Breed Information: Border Collie

Breed Description: The Border Collie is a graceful, medium sized dog with a tapered muzzle, semi-upright ears and broad, muscular hindquarters. This breed is well-known for its ability to herd sheep and control livestock with its intense gaze (also known as "eye") and stalking-like movements.

Group: Herding Group

Purpose of Breed: Herding Sheep

Country of Origin: Great Britain (developed on the border between Scotland and England)

Average Size: Bitches average 18-21 inches and 27-42 lbs.; dogs average 19-22 inches and 30-45 lbs.

Color(s): The Border Collie can be black and white, tri-colored, red and white, black and gray, or all black.

Coat Type: There are two types of coats, one with sleek, moderately long hair and the other with coarse hair.

Grooming: This breed's coat is easy to maintain and requires standard care for eyes, ears, pads, and nails.

Exercise Needs: The Border Collie needs a substantial amount of physical exercise and mental activities to stay healthy. A fenced yard, although important for safety, will not suffice. Not suited for a confined living space, they can turn to destructive behavior if confined for long periods. The Border Collie is happiest on farms or ranches where it is allowed to demonstrate its ability to herd.

Temperament: Border collies are highly intelligent, sensitive and responsive. They can also be moody, strong-willed, and territorial. They have a strong desire to please their owners and are considered workaholics. Highly affectionate toward family members, they are somewhat reserved around strangers. The strong herding instincts of this breed can cause problems like chasing cars and "nipping" children into behaving.

Common Ailments: Susceptible to progressive retinal atrophy, ceriod lipofuscinosis (storage disease), hip dysplasia, seizures, and joint problems.

Life Expectancy: 12-15 years.

Trivia: The word "Collie" is a Scottish dialect word used to describe sheepdogs, including collies. The sheep herding dogs featured in the children's movie, "Babe," were Border Collies.


More Information: Border Collie Society of America,


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