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Breed Profile

Border Collie

WEIGHT: 30 to 45 lbs
HEIGHT: 18 to 23 inches
COLOR(S): Black, dark brown, and blue merle. Varying amounts of tan and/or white.
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With an athletic appearance, Border Collies are well-balanced, medium sized dogs. Their bodies are slightly longer than they are tall at the withers. This breed is composed of very agile dogs with proportionate lean body muscles. They are extremely intelligent working dogs that respond quickly and eagerly to training. Border Collies are unsurpassed as the world’s premiere sheepdog in the areas of stamina, agility and patience. These dogs also excel in obedience competitions and thrive on games. They are willing to please and are bred for intelligence and working ability over physical beauty.


Border Collies are known for their agility, obedience and Frisbee ability. They are alert, responsive and intelligent dogs with high stamina and energy. While they can be aggressive with other dogs of the same sex, Border Collies get along well with children and other dogs. However, do not trust these dogs with small non-canine pets. They can be sensibly reserved toward strangers and make excellent watchdogs, but are generally affectionate toward friends. Border Collies actually thrive on human companionship and should be socialized well as puppies to avert future shyness. They aim to learn and please their owners and should not be ignored. They are too intelligent to be left alone all day without turning destructive from boredom. They can turn neurotic and are known as escape artists who can show behavior problems from being ignored. This does not make Border Collies ideal pets for people who plan to spend a majority of the time away from home. This breed excels in competitions including obedience, agility and sheepdog trials. They lead this sport thanks to their strong herding instincts. However, these instincts can lead them to be snappy with children and strangers so having an experienced owner with ample time for the dog is best.


There are two main varieties of Border Collie coats each have a soft, dense double coat that is weather resistant. This should be cared for regularly.


Health concerns of this breed include PRA (Progressive retinal atrophy), lens luxation and hip dysplasia. Border Collies can also be prone to Ceriod Lipofuscinosis, Osteochondritis dessicans (OCS), seizures and heart defects. Since Collie breeders have primarily been concerned with the breed’s performance as working dogs, the dogs’ health is often prioritized over its appearance.


Border Collies need a job or activity to do daily and require extensive exercise and mental stimulation.


This breed excels at sports including sheepdog trials, agility and obedience making them famous throughout the world. Border Collies are able to quickly learn new commands thanks to their intelligence and strong desire to please. They are excellent stock and sheep-herders known as “farm collies” or “working collies.”

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