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Border Collie

Obedient, intelligent, energetic, eager to learn, Border Collies are famous for its ability to safely and effectively work as herder dogs.

Overall Status

Height 18 to 22 inches at the shoulder
Temperament Affectionate, Smart, Energetic
Weight 30 to 45 pounds
Life Expectancy 12 to 16 years
Coat Color Black, Blue, Brindle, Gray, Red
Barking Level Frequent

Quick Factors

Dog Friendly
Exercise Need
Grooming Needs
Strangers Friendly
Family Affectionate
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Daily Care

Grooming Tips

The Border Collie has a double coat that comes in two types. One is short and smooth, sometimes with a bit of feathering on the front legs.

The other, known as a rough coat, is medium to long with hair that is flat or slightly wavy. Either way, expect to brush a Border Collie once or twice a week to remove dead hair and keep shedding to a minimum.

Otherwise, just keep his ears clean and bathe him if he gets dirty. The rest is basic care. Trim the nails as needed. Active Border Collies often wear their nails down naturally, but it’s a good idea to check them weekly to see if they need a trim. Brush the teeth frequently for overall good health and fresh breath.

Exercise Tips

This high-drive, athletic breed is extremely energetic and requires dailyexercisebeyond just a walk around the block or a quick romp in the yard. They thrive when they have a job to do and space to run.

A Border Collie who doesn’t work must be provided with vigorous exercise every day. Clearly, this is a breed for an active owner, and not for someone who prefers to stay indoors or who travels away from home frequently.

BCs often participate (and excel) inherdingevents, not to mentionobedience,agility,rally, andtracking competitions, and sports such as flying disc and flyball.

Feeding Tips

Border Collies are energetic dogs, so feeding it the proper nutrition is important to its overall health and well-being. These nutritional needs can come from high-quality commercial dog food, but feel free to supplement with vegetables and fruit.

You should always check that your Border Collie is getting the proper amount of amino acids, protein and vitamin B12 found in meat-based foods.

Health Tips

The Border Collie is generally a very hardy and healthy breed, and aresponsible breederwill screen breeding stock for health conditions such aship dysplasia, progressive renal atrophy, deafness, epilepsy, collie eye anomaly, neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis, and trapped neutrophil syndrome.

A BC’s ears should be checked regularly for signs of infection, and the teeth should be brushed regularly.


Both rewarding and frustrating, the Border Collie is considered by some to be the smartest of all dog breeds. As a trainer, you’ll have to establish your dominance early otherwise your dog may try to exploit the situation. Try to incorporate treats and play time into all of your training sessions.

The Border Collie has a natural love of performing tricks, and you’ll find that your dog will love to perform for an audience.

When training, it is important to remember that you’ll have more success with your Border Collie if you keep it positive. Harsh commands or treatment won’t get you the results you’re after. Make sure to come prepared with lots of patience and consistency.


The Border Collie originated in the border country between Scotland and England.

At the royal castle in Balmoral, Queen Victoria fell in love with a Collie, and that's the point at which the differences between today's Collie and Border Collie began to form.

Border Collies from good working lines are still the best sheepherding dogs in the world, and highly prized for their work ethic and capabilities.

The Border Collie was admitted to the ranks of American Kennel Club breeds in 1995, much to the dismay of many of his adherents. Since then, the breed has split into show and working lines. The Border Collie ranks 47thamong the breeds registered by the AKC, up from 64thin 2000. Working Border Collies remain popular with shepherds, farmers and ranchers everywhere.

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