Border Collie Puppy
Information, Behavior and Training

A Border Collie puppy looks quite innocent and playful, but wait until he blooms and flourishes into a mature dog with a strong drive to herd!

Considered by many as one of the most intelligent dog breeds, this working dog was bred for a specific purpose: to gather and control livestock.

But despite its intelligence, this is not the easiest breed to own and is not for everyone...

Whether you are thinking about buying a puppy or adopting an adult dog and want to know if this is the right breed for you or just want to learn more about this breed, I hope this article will help you find the answers to your questions.

Border Collie Info and History

The craft of using dogs to herd sheep was introduced to Britain by Romans, and many historians believe that this breed's ancestors came along with invading Roman armies. But the breed as we know it today was originally developed in the Scottish-English border region.

Also known as the Scotch Sheep Dog, this workaholic breed is known for its intense and hypnotic stare. It's been said that Border Collies herd with their eyes by hypnotizing cattle.

Queen Victoria fell in love with this breed when she first spotted a Border Collie in the second half of the 19th century. She soon became an active enthusiast and played a role in further development of this breed.

The term "Border Collie" originated in 1915 when James Reed, Secretary of the International Sheep Dog Society, first used it to differentiate this breed from other dogs that had the same ancestry but, over the years, developed different standards. Some examples of those breeds include the Scotch Collie and Rough and Smooth Collies.

The breed was introduced to the United States at the end of the 19th century. Today it remains a premier herding dog, known for its intelligence, stamina and working ability. It's also being used as a narcotics and bomb detection dog.

The Border Collie was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1995 and categorized under the herding group.

Border Collie Dog

Breed Profile

The appearance of this breed portrays a dynamic dog with endless endurance. Its athletic movement depicts soundness, stamina and strength. Anything that would impede this breed's ability to work would be severely faulted.

Border Collies are medium-sized dogs boasting muscular, well-proportioned bodies. Their strong, slightly arched necks blend nicely with the shoulders. The broad chest leads to well-sprung ribs and a level back. The tail is set low with a slight upward swirl when the dog is concentrated or can be kept high as a banner when the dog is excited.

The forelegs are straight and parallel when viewed from the front, with elbows neither in nor out. The hindquarters are muscular and broad. The compact, oval feet boast moderately arched toes.

The overall expression of the Border Collie is intelligent and alert. The eyes are oval, usually brown, but can also be blue. Some Border Collies may have different colored eyes. Ears are mobile and set well apart. The nose color matches the main coat color. The teeth are displayed in a scissor bite.

The Border Collie's coat is double, with a course, straight or wavy top coat and a soft, dense undercoat. It comes in two varieties: smooth and rough. Accepted Border Collie colors include all coat color combinations and markings. Expect to see solid coat colors as seen in the red Border Collie, blue Border Collie and brown Border Collie. Bi-color and tri-color coats and the merle Border Collie coat are other colors seen in this breed. The only color you will not find is pure white.

    Height Weight
  Male 18 to 22 inches 30 to 50 pounds
  Female 18 to 22 inches 30 to 50 pounds

You may have heard about the miniature Border Collie. As much as it may be tempting to bring home a smaller-version of this breed, you must consider that per breed standard, there is no such thing as a scaled-down version of the Border Collie. These small dogs are often mixed with other breeds or they are simply stunted pups. No reputable Border Collie breeder would breed for Border Collies that don't conform to the size set by the breed standard.


Border Collie puppies love human company and don't like to be left alone for extended periods of time. When bored, they resort do destructive behaviors, such as excessive barking, jumping and digging.

And as much as that Border Collie puppy looks irresistible, you must think really, really hard before bringing him to your home. This workaholic breed can be a challenge to own and not many families are up to the task.

Border Collie Puppy

What makes an adorable Border Collie puppy unsuitable for many homes? His superior intellect combined with his intense zeal for working. While perfect for the farm, such traits are often just too much for the average dog owner.

By nature, this breed can be standoffish and wary with strangers. Make sure you socialize your Border Collie puppy so he learns how to behave appropriately towards strangers.

With other dogs, this breed may get along just fine, but some may be aggressive with dogs of the same sex. Small, non-canine pets are at risk of being chased, but some owners have successfully raised Border Collies with cats. Properly socializing a young Border Collie puppy will increase chances of successful coexistence with other pets.

While a young Border Collie puppy may seem quite innocent, as it grows, it will turn into a nipping and chasing machine! Those sharp teeth can easily make a child cry, and those herding instincts may get in the way as this breed tries to herd groups of boisterous, running children. Older children may be better adept at dealing with this breed.

Training a Border Collies may seem easy, but these dogs are constantly analyzing and over-thinking stuff, which can create some obstacles. At some point, you may even think your Border Collie puppy is trying to outsmart you! Border Collies can be stubborn, but they are also sensitive at the same time. However, if you are able to overcome these obstacles, you will get some quite stunning results.

Best Owner and Living Conditions

A farm with lots of sheep to herd is Border Collie's dream come true. So, the best Border Collie puppy owner is obviously a farmer who can allow this breed to do what he was bred for. If you are not into farming and don't have sheep, don't worry, there are, fortunately, many other ways to channel this breed's energy.

Couch potatoes are obviously out of question, and even if you have time for a brisk walk or a game of Frisbee, sorry, but it won't cut it with this breed. Also, forget about having this breed live in an apartment. If you have a yard, your Border Collie will love romping around, but make sure your fence is secure; this breed is quite an escape artist!

Activity and Exercise

Yes, this breed is a handful when it comes to activity levels. Many believe Border Collies should be kept as working dogs rather than pets. Yet, many dog owners have managed to keep Border Collies as happy and healthy companion animals.

The secret to keeping the Border Collie breed happy is to channel this dog's energy appropriately. There are many doggie sports this breed excels in: canine agility, herding, Freestyle, Treibball, Flyball and Disc Dog are just a few. And these sports are in addition to, NOT a replacement for, several long walks every day!

Border Collie Herding Sheep

Grooming your Border Collie Puppy

Attracted by the striking appearance of black and white or blue merle Border Collie puppies? Regardless of those stunning coat colors, you may be happy to learn that this breed's coat requires minimal care.

Brush 2 to 3 times per week. During the heavy shedding season, occurring in early spring and late fall, both the smooth coat Border Collie and the rough Border Collie will blow their coats. Additional brushing sessions during these "hairy times" will help reduce the amount of dead hairs around your home. Bathe only when necessary.

Health Concerns

Border Collies are overall healthy dogs, but as many other breeds, they can be prone to some health disorders. Hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, epilepsy, Collie eye and osteochondrosis dissecans are a few disorders occasionally seen in this breed.

Visit dog health problems to learn more about dog diseases and health care.

Reputable Border Collie breeders will screen their breeding stock for hereditary health disorders and will provide health guarantees on the puppies they sell. Purchasing your Border Collie puppy from such breeders can help decrease the chances for dealing with hereditary disorders.

Even healthy dogs get sick. While many health problems will require an immediate attention from your Vet, there are many others that you may handle on your own. Learn how to save time and money (and how to prevent small problems from becoming big problems) by diagnosing and treating dog health problems that don't require your Vet's attention.

Border Collie

Border Collie Mixes

If you are getting cold feet and realize that a purebred Border Collie puppy is more than you can handle, then you may want to consider an older Border Collie or some Border Collie mixes. Of course, the outcome of such mixes ultimately depends on what a Border Collie is mixed with!

Have you ever heard about the Borador? This is simply a Border Collie Lab mix. And what about the Bodacion? That's a Border Collie Dalmatian mix. A Bordoodle can be quite cute with its part Border and part Poodle looks. Other mixes include the Border Collie Golden Retriever mix and the Border Collie Husky mix. You may often find these mixes in search of homes at your local shelter.

Life Expectancy

The average life expectancy for Border Collie puppies is between 12 and 15 years.

Final Thoughts...

As seen, Border Collie dogs require a great deal of mental and physical stimulation each day. If you are considering a Border Collie puppy, you need to find appropriate ways to channel his energy and challenge his bright mind.

Owners who are willing to provide all that, are often paid back by wonderful companions blessed with an uncanny ability to predict anything their owners are about to do. If you are an active, outdoorsy person that understands this breed, then your Border Collie puppy will be quite a joy to have around.

Did you ever consider adopting your next pet?

If this is the breed you are interested in, and adoption appeals to you, consider contacting your local Border Collie rescue and adoption center. There are thousands of pets waiting for a loving home and, yes, it's possible to adopt a purebred dog.

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Want to learn more?

Puppy Training

Not happy with your pet's behavior? Need help with training your dog for obedience? Then check this Border Collie Behavior and Obedience Training Guide.


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