Let's talk Border Collies

“Born to Run.” That may well be the mantra of the Border Collie, a breed whose bright eyes and vivacious appearance are clues to the wellspring of energy underneath. An affectionate, loyal companion, the Border Collie is the perfect match for a runner or super athletic person - the more the better, given the breed’s constant need for activity.

Official name: Border Collie

Other names: Collie

Origins: Scotland

Mother and baby Labrador
Drooling tendencies

Very low

Warm weather? High
Grooming needs Medium Cold weather? High
Shedding level Medium Suited to apartment living? Very low
Barking tendencies Medium Can stay alone?* Very low
Energy Level* High Family Pet?* Very high
Compatibility with other pets Very high

* We advise against leaving pets alone for long stretches. Companionship can prevent emotional distress and destructive behaviour. Speak to your veterinarian for recommendations.

Every pet is different, even within a breed; this snapshot of this breed specifics should be taken as an indication.

For a happy healthy and well-behaved pet, we recommend educating and socializing your pet as well as covering their basic welfare needs (and their social and behavioral needs.

Pets should never be left unsupervised with a child.

Contact your breeder or veterinarian for further advice.

All domestic pets are sociable and prefer company. However, they can be taught to cope with solitude from an early age. Seek the advice of your veterinarian or trainer to help you do this.

Inline Image 15
Inline Image 10
48 cm - 1 m 56 cm Height
14 kg 500 g - 25 kg Weight
46 cm - 1 m 53 cm Height
14 kg 500 g - 25 kg Weight

Baby age Birth to 2 months
Puppy age 2 to 15 months
Adult age 12 months to 7 years
Mature age 7 years to 10 years
Senior age From 10 years


Get to know the Border Collie

All you need to know about the breed

What do we do next? If the Border Collie could talk, this would surely be an oft-heard phrase. The breed is extremely energetic, with an almost constant need to move, so the perfect match is an owner who likes the same. No apartment life for this dog: Border Collie energy is almost off the charts. They would definitely thrive on a farm, ranch, or other setting giving them plenty of room to run and a job to do.

Slight in build, the Border Collie epitomises a herding breed and has the hallmark “herding eye”--a steely stare put on sheep, or perhaps you, when you least expect it! They are by far one of the most agile and nimble dogs.

The breed name comes from the Borders region between England and Scotland, rolling Highland territory that necessitated a dog that could roll with it. Herding sheep all day? No problem!

Loyal to the bone, Border Collies can also be quiet when around strangers, endearingly so. They warm up in a short amount of time, as long as tasks - and jobs - keep coming. Despite their intensity, Border Collie behaviour isn’t erratic, they are pretty predictable and dependable. The breed is tailor-made for agility and obedience competitions, both great outlets for their high athleticism.

Inline Image 17


2 facts about Border Collies

1. He may be an escape artist

The incessant energy and curiosity of the Border Collie character will cause them to follow their nose--and to wander as well. Keep them safe with a well-fenced enclosure and a watchful eye.

2. A Border found on the border 

Between Scotland and England, that is, as the Border Collie’s extreme athleticism and agility was well-suited for the hilly Highland terrain found there and the sheep herding activities so needed in the region.


History of the breed

Border Collies have a long history in their nation of origin, the United Kingdom, descending from multiple strains of herding and sheepdogs before them. Originating in the 17th Century, oddly enough, it wasn’t until the 20th that they were officially recognised. Their name stems from the breed’s use as herding dogs in the rolling Highlands found on the border between England and Scotland, the “Collie” part of the name refers to sheepdogs and comes from the Scottish dialect.

As the breed developed, they branched off into specific geographic regions--Welsh Sheepdogs, Northern Sheepdogs, Highland Collies, and Scotch Collies.

In 1860, the second dog show in England was held and Scottish Sheepdogs were shown.

Border Collies are still highly prized for their agility and ability to herd, whether in a commercial or domestic setting. The Border Collie’s remarkable intelligence and need for speed has made them the top winners of agility competitions worldwide.

Inline Image 3


From head to tail

Physical characteristics of Border Collies

1. Ears

Triangular ears stand erect in good proportion to the head

2. Head

Head carried high signifies very alert breed, black nose, long, somewhat pointed muzzle

3. Body

Strong, muscular body, solid but not at all hulking

4. Tail

Bushy tail held low when relaxed; raised when active and slightly curled

5. Coat

Signature trait of black lustrous coat with straight, medium-length hair, very dense undercoat


Things to look out for

From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Border Collie

Healthy diet, healthier dog

  • When choosing food for a Border Collie, there are many factors to consider: their age, lifestyle, activity level, physiological condition, and health including potential sickness or sensitivities. Food provides energy to cover a dog’s vital functions, and a complete nutritional formula should contain an adjusted balance of nutrients to avoid any deficiency or excess in their diet, both of which could have adverse effects on the dog.
  • Clean and fresh water should be available at all times to support good urinary regularity. In hot weather and especially when out exercising, bring water along for your dog’s frequent water breaks.
  • Energy intake may also have to be adapted to the climatic conditions. A dog that lives outdoors in winter will have increased energy requirements.
  • The following recommendations are for healthy animals. If your dog has health problems, please consult your veterinarian who will prescribe an exclusively veterinary diet.
  • A Border Collie puppy’s requirements, in terms of energy, protein, minerals, and vitamins, are much greater than those of an adult dog. They need energy and nutrients to maintain their body, but also to grow and build it. Until they are 12 months old, a Border Collie puppy’s immune system develops gradually. A complex of antioxidants - including vitamin E - can help support their natural defences during this time of big changes, discoveries, and new encounters. Their digestive functions are different from an adult Border Collie’s, too: their digestive system is not mature yet so it’s important to provide highly digestible proteins that will be effectively used. Prebiotics, such as fructo-oligosaccharides, support digestive health by helping balance the intestinal flora, resulting in good stool quality.
  • Similarly, a puppy’s teeth – starting with the milk teeth, or first teeth, then the permanent teeth – are an important factor that needs to be taken into account when choosing the size, shape, and texture of kibble. This short growth phase also means high energy needs, so the food must have a high energy content (expressed in Kcal/100g of food), while concentrations of all other nutrients will also be higher than normal in a specially formulated growth food. It is recommended to split the daily allowance into three meals until they are six months old, then to switch to two meals per day.
  • Throughout their life, it is important to avoid feeding Border Collies human foods or fatty snacks. Instead, reward them with kibble taken from their daily meal allowance, and strictly follow the feeding guidelines written on the package in order to prevent excessive weight gain.
  • The main nutritional goals for adult Border Collies are:
  • Maintaining an ideal body weight by using highly digestible ingredients and keeping the fat content at a sensible level
  • Promoting optimal digestibility with high quality protein and a balanced supply of dietary fibre
  • Helping to preserve the health and beauty of the skin and coat with the enriched addition of essential fatty acids (especially EPA-DHA), essential amino acids, and B vitamins.
  • To help support their natural defences, a formula enriched with an antioxidant complex and containing mannan-oligosaccharides is recommended.
  • After 7 years old, Border Collies start facing the first signs of ageing. A formula enriched with antioxidants will help maintain their vitality, and specific nutrients, such as chondroitin and glucosamine, will help maintain healthy bones and joints. Ageing is also accompanied by the modification of digestive capacities and particular nutritional requirements, so food for older Border Collies should have the following characteristics:
  • Higher vitamin C and E content. These nutrients have antioxidant properties, helping to protect the body’s cells against the harmful effects of the oxidative stress linked to ageing
  • High-quality protein. Contrary to a widely held misconception, lowering the protein content in food brings little benefit in limiting kidney failure. On top of it, older dogs are less efficient at using dietary protein than younger dogs. Reducing the phosphorus content is a good way of slowing down the gradual deterioration of kidney function.
  • A higher proportion of the trace elements iron, copper, zinc, and manganese to help maintain good condition of the skin and coat.
  • A higher quantity of polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids) to maintain the quality of the coat. Dogs can normally produce these fatty acids, but ageing can affect this physiological process.
  • As they age, dogs increasingly suffer from teeth problems. To ensure they continue to eat in sufficient quantities, the shape, size and hardness of their kibble needs to be tailored to their jaw.


Caring for your Border Collie

Grooming, training and exercise tips

Inline Image 6

Grooming your Border Collie will inevitably require some work. As an active breed, they don’t always stay as clean as we might prefer. With fur that can vary from a rough coat to a smooth one, using a pin comb one to two times a week will take out tangles and keep him looking sharp and ready for anything.

Inline Image 7

Fewer dogs are easier to train than the Border Collie. Very intelligent and with a high desire to please, obedience training can be practiced throughout your dog’s life. Make sure to socialise them from the start since the breed can be wary of newcomers. In need of a job always, agility training and competitions are the perfect outlet. A busy Border Collie is a content Border Collie.

Inline Image 11

Extreme athleticism is the hallmark of the breed. With its innate high drive, the more exercise the Border Collie gets, the better. Agility, obedience, tracking, and rally competitions suit this breed well, or really any constant movement! Daily vigorous activity is best.

All about Border Collies

Not much! The Border Collies’ biggest drawback is their need for constant activity. The breed’s origins lie in herding and they have at times been called a “fanatical workaholic” so it’s hard to teach an old dog new tricks. A Border Collie’s smarts make them a challenge at times too, and very much not suited for city living. If not a farm owner, keep yours occupied with multiple daily walks, or a well-fenced yard where they can run free. Agility courses and advanced obedience training match the Border Collie activity level well.

Having a Border Collie as a pet can be a great decision. Lively dogs with a great disposition, they are very child-friendly and super playful, a breed that adapts well to human companionship; its instinct to herd may even translate to humans at times! As with all dogs, early socialisation and training is essential.


1 - Veterinary Centers of America https://vcahospitals.com/

2 - Royal Canin Dog Encyclopaedia. Ed 2010 and 2020

3 - Banfield Pet Hospital https://www.banfield.com/

4 - Royal Canin BHN Product Book

5 - American Kennel Club https://www.akc.org/