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Life span: 10-17 Years

Height: 48-56cm (Male); 46-53cm (Female)

Weight: 30-45 pounds

The Border Collie is a smart dog who enjoys having a job to do. It is easy to train, as long as you know how to do it. This breed needs plenty of exercise and is not fit to be indoors all the time, needing to go outside and have something to do. It is the perfect pet for any active owners!

Physical Characteristics

This medium sized dog is lean yet muscular in body, with a medium length tail that has a slight curve at the end and is usually down when resting. Its ears are high atop its head and are usually either erect or semi erect. Its eyes can be blue, hazel, brown or light brown, with a black or brown nose. Its coat can be one of two types: smooth or rough. Smooth coats are short, while rough coats are longer. Both are double coats that are soft to the touch and can be one solid color, bicolored, or tricolored, as well as merle. The coat colors can be black, grey, brown, red, white, blue, light grey, light brown, and cream. Dogs that have coats that are merle can have a different color in each eye.


They originated in Northumberland, in the border between Scotland and England, which gave them their current name, although before 1915 they were called Sheepdog. It is believed their history goes as far back as the first century B.C., when Romans conquered England and brought their herding dogs with them. When the Romans collapsed, the Vikings arrived with their own herding dogs, which were smaller than those of the Romans. These two herding breeds were crossbred, resulting in the breed we now know as the Border Collie. They were used for herding livestock and it is though that they are all descendants of a dog named Hemp, which locals labeled the best herding dog. In 1884, Hemp won its first official sheep dog trial through staring down the sheep instead of nipping or barking, like most sheepdog do, earning the breed popularity. In 1995, the Border Collie was officially recognize by the American Kennel Club.


This breed is extremely intelligent and loving. They enjoy being around kids and the company of its family, although they may attempt to herd small animals and young children. They get along well with other dogs of the opposite sex, even though they have a tendency to stare, which may startle or upset other animals. The Border Collie needs to have a job to do in order to prevent it from developing destructive behavior, meaning this dog is best fit with an active family that can provide it with the necessary exercise. These dogs are willing to please their owners, making them easy to train.


Normally this breed is considered very healthy, but they may suffer from:

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), in which the dogs may become night blind at first and progressively lose their day eyesight as well.

Hip dysplasia, a hereditary disease in which there is an abnormal formation in the hip socket, that may eventually cause painful arthritis. It may also be affected by the environment they reside in.

Epilepsy, a neurological disorder that can produce seizures.

Allergies that produce the same symptoms you see in humans, and depending on the cause, different treatments can be used.

Osteochondritis Dissecans, in which the cartilage does not grow properly in the joints, causing pain and stiffness. It is usually seen on the elbows and shoulders.

Collie Eye Anomaly, a hereditary condition that causes abnormal changes in the eye and can lead to blindness. It can cause many diseases, such as retinal detachment, choroidal hypoplasia, staphyloma, among others.


Usually, the coat only has to be brushed once or twice a week but sometimes brushing is needed more often, especially during shedding season, when it needs to be brushed daily. Their nails should be trimmed regularly, as well as their teeth brushed and ears checked for any dirt to prevent infections. They are highly energetic and are best when they have a job to do, otherwise they need plenty of daily exercise in order to keep them from becoming destructive. They cannot be left alone for long either since they enjoy being with their families. Training can be easy given that they aim to please their owners, although they do need early and constant socialization.


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