Border collie

The most popular herding dog breed in the world. It is an active and smart pet that will faithfully serve to its owner.

Energy level
Level of affection
Level of friendliness
female: 12—19 kg
male: 14—20 kg
female: 46—51 cm
male: 48—53 cm
requires little time
Gives birth to
Gives birth to:
3—5 puppies
United Kingdom
in 1570
Life span
Life span:
12—15 years


Border Collies are hard-working dogs. Their main purpose is to serve people. These pets cannot sit without having anything to do. Border Collies are interested in everything that is going on around them. They like following the owner and participating in all family activities. This dog will not feel calm unless it gets something to do. It is important to notice that Border Collies do not get easily through loneliness. This breed is not for people looking for a calm and self-sufficient dog.

Border Collies are loyal dogs. They love and respect people. Showing aggression is not about this breed. It is pointless to try to make a guard-dog out of a Border Collie. It is one of the most affectionate and friendly breeds. Collies get on well with other animals and are safe for children. You can easily leave a small kid with the dog an not worry about them. Border Collies are like babysitters — they will play with the child and protect it from dangers.


Border Collies were created for guarding cattle in the mountains. These dogs are smart, enduring and can be easily trained. They understand people and like completing commands. However, these pets have one negative personality trait — independence. A disobedient Border Collie will do whatever it wants and not listen to the owner. That is why the dog has to be trained. 

It is better to start training a Border Collie from a young age, spending 10–15 minutes a day. When the puppy is 3–4 months old, it has to know its name and understand basic commands like «come here», «stay close», «sit down», «stay», «no». After the dog turns 6 months of age, you can teach it more complicated commands and run over what the dog has already learnt. Praise your pet for completing commands. If it does not listen to you — punish it, but do not beat the dog. Border Collies stop respecting those who hurt them.

Active games are these dogs` favourite things to do. The breed is famous for its achievements in dog sports: agility, frisbee, tracking and flyball. Well-trained Border Collies are used for looking for and saving people, therapy and helping disabled.


Border Collies are of medium size. Males can weight up to 20 kg. Their body is well-proportional and muscular.
Can be either long or short, the undercoat is thick.
Any color is acceptable. The most common ones are: black with white patches, chocolate, blue, marble.
Of medium length, wedge-shaped.
Of medium size, oval-shaped, wide-set. They are usually brown. For dogs with marble coat color, eyes can be blue.
Of medium size, triangular in shape, wide set. They can be either erect or semi-erect type.
Long and muscular.
Of medium length, with well-developed skeleton. They are parallel-set.
Saber-shaped, proportional to body length. It is covered with thick hair.

Basic Care

Border Collies have to be looked after. Their thick hair needs to be brushed 2 times a week. During the molting period — in spring and fall — every day, using a stiff bristle brush. If you do not brush dog`s hair, it might get matted. In order to make it softer, it is recommended to moisturize it with a special conditioner. Then pet your dog with wet hands to take off left hairs.

Border Collies are neat dogs that like water. They enjoy swimming in a river, but do not feel comfortable in a bath tub. These pets need to be given a bath once in 3 months, using a special zoo-shampoo. Their paws should be wiped after each walk. Trim pet`s claws once a month. Clean their teeth once a week, so that tartar does not develop. Pet`s eyes and ears need to be wiped when needed.

Border Collies can be fed with either high quality dry or natural food. These dogs are active and that is why they eat a lot. Such natural ingredients can be fed to the dog: not greasy meat — beef, chicken and offals; vegetables — broccoli, squash, beans, spinach and green apples; grains — buckwheat and rice. Once a week, fat free cottage cheese and a raw chicken egg can be fed to the dog. The dry feed you choose has to include 40% of proteins. Dry and natural food can change one another. However, it is important not to mix them in one portion. A puppy under the age of 3 months should be fed 5 times a day; under 6 months — 4 times a day; before it turns 1 year old — 3 times a day. An adult dog needs to be fed in the morning and in the evening.

Border Collies can live either inside or outside. The most important things for the dog are activity and constant interaction with people. These pets love games and physical exercises. You cannot keep them locked. No matter what the weather is, a Border Collies needs to be walked for 60 minutes 2 times a day.

Health and Illnesses

Border Collies can live up to 15 years if treated well. Their health is strong. Some hereditary health issues are present in this breed, but there are not that many of them.

Joints are weak spots of Border Collies. Because of pressure, they lose strength and start hurting with time. Some pets might get born with a congenital dysplasia. That is why you should take the dog to a vet if it starts limping.

Retinal atrophy disrupts functioning of retinal cells. As a result, light signals stop coming to the brain. At first, dog`s eyesight gets worse. The pet might become blind with time. This disorder can be either congenital or acquired. It usually appears when the puppy is 3-4 months old.

Epilepsy is a neurological disease that is usually congenital. It causes light and hard seizures: cramps and fainting.

Border Collies often suffer from allergies. They can be divided into 3 types: food, skin and air allergies. The food one can be cured by changing dog`s diet. The skin type of allergy occurs because of fleas, shampoos and other irritants. It can be cured medically. The last type of allergy occurs because of pollen, dust and mold in the air. It can also be cured medically.

History of the Breed

First Border Collies appeared in 1570. Their ancestors were Border Shepherd Dogs that served at the border between England and Scotland. 

The breed was developed for protecting grazing cattle in mountain gorges. These pets were irreplaceable helpers of farmers. For many centuries, they were considered only shepherd dogs. The breed did not have an official name. Dogs were usually called depending on the region they lived in — Highland Collie, Mountain Collie, Welsh Sheepdog, Northern Shepherd Dog. 

Everything changed in 1860. Scottish Shepherds participated in the second British Empire Show and were liked by Queen Victoria. Fascinated by dogs`intelligence, she took few Shepherds to the Buckingham Palace. She made the best British dog trainers work on their behavior and breeding. R.J. Lloyd Price worked the most with the breed. In 1876, he organized the first competition among Shepherds, having brought more than 100 representatives of livestock to the Alexandra Palace. Spectators were amazed by dogs`skills and intelligence. Livestock Journal wrote about the show, and popularity of Scottish Shepherds was rising. The most popular representatives of the breed were males Old Hemp and Winston. They were progenitors to the modern Border Collie breed.

In 1881, the standard and the criteria for judging herding skills of the breed were developed. In 1906, the breed was renamed to «Border Collie». However, it was officially registered only in 1915.