Border Collie: Dog Breed Profile

Border collie

The Border Collie is a naturally elegant dog, exhibiting harmonious proportions. The Border Collie is docile and particularly lively. This is a dog that has a constant need to be on the move. Qualified as hyperactive, It does not know how to stay still.

This can pose some problems, especially for city and apartment living. It stands up rather easily because It’s intelligent and has a good understanding. It’s a shepherd dog and hunting genes make It a faithful companion.

It enjoys playing with the youngest and the presence of other animals does not bother It.

History of the breed

The Border Collie has been known since the 17th century. It was not considered a race, strictly speaking. But most of the shepherds of the “Borders”, the border area between England and Scotland, were recognized in 1982 as a breed. Although it is centuries old, its official recognition is paradoxically established only in the 20th century.

It owes its name to the Borders region, between Scotland and England, where it was once used as a sheepdog. It’s the result of a cross between several shepherd breeds such as the  Bobtail or the  Bearded but also hunting dogs such as the  Pointer and the  Setter.

It has the soul of a working, hunting, and shepherd dog. In time, it was used to gather flocks of sheep and to guard farms. The breed standard was recognized by the FCI in 1977.

Physical features

  • Its coat: short or of moderate length. Its hair is very dense, providing excellent protection in bad weather.
  • Its color: we find this breed with all possible coat colors, but white should not be dominant.
  • Its head: the skull is not very wide, proportional with the muzzle quite short, but strong. Occiput little marked. Clear stop.
  • Its ears: semi-erect or straight, they are of medium size.
  • Its eyes: almond-shaped, they are set wide apart. They are generally brown, except in merle individuals who may sport one or two blue eyes.
  • Its body: is athletic with a well let down chest and arched ribs.
  • Its tail: naturally hanging, quite bushy and the tip curved upwards, it should reach the hocks.

Behavior With Others

The Border Collie is an excellent sheepdog. Gathering what is scattered (like a herd) is a real obsession. Instinctively, this breed protects its family as well as its territory. Good training can make them a very good pet or put them at the top of the standings in agility and / or obedience competitions.

It has a small flaw, It tends to be hyperactive. It’s thus not easy to calm its enthusiasm and Its fidgeting.


The training of the Border Collie is rather easy because it is a  very docile dog that response immediately to the orders given. It needs to let off steam for it to listen. If Its education is delayed, It can become aggressive. 

It must therefore be trained relatively early. It’s strong- willed and intelligent, which works in Its favor. Lively and intelligent, It constantly needs to move. It is therefore important to channel this energy and teach it docility as soon as possible. It tended to beware of strangers but socialize very quickly.

Living Conditions

The Border Collie is not made for apartment living. It needs to spend Its energy, which requires several walks during which It can run until it’s breathless. In fact, It will only feel comfortable outdoors with space.

It’s as good for Its physique as Its morale. The walks must be numerous and it is strongly recommended to enroll It in a dog sport to gets rid of Its excess energy.

Health & Maintenance

The Border Collie is one of the strongest breeds. However, screening is necessary in order to detect possible defects such as retinal atrophyhip dysplasia, drug sensitivity, or stomach torsions.

Some Borders Collies cannot tolerate the ingestion of medication. They can be toxic and cause death. It is important to see the vet about this. Finally, it is also subject to stress and its side effects, as well as temperature variations.

The life expectancy of a Border Collie is, on average, between 10 years and 14 years.

The Border Collie is not a difficult dog to maintain from a hygiene and health point of view. Regular brushing should suffice. However, to avoid digestive disorders, care must be taken that It does not exert Itself physically after eating.

The coat should be brushed regularly. A wire brush with rounded tips will help loosen any knots. In addition, It can also take a bath  3 to 4 times a year. Finally, do not forget to check the condition of Its eyes and ears to avoid any infection.

The diet of the Border Collie must be in line with its daily energy expenditure. It is based on high-quality croquettes and meets its needs. It is essential that the Border Collie has a healthy and balanced diet to avoid stomach upset, to which it is subject.

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About Jessica Vanclap

Passionate about animals, but also about health, I did not hesitate for long in choosing my studies. Veterinary assistant by training, I worked in a veterinary clinic for several years. I then made the choice to share my knowledge and experiences by joining the training team of a school of Veterinary Assistant and Grooming.

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