Border Collie Dog Breed Profile

Border collie is a medium-sized dog that is extremely athletic, intelligent, and full of energy.

The border collie is a descendant of the British Isles sheepdogs. Its name refers to the border between England & Scotland.

This breed is loyal, hardworking, and highly driven. Border collies love to play and work but will settle for cuddles after the day’s end.

Border collies are a popular breed and make great companions for active families.

This is a beloved and well-loved dog breed that bonds with its humans.

Although their tendency to herd might make them less suitable for children, they can still be trained to behave well around children. The breed is well-suited for gentler, older children.

Overview of Breeds

GROUP: Herding

HEIGHT 18-22 inches at the shoulder

WEIGHT 28 to48 pounds

COAT & COLORS: Border collies have medium-length, rough skin. The outer coat is coarse and the undercoat soft. It can be either a solid, bicolor, tricolor, or sable. You will see them in black, blue, blue merle, brindle, and gold.


The Border Collie’s Characteristics

Affection LevelHigh
Kid-Friendly High
Pet friendly Medium
Exercise needsHigh
Playfulness High
Energy LevelHigh
Trainability High
Intelligence High
Tendency to barkHigh
Shedding Medium
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The Border Collie’s History

The British Isles sheepdogs gave birth to the border collie. It was created on the border between England and Scotland, where it was named.

The border collie is a working dog that is hardy and diligent. Queen Victoria, in the mid-1800s, became a fan of the breed.

This likely contributed to the breed’s legacy as an ideal sheep-herding dog breed.

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The border collie’s reputation for being intelligent and hardworking has been maintained over the years.

The breed was introduced to New Zealand and Australia’s sheep ranchers in the last century. Border collies are highly skilled in agility, herding, Frisbee, and many other activities.

In 1995, the AKC officially recognized the border collie.

Border collie herding sheep
Robert W. Kelley / Getty Images
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Border Collie Care

Border collie can have a medium-length, rough, or smooth double coat.

It may have a coarse outer and soft undercoat. To keep their coats tangle-free, they should be groomed regularly. They need to be bathed once every three months.

Even though active border colts may have naturally damaged nails, it is essential to check them and trim them as necessary. 

Dental hygiene is also important. Brush your dog’s teeth at the very least twice a week.

This will keep your feet comfortable and healthy.

Border collies are known for their alert expression, strong instincts, and ready-to-go attitude. This breed is one of the most intelligent dogs and can learn new things quickly. 

It is essential to have thorough training. This should not be difficult. 

Properly socialize your dog to make it comfortable in all situations.

It is important to remember that border collies are high-energy, high-energy dogs.

This breed requires a lot of exercise and activities to keep their minds and bodies active and healthy.

You must be able, at a minimum, to take your dog for a walk every day or two.

Border collies can chase cars and bikes, so you must keep your dog on a leash.

To help the dog burn off energy, play fetch or Frisbee in a safe place. They are excellent herder dogs and excel in all dog sports, including agility and disc dog competition.

You need to find many activities if you want your border collie to thrive.

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The breed’s high energy and need to be active make them less suitable for apartment living.

A large fenced yard is ideal, or a ranch or farm where there is some herding work.

Although the border collie can tolerate both hot and cold weather, you must provide shelter for him in extreme circumstances.

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Your border collie will not take being left alone. A border collie won’t tolerate being alone.

This dog might become bored and start to do things like chase cars, dig furniture up, or bark. You might also notice the typical behavior of humans and pets like nudging, nipping, and herding. This could lead to disputes if you have multiple pets.

Border collies can be sensitive to noise and will alert you to passersby and visitors. They can also be susceptible to loud noises such as thunder and fireworks.

Portrait of a border collie
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Common Health Problems

As set by kennel clubs such as the AKC, responsible dog breeders must maintain high breed standards. These standards have a lower chance of dogs inheriting health problems.

Some hereditary issues may occur in the breed. Here are some conditions you should be aware of:

  • Hip dysplasia – A condition where the hip sockets are abnormally formed.
  • Osteochondrosis: An abnormal development of cartilage at the end of a bone.
  • Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that causes seizures.
  • Collie Eye Anomaly is an inherited condition that affects this breed. This can cause vision impairment, but it is often mild in border collies. Breeders can screen for it.
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Diet and nutrition

A border collie needs two meals per day, ranging from three-quarters to one teaspoon of dry dog food, depending on their size and activity level. Make sure you provide clean, fresh water.

The nutritional needs of your dog will change over its lifetime. Adjusting the food schedule, type, and amount may be necessary. Also, it would help if you considered whether your dog gets enough exercise daily. Discuss with your veterinarian if your dog seems to be gaining weight.

  • 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 apartment living as they need a yard (or a farm) to expend energy
  • Strong herding instincts may make them unsuitable for households with small children
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Where to Adopt or Buy a Border Collie

The Border Collie Society of America can be an excellent place for you to begin your search for a puppy. The breeder directory includes contact information for rescue and breeder groups across the U.S.

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Additional Research and Breeds

Before deciding that the border collie is right for you, do your research. Ask for advice from veterinarians and other professionals.

You might be interested in similar breeds.

There are many dog breeds. You can find the perfect one by doing some research.

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