may be more difficult or costly to treat later on down the road.

Border Collie Health

Border Collies are a popular breed of dog and are known for their intelligence, work ethic, and energy. They are also incredibly loyal, devoted to their owners, and make great family pets. However, they do need more care than some other breeds due to their high activity levels and intelligence. This means that special consideration needs to be taken when it comes to the health of these active dogs.

Border Collies have a life expectancy between 12-15 years on average if kept in good health and fed a balanced diet. They are an active breed so should get plenty of exercise on a daily basis to ensure they stay healthy and fit. As they can be prone to certain illnesses, regular check-ups with a veterinarian should be done as well as routine monthly heartworm preventative treatments. Vaccinations such as rabies shots need to be kept up to date in order for them to remain safe from potential diseases or viruses that could affect their wellbeing.

In terms of genetic issues that can occur within the breed, hip dysplasia is one condition that can develop over time due to age or poor nutrition. Eye problems such as cataracts or glaucoma may also be seen in older dogs as well as epilepsy which may require medication for control throughout their life span. It's important for owners of Border Collies to watch out for any signs of illness or pain such as limping, changes in appetite, lack of energy, coughing or difficulty breathing which could all signify underlying health issues that need addressing by your vet.

Good dental hygiene is also essential for this breed in order to avoid periodontal disease setting in which is common among dogs but especially prevalent in Border Collies due to their high energy levels leading them sometimes getting into things they shouldn't while playing outdoors or indoors. Regular brushing with pet friendly toothpaste should help keep their teeth healthy along with chews and treats specifically designed for oral health maintenance.

Overall Border Collies are generally hardy breeds but still require attention when it comes to their health care needs if you want them living their best life possible through the years ahead!

Border Collie Facts

1. Border Collies are highly intelligent and active dogs that have been bred for centuries to be working dogs. Originally from the border of Scotland and England, these herding dogs have been used by farmers to herd sheep and other livestock for hundreds of years. They are known for their intense stare, nicknamed the “eye”, which is used to control movement of their flock. The breed is now recognized as one of the most popular in the world, thanks to its intelligence, willingness to please and its obedience training capabilities.

2. Border Collies typically have a medium-length coat with black and white markings or tri-colored coats that may also include browns, reds and tans. Their coat can range from very short to very long depending on their particular line or parentage. These beautiful dogs also possess an incredible capacity for athleticism; they excel at agility courses, competitive obedience and herding events as well as flyball and frisbee competitions.

3. Border Collie personalities vary greatly depending on their individual genetics and environments but in general they are highly intelligent and loyal companions who thrive best when given an active lifestyle with plenty of mental challenges such as obedience training classes or sniffer games that focus on problem solving skills. Border Collies form very strong bonds with their owners, making them great family pets if their needs are met properly through playtime, exercise and mental stimulation.

4. Although these breeds can make wonderful companions, potential owners should be aware that due to their high energy levels they need lots of exercise each day as well as regular mental stimulation in order to stave off boredom-related behaviors like barking or destructive chewing habits. Furthermore, it is important for potential owners to understand that because this breed was selectively bred to herd sheep they possess a strong herding instinct which must be managed correctly through early socialization classes or activities like structured playtime with other animals so that it does not become a problematic behavior later in life.

5. As pups, Border Collies require consistent guidance when it comes to learning basic commands such as sit/stay/come - this breed learns quickly but sometimes acts impulsively so firm training is essential from an early stage in order to ensure good behavior throughout adulthood. It is also important for owners to understand that due to the breed’s natural independence, these types of dogs may take longer than others when it comes potty training - patience is key! Overall though, Border Collies make loving companions who will love you unconditionally if given proper care; if you’re looking for an intelligent partner packed full of energy then this might just be the right breed for you!

Border Collie Personality

Border collies are known for their intelligence, loyalty, and intense focus. They are highly energetic dogs that require a lot of exercise and mental stimulation in order to avoid becoming bored and destructive. They make great family pets as they are very affectionate towards humans and also get along well with other animals.

These dogs have an almost unrivaled work ethic and many have been used successfully as herding or working dogs. This is due to their high energy, intelligence, fearlessness and willingness to please their owners. They excel at tasks such as agility courses, frisbee, obedience and flyball competitions.

As devoted companions, border collies enjoy being around people and show strong loyalty to their owners. They are also very intuitive in understanding commands quickly without much repetition or correction needed from the owner. However, these same qualities can often lead to them becoming overly protective or possessive of their owners if not properly trained from an early age.

In terms of personality traits, border collies often display an eagerness to please others combined with a sense of independence that can cause confusion for many owners on how best to handle training sessions. These dogs have the ability to think for themselves when solving problems posed by their owners so it is important that an experienced handler who understands dog behavior is present for any training sessions involving border collies as they can become easily frustrated if not handled correctly.

Border collies require plenty of mental stimulation in order to remain healthy and happy throughout their lives so it is important that they receive enough exercise each day either through walks or playtime activities like fetching balls or running through agility courses or obstacle courses set up by their owners. Additionally, letting them explore off leash (in appropriate areas) is beneficial because it provides them with an opportunity to use their natural instincts while exercising both body and mind at the same time.

All in all, border collies make wonderful family pets due to their intelligence, passion for learning new tricks and activities, loyalty towards humans and willingness to please which makes them easy trainable yet still independent enough that they won’t simply obey orders blindly without thinking first about what’s best for them – traits which should be respected rather than punished whenever possible during training sessions!