breed
breed

Border Collie

avatarChristy McDowell, LVT, VTS (ECC)

Height18-21"
Weight40 lbs
TypeHerding
Life Expectancy10 - 17 years
Area of OriginGreat Britain

Energy Level

Playfulness

Friendliness to dogs

Friendliness to strangers

exercise requirements

affection level

friendliness to other pets

watchfulness

Grooming Requirements

Vocality

The Border Collie is one of the world's best herding dogs and have working on the Scottish Borders for centuries. They are extremely hard workers and very intelligent. The breed does require a lot of time and energy to keep them occupied, but will settle down to cuddle when the workday is over.  

Energy Level

Playfulness

Friendliness to dogs

Friendliness to strangers

exercise requirements

affection level

friendliness to other pets

watchfulness

Grooming Requirements

Vocality

Where Are Border Collies From?

The Border Collie was a sheep herding dog in the British Isles, especially Scotland, long before Great Britain became industrialized. They came to Britain when the Roman Empire invaded and occupied Britain in the year 43, bringing livestock and dogs along with them. When Rome fell and Vikings invaded, Viking dogs were crossed with the Roman breeds, creating the Border Collie.

The breed officially got its name in the 1890s, due to its probable origin along the English and Scottish border. Popularity of the Border Collie began in the late 1800s, when competitive sheep dog trials began and the breed outshined all other dogs in its class. Border Collies routinely have been at the top of the list for world’s smartest dogs and have ruled agility competitions. The breed did not join the American Kennel Club until 1995 and are number 35 in breed popularity overall.

Where Are Border Collies From?

The Border Collie was a sheep herding dog in the British Isles, especially Scotland, long before Great Britain became industrialized. They came to Britain when the Roman Empire invaded and occupied Britain in the year 43, bringing livestock and dogs along with them. When Rome fell and Vikings invaded, Viking dogs were crossed with the Roman breeds, creating the Border Collie.

The breed officially got its name in the 1890s, due to its probable origin along the English and Scottish border. Popularity of the Border Collie began in the late 1800s, when competitive sheep dog trials began and the breed outshined all other dogs in its class. Border Collies routinely have been at the top of the list for world’s smartest dogs and have ruled agility competitions. The breed did not join the American Kennel Club until 1995 and are number 35 in breed popularity overall.

Care

What Kind of Diet Does a Border Collie Need?

The Border Collie does well on a high-quality diet. Depending on their activity level, some may require a higher caloric intake than others. Discuss any dietary concerns with your veterinarian.

Caring for a Border Collie

What Kind of Diet Does a Border Collie Need?

How Often Should You Brush a Border Collie?

Are Border Collies Healthy Dogs?

Can You Train a Border Collie?

How Much Exercise Does a Border Collie Need?

What Kind of Diet Does a Border Collie Need?

The Border Collie does well on a high-quality diet. Depending on their activity level, some may require a higher caloric intake than others. Discuss any dietary concerns with your veterinarian.

What Are Physical Characteristics of a Border Collie?

The Border Collie is a medium-sized, well-balanced dog. The breed’s expression is very keen and alert. The desired height is 18 – 21 inches at the shoulder and the desired weight is around 40 pounds.

Collies’ eyes are rounded, of medium size, and come in any color. The ears are medium sized and one or both are carried erect and/or semi-erect. The nose is fully pigmented. The skull itself is mostly flat and approximately the same length as the muzzle.

The body of a Border Collie is hard and muscular. They are athletic in bearing with a deep, yet broad, chest.

The tail hangs down and is medium in length. A happy or excited Border Collie may carry the tail high, but never over the back.

The shoulders are long and well laid back and equal in length to the upper arm. The dewclaws are sometimes removed.

The Border Collie comes in two coat varieties, smooth and rough. Both are dense, weather-resistant double coats with a straight or wavy top coat. The smooth coat is short and coarse with feathering on forelegs and chest. The rough coat varies in length and has feathering on the forelimbs, chest and belly. The fur on the head and front of the legs is short and smooth. Border Collies can be seen in all colors and markings.

The hind limbs are strong and well muscled. The dewclaws are typically removed to prevent injury.

Border Collie Facts

1

The Border Collie was initially known as the "Scotch Sheep Dog."

2

The breed has been featured in movies like "Babe" and "Animal Farm."

3

"Old Hemp", an early ancestor of today's Border Collie, remains undefeated in English sheepdog trials to this day.

Other Breeds to Explore

Australian Shepherd
Choosing an Australian Cattle Dog
Choosing a Bearded Collie

References

  • Morris, Desmond. Dogs: The Ultimate Dictionary of Over 1,000 Dog Breeds. Trafalgar Square, 2002.
  • American Kennel Club. The Complete Dog Book. Random House Digital, Inc., 2006.
  • Wilcox, Bonnie and Chris Walkowicz. The Atlas of Dog Breeds of the World. T.F.H Publications, Inc., 1995.
  • Kriss, Randa. “Border Collie Dog Breed Information.” American Kennel Club, 6 Nov. 2017, www.akc.org/dog-breeds/border-collie.

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