a border collie in the forest

Introducing the Border Collie

Discover all there is to know about the Border Collie: its characteristics, behavior, training, and its cost.


The Border Collie, the ultimate herding master

a beautiful Border Collie sitting in the grass

The Border Collie, hailing from the Scotland-England borderlands, is bred for intelligence and herding. Popular in the UK for its agility and work ethic, this breed excels from farms to agility sports and search and rescue missions.

Known for their loyalty and affection, Border Collies make great pets, thriving on interaction and eager to learn. They're perfect for active families, providing companionship and excelling in various tasks due to their remarkable intelligence.


This section presents the distinctive characteristics of the Border Collie breed.


Border Collies, belonging to the herding group (1), are celebrated for their intelligence and responsiveness, making them perfect for agility, obedience, and sheepdog trials.


With a height of 18 to 22 inches and a weight of 30 to 45 pounds, Border Collies are agile and ideal for herding tasks.

Coat length

Their coat, varying from short to medium, can be smooth or rough, coming in colors like black and white, blue merle, and red.

Coat color

The Border Collie's coat presents a diverse color palette, ranging from the classic black and white to blue merle, red, and brindle.

Living environment

They thrive in spaces where they can be mentally and physically active, adaptable to both rural and suburban settings.


Known for their sociability, Border Collies are great with families, children, and other animals, especially when socialized early.


Generally healthy with a lifespan of 12 to 15 years, they may have predispositions to conditions like hip dysplasia.


Highly trainable with a keen intelligence, they respond well to positive reinforcement and require early socialization.

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The Border Collie, agility embodied

Border Collies are medium-sized, exquisitely balanced dogs, celebrated for their athletic build and sharp, intelligent eyes. The intensity and focus in their gaze are unmatched, a testament to their herding lineage.

Size and weight of the Border Collie

a Border Collie standing in a field

Border Collies present a harmonious blend of size and agility. Females stand between 18 to 21 inches, while males are slightly taller, ranging from 19 to 22 inches. In terms of weight, females generally tip the scales at 30 to 40 pounds, and males at 35 to 45 pounds.

Border Collies grow quickly, reaching close to their full size around 6 to 8 months, with their growth generally plateauing by 12 months. This rapid development underscores their swift transition from playful puppies to adept herders and agile companions.

The coat of the Border Collie

Two beautiful beige and brown Border Collies

Coat Length

Border Collies boast a double coat that varies from smooth to rough, featuring a dense undercoat for insulation against the elements. Their fur can be short across the body but with slight feathering on the legs, chest, and tail, providing a sleek yet rugged appearance suited to their active lifestyle.

Coat color

The Border Collie's coat presents a diverse color palette, ranging from the classic black and white to blue merle, red, and brindle. This variety showcases the breed's unique genetic diversity, with each color pattern having its own appeal.

Portrait of a Border Collie sitting outside

Coat care

Maintaining a Border Collie's coat requires regular attention due to its length and the thickness of its undercoat. They shed moderately throughout the year, with seasonal peaks during spring and fall when they molt more heavily. Regular brushing, at least several times a week, is crucial to remove loose fur and prevent matting, especially in the rough-coated variety.

While Border Collies are not high-maintenance in terms of bathing, they should be bathed as needed, generally every few months or when they get particularly dirty from outdoor activities. Their practical coat does well with a quick brush to remove dirt and debris, keeping them clean and comfortable.

Other characteristics of the Border Collie

A Border Collie seen from above sitting on the grass

Physical features

The Border Collie is the epitome of balance and agility, with a well-proportioned body that exudes strength and grace. The head is characterized by a distinct, broad skull tapering to a refined muzzle, showcasing the breed's intelligence and alertness. Their eyes, often described as mesmerizing, are medium-sized, set well apart, and vary in color from dark brown to blue, sometimes differing in color in the same dog, especially in merles.

These eyes reflect an intense gaze, a hallmark of their herding heritage. The ears of a Border Collie are typically semi-erect, with the tips folding forward, although some variations exist, contributing to their expressive appearance. The body boasts a solid frame with a deep chest and a marked waist, highlighting their muscular build and agility, designed for hours of active work in varied terrains.


What is the temperament of the Border Collie?

Border Collies are known for their intelligence, loyalty, and high energy levels, making them exceptionally responsive and eager companions.

Border Collie category

A Border Collie running with a stick in its mouth

There are over 340 recognized dog breeds, divided into 10 groups. The Border Collie falls into the herding group (1), which encompasses breeds developed primarily for herding and controlling livestock. This group includes breeds such as the Australian Shepherd or German Shepherd. Dogs within the herding category are celebrated for their intelligence, trainability, and work-oriented nature.

Border Collies, in particular, stand out for their remarkable intelligence, agility, and the strong desire to work closely with their human counterparts. Their primary role has traditionally been to herd livestock, but their versatility and quick learning ability have made them capable of much more, excelling in various canine sports and activities.

Behaviour of the Border Collie

Two Border Collies cuddling up

Energetic and devoted companions

Border Collies are the epitome of vitality and dedication. Known for their boundless energy and keen intelligence, these dogs thrive in environments where they can engage in physical and mental activities. Their affection towards their owners is profound, often forming an unbreakable bond.

Border Collies require an owner who is not only present but actively participates in their daily exercise and training routines. This involvement is crucial for their emotional and mental well-being, as they crave tasks that challenge them and opportunities to learn.

A Border Collie with its head tilted

Social butterflies with a herding instinct

Border Collies are exceptionally sociable and generous in spirit. They are known to get along well with humans, including being wonderful companions for children, thanks to their patient and protective nature. However, their herding instinct may surface around young children and other pets, showcasing their tendency to herd moving objects or beings.

This behavior underscores the importance of early socialization and training to channel their instincts positively. By fostering their social skills from a young age, Border Collies can learn to interact harmoniously with other animals and people, making them well-rounded family members.

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The Border Collie's living environment

A Border Collie puppy running

Versatile living, active companionship

The Border Collie possesses a remarkable ability to adapt to various living situations, from apartments to sprawling rural homes. However, the key to their happiness isn't the size of the living space but the quantity and quality of attention and engagement they receive from their owners. Border Collies thrive on interaction and require substantial daily exercise, with walks ideally lasting at least an hour to satisfy their high energy levels and sharp minds.

The need for space and stimulus

Despite their adaptability, Border Collies greatly benefit from having access to outdoor spaces where they can explore, play, and engage in physical activities. An environment that allows them to satisfy their curiosity and expend energy is crucial. Whether it's a securely fenced yard or regular visits to the park, providing opportunities for off-leash exercise in a safe area is essential for their physical and mental well-being.

Training the Border Collie

A Border Collie sitting with its master

Mastering training with intelligence and agility

The Border Collie stands out for its exceptional learning capabilities and superior intelligence, often regarded as the most trainable of all dog breeds. Their keen mind and eagerness to please make training not only essential but also highly rewarding.

Given their active nature and need for mental stimulation, training sessions should be varied and challenging to prevent boredom. Incorporating a GPS collar can be particularly useful for Border Collies, known for their speed and agility, to ensure their safety during outdoor adventures and prevent any chances of them straying too far during off-leash activities.

a border collie playing with its owner

Responsive and attentive learners

Border Collies possess remarkable listening skills, allowing them to excel in obedience and agility training. Their unique training characteristics include a sensitivity to their owner's cues and a willingness to work closely with humans. This breed thrives on positive reinforcement and consistent, patient guidance.

Early socialization and exposure to a variety of environments and situations are crucial for developing a well-rounded and sociable dog. Training a Border Collie offers an opportunity to deepen the bond between dog and owner, harnessing their natural instincts for herding into productive behaviors and impressive agility feats.


How to take care of the Border Collie ?

Border Collies are generally known for their robust health and high energy levels. However, maintaining their health requires daily care and attention to prevent diseases and infections, ensuring a long, active, and happy life.

The health of the Border Collie

A Border Collie with its head in the grass


Overall, Border Collies are a healthy breed with good longevity, often living between 12 to 15 years. While they are typically resilient and not frequently ill, they are predisposed to certain genetic conditions such as hip dysplasia, collie eye anomaly, and epilepsy.

Symptoms and severity can vary, but with proper care and regular veterinary check-ups, many of these conditions can be managed or mitigated. Awareness and early detection are key to providing a healthy life for a Border Collie.

A Border Collie in profile in the forest

Routine care

Regular veterinary care is crucial for the Border Collie, including vaccinations, deworming, and flea and tick prevention. Daily care is also essential and should include activities such as coat brushing several times a week to prevent matting, especially for those with longer hair. Regular ear cleaning will help prevent infections, particularly in active Border Collies who may swim or run through tall grass. Dental care, including brushing teeth and providing dental chews, along with routine nail trimming, are all important aspects of their care.

Border Collies can have sensitivities to certain foods, so it's important to consult with a veterinarian about their diet to avoid potential allergies. While Border Collies are not considered hypoallergenic, their coat care can help minimize shedding and keep allergens at bay.

Feeding the Border Collie

A Border Collie puppy running through grass and flowers

Daily requirements

Every Border Collie has specific nutritional needs that are crucial for maintaining their high energy levels and overall health. A balanced diet, rich in proteins and essential vitamins, is fundamental to support their vitality and strength. Premium quality kibble, formulated for high-energy breeds, serves as an excellent foundation for their daily dietary requirements.

For Border Collies with particularly high activity levels, supplementing their diet with lean sources of white and red meat can provide additional protein needed for muscle repair and endurance. However, it's important to monitor fat intake to prevent weight gain and ensure a lean physique, characteristic of this agile breed.


What does a Border Collie cost?

The Border Collie is highly regarded for its intelligence and versatility. There are numerous breeders across Great Britain, reflecting the breed's popularity. It's important to consider several factors before adopting.

How to choose your Border Collie

A Border Collie lying in the snow

Finding the right breeder

Before bringing a Border Collie into your home, it's crucial to make an informed decision. Selecting a reputable breeder is key, and a visit to the premises will allow you to assess the living conditions and the dogs' behavior firsthand. Ensuring the health of your future puppy and its parents is paramount, so don't hesitate to request detailed health information from the breeder.

Lastly, you must have your dog microchipped by the age of 8 weeks old and have their details registered on a relevant database like Petlog or Animal Tracker. This is a legal requirement in Great Britain, and non-compliance could result in a

fine. For microchipping, consult your veterinarian. Alternatively, any Blue Cross center will offer this service free of charge.

A Border Collie with its head tilted to one side

The price of a Border Collie

The initial cost of a Border Collie puppy can vary significantly, influenced by factors such as the dog's lineage, pedigree, the breeder's reputation, and the age of the dog. Prices for a Border Collie puppy range from



However, the financial commitment doesn't stop with the purchase price. Prospective owners should also consider the ongoing costs of care, including food, veterinary fees, and insurance, which can amount to approximately



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