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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, and progressively, as a popular frequenter of the show ring. The popularity of the Border Collie has remained constant throughout its history, appealing to owners because of its versatility, handsome appearance and inherent working temperament.


The Border Collie is characterised by...

Highly trainable, the breed desires 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, rendering it suited to extreme climes, and is commonly recognised in tricolour variations of black, white, tan, sable, chocolate, blue merle and brindle. The coat is a moderate length of a medium texture. The stature of the breed is athletic, with proportionate 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, and has a life expectancy of 12-15 years when shown appropriate care.


Because no breed is without its weakness...

Bred for its inherent hardiness, the Border Collie is generally healthy but is sometimes subject to hip and elbow dysplasia, epilepsy and early-onset deafness, usually occurring between the ages of 1 and 8 years old.



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Our Border Collie owners' thoughts

9th Sep 2013
Samantha Bowness
  • VioVet Customer Since: August 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.

14th Feb 2014
Michelle Clarke
  • VioVet Customer Since: September 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.

12th Sep 2014
Kimberley Gray
  • VioVet Customer Since: March 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...

3rd Apr 2015
Paula Gray
  • VioVet Customer Since: July 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.

5th May 2015
Alison Gyles
  • VioVet Customer Since: August 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!

5th Sep 2015
Susan Griffiths
  • VioVet Customer Since: September 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

24th Nov 2015
Lorraine Garbutt
  • VioVet Customer Since: June 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

6th Jan 2016
Jayne Meadway
  • VioVet Customer Since: June 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.

12th Jul 2016
Lisa Tarry
  • VioVet Customer Since: April 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 :-)

21st Oct 2016
Brenda Williams
  • VioVet Customer Since: September 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

8th Jan 2017
Yvonne Williams
  • VioVet Customer Since: March 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 .

30th Jan 2017
Rachel Scott
  • VioVet Customer Since: November 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.

8th May 2017
Margaret Facey
  • VioVet Customer Since: May 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

22nd Nov 2017
Emma Hagan
  • VioVet Customer Since: April 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 herding takes place which im glad of!a true and honest member of my pack!

16th Dec 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.

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