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Border Collie


Border Collie


General Description:

The Border Collie has a great sense of humor, yet can also be an extremely intense and serious worker. They are gentle loving dogs, but can be whirling-dervishes. They love having jobs to do and will always do them to the best of their ability - with a flair. They move at top speed to accomplish any task. Despite what you may think, sheep herding training classes are available locally and are extremely rewarding for the dogs, and even for us novice recreational herders. The breed is always eager to perform, but direction is needed. No one should expect a Border Collie to be satisfied being an outdoor, backyard dog, as they prefer to be with their families at all times. They need a strong handler who can teach the dog what is expected and require compliance. Give an inch, a Border will take a mile. They are not BORN obedience competitors nor movie stars; training is required.



30 to 50 pounds, between 18" and 22" tall at the shoulder.



Black & white, Red & white, Sable, Tri-Color or Blue Merle.


Energy Level:

Extremely high.


Life expectancy:

12-14 years.



NOT recommended for families with children under 12 (generally).


Other animals:

Good with other dogs, can be cat-chasing obsessed, small animals (gerbils, guinea-pigs, birds) should not be left alone unsupervised around a Border Collie.



A most versatile athletic breed: High-scoring Obedience competitor, as well as sheep-herding, Agility, Flyball, Tracking, Search & Rescue, Frisbee. They tend to love boating, swimming, hiking, jogging, camping and retrieving balls.



Minimal grooming required. They don't mind getting muddy, so regular bathing will be necessary.



Genetic diseases known to affect Border Collies are: Eye Disorders (Progressive Retinal Atrophy & Collie Eye Anomaly) should be checked by a certified canine ophthalmologist; Hip Displasia and epilepsy. Athletic injuries are fairly common.


Best with:

Border Collies need experienced & confident dog owners who will definitely be in charge, setting rules. They need regular jobs and ongoing training to avoid boredom. Fenced yard mandatory. Time and energy to keep up with such an active breed. Best for people who like to talk to their dogs often.


Not for:

Not the right breed for inactive owners who cannot commit to providing daily exercise. Not for people who lack dog-obedience training skills nor those uninterested in seeking athletic dog training. Generally not recommended for families with toddlers or small children, apartment-dwellers or homes with white carpets. Not for people who work long hours, are gone from home a lot, who lack the time and energy for such an active breed. Not for backyard living 24-7.



Very intelligent and easy to train, affectionate, athletic, fast. Love taking direction - never say "no thanks!". Silent, seldom bark. Tend to stay home, rather than wander. Observant and intuitive (may read your mind). Eager to "go" and "do" anything. Extremely versatile. Come when called. Listen closely, pay attention. Devoted to family. Very observant and intuitive. Learn quickly (good and bad) and they "listen". Give the best hugs. Very focused on owner rather than other dogs or people. They can be quiet and calm inside the house.



They are sensitive and will pout after a correction. They can be protective of family and home, so need established limits. Due to herding instincts, the Border Collie is noted for nipping (never tolerated) running children, motorcycles, lawnmowers, bicycles, trucks and cars. Can exhibit obsessive-compulsive behaviors and demand to "work" or "play". High energy demands require daily off-leash (yet controlled) running. Very sight & sound sensitive, leading to quirky behaviors (i.e. unrealistic fear or aggression) because of moving shadows, bugs, sneeze or cough, clapping, toaster pop, ringing bells, ringing phone, vacuum, hair dryer, thunder & lightening, gunshots or fireworks. Can jump fences.


Further Information:

Breed Details

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