Dog Breeds

Border Collie Advantage and Challenges


  • Alert, intelligent and eager to please
  • Good with older kids and other dogs if properly socialized at a young age
  • Thrives on obedience training
  • Excels at agility sports


  • A natural herder, this working dog MUST have a job to do
  • Highly destructive when bored or frustrated
  • Needs lots of exercise and attention

Border Collie Physical Characteristics


  • Medium 18-22”


  • Males 30-45 pounds, Females 27-42 pounds


  • Either coarse, straight 3” long hair, or shorter, sleek 1” long hair


  • Black and white, tri-color, red & white, black & gray, and all black

Life Expectancy

  • 12-15 years
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Border Collie Personality

Considered the ultimate herding dog, the Border Collie is a bundle of energy, constantly in motion. This breed offers two coat varieties to choose from: a coarse, straight haired coat approximately 3” long, and a sleek haired 1” long version.

Although herding is not the growth industry that it once was, the Border Collie is one of the few breeds that is still used for actual herding purposes both in its homeland as well as here in the US. With its keen intellect, strong work ethic and love of agility sports, this dog has become the 60th most popular breed registered with the AKC in the United States.

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Border Collie History and General Information

History and Origin

In 1894, a Northumbrian farmer on the Scottish/English border cross-bred his two sheep herding dogs in an attempt to create the perfect herding dog: A dog as intelligent and protective as any big guardian dog, but with the friendliness and desire to please that characterizes the more passive sheepdog. Hailed by many as the ideal herding dog, the Border Collie was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1995.

General Information

Highlyintelligent and responsive, this hardy, agile sheepdog can handle any type or size of herd. That means if you haven’t got a dozen sheep or 100 head of cattle in the backyard, be prepared for your Border Collie to herd your kids, your baseballs and anything else that moves, including speeding cars. Not a healthy hobby, this tendency has caused many a premature doggy death – make sure your Border Collie has a big backyard, and make equally sure that it’s never allowed out into the world to roam off-leash, for its own protection.

The Border Collie needs to work -physical exercise alone is not enough for this very intelligent and highly energetic dog. This breed needs to engage both body and mind in carrying out its tasks. If you haven’t got a farm or a police search-and-rescue team, you’ll need to work your dog in agility sports or other similar activities. Provided it gets plenty of love, work and exercise, the Border Collie will usually get along well with kids and other dogs, althoughsome Border Collies are known to be high-strung and sound sensitive, making them a poor choice for families with very young kids. Although there are exceptions, this breed generally should not be trusted with cats. Early socialization is a must to minimize shyness and/or aggressive behavior.

Your Border Collie lives to work with you; If you don’t give it a steady job, then this dog will find its own employment, and you likely won’t enjoy the fruits of its labors. Digging and chewing, this escape artist quickly turns destructive if bored or ignored. This breed requires a firm and experienced owner with lots of time and love to lavish on the dog.

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Border Collie Health

Health Ailments

While generally a hardy breed, some Border Collies are prone to hip dysplasia, PRA and an eye disease common to Collies known as Collie Eye Anomaly. Many Border Collies are allergic to fleas and some are prone to epilepsy and deafness.

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Border Collie Community

Your Border Collie

Send us pictures and stories about your Border Collie.

Border Collie Discussion Group

Get tips from other Border Collie lovers – and submit a few ideas of your own.

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