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Border Collie… Everything You Need to Know at a Glance!

The Border Collie is one of those dogs that probably doesn’t need that much of an introduction considering the fact that these “types” of dogs are often used by Hollywood as actors in both TV and Movies.

And there’s a few reasons…

Why Hollywood often chooses to work with Border Collies.  First they’re quite handsome.  Second, they’re a lot of fun to have around.  And third, they’re really, really SMART!

So smart that it is almost frightening!

Yes, the Border Collie Dog Breed is an incredibly smart dog, perhaps the most intelligent dog breed out there. It’s almost like he’s able to read his owners mind and knows exactly what their thinking.

But is he the “right” dog for you?

That’s tough to answer, because while the Border Collie is a great dog breed to own, because these dog are SO smart and because these dogs were specifically trained to help herd small to medium sized animals, in some households this can become a problem.

This is why…

We wanted to take a moment and discuss what it might be like to own a Border Collie so that you might have a better understanding if this dog breed is right for you.  Because the last thing that we would want to see happen is for you to purchase a Border Collie puppy only to learn six months from now that your little “pup” isn’t what you were hoping for!

So, without further ado, let’s dive right in!

Border Collie Dog Breed Fast Facts

Country of Origin: United Kingdom

Original Purpose:  Herding Dog, Companion Dog, Watch Dog

Height:  18 to 22 inches tall

Weight:  30 to 45 pounds

Life Span: 12 to 16 years

Dog Breed Classification:  Herding

Origins of the Border Collie

Back in the early 1800’s throughout Great Britain, farmers used sheepdogs to help them raise all sorts of livestock.  During this time, different “types” of sheepdogs were used to get the job done each of which had their own “style” of controlling the herd.

Some dogs…

Would “fetch” the herd by circling it and slowing “pushing” the flock back the the farmer.  These dogs would often bark and “nip” at the herd as a way to control the herd.

And while this…

Approach was effective, one dog named “Hemp” stood out from the crowd.  And instead of barking and nipping, this dog just gave the herd a “look” or “stare” that told “his” flock, you better do what I want you to do or else!

And as…

You can imagine, this really impressed the local folks, and effectively created a new breed right there and then.

This is why…

Hemp is generally considered to be the father of the Border Collie.


Despite the popularity of the breed throughout the United states, the Border Collie wasn’t “officially” recognized by the American Kellen Club (AKC) until 1995, but that didn’t keep folks in the US from recognizing how great the breed was before then.  Which is probably why the American Border Collie Association has so many members!

Physical Characteristics of the Border Collie

Border Collie is a mid-sized dog usually measuring up 22 inches in height at the shoulder level and weighing up to 45 pounds.  And while most of the Collies you’ll see around you will have a black and white double coat, Border Collies can in fact come in a variety of color combinations such as merle, bi-color and tri-color.

Now there are two types of Border Collies…

That you should know about. One is a working collie, and the other is a show dog. Working Collies are working dogs chosen for their capacity for hard work.  They are similar to the Shetland Sheepdog breed.

The show dogs…

Are smaller in size, and have heavy coats.  Both “types” are going to be equally smart so it really all comes down to which “type” you like.  Working dogs will typically want and require more exercise, and are going to be a bit more of a handful to control, while “show dogs” might be a bit more “relaxed” but are going to require more attention to their grooming.

Border Collie Grooming

Grooming the Border Collie should not take much of your time. Just brush his double coat twice a week to get rid of the dead hair and trim his nails when needed.  That said however, if your “show” Collie has really thick hair, you’ll probably want to increase his grooming to three or four times a week.


Make sure his ears are clean and give him a good bath every weekend or when you see him covered in dirt.

Border Collie Temperament

While we’ve already talked about it, its worth repeating that Border Collies are really smart dogs.  Smart dogs that are going to be very active and energetic, always happy and loyal and protective of his human family.

They’re also…

Really good with kids and does very well in obedience, flyball and agility training. And since their job was to “watch” over the flock, Border Collies also make very good watch dog or guard dog and he is always alert. They also have very strong “instincts” and seem to be able to sense danger from a fair distance away.

That said…

It’s important to note that like many other “herding dogs” the Border Collie isn’t going to be immediately friendly to strangers.  This is why you’ll want to make sure that you introduce your collie to anyone you don’t want him to “suspect”.

They’re also going…

To want to chase just about anything that moves.  And while early socialization can train your Border Collie to leave your kids and any other four-legged creatures you have in the home with you, this will be something that you need to teach him or her.

The good news…

Is that because the Border Collie is so smart and because they “crave” your affection, training your is going to be a breeze!  It’s also going to be a whole lot of fun!

But the bad part…

About having a dog this smart is that if your someone who isn’t going to put in the time to train him, and you’re not going to give your Border Collie plenty of opportunity to run and play, chances are, your Border Collie is going to be very unhappy.


Unhappy Border Collies can be very destructive.  Destructive to your furniture, shoes, toys…. Heck, just about anything that they can get the teeth on.  So, you need to ask yourself, what kind of owner will you be?

Border Collie Health Problems

The Border Collie is one of the healthiest dog in the world, but even he can suffer from certain health problems, health problems such as:

And while…

Chances are that you’re Border Collie will live a long and healthy life, we here at IndulgeYourPet always like to recommend that any new pet owner take a moment a do a bit of research on what it might cost to get a pet insurance policy on their new family member.

This way…

If your Border Collie does develop some “kind” of medical issue later on in life, you won’t be on the hook for the full cost of treatment.

Now will a pet insurance policy be right for everyone?

No, probably not.  But until you know what they will and won’t cover and how much it will cost you to be insured, how will you know?

For more information, please see our  Best pet Insurance Companies article.

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