Dog Breeds > Border Collie

Border Collie

Border Collie

Alternate Names
OriginGreat Britain
GroupShepherd, Mountain Dog

Border Collie Profile

Robust (Health)
Supports Loneliness
Need Exercise
Easy To Maintain
Easy to Train
Nice Child
Agreement with Animals
First Dog
Able to Guard

Physical Characteristics

The Border Collie is an agile and elegant dog, but it can also be resistant. It has a rather large skull, a strong snout, and a skull-snout ratio of 1/1. The eyes, which are usually wide apart, have an oval shape and are of a moderate size. They are dark brown in white-black dogs, amber or hazel in white-red dogs and may be blue (one eye, both, part of one eye or both eyes) in blue merle subjects. The ears are of a medium size and are usually erect or semi-erect. The legs are straight and parallel. The tail is moderately long and hangs naturally down to the hock. It is quite fluffy and ends with an upward curve that straightens when the dog is in action.

Fur: the Border Collie‘s fur can be short or moderately long. It is thick and consistent, with a short and thick undercoat.

Color: all color variations are permitted, provided that the white is not dominant.

Size: about 53 cm for the males and 50 cm for the females.

Weight: 18 to 28 kg.

Origins and History

The history of the Border Collie is perhaps the strangest of the canine panorama. The breed is very old, as evidenced by quotes from the seventeenth century that already address this dog under its current name, at a time when “breeds” – in the modern sense – did not exist. In reality, “Border Collie” is a pretty broad definition: the English called all Scottish shepherd dogs “collies”, while the term “border” comes precisely from the “borders” – a wide geographical area on the border between Scotland and England. What is extraordinary is that, at the beginning of the century, when the herding dog competition began in England, it became apparent that the shepherd dogs from the Borders were almost all identical. This is called a “type” in cynophile terms: no direct selection was made by the shepherds, who were interested in performance at work. Despite the age of the breed, it was only officially recognized in 1982. Border Collies are thus simultaneously one of the oldest known dog breeds and one of the youngest “official” dog breeds.

Character and Abilities

The collie earned its reputation as one of the best shepherd dogs from its main characteristic:it can be taught well. This characteristic makes the Border Collie a champion of  the obedience competition and they perform especially well in agility competitions, where the breed is unchallenged. In return for its docility, the Border Collie has a slight flaw: it is such a dynamic dog that can be defined as “hyperactive” – it does not stop for a second and needs to be moving almost all the time.

Living Conditions

The Border Collie should always have large open spaces available to spend its inexhaustible energy. If living in a house, it needs to go out several times a day and run until it runs out of breath. Unfortunately, many Border Collies end up in animal shelters after they become destructive from lack of exercise.


The Border Collie is one of the strongest dogs in the world, but it is still necessary to test it for potential defects.

Average life expectancy: about 12 years

Information and Tips

Border Collies are not suitable for elderly or sedentary people. They are, however, well suited for children that are of an age to understand when to give it its vital space (so no children running at, screaming at or riding the dog). Unlike a Labrador, for example, the Border Collie is a very sensitive and instinctive dog that requires a real education to learn to control its energy.

Originally a working dog, the breed needs regular exercise or it risks developing behavioral disorders. So if you don’t own a herd of sheep, make sure to be present for the dog and to provide workouts as often as possible.

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