Border Collie

Breed standard: KC, FCI I Size: Medium I Average lifespan: 12+ years I Temperament: Affectionate and energetic I Coat: Medium-long I Origin: England.

The Border Collie is a intelligent, energetic, affectionate, and vigilant dog breed.

The origins of the Border Collie

A working dog

The Border Collie that we know today originates from the mid-twentieth century. Back then, this dog appeared in many forms of literature.

However, the origin of the name “Collie” is still unclear. While some consider that it references the Gaelic word meaning “useful”, others think it is a reference to the German word “Kuli” meaning “worker”.

One thing is certain, the breed originated near the Anglo-Scottish border. This explains the word “Border” in Border Collie.

As the name suggests, the Border Collie is a working dog. This breed was born and bred to guard livestock on farms. However, the Border Collie was not the only sheepdog in the United Kingdom at that time. Many breeds that descended from a common ancestral gene pool were used as herding dogs. All over the country, a sort of ideological war was waged between farmers to determine the best breed of sheepdog. On October 9, 1873, during the first sheepdog trials in Bala, Wales, many dogs competed against each other for the first time. This contest was organized by Richard John Lloyd-Price. The first prize of this competition was awarded to James Thompson and his dog, a Border Collie. This title marked the beginning of the Border Collie’s reign as Britain’s best sheepdog.

The same year, a good friend of Richard John Lloyd-Price, Sewallis E. Shirley founded The Kennel Club UK.

A Border Collie looking out in the distance.

The Border Collie’s personality

An energetic dog breed

The Border Collie is a determined, alert, and intelligent dog. They are neither aggressive nor nervous. They are known for their inexhaustible energy. Therefore, this dog breeds needs an active family. They will not be happy with life in the city. As Border Collies need a lot of exercise, they tend to love country life as well as sport activities such as agility.

When outside, they are fearless. They are always ready to take on new challenges. When indoors, however, this breed loves to be cuddled and surrounded by his or her family.

What are the Border Collie’s needs?

The Border Collie is not difficult dog. They just need a lot of exercise, play time, and love.

If you cannot provide them the lifestyle they need, they can quickly become unmanageable, destructive, and depressed. Their well-being should not to be taken lightly.

A Border Collie inside a house.

The physical characteristics of the Border Collie


This dog breed is a medium-sized dog with a sturdy appearance. They have a solid, athletic, balanced and graceful structure. They have a lively and alert look.


This dog breed’s skull is quite large. The occiput is not pronounced. The muzzle tapers off at the end. The Border Collie is moderately short and strong. The skull and muzzle are approximately the same length. When it comes to the stop, it is well-marked.

Their nose should be black, with the exception of dogs with a chocolate coat, who may have a liver-colored nose. If the dog’s coat is blue, then the nose should be grayish. The nostrils are well developed.

Their jaws, as well as their teeth, are strong and they have a perfect scissor bite. Their cheeks are neither full nor rounded.

When it comes to their eyes, they are wide apart, medium, and oval. Border Collies can have green, brown, or blue eyes. Brown is the most common. Blue eyes are usually found in dogs with a merle pattern. Their expression is soft, lively, intelligent and alert.

This dog’s ears are medium and texture. They are spread well apart on the skull, straight and attentive to the slightest noise.


This dog breed’s back is straight and strong. It is horizontal and firm from the withers to the hips. The chest is quite broad, while its ribs are well-sprung.

The thighs are long, broad and well-muscled. The hocks are strong and well let down. As for their feet, they are oval in shape with thick, strong, and healthy paw pads.

Their tail is moderately long. It is set low curves upward.

A Border Collie lying down on fallen leaves.

Coat, color, and care


The Border Collie can be short-haired or medium-long-haired. They also have a double coat, which helps them stay warm when temperatures are low.


According to the breed standard, all colors are allowed as long as white is not dominant.

One of the most common color combinations is white and black with a white line running from the top of the skull to the sides of the muzzle and a white ruff. The two front legs are often white as well. When it comes to the back legs, they can have white areas that look like socks. The tip of the tail can also be white.

Other types of coats may have tawny spots on the head and legs. This dog breed can also be merle red or merle blue. Some of the colors that can be found on the Border Collie are chocolate and white, sand and white, red and white, blue and white.

Caring for a Border Collie

Similar to most dog breeds, the Border Collie sheds twice a year, in the fall and spring. This is especially the case when they spend a lot of time outside. If your dog is indoors more often, he or she may lose hair throughout the year.

Border Collies should be brushed at least once a week to get rid of dead hair.

The Border Collie at a glance

Size: 50 to 56 cm at the withers.

Weight: 25 to 30 kg (around 55 to 66 lbs).

Average lifespan: 10-20 years.

Is this dog breed good with children? Well-trained Border Collies who are comfortable with their family are wonderful companions for children.

Is this dog breed easy to train? The Border Collie is one of the most intelligent dog breeds in the world. They have a strong willingness to learn and love to please their owners. In general, these dogs are easy to train and quickly understand what is expected of them.