Dog Breed 101: Border Collie

Written by Dr. Muqeet Mushtaq DVM, MS ABG (Animal Breeding and Genetics)



A bright, ingenious breed, the Border collie is the perfect dog to be a pet. They are very friendly and love their owners' company

Border collies are very passionate and energetic dogs. So, they must be provided with the opportunity to do exercises like running and playing to keep them healthy and fit.


The Border collie is developed to work as a sheepherding dog, but he can manage any herd. This breed created in the lowland and border counties of England and Scotland and is 1700 years old. Border collie's ancestors are thought to be other forms of collies, such as the bearded collie and Scotch collie. Some historians also believe that the Spaniel could be involved anywhere in their pedigree.

During the 19th century, the Border collie became popular among the soft-spoken people for the English gentry. Even today, they are used for herding sheep and cattle and are family pets. Because they are easily trained, Border collies are also used for police work, drug and bomb detection, and search and rescue missions.


Border collies are active and known as working dogs. They are best suited as country dog. If limited without activity and company, these dogs can be unhappy and destructive. The breed is excellent, learns quickly and responds well to compliments.

Because of his sheep-goat instincts, he is a protector of his family and the area and takes the best care. They will look for family children. Although they get along well with babies and other pets raised with them, they can sometimes get nasty with strangers


They are adorable creatures. To prevent embarrassment among strangers, young Border collies should be well socialized from an early age. Also, they should be given obedience training to help prevent collies' tendency to run away or chase cars.

Border collies are considered average shedders. It is essential to brush them weekly to keep the coat looking good. This species lives for 10 to 14 years.

Breed Characteristics

Weight Ranges:

  1. Males: 30–45 lbs.
  2. Females: 30–42 lbs.

Height at Withers:

  1. Males: 22 in.
  2. Females:20 in.

Other Features

  • Ears: Upright (naturally)
  • Exercise Requirements:>40 minutes/day
  • Energy Level: Very Energetic
  • Social/Attention Needs: Moderate
  • Tendency to Snore: Low
  • Longevity Range: 10–14 yrs.
  • Bred For: Sheepherding
  • Tendency to Dig: Low
  • Tendency to Drool: Low 
  • Tendency to Bark: High
Coat Characteristics
  • Length: Medium
  • Characteristics: Double coats, straight
  • Colours: Black with red and white, or without white, tri-colour, bi-colour, solid colour, merle, sable.
  • Overall Grooming Necessities: Moderates
Club Recognitions
  • AKC Classification: Herding
  • UKC Classification: Herding Dogs
  • Prevalence: Common

Border collies are medium-sized dogs. They look like light Australian shepherds, but instead of Aussie's bobtail feature, Border collie has a winged tail that reaches the Hock joint. The head is like a complete piece, and the body is slightly longer than other medium-sized dog's. The ears are erected.

Some Border collies have coats about three inches long, while others have one inch wide coats. Long-haired Border collies are usually lush and shiny coats and have hairy tails.

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