Border Collie dog breed

Border Collies are highly energetic dogs that date back to Great Britain in the 1800s. These dogs were bred to herd sheep on the farms, circling around them to gather them up and return them to the shepherd, often nipping and barking as they performed their job. Nowadays, it’s more common for the Collies to use stare in order to intimidate the sheep and make them move where they want them. Due to their ancient herding instincts, Border Collies are high barkers, but at least they are only medium shedders. They are also one of the smartest dogs, and they can be trained to do just about anything by an experienced owner

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on reddit
Share on tumblr
Share on linkedin
Share on telegram
Share on email
Border Collie
Breed height

M: 48 - 56 cm / 19 - 22 in
F: 45 - 53 cm / 18 - 21 in

Breed weight

M: 13 - 20 kg / 30 - 45 lbs
F: 13 - 20 kg / 30 - 45 lbs

Breed lifespan

Healthy dogs of this breed lives
average between 12 to 15 years

Breed group

Herding: These dogs were bred to control other animals movements

Breed size
Border Collies are medium dogs. They can weigh up to 20 kg / 45 lbs and be up to 56 cm / 22 inches from the ground to the shoulders
Coat size
Border Collies can have either a short or a moderately long coat. Both versions being highly weather-resistant double coats
Border Collies have a medium level of shedding. They shed all year round and blow their coat during the spring and autumn
Border Collies are highly intelligent dogs that excel at obidience, agility, and hearding. They can be trained to do just about anything
Breed health
Border Collies are generally a healthy dog breed, as long as they come from proper bloodlines and serious reputable breeders
Border Collies are not so interested in other dogs or pets, they are loving towards their family but can be reserved around strangers
Border Collies are highly energetic dogs bred to work all day long. These dogs require at least two hours of exercise every single day
The Border Collies bark a lot. As they are shepherds, they may find the need to bark at pretty much everything and everyone

Border Collie general information

The Border Collie originates from the Scottish Borders in the 1800s, hence the name. A dog named Hemp is considered to be the father of the Border Collies, a sheepdog that distinguished himself so much in a sheepdog contest in 1873 that he sired a great deal of offspring. He herded by calmly staring at the sheep, intimidating them to moving instead of barking and nipping. The first standard was drawn up in 1906 and the name Border Collie was first recorded in 1915. The Border Collie made its way to America and instantly dazzled shepherds with its obedience and quick herding abilities. In 1995, the breed was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club and found its way into the show ring. Today, the Collies are high up on the list of the most popular breeds. Border Collies are still used as herding dogs, but mostly kept as pets

Border Collie breed appearance

The Border Collie is a medium-sized breed, the males can be up to 56 cm / 22 inches from the ground to the shoulders, with females being a tad smaller. The weight for both males and females ranges from 13 – 20 kg / 30 – 45 lbs. Border Collies can have either a short smooth coat at around 2.5 cm / 1 inch in length or the most common longer one with a length of 7.5 cm / 3 inches. They can come in a wide variety of colors, like all black, black and white, black and grey, red and white, and tri-color. Eye colors can be various shades of brown, gold, or blue. Like the Australian Shepherd for example, Border Collies can also have eyes of different colors, a condition called Heterochromia, this is caused by the lack of pigment in the eye and is usually not a health concern

Border Collie breed temperament

Border Collies are highly energetic dogs with a stockpile of both physical and mental energy waiting to be unleashed upon the world. They are among the most obedient and intelligent dog breeds, but they can be a disaster in the home if they are not exercised sufficiently and giving tasks to keep them occupied. Without a job to do, Border Collies can become develop harmful, compulsive habits and be destructive. They are not suited for apartment living, a house with a big yard they can roam around in and burn energy would be far more suitable. Border Collies are not to keen on other pets and dogs, they can also be reserved and even protective of strangers, but as with most dogs, they are loving, devoted, and affectionate towards their own family

Border Collie breed health

The Border Collies are generally a healthy dog breed as long as they come from reputable breeders. Their most concerning health issue is Canine Hip Dysplasia, a condition that results in instability or a loose fit of the hip joint. Minor concerns are PRA, lens luxation, CEA, PDA, OCD, deafness, seizures, and hypothyroidism. As with all dog breeds, they are also prone to developing certain common diseases. This can include eye problems, skin allergies, orthopedic problems, and ear infections. Regular wellness checkups at the vet should be done at least once a year to track the dog’s development and catch any potential health issues early on, which improves the chances of successful treatment. If you suspect that your dog is having issues, or have changed its behavior radically, you must contact your vet and schedule an appointment

Breed shedding and grooming

Border Collies are considered to be medium shedders. They have a double coat that sheds all year round. During spring and autumn, they blow their coats, kicking up the shedding level to a high amount. If you want a Border Collie, but don’t like lots of long hair, you might want to consider the short-haired version. Frequent brushing will help keep the amount of loose hair floating around the home low. Keeping the dog on a meat-rich diet also helps reduce the shedding amount and prevents dry skin. Meat is digested and absorbed quickly, promoting better overall health in your furry little buddy. If your dog is subject to excessive shedding, contact your local veterinarian and ask for guidance and hear with them if the dog should come in for a checkup

Border Collie barking level

Border Collies bark a lot, as it’s in their nature. They will bark at pretty much everything and everyone. If they want something from you, they bark, if someone comes to your house, they bark. And the list goes on and on and on. Common reasons for dogs barking are protection, alerting, being bored, fear, seeking attention, separation anxiety, or just saying hello. You can read more about barking at this guide from WebMD Pets: Understanding why dogs bark. All dog breeds can be trained to reduce barking, another thing that should be focused on learning from an early age. There are plenty of online resources where you can learn how to reduce barking, like YouTube, online courses, and websites. You might also want to shop for books that address this issue too

Border Collie dog training

Border Collies are highly intelligent dogs that are generally easy to train, in the right hands they can be taught to do just about anything. The key to successful training is understanding the mindset and function of the Border Collie, along with positive consistent training. As with all breeds, dog training can be a challenge for inexperienced owners, acquiring professional help from a dog trainer is always a good choice to get started training your dog. The first step on the long road is signing up for a puppy class, here you will learn the basics about dog care and training, most classes also have supervised playtime among the puppies for socialization. You can also watch dog training videos, attend online dog training courses, or maybe get yourself a dog training book or two

Breed exercise requirements

Border Collies are high-energy dogs that require a lot of exercise every day throughout their lives to remain healthy and happy. They should have at least two hours of exercise daily, as well as mental stimulation in the form of games and training. Border Collies that don’t get enough exercise can become destructive and difficult to live with. If you live an active lifestyle with lots of outdoor activities, like hiking, running, and biking, this breed will make an excellent companion. Preferably, this breed should live in houses with lots of space to roam around and a yard where they can run freely. Border Collies love to chase items and are always up for a game of fetch, which is a great way to exercise dogs and make them burn off some of that excessive energy

Caring for dogs

Grooming is not the only maintenance your dog requires throughout its life. Complete examinations at the vet should be done at least once a year for adult dogs. Puppies should come in every 3 or 4 weeks until they are around four months old. Contact your vet and they will set you up with schedules.
Trimming the claws should be done whenever they touch the ground when the dog is standing up, or make it a frequent routine to keep them short
Brushing the teeth should be done on a daily basis to prevent gum diseases. Chew bones and toys will also help strengthen your dog’s teeth and gums
Cleaning the ears to prevent ear infections is also another important part of the dog’s routine maintenance. You can have your vet show you how to do it

Socializing dogs

No matter what kind of dog breed you have, socializing it from an early age is the most important thing you can do in order to get a well-behaving buddy that reacts to the world around it in a healthy way. Until your puppy is around 16 weeks old, it should encounter different kinds of people, situations, and locations, learning that the world is a wonderful place to live. Puppies have a short developmental window in which their experiences will form their future selves. Puppies should however not be forced into situations they might feel uncomfortable with, as bad experiences may imprint and stay with the dog for the rest of the life. You can watch free videos from professional dog trainers on how to socialize your new puppy and learn how to do so the correct way

Border Collies on Instagram

Here are some pictures of the Border Collie breed on Instagram. See even more photos of them by exploring #BorderCollie or using the Google Image Search

Video of the Border Collie

Here is a video from Fenrir Border Collie Show, titled Why You Shouldn’t Get A Border Collie. If you are interested in getting one, you should watch this video

Frequently asked questions

Border Collies were not bred to be pets, but herders, they can however be good family dogs if they receive proper socialization and training from an early age. They are probably not the best dogs for families with young children, as Border Collies tend to herd them

There are no dogs that are hypoallergenic, some breeds can however cause fewer allergic reactions than other breeds. The proteins that dogs produce are what causes the allergic reactions. These proteins are found in the hair, saliva, dander, and urine. Some individuals may have an irritant response to the actual dog hair, the solution for that is getting a dog with a low level of shedding. You can continue reading about allergies and reactions at HealthLine

Border Collies have a medium shedding level. They shed all year round and blow their coats during spring and autumn, leaving behind a big mess. Frequent brushing to remove dead and loose hair will help reduce the amount of fur floating around the home

Yes. Border Collies are highly intelligent dogs that can be taught to do just about anything in the right hands

No. Border Collies are not suited for apartment living due to their extremely high energy level. They should live in a large house with a yard where they can run freely to burn off energy

Border Collies are not good candidates for alone-time. If you plan on being gone for more than 3 – 4 hours, you should have someone come to visit, or hire a walker or use doggy day care

Border Collies are not aggressive by nature. They can however be reserved, and even protective of strangers

References and resources

You can absorb more knowledge about this dog breed from the resources below. Websites, books, and social media sites where you can ask dog owners questions

Latest dog breeds published



The Greyhound is the fastest dog breed in the world, they are large-sized dogs with a short coat that sheds moderately. These sprinters are also great family dogs that are calm and quiet while being indoors, relaxing on the couch

Shih Tzu

Shih Tzu

The small-sized breed Shih Tzu is a playful, loving, and affectionate little family dog that gets along with just about everyone. They can perfectly live fine in small apartments thanks to their small size and low exercise requirements


The Beagle is one of the most popular dog breeds in the world. This affectionate dog is generally friendly towards strangers, other dogs, and other pets. Beagles are known to bark and are not the easiest dogs to train

Explore dog breeds by size

Explore dogs by coat size

Explore dog breeds by group