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Border Collie

The Border Collie is a medium size dog renowned for its unique herding techniques. The head is well proportioned, with a muzzle that tapers slightly toward the nose. Eyes are wide set, medium in size and oval shaped – color is typically brown but may be blue in merle dogs. Ears are set apart and carried erect or semi-erect; it is common to see one ear erect and the other semi-erect in some dogs. The Border Collie’s expression is intelligent and interested. The body is substantially muscular and facilitates graceful, fluid movement. The topline is level with an arch over the loin. The tail is set and carried low. The Border Collie’s coat is either rough or smooth, but in either case constitutes a soft, dense undercoat protected by a coarse, weather resistant outer coat. Coloring can be just about anything, including, solid, tricolor, bicolor, sable and merle.


Fast Facts

11 - 14 years
Scotland and England
19th century
35 - 45 lb
30 - 40 lb
20 - 23"
18 - 21"
Boarder Collie, Border Colly, or Border Colle.

Border Collie Temperament

The Border Collie is an uncannily intelligent dog with a natural inclination toward work and herding things in general, be it sheep, cars, or other animals....

It is an alert, diligent and highly energetic dog. The Border Collie is also very responsive and easily trained. The dog has a good habit of remembering orders even when its master is out of sight, and requires minimal supervision when working. While reserved in the face of strangers, the Border Collie can be quite affectionate towards those it recognizes and is comfortable around. The dog’s characteristic stare during work and play can be quite endearing for its family, but may be disturbing for other animals. Border Collies have a reputation for not getting along well with small animals, though they are usually pretty good with dogs. This dog is protective of its family.

Caring For a Border Collie

If you can’t give the Border Collie a job to do, then at least make sure you can devote at least 45 minutes a day to providing it with exhausting, vigorous exercise....

A game in the park or a challenging obedience training session is preferred. Proper socialization around cats and strangers, and to a lesser extent other dogs, is important and should begin at a young age. The Border Collie can live outside in moderate climates, but is infinitely happier when allowed to sleep indoors with its family. The Border Collie is not suited to living in an apartment, and needs ready access to a yard. Coat care involves a biweekly brushing session. The Border Collie is susceptible to canine hip dysplasia, and on rare occasions may develop diseases such as progressive retinal atrophy, CEA, seizures, lens luxation, PDA, OCD and deafness.

Border Collie History

A Brief History of the Border Collie

The name Border Collie tells just about all that is known of the origins of this uncannily intelligent dog....

The breed originated along the border between Scotland and England, and one of its ancestors was probably the Collie, which was well known among Scottish shepherds during the 19th century. Other than that, the Border Collie is really an amalgamation of an untold number of British shepherding dogs, with function over form being the driving factor of the dog’s breeding. A dog named Hemp, who appeared at the first sheepdog trial in 1873, is commonly thought of as the first Border Collie. Unlike other herding dogs, who would bark and nip at the sheep in order to force them into compliance, Hemp would use a peculiar stare (the so-called “eye”) to cow the sheep without raising his voice. Hemp’s great skills laid the groundwork for the breed’s future popularity, and in 1906 the first breed standard for the Border Collie was drawn up; fittingly enough, the standard made no mention of the dog’s appearance and instead focused solely on its working habits. The Border Collie was introduced to the United States during the early 20th century, and quickly gained a strong foothold among American shepherds. Nevertheless, AKC recognition would take a very long time, as fans of the breed worried that breeding Border Collies to conform to a certain appearance would diminish the dog’s unparalleled intelligence. Amid heated opposition, the Border Collie was recognized by the American Kennel Club as a member of the Herding Group in 1995. Today, the Border Collie is still used to herd sheep, and is also a perennial winner at herding trials and competitive obedience events.