Border Collie

Group 5: Working
Male: 48 – 53 cm
Female: 46 – 51 cm

Energy Level:  High – Very high
Original Function: Herding
Lifespan: 12 – 15 yrs

Recommended for: Working homes, active people & families. 

Note: Boredom can lead to behavior problems, nuisance barking, car chasing, digging, etc.

Border Collie

About This Breed

The Border Collie was developed for herding sheep in the border countries of England, Scotland and Wales. They were once known as the English Shepherd. The word Collie is believed to be a corruption of the words ‘colley’ or ‘ coalie’ meaning a black-faced sheep.

Border Collies are always ready to work, attentive, lively and alert. They will form a very close bond with their owner and family but, unless given plenty of time and exercise, are not ideal pets for a family with very young children as it is in their nature to herd anything that moves – your children included!

They are totally devoted to their master and will follow him/her to the ends of the earth! They are extremely intelligent and always eager to please, which makes them easy to train. They excel in obedience and sheepdog trials. They make great pets and are happy in family life with energetic kids to keep them occupied.

General Characteristics

Appearance: Medium sized, well proportioned dog, the smooth outline showing quality, gracefulness and perfect balance, combined with sufficient substance to ensure that it is capable of enduring long periods of active duty in its intended task as a working sheep dog. Any tendency to coarseness or weediness is undesirable.

Temperament & Characteristics: Highly intelligent, with an instinctive tendency to work and is readily responsive to training. Its keen, alert and eager expression add to its intelligent appearance, whilst its loyal and faithful nature demonstrates that it is at all times kindly disposed towards stock. Any aspect of structure or temperament foreign to a working dog is uncharacteristic.

Coat: Double coated, with a moderately long, dense, medium textured topcoat while the undercoat is short, soft and dense, making a weather resisting protection, with abundant coat to form mane, breeching and brush. On face, ear tips, forelegs (except for feather), hind legs from hock to ground, the hair is short and smooth.

Colour: Black and white, blue and white, chocolate and white, red and white, blue merle and the tri-colour black, tan and white. In each case the basic body colour must predominate and be the background colour of the dog.

Grooming: Easy to maintain providing they are brushed once a week and any tangles dealt with on a regular basis. The feathering down the front legs and tail should be trimmed when necessary.

Exercise: these dogs thrive on hard work and play. They love to swim. These dogs MUST have plenty of exercise to keep them well-muscled and to keep their brains occupied. Failure to do this can result in the Border becoming extremely badly behaved and aggressive.

Health: This breed is generally hardy but some can suffer from Ceroid Lipofuscin sis (CL), CEA (commonly known as Collie Eye) which are both inherited diseases and PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy) and also some joint problems.