The Border Collie Breed - What You Need To Know

Posted by jeff@pethangout 01/07/2019 0 Comment(s)

the Border Collie Breed what you need to know.


Welcome to our Dog Breed series!  

Today we are talking about the Border Collie breed and what you need to know.


General Description:

The Border Collie is well known for its herding and “hard-work” ability.    It was bred specifically to herd livestock and sheep.   They are a highly intelligent and obedient dog who desires to round up anything small!   This might include your other pets and children so keep that in mind! 


The male ranges from 19-22 inches tall and 30-45 pounds.  

The female ranges from 18-21 inches tall and 27-42 pounds.  

Their life expectancy is anywhere from 10 - 17 years.   Their colors range from Black, White, Brindle, Lilac, Blue, Red Merle, Chocolate, Liver, Blue Merle, Sable, Sable Merle, Red, and Gold.  They are famous for their tenacity, energy level, and keen sense.

A border collie puppy is quite intelligent.   However, this doesn’t mean that they are going to be easy to train.    They are very detailed oriented and full of energy that needs to be spent in a healthy way daily.     If you don’t watch out, your Border Collie will act out and most likely take their frustration out on their surroundings.   They have an innate need to herd anything small (that reminds them of a sheep) so beware if you have small children around.     

They are the best working breed in the world for sheepherding!  They are very people oriented and can make a great family dog with the correct training.  However, some Borders may not be best friends with other family pets.    They excel at performance events such as flyable challenges, obstacle courses, and freestyle.

Border Collie breed pic  Border Collie sable color

Black and white Border Collie  breed.  Border Collie running.

The Border Collie stare.



Profile of the perfect Border Collie dog parent:

  • Willing to give your Border at least 30 minutes of rigorous exercise/day or daily work.   Your Border needs to work/spend lots of energy to satisfy their deep-seated desire to herd.
  • You have a lot of energy and like to stay active
  • Is willing to invest in a professional trainer for your pup
  • Able to spend lots of time with your dog.  Borders will push the destruct button on your home if left alone too often.
  • Monitors interaction with children to ensure they are not being pushy and herding toward them.
  • Is proactive and can stay one step ahead of this energetic breed.


Questions to ponder before taking the leap with this dog:

  • Do I have the time and resources to socialize my border puppy with a variety of people, places, and activities?
  • Will a vocal dog drive me bonkers?  
  • Do I have a lot of small children in and out of my home that may be misbehaved?
  • Can I give my Border at least 45 minutes of mental and physical stimulation each day?
  • Do I have a farm or similar outdoor setting where they can work and run?  NOTE:  We caution you on getting a Border Collie to keep inside your home 100% of the time.   

    Sweet Border Collie Rescue says, "Their working heritage produces a highly intelligent, highly driven, high energy, intensely focused dog: characteristics that do not fit well in most homes. "


Border Collie at a glance (score 1 - 10  1 = low/small; 10 = high/large)

  • Care Demand:  9
  • Social:  8
  • Good with children/elderly:   4
  • Needs to be around humans:  7.5
  • Can be independent:  8 
  • Likes to be around other animals:  5  (could go either way depending on your Border Collie)  
  • Loud - barks often:   8 (especially if bored)
  • Destructive as a puppy:  8
  • Destructive as an adult:  8 (must keep busy with work and challenges)
  • Health issues:  5
  • Life Expectancy:  8
  • Playful:    7
  • Needs a lot of exercise:  9
  • Whiney grade:  5
  • Needs lots of grooming:  8
  • Amount of Food/Day:  6 
  • Puppy Troubles: 7


Grey and white Border Collie.  Border Collie herding animals.

Brown and White Border Collie.  Border Collie listening to a command.



More about the Border Collie:

Notable Cool Facts:  They are happiest when they can work daily; capable of learning a remarkable amount of words; in 1860, Queen Elizabeth became an avid fan of the Border Collie.    They have done incredible feats likes knowing the name of over 1000 objects, rolling down a manual car window, and skateboarding.


History: Originated from Scotland and border region of Germany.   The term “Collie is a word with origins from Scotland - it was used to describe a sheepdog.


Behavior (personality):

     Children - Puppies tend to be a bit rowdy so monitor closely around children.

     Elderly - May be way too active for an elderly person.

     Play - Very playful and energetic - Needs many toys/challenges to stay entertained and to fend off boredom.   Needs to be stimulated mentally as well as physically.

     Other Pets - Could play rough with smaller animals.   May or may not become friends with your other pets.

     Strangers - Can sometimes be reserved or aloof around strangers.

     When in a new environment - Properly socializing your Border Collie to new people and their environment is key to a happy dog.    They may become stressed out and anxious otherwise.    Please donexpect them to just lie around and cuddle all day long.   This goes against their nature - they desire to work and run free as much as possible.   Your Border Collie has the capacity to run up to 60 miles/day.



        Feeding:  A grown Border Collie eats 3 - 4 cups daily.  Normally, feed 1.5 - 2 cups in the morning and once again in the evening.   Please choose a high-quality food with high protein.  This is very important given your dogs activity level that they will be maintaining.

        Grooming - At least once / week.   However, will need to groom more often (brush daily) during the shedding seasons in the spring and fall.   This is when they change their coat.   You will also want to brush their teeth 3 - 5 times/week to keep mouth bacteria down and their pearly whites shiny clean.

        Exercise - They need 1/2 - 1 hour of high energy exercise every single day! ...Not just mild walking but a rigorous movement is preferable.

        As a Puppy - As the puppy matures, they will need more exercise.   A good starting point is to provide 5 minutes of exercise/month of age.   For example, if your puppy is 4 months old, he should get 20 minutes of exercise daily

Border Collie on an agility course.  Border Collie retrieving a rope toy

Border Collies playing in the snow.  Border Collie jumping obstacles.


Common Health Issues:  

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Epilepsy
  • Collie Eye Anomaly
  • Allergies
  • Osteochondrosis Dissecans





There are a lot of things to think about when searching for a reputable Border Collie breeder.  

We encourage you to check out the Border Collie Society of America to learn about reputable breeders and even more about this fascinating dog.

It’s full of a wealth of information on questions to ask, things to look for, the different types of breeders, and all the good, bad, and ugly of the breeding world.     Educate yourself with the facts first before talking to a breeder for the love of the Border Collie Breed!



Take a look at this intro video for the Border Collie!




Do you have an interesting fact about the Border Collie?

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You will also want to read up on 22 Facts about the Amazing and Loyal German Shepherd, 17 Powerful New Puppy Hacks You Have to Know, and How to Know if Essential Oils Are Good For Your Dog.



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