Border Collie

The most enthusiastic of all the working farm dogs, working cows and sheep with equal facility, the Border Collie has also become very popular as a family pet. Some find the time to be show dogs, and they excel in Obedience, Agility and Flyball.


Sheepdogs have been a vital part of the shepherd's equipment since man first domesticated farm animals; without them the vast flocks of millions of sheep just would not exist. Undoubtedly, there were sheepdogs working flocks in Scotland long before the Romans invaded England, bringing with them their own breed of sheep and probably their own sheepdogs. They were interbred with the native dogs and the long process of evolution of the five Sheepdog breeds began. Shepherds are naturally secretive and nobody knows which breeds went into making the Border Collie, although some say the Newfoundland and the Borzoi. Queen Victoria fell for the Collie on her visits to Balmoral and under her patronage they prospered.

The watchful and inquisitive Border Collie is always alert and responsive.


Anxious to please, highly intelligent and easily trained, the Border Collie is a sensitive dog and is inclined to be headstrong. It cares deeply for its family, especially children, and is an excellent guard dog.

must know

There is some low-level hip dysplasia in this breed. Genetic eye problems are being controlled but buy from tested parents and get the puppy tested at an appropriate time. There is also some deafness.


The Border Collie is medium-sized with a fairly long body. It comes in two different coats: smooth and moderately long. Any coat colour is permissible, including blue, but not too much white. Dogs are 53cm (21in) in height, while bitches are slightly less.

The Border Collie's superb herding ability makes it the most popular of all the working sheepdogs.

Strangers 4/5

Suspicious; will defend family and territory

Temperament 3/5

Very affectionate but energetic family dog

Exercise 5/5

Needs a great deal and mental stimulation.

Grooming 3/5

Minimal for smooth; long coats need more

Other dogs 3/5

Non-aggressive dog but likes to herd little dogs


Ideal for active owners

General care

This dog needs a huge amount of running exercise and things to occupy its mind. The smooth-coated variety only needs a weekly brush, but the longer coat requires combing every other day.

Gallery of Border Collie