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Border Collie


Wamiz's Top Breed

Border Collie

Seemingly the most intelligent dog of his species, the Border Collie is made for working, whether on a farm, through educational tasks or canine sports. Resilient, intelligent and willing, he would make the perfect pet for energetic and available owners who are able to cater to his number of physical and mental needs. A very sensitive dog, he is well matched with owners who are concerned with the physical and mental wellbeing of their animals.

Key facts about the Border Collie

Life expectancy :





Temperament :

Affectionate Playful Intelligent

Size :

Origins and history

The Border Collie’s history is perhaps the strangest in all of the dog world. He is an ancient breed, as proved by quotes from the 17th century that refer to this dog by his current name, during a time period in which “breeds” did not exceed according to its current definition. In reality, “Border Collie” has quite a general meaning; the word “collie” refers to all Scottish sheepdogs, while the term “border” refers to the “borders”, a large geographical zone located at the border between Scotland and England. What’s extraordinary is that, at the beginning of the century when the need for working dogs in England came about, all the Border shepherds had almost identical dogs, which is what we call a “type” in the dog world. However, the shepherds never instigated a breeding process, as they were only interested in getting the work done. Therefore, the breed wasn’t officially recognised until 1982, making him one of the oldest official breeds, but also one of the newest known to us.

FCI breed nomenclature

FCI Group

Group 1 - Sheepdogs and Cattledogs (except Swiss Cattledogs)


Section 1 : Sheepdogs

Physical characteristics of the Border Collie

    Adult size

    Female : Between 19 and 20 in

    Male : Between 20 and 22 in


    Female : Between 33 and 44 lb

    Male : Between 33 and 44 lb

    Coat colour

    Type of coat

    Eye colour



    The Border Collie is a well-proportioned and balanced dog. Boasting a resilient frame, this dog is born to be at the side of farmers and their herds. His impressive physical and mental abilities allow him to excel in a number of canine activities, such as agility and obedience training, racing and treibball.

    Good to know

    The Border Collie is the only dog that is a member of the KC based on his herding abilities, as opposed to physical features.

    The Border Collie is often mixed with other breeds resulting in gorgeous and athletic breeds. Discover 6 of the most popular Border Collie cross.


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      Utterly devoted to his master, all this dog wants to do is please his master. This personality trait can make him very sensitive and at times, even difficult to manage. 

      At home, as long as his needs are met, he is a very loving pet due to his strong attachment to his social group.

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      This sheepdog loves to play with both young and old, and will particularly appreciate games that mentally stimulate him. 

      You should engage this natural worker in intellectual rather than physical games. Not only does he enjoy this type of play, it is also what he needs to stay stimulated.

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      Often considered as hyperactive, the Border Collie is the opposite of a calm dog who will happily spend the day in his basket. He needs constant stimulation to be content in himself.

      However, as long as his needs are met and respected, he will appreciate taking some respite in a comfortable setting, but he will always be on alert. The smallest gestures from his master will be observed, scrutinised and analysed.

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      This sheep whisperer is considered one of the most intelligent breeds of his species, and for good reason; the Border Collie is thirsty for knowledge and always eager to please his master. He very quickly absorbs the material he learns during training. 

      It is even the case that the Border Collie can overtake his master, meaning that it is necessary to very quickly amp up the difficulty level, or else risk boring him and resulting in a loss of motivation.

      His advanced intelligence allows him to excel in a number of areas. As a result, he is often found at the top of agility and obedience competition podiums.

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      This sheepdog prefers to round animals up rather than hunt them, but it’s also not uncommon to see this dog exhibiting a predatory instinct. This trait often manifests itself in dogs that have not shown much of an interest in herding.

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      Fearful / wary of strangers

      His sensitivity and attachment to his owner makes this companion relatively distrustful towards strangers.

      His herding instinct can also mean that this dog may try to encircle a stranger while barking, in an attempt to entrap him. It is therefore important to control this character trait so that it doesn’t transform into aggression.

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      The Border Collie’s unconditional attachment to his master and social group makes him a very dependent dog. 

      Despite his ability to take initiative during herding tasks, once it is finished, he will go back to awaiting orders from his master.

      Behaviour of the Border Collie

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        Tolerates solitude

        In constant need of stimulating activities, this dog is not adapted to spending time alone, and can even develop behavioural issues if he finds himself bored and alone too often.

        Many Border Collies end up in dog shelters, once their owners find themselves overpowered by this dog’s energy and intense exercise needs.

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        Easy to train / obedience

        Many people think that an intelligent dog equals a dog that is easy to train; however, it is not quite as simple as this. On the contrary, intelligent dogs can be more difficult to train if they do not see sense or coherence in their training sessions. 

        However, if his training is adapted, coherent, fair and respectful of the principles of positive education,  the master-dog relationship will be very enriching.

        If all of these criteria are respected, he will be a pleasure to educate thanks to his speed in understanding what is expected of him. If you achieve this, his educational capacities will be almost limitless.

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        Like all sheepdogs, the Border Collie will have no qualms in barking if he is unhappy. It’s his instinct to bark to encourage movement in a herd, for example, or even to exert some energy if he is not sufficiently exercised.

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