Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.
Your Pet, Our Passion.

Border Collie

The ultimate herder, the Border Collie is a medium-sized, well-proportioned dog that is easily recognisable whether working or competing in dog sports. Known for their tireless energy, stamina and working drive, this breed is one of the most active and always wanting to please. 

Although athletic and muscular, the Border Collie breed is sweet and caring and always down for some cuddles. Would make a perfect furry best friend to anyone ready to match their energy. 

12–15 years
The coat can either be smooth or of medium length and the most common colour is black and white, although other colours with white are also seen – e.g. brown, blue merle, red and tricolour
Kennel Club group
The need-to-know
  • Dog suitable for owners with some experience
  • Extra training required
  • Generally healthy breed
  • Enjoys vigorous walks
  • Enjoys one to two hours of walking a day
  • Medium dog
  • Minimum drool
  • Requires grooming once a week
  • Chatty and vocal dog
  • Barks and alerts to visitors/anything unusual
  • Generally friendly with other dogs
  • May need additional training to live with other pets
  • May need additional supervision to live with children
  • Needs a large garden
  • Can live in semi-rural areas
  • Can be left alone with training
Generally healthy breed

The Border Collie breed can suffer from: 
- Collie eye anomaly, which is an inherited condition where the eye does not develop properly, which can lead to blindness.  
- Hip dysplasia 
- Epilepsy¹ which is a condition where abnormal brain function can lead to seizures which damages the brain. 
- Multi-drug resistance which is a problem where dogs have an increased sensitivity to certain medications. 
- Ceroid lipofuscinosis which is an inherited disease that can be fatal. 
- Sensory neuropathy which is a condition where the nerves become damaged causing pain and weakness.  
- Glaucoma which is a painful condition where the pressure in the eye builds up. 
- Trapped Neutrophil Syndrome which is an inherited condition where the immune system struggles to protect itself against disease. 

Priority Kennel Club health schemes and testing: 
- Hip dysplasia screening scheme 
- Eye screening scheme 
- Eye testing for pectinate ligament abnormality to find out how likely the dog is to develop glaucoma 

¹ C. Rusbridge, 'Canine idiopathic epilepsy', May 2016, Veterinary Ireland Journal

Border Collie Appearance

The Border Collie is an easily recognizable breed as they look exactly how you’d imagine a herding dog looking like. They’re athletic, with a short or medium-sized double coat, smooth or rough, that come in a wide range of patterns. As for the Border Collie colours, they can be either black and white, a mix of white, black, and tan, or any other mix of colours from brown and blue to merle or red. 

Their ears are usually perched high, with the tips partially folded, which gives them a very particular look of always seeming alert. Also, their tails are long and bushy, and they extend over their backs but never curl, although they will definitely wag. 

Border Collie Personality

The Border Collie personality is energetic and keen, as they 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, they are not ideal pets for a family with very young children, as it’s in their nature to herd anything that moves — your children included! If not kept physically and mentally stimulated they will become bored, developing behavioural problems or getting into mischief, as their brains are always active. 

The Border Collie will suit an extremely active owner who is able to give them plenty of exercise, enjoys training, and who wants a very full-on dog. 

Border Collie Fun Facts

  • There are many theories on how Collies got their names but as ‘collie’ is Gaelic for ‘useful’ perhaps it’s as simple as Scottish farmers recognising one of the key traits of their dogs. 
  • American psychologist Dr. Stanley Coren classified the Border Collie as the most intelligent breed of dog, ranking first out of 133 breeds. 

  • The Border Collie breed was fully recognized only in 1995. 

  • Border Collies are known for their intense stare, allowing them to control a flock with a simple glance. 

  • This breed is highly sensitive and doesn’t respond well to harsh treatment or loud noises. 
  • Border Collies are well represented in films, with a few of them starring in movies like “Animal Farm”, “Snow Dogs”, or “Mad About You”.  
  • If not well socialised, the Border Collie can become very shy and wary of other dogs and people. 
  • A Border Collie named Chaser is known to be the world’s smartest dog, being able to recognize the names of more than 1,000 objects and understand basic sentences. 


Why are Border Collies so smart? 

For more than a century, Border Collies were bred for their intelligence rather than just for looks, which is why they are smarter than other breeds. 

Are Border Collies good for first time owners? 

Border Collies might not be the ideal breed for a first-time owner since they require a lot of exercise and training. 

Why should you get a Border Collie? 

Getting a Border Collie as a pet comes with multiple pros as they make good family pets, are affectionate, intelligent, and highly independent. 

Do Border Collies bark a lot? 

Border Collies are quite vocal and they can get visually stimulated easily so they will bark at pretty much everything that moves quickly. 

find the right dog name
Find the Pawfect Name
Try our new dog name generator to find a great name, from the UK's most popular ones, names for small dogs, big dogs, or something unusual - we've got the one for you!