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Border Collie

Border Collie

This article also relates to: Welsh Red Collie

 

The Border Collie originates from...

Believed to be a direct descendent of the Landrace Collie that was typically encountered in the British Isles, the Border Collie derives its name from its likely place of origin, along the Anglo-Saxon border. Originally bred as a working dog used to herd sheep in rural mountainous regions, and much earlier as a favourite amongst Vikings for herding reindeer, the Border Collie has established prowess as the traditional working sheepdog. The popularity of the Border Collie has remained constant throughout its history, appealing to owners because of its versatility, appearance and inherent working temperament.

 

The Border Collie is characterised by...

Highly trainable, the breed needs ample exercise and responds well to instruction, demonstrating obedience, intelligence and enthusiasm. Socialisation is important for the Border Collie from an early age as it thrives on company and is prone to displays of shyness. The Border Collie possesses a double coat, making it well suited to extreme climates, and is commonly recognised in tricolour variations of black, white, tan, sable, chocolate, blue merle and brindle. The coat is typically medium length and the stature of the breed is athletic, with proportioned limbs, high-set ears and ovular eyes that are characteristically brown or blue if the dog is of a merle colouration.

The average Border Collie...

Although possessing a strong tracking instinct and intelligence that demands physical and mental enrichment, the Border Collie is a relatively docile breed, engaging calmly with new situations and people, whilst being vigilant to threat and change. The Border Collie is a great companion dog, enjoying constant company and being obedient to its owner. On average a healthy adult Border Collie will weigh 12-20 kg, although there are discrepancies across gender, with a life expectancy of 12-15 years.

 

Because no breed is without its weakness...

Bred for its hardiness, the Border Collie is generally healthy but cases of hip and elbow dysplasia, epilepsy and early-onset deafness have been seen in the breed, usually occurring between the ages of 1 and 8 years old.

 

 

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Our Border Collie owners' thoughts

Added on 09/09/2013
Joined 06/08/2012
From Lincolnshire, United Kingdom

Hi Jack is a blue merle collie he is very good although he hates loud noises and will hide if not given reassurance he will run for miles given the chance but now he is older he has settles down at home. I have found with him that it is not really about giving him long walks (although he does love this) but more about working his mind will tire him out more and he loves nothing more than playing frisbie.

Added on 14/02/2014
Joined 26/09/2011
From Devon, United Kingdom

Bramble (Florence) is a Border Collie x Springer, she has high energy levels even now she is 9 years old. She is a mischievous girl who loves agility, although her slightly wide Springer rump has always prevented her jumping the high jumps. She loves long walks 5-6 miles at the weekends, and 3 good walks a week during the working week which include playing with her chuckit ball and a floppy frisbee. She is an intelligent and focused girl who understands in excess of 100 words and at least 30 phrases. We recently introduced a 5 year old male rescue Collie to our family who has become her best friend and playmate, he has given her a whole new lease of life.

Added on 12/09/2014
Joined 31/03/2014
From Wiltshire, United Kingdom

Skip is a young tri coloured border collie, he has high energy levels but is the most amazingly intelligent dog. I am a dairy farmer, I start work at 3.30 am and am lucky to be finished by 6 pm, Skip happily spends all day with me on the farm, is very well behaved and has more energybleft at the end of the day than his human counterpart!
A truly amazing breed...

Added on 03/04/2015
Joined 31/07/2014
From East Renfrewshire, United Kingdom

Moss is a chocolate trio merle border collie, he is only 13mths old but already shows signs of having a very strong character & I've already had to show him that I'm the boss. He is my 3rd collie and I think with plenty of exercise and training they are the best family pet you can have, as long as you put in the work at an early age.

Added on 05/05/2015
Joined 28/08/2014
From Herefordshire, United Kingdom

3 year old Meg and 8 Year old Sky are both Border Collies but with very different temperaments. Meg is very outgoing and sociable and is definitely the boss! Sky is quite timid but is a very affectionate girl once she gets to know you. Meg is obsessed with playing ball games, but is very obedient and has a great recall. Sky ambles along quite happily doing her own thing out on walks. I adore them both!

Added on 05/09/2015
Joined 05/09/2015
From Conwy, United Kingdom

Very quick to pick up new things good or bad maybe not an ideal dog for the novice owner.loyal attentive endless energy and perfect activity dog...ball mad and a big softy..wouldn't have anything else

Added on 24/11/2015
Joined 19/06/2013
From Somerset, United Kingdom

I love Border Collies, they are smart, active, keen to please and wonderful people dogs. However you need to be prepared to put in the work exercising, training and keeping them fully mentally stimulated, unless you are prepared to do this don't get a Border Collie There are enough in rescue as it is and just as you wouldn't fob a child off onto someone else when you have had enough of them the same applies for all dogs but especially for BC's

Added on 06/01/2016
Joined 27/06/2012
From Hampshire, United Kingdom

I have two border collies Jess and Kia litter sisters aged nearly 13 but have only just started to show there age. Jess is very hyper where as Kia is quite shy. They have given us great fun with lots of hilarious moments but if you are thinking of getting one or even two they are very active and require lots of stimulation, so be prepared. Fantastic breed.

Added on 12/07/2016
Joined 07/04/2011
From Kent, United Kingdom

I own 4 border collies at present. They all have very different personalities however. Tootsie is very insular and doesn't interact much with the others or people. She is quite independent and doesn't like fuss or cuddles. She prefers her own space. She comes from a working and show background and was home bred. Depp is her uncle and, also home bred from working and show lines. he's much more loving and likes to have cuddles and kisses. He is quite protective of his territory though and will intimidate visitors to the house if he gets the chance. He's a good guard dog :-). Finn is from show lines, home bred, and is very loving. he adores people and is very friendly to everybody and loves to get fussed. He and Depp love to play fetch and will do it all day if they get the chance, great entertainment for kids! They also love to play football. My youngster Boo is a Merle and came from a farm, her dad works sheep so she has strong herding instincts. She's quite wary of new people but once she gets use to you she loves giving kisses and getting fuss. All of them need plenty of exercise so we walk at least 2 hours a day off lead and I take tennis balls and toys on a rope for them to fetch and chase so they get an extra work out. We also compete at agility and Flyball which helps to keep them mentally stimulated as they can become a bit destructive if they get bored. By that I mean hole digging in The garden or chewing the fencing or furniture. All of mine are fine with other dogs because I socialise them at dog shows/comps and at training from puppyhood, collies do need to have that socialisation with other dogs from an early age. They can be nippy and sharp sometimes so you need to be a strong pack leader and ensure you let them know what is / isn't acceptable and give them clear boundaries. They are in the main quite quick to pick things up and are easier to train than other breeds because they generally want to please you and get praise which they love. If you enjoy spending time outdoors in all weathers, like to play games and want a devoted companion then a collie is for you :-)

Added on 21/10/2016
Joined 20/09/2016
From Oxfordshire, United Kingdom

I have had 6 boarder collies, 3 tri's one white and black, one black and white, and a tri colour merle. All have been different. The tri merle is the worst i have had. He was attacked at 14 weeks. His best mate had to be put down through a turmor. He is 3 years old and i have thought hard wether to have him put down. We been to training which made him worst. He tries to attack anybody anything. From buses to bikes from strangers to anyone near the grandchildern

Added on 08/01/2017
Joined 24/03/2016
From Wrecsam, United Kingdom

Sheba is 14 years old . Came to live with us whem mum passed away. She is Very loving and affectionate to everyone does not matter who even strangers. But she has a stubborn streak if she does not want to do something thats it nothing or any treats will make her want to do it. She is set in her ways and was spoilt rotten by mum. Never been trained or taught anything previously but since being with us has picked up many things . Sheba certainly is the boss of our two dogs other being a 5 year old female mal Bella. She quietly gets her own way helps herself to Bella s bone will have hers on her bed then go and pinch Bella s. She will rush to get on Bella s bed despite having her own . Bella being a very active dog always wants to play sheba just looks at her and moves away . She is so easy going . There could not be two very different types of dog . It's unbelievable the vast difference between breeds of dogs .

Added on 30/01/2017
Joined 05/11/2014
From Northamptonshire, United Kingdom

I have a 18 month old border collie. Cooper is a super dog, very loving and loyal and his training is coming on well. He can be very excitable especially when meeting new people and has lots of energy. We have just started Flyball which is great for his mental stimulation, and energy. Fantastic breed with children but needs exercise and attention.

Added on 08/05/2017
Joined 06/05/2017
From Northamptonshire, United Kingdom

Alfie is a 5 year old all white bc. He is very calm and laid back. He adores children and plays gently with them. He is my soul companion and can't imagine life without him

Added on 22/11/2017
Joined 29/04/2017
From Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom

Bodhi is a blue merle border collie. He's as daft as a brush (ive been led to believe border collies are highly intelligent-mine appears to be broken), but at my side through thick and thin..unfortunately this can include being chapperoned to the toilet too! I find that whilst he does enjoy his belly runs and an occasional lapdog moment he is not excessively needy for psyhical attention like some breeds;as long as he can be in your presences he's happy.not mad for playing with ball or frisbee like some but will walk and explore for miles so hes brilliant for getting you out the house and active! Great with kids..zero herding takes place which im glad of!a true and honest member of my pack!

Added on 16/12/2017

Hi all Border collies,
In March this year we had to let our Holly go over the rainbow bridge aged only 8years.
She developed epilepsy at 6years and although she was very well cared for, gave up the long struggle.

We’ve had 2 BC’s over 21 years, both from Issa registered workinging stock. They were both lovely girls from 8 weeks old and adapted well to an ordinary domestic home with cats. Yes, they are demanding for time and trouble, but oh what a joy and we found for every minute of love and jobs given to them, they gave hours in return.

We feel the time is right to seek out another pup. Nine months is a long time without a Border Collie . Our previous sources in the Midlands have both retired from farming so finding a trusted supplier is not so easy. We’ve seen many pups advertised, some very cheap but from people who I wouldn’t trust, and some from so-called. breeders asking extortionate prices. However, the search continues and I’m sure that we will find the right one at the right price. We managed it twice before and will do it again. It’s a very hard decision to make as it’s so easy to make the wrong one. Some I have seen looked to me like they might not belong to the owners. I would hate to find I owned a pup that was stolen. Sooooo much to check out but in the end it will have been worth the wait.

Added on 28/01/2018
Joined 27/01/2018
From Cornwall, United Kingdom

I have a tri colour bitch called Madge. She is very homely and loves to cuddle up on the settee. She lives with myself and a German Shepherd and I think she is the boss over the Shepherd. She has a very strong character, a little aloof with new people until she gets to know them, hates tinkly bell like sounds but is so intelligent. She knows that if she gets a toy the GSD has got to have it, so if he's on the settee and she - Madge - wants to go on the sette, she gets a toy so he jumps off to get the toy and she then gets on the settee......how's that for using the brain to your advantage?! I always have Collies and Shepherds together as they are equal company both exercise and intelligence wise, but beware they both need daily grooming!!! Definitely 2 breeds i will always have.

Added on 11/02/2018

Hi Iam a tri coloured border collie from Dumfries. I love company and I am quite obedient even though Iam only one.
I love to play and my favourite toy is two balls attached to rope. I took a bit of getting used to not being sick whilst travelling but Iam ok now. I am very loyal and loving and love going for long walks.

Added on 29/03/2018
Joined 27/12/2012
From Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom

My Border Collie is a failed Working Sheepdog who was rescued from the farm. He was very badly treated and as a result is scared of strangers, especially old men with sticks and flat caps. He has come a long way as we couldn't touch, look at or speak to him when we first met him, but he still prefers not to be touched by strangers.
He is reasonably intelligent (although my JRT cross is cleverer- I don't think collies are as clever as people make out!),and very loyal and obedient for me. He's a one person dog. He's mostly wonderful but doesn't appreciate people invading his space or ridiculously friendly dogs that don't take a hint, and he needs (complete with nipping) when he gets excited.

I can't stress strongly enough that collies aren't really pet dogs, particularly farm dogs that really have it in their blood to work- different to show/pet bred collies. They need to be kept busy, and most seem to not cope well with changes to routines, strangers, noises, too much fussing etc.
They will not be happy sitting at home all day. I walk 12 to 18 miles a day with my BC- 15 miles on average, for which time he is running, playing with other dogs, herding me and my other dog, playing with the ball and being very busy, so he goes much further than my mileage. If you don't want to/ can't commit to walking A LOT, every day in all weathers then please don't get this breed as you will create an incredibly unhappy dog.

Added on 29/03/2018
Joined 27/12/2012
From Nottinghamshire, United Kingdom

My Border Collie is a failed Working Sheepdog who was rescued from the farm. He was very badly treated and as a result is scared of strangers, especially old men with sticks and flat caps. He has come a long way as we couldn't touch, look at or speak to him when we first met him, but he still prefers not to be touched by strangers.
He is reasonably intelligent (although my JRT cross is cleverer- I don't think collies are as clever as people make out!),and very loyal and obedient for me. He's a one person dog. He's mostly wonderful but doesn't appreciate people invading his space or ridiculously friendly dogs that don't take a hint, and he herds (complete with nipping) when he gets excited.

I can't stress strongly enough that collies aren't really pet dogs, particularly farm dogs that really have it in their blood to work- different to show/pet bred collies. They need to be kept busy, and most seem to not cope well with changes to routines, strangers, noises, too much fussing etc.
They will not be happy sitting at home all day. I walk 12 to 18 miles a day with my BC- 15 miles on average, for which time he is running, playing with other dogs, herding me and my other dog, playing with the ball and being very busy, so he goes much further than my mileage. If you don't want to/ can't commit to walking A LOT, every day in all weathers then please don't get this breed as you will create an incredibly unhappy dog.
My dog loves to learn commands and we do lots of training. My dogs are my world but I can't imagine a BC being happy if they aren't busy- mentally and physically!

Added on 29/05/2018
Joined 29/05/2018
From North Yorkshire, United Kingdom

Hi I have the most beautiful Tri-coloured Merle collie. She is 9 and I got her as a rescue when she was 20 weeks. She has been the most beautiful natured, loyal friend and companion to me through so much. She is hard to tire even now but lately she has been having issues with her hips and we have had to stop her running and jumping too much. She is generally good with other dogs but ever so occasionally they get too friendly and she will try to avoid but if they persist she will give them a nip. She lives with 5 cats and plays lovely with them. Good with kids and will go up to her bed when she has had enough of them. I have been truly blessed with this canine friend and love her very much.

Added on 30/05/2018
Joined 09/10/2016
From Surrey, United Kingdom

My 10 year old collie is bright eyed, fast as a racehorse and can sing !

He comes to work with me every day and has the official title of office manager and doorbell !

He loves fireworks and his ball on a string and is a very happy boy !

Added on 17/06/2018
Joined 22/01/2015
From Sir Ceredigion, United Kingdom

These boys are simply amazing. Born just a couple of weeks prior to our old boy passing away they made for a lovely distraction. 7 in the litter and no two the same.

Chubby is the red boy and stitch the blue tri. They are such loyal, loving dogs. Although we have Collies on the farm these two aren't working dogs. Belonging 1 each to my daughters they both have completely different personalities. Chubby is a big baby. He loves nothing more than to try and sneak upon your lap and pretend he is a Chihuahua, curls as tight as possible and sleeps for hours. Stitch is definitely a 1 person dog, that being my eldest daughter. Stitch is very intelligent and she has taught him numerous tricks but also useful things like unloading the washing machine, closing doors behind him and he loves agility. He isn't a cuddly dog, he prefers to sit at your feet in loyalty. Both dogs are super friendly and both will protect my girls. Chubby has a little anxiety particularly around strange men but he quickly comes around. He will go away and hide rather than stick around.

We have quite a menajory here and I wouldn't be without any of them. If your not an animal person don't come to my home. They live here you don't.

Added on 04/09/2018
Joined 04/09/2018
From Suffolk, United Kingdom

Eager to please, very active, affectionate, loyal to the end, fantastic breed to own if you are active, my Kodi will only come for a cuddle on her terms, but, when she cuddles it is brilliant. Superb agility/fly-ball/Heel work to music dogs always eager to do the right thing. Would not want to be without my Collies

Added on 07/10/2018
Joined 01/12/2016
From Highland, United Kingdom

I have a tri coloured collie who’s 2 years and 3 months, he is the most loving dog, he loves to play
, go for walks, has a mountain of toys and life is never dull.once you have a collie your life changes for the better.

Added on 21/10/2018
Joined 22/02/2010
From Kent, United Kingdom

Blake is my second Border Collie . I lost my other one at 14years . I adore this breed but they are not easy you must have a sense of humour to own one but they are very loyal and Blake is only 7 months old but is very obedient AND LOTS OF FUN .if you have a lot of patience and are active these dogs are a pleasure to own .

Added on 13/11/2018
Joined 13/11/2018
From East Sussex, United Kingdom

Our flute is a wonderful well behaved boy his a black and white pure border collie and he has been apart of our family for over ten years his is fun loving and loves meeting his friends adores kids and other animals .his perfect for our family we had four children at home when he first came to us . He was playful for many years and having collies before we knew the training and he has been the best dog I have ever had the pleasure to be a guardian for he never has liked fireworks but likes our local beach car rides and even doing some night work in a supported living home with 32 teenagers his always been very calm and loyal to us never run off his run home a few times but never run away . His a popular dog within our community. But his in his late years now his 14/15 years old and his joins are not as they used to be but with his medication he still loves a walk . But he chooses with who when when.

Added on 22/01/2019
Joined 23/09/2018
From Shropshire, United Kingdom

We have always had border collies Lizzie is our fifth.and our first tricolour girlie
the others were all black and white with different coat lengths Our first was Patch she went on th have 6 pups and we kept one (the runt) called Banquo because he used to follow Patch everywhere When we lost Patch we rescued Digger another male he was x collie he hated leather jackets and tesco carrier bags!! We then had Jessie who was extra special gentle loving and unfortuneatly died in an accident on the day that Lizzie was born so obviously we had to take her. Lizzie is a product of farm dogs she is very busy!! hence the name. She loves long walks but has no interest in the sheep around here thankfully.She is gentle with our grandson and a good watch dog. She hates big lorries and tractors she would go for wheels if she could .She has to stay on the lead as she has a tendency to bolt. she loves ripping toys to bits too I would recommend collies to anyone as they are loyal and loving but do need plenty of exercise As we live in the countryside that is not a problem. She doesn't like loud bangs but will bark at visitors then lick them to death haha when they enter. She is a beautiful animal who loves jumping in shallow water abd barking at the ripples

Added on 03/02/2019
Joined 27/01/2019
From West Yorkshire, United Kingdom

I got Jazz at 8 weeks. We had Tammy when I was a teenager, a black and white (mostly black border collie) He was amazing rescuing a child from the top of a slide who had got up there and then panicked. Tammy liked to run up the steps and run down the slide. The child held on as Tammy went up and followed him down the slide part. After that Jazz was inevitable.
Jazz is Black and white, he was the smallest of the litter (his Mum was called Titch) his Dad would go in the field with sheep, but just play with them, all sounded right for a pet. He is a small collie but it suits me, he is also very pretty. We have worked hard and passed our Good Citizen award upto Gold, so I am really proud. Jazz loves catching things would fixate on balls if I let him instead he fixates on whatever we are playing with at the time. I have been so lucky with him he has few fears (if any) and we watched the fireworks together this year, he was more ear flicking with the curtains closed. Yes he can be wilful but then so can I, and I do love him.