Border Collie


A small to medium sized Border Collie
Border Collie Quick Summary
Also Known As
Height (at withers)17-22in (43-56cm)
Weight30-50lbs (14-23kg)
Hair Colour(s)Black & white
Lifespan13-16 years
Energy LevelHigh
Litter size4-8
Barking TendencyHigh
Exercise requirementsHigh
Ease of trainingHigh
Suitability for kidsMedium
Animal compatabilityMedium
Aggression levelsLow
Distress if leftLow

The Border Collie is a handsome looking dog with a muscular well-balanced body that conveys the impression of effortless movement and endless endurance. This dog has an alert and keen expression. The coat can either be short or longer and feathered, and is most commonly black and white, although other colourings include chocolate, red and blue. A famous example of a Border Collie was Shep from the British TV series Blue Peter.


Border Collies are very intelligent, highly trainable, agile dogs blessed with incredible stamina and determination. They are eager to please and very quick to learn, which makes them pleasurable to train. Well balanced with good temperaments and natures,they are both loyal and dedicated, and faithful and affectionate to their family, but do require a high level of mental and physical stimulation. For this reason, they are more suited to experienced dog owners. Border Collies get on fine with older, more considerate children, but are probably not suitable for smaller children. They can be wary around strangers but tend to accomodate other pets. As they have strong herding instincts they may try to herd family members, kids and pets, and sometimes can become hyperactive without the right level of attention, exercise and mental stimulation.

History & Skills

Border Collies originate from the UK and were developed on the borders of England and Scotland, hence their name. They were bred initially for herding, and became hugely popular and successful thanks to their high intelligence and stamina levels. Border Collies developed a unique working style of gathering and fetching herds using sweeping outruns, and of controlling them using an intense gaze coupled with a low, stalking movement - all conducted by a series of whistles from their owners. This incredible working ability has made them the dogs of choice worldwide for sheep herding, a title they still hold today.

Breed Specific Ailments

Border Collies tend to live between 13-16 years and are generally healthy dogs. Some of the health concerns that have been noted inlude hip dysplasia, PRA, and epilepsy. They can be susceptible to allergies, deafness, seizures and OCD.


Border Collies are medium shedders but also shed quite heavily twice a year, and are not suited to allergy sufferers. Depending upon the coat length brushing can be needed either weekly or daily, and more frequently during times of heavy shedding (note the whiskers should not be trimmed).

Exercise & Environment

Border Collies are high energy dogs and so need more than the average daily walk. They can live in or outdoors. As a minimum they will need two half-hour sessions of intense physical activity, during which mental exercises should be included such as ball tossing. When used as working dogs this exercise will be provided by their daily herding tasks. When taken on as family pets, any yards or gardens need to be securely fenced to keep them safe as they may try to herd anything that looks to collect into groups or flocks, including traffic, unless taught otherwise.


FCIFCI - Federation Cynologique Internationale
KCThe Kennel Club (UK)
AKCAKC - American Kennel Club

Breed Clubs

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