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

20120806 07:04 pm
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.

20110926 07:36 pm
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.

20140331 12:21 pm
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...

20140731 07:04 pm
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.

20140828 09:29 am
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!

20150905 08:34 pm
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

20130619 01:32 pm
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

20120627 10:01 pm
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.

20110407 04:54 pm
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 :-)

20160920 04:04 pm
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

20160324 11:15 am
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 .

20141105 12:18 pm
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.

20170506 01:48 pm
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

20170429 01:35 pm
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!


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.

20180127 10:30 am
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'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.


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.