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BaxterBoo Blog
February 16, 2013

Meet the Breed: The Border Collie

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  • Height: 18"- 22”
  • Weight: 27-45 pounds
  • Historical function: Herding
  • Modern function: Herding, active companion capable of tricks, competitive obedience
  • AKC classification: Herding

Physical Characteristics:

The Border Collie is an active working dog that is highly intelligent. Because the breed was developed for herding and not for appearance, there are several variances in looks. Coat length may be short and smooth or about three inches long. The ears may be erect or slightly bent at the tips. The coat can be black and white, tricolor, red and white, black and gray, yellow, yellow and white, sable, and all black.

History of the Breed:

The Border Collie hails from the British Isles, most likely from the area of the border between Scotland and England. Due to it's hard-working nature and herding skills, the dog was exported all over the world with colonists including to Australia, New Zealand, and the Americas.


The Border Collie is widely considered to be one of the most intelligent dog breeds. They are very active and thrive when given plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. They are highly trainable, as can be seen in the video below. If appropriate mental and physical outlets are not provided, a Border Collie may become neurotic or destructive as they seek their own sources of entertainment.

  • Best suited for: Active families who are able to invest training and lots of exercise into this capable dog. An ideal working farm/ranch dog. Must be trained not to herd children.
  • Preferred living conditions: This dog prefers to have a highly interactive environment where they have a clear job. This can be herding or in a suburban setting with a high level of obedience and agility training. This hard-working athlete is a great trail companion and workout buddy.

Care and Health:

  • Grooming requirements: A moderate shedder, especially seasonally. Easy to care for with regular brushing to keep the coat in good shape. Rare bathing.
  • Exercise needs: Daily brisk walk with mental exercises as well, so incorporate tasks for this dog to complete during exercise. Frisbee is an excellent sport for these athletic dogs!
  • Life expectancy: 12-15 years.
  • Health concerns: May be prone to epilepsy, eye problems and hip dysplasia. Some are sensitive to vaccines. Need to be tested before vaccinating.

Breed Club Links: United States Border Collie Club, Inc. Perfect Pairings: Dog Agility Starter Kit, Kurgo Winga Starter Kit, Clik-R Training Tool, and any of our Puzzle Toys!

Have any stories about a Border Collie? Please share!

Photo courtesy of Corrado Dearca.

Meet Paige, a super-smart, well-trained Border Collie! Just to give you an idea of what these brainy dogs can do!

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This entry was posted by Mary.

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