Border Collie – Active, Playful, Attentive, Intelligent, Lovable and Loyal

07.10.2022 - Reading time: 6 minutes

Ein Boder Collie springt durchs Wasser

Being a workaholic, a Border Collie needs to have a job, otherwise it will find one for itself. Among other things, Border collies that are bored will try to “shepherd” cyclists, walkers or children in a playground. If these intelligent dogs have enough to do and wear themselves out, then they make great friends and will give you a lot of pleasure.


Newsletter Border Collies

Border Collie
United Kingdom (England/Scotland)
Working and herding dogs
Males 48 to 58 cm at shoulder height – females 46 to 50 cm at shoulder height
Males 15 to 21 kg - females 13 to 19 kg
muscular, agile, longer than tall
brown (for colour variant Blue Merle: blue)
medium sized, erect, tilted forward
Coat and colour
bushy hair or medium length with mane, plume and trousers, dense undercoat, weatherproof top coat; many colour variants, never predominantly white
Special features
pronounced herding instinct and very active, loves water and mud
active, temperamental, sensitive, affectionate, obedient, intelligent
regular brushing, bathing only exceptionally
occasionally prone to eye diseases, epilepsy and MDR1 defect (drug intolerance such as drugs containing ivermectin); when breeding, make sure that no Merle dogs are crossed

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The Border Collie breed: A true winner

In the 1870s, herding dog competitions emerged in rural England. The local shepherds were inspired by this and placed great value on cleverness and talent when breeding their dogs. The dogs’ appearance was secondary, their qualities as four-legged herders were in the foreground. Soon Border Collies were bred systematically, the progenitor is a male named “Old Hemp”, whose descendants became champions of the competitions from then on. The breed came to Germany in the 1970s and has enjoyed great popularity as a herding dog and leisure dog ever since. The Border Collie takes its name from its region of origin, the border area between Scotland and England. On the other hand, there are hardly any limits when it comes to the colours of Border Collies. Many colour variations and combinations are allowed, however, the fur must not be predominantly white. With a shoulder height of up to 58 centimeters for males and 50 centimeters for females, the size of the Border Collie is significantly smaller than that of its namesake, the Rough Collie.

The Border Collie: A true herding dog

The Fédération Cynologique International (FCI) has existed since 1911, dividing dog breeds into different groups and setting breeding and breed standards. The point at which a dog is officially considered to be a pedigree dog is described in a total of ten FCI groups. The Border Collie belongs to FCI group 1, which covers herding and cattle dogs and more precisely – in section 1 of this group – shepherd dogs. This group also includes, for example, the German Shepherd Dog or the Australian Shepherd.

Characteristics of the Border Collie – active, intelligent, lovable

In addition to his inexhaustible zeal for work, the Border Collie inspires with other characteristics – it is playful, spirited, attentive, lovable and loyal. Thanks to its high level of intelligence, it is extremely easy to train and quickly learns difficult tricks. A dominant trait is its pronounced herding instinct, which can become problematic – apart from their actual use in agriculture – if the animals are not being used to their full capacity. A special trait of Border Collies is their fondness for water and mud, in which they love to romp around.

Ein Broder Collie liegt im Gras

Get to know the Border Collier better

As a herd dog, the Border Collie was a pure working animal for many centuries, but with its friendly and intelligent nature it is increasingly becoming viewed as a loyal family dog. In this video you can find out where this excellent herding dog comes from and what you have to consider when keeping this bundle of energy.

Training and husbandry of Border Collies

The training of a Border Collie must be consistent and should include both sporting and intellectual pursuits. Plan at least 3 to 4 hours a day for the dog. When it has enough to do, the Border Collie will delight you with its affection and intelligence and will be easy to manage. It is the right partner for active people who enjoy exercise with their dog. However, please be aware that exercise does not mean a leisurely stroll – the Border Collie needs a lot of action due to its special characteristics! This active breed enjoys agility and obedience sports. Because of its eagerness to work and its restlessness, the Border Collie is only conditionally suitable as a sociable family dog.

For training, it is advisable to focus on concentration and getting used to its environment to calm the animal down a bit. Due to the activity levels of the Border Collie, keeping them purely in an apartment would not be animal friendly. A house with access to a garden is ideal.

Ein Border Collie liegt auf einer Wiese

The easy care of the Border Collie

The Border Collie’s coat is easy to groom; regular brushing and checking for tangles is sufficient. Carefully remove knots in the fur with a metal comb. Occasional corrective cuts may be necessary on the long sections of fur. Since Border Collies are real water rats, they seek out possible swimming spots on their own. They only have to go into the bath in emergencies when they are very dirty – their fur practically cleans itself. Especially after extensive excursions outdoors, the eyes, ears and paws of your four-legged friend should be checked and treated accordingly if necessary.

The Border Collie and its diet

It doesn’t matter which breed your four-legged friend belongs to, its diet has an important influence on its health – and this also applies to the Border Collie. Which diet is the right one depends on many individual factors. For example, puppies need different food from adult or senior dogs. Housing conditions and activity level also play an important role in a dog’s diet. If the Border Collie does herding work, its energy requirements will be higher than that of a Border Collie that leads a quieter existence as a family dog. Should your lively four-legged friend have certain allergies, food intolerances or if it is overweight, it is important to ensure a special diet.

As with other dog breeds, meat should be at the top of the list of ingredients for the Border Collie. In addition, the daily diet should be rich in vegetables, fruit and omega-3 fatty acids. Whether this is limited to wet or dry food depends solely on the preference of the dog and its owner. Of course, your pet should also be rewarded with treats from time to time. However, in order to avoid an oversupply (Border Collies generally utilize food very well), the extra rewards should be deducted from the daily ration.

Is a Border Collie the right dog for me?

Active, playful, attentive, intelligent, lovable and loyal – with these qualities it is not difficult to fall in love with a Border Collie immediately. However, before you introduce a dog of this fascinating breed to your home, you should think carefully about whether you are able to meet the high demands that go with it. After all, the nature of a Border Collie requires you to make plenty of time for your four-legged friend, to offer him the variety of activities he needs and, last but not least, to have experience in dog training. If these requirements are met, you will definitely be happy with a Border Collie as a loyal companion at your side!

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