Dog Breed

Border Collie

Primary image of Border Collie dog breed
Full Name
Border Collie
Your PupScore
Take the best dog breed quiz to get your Pup Scores!
Life Span
12 - 1 years
30 - 45 pounds

The first thing that people think of when they hear "Border Collie" is about how smart they are, and there's good reason for that. They are incredibly fast learners, which can be fun and interesting to a dog owner, but all that intelligence comes with certain responsibilities for a dog owner.

Exercise is important to all dogs (some more than others), but equally as important for border collies is that they are challenged mentally. This can be achieved through training that gradually increases with difficulty.

The Border Collie's name gives a hint at the the geographical origin of this dog. The English word "border" in this case refers to the border area between England and Scotland. For centuries, the local farmers there used these incredible dogs to guard and herd their sheep while coping to the harsh climate of the area.

Because Border Collie's were historically bred as working farm dogs on rural properties, they are not automatically friendly with other dogs or strangers. Any owner of a border collie in a city environment, or who will frequently be seeing other people and dogs, needs to take the early socialization period very seriously.

United Kingdom
Bred For
Sheep herder
    Family Considerations
    Child Friendly

    Is the Border Collie good with children?

    Unfortunately, the Border Collie is not automatically well suited with children and we would not recommend for homes with very small children unless early socialization with children is taken seriously.
    Stranger Friendly

    Is the Border Collie friendly with strangers?

    The Border Collie is not automatically friendly with strangers and we would not recommend for a living situation with frequent guests.
    Dog Friendly

    Is the Border Collie friendly with other dogs?

    The Border Collie is not naturally friendly with other dogs, but with a good amount of early socialization as a puppy they can learn to get along with most breeds of dog. Proper training is required before letting the Border Collie go off-leash or to dog parks.
    Likes to Cuddle

    Does the Border Collie like to cuddle?

    The Border Collie likes to cuddle up every once in a while. They appreciate physical affection, but probably won't stay in your lap for extended amounts of time.

    Does the Border Collie like to play?

    The Border Collie is playful both as a puppy and as an adult dog. As they get older they may appreciate their alone time, and may not be in the mood for constant play, but certainly will have plenty of time for play as well.
    Service Dog Ability

    Does the Border Collie make a good service dog?

    The Border Collie is a common service dog. The Border Collie is smart, dedicated, and patient. However, despite the Border Collie being an excellent breed for service work, they must pass through an extensive training period and only some will be up for a life dedicated to service work.
    Overall Ease of Breed
    Ease for Novice

    Is the Border Collie good for first-time owners?

    The Border Collie would not be the best fit for first-time owners. A breed is only good for first-time owners if it is raised for home companionship, and is open to training and is motivated to please its owner.
    Training Potential

    How well can the Border Collie be trained?

    The Border Collie can be trained very well. With discipline and a routine training program the Border Collie can be incredibly well-trained.
    Amount of Shedding

    Does the Border Collie shed a lot?

    The Border Collie is an average shedder. Border Collie owners will probably still tell you it's a lot of shedding, but certain breeds shed even more.
    Ease of Grooming

    Is the Border Collie easy to groom?

    The Border Collie requires some grooming, but less than the average dog breed. Typically you will not need to take the Border Collie to the pet salon, and occasional combing at home should be enough.
    Exercise Need

    Does the Border Collie need a lot of exercise?

    The Border Collie needs a daily exercise partner! The Border Collie is best suited for a family where it will get plenty of daily exercise; it has so much energy that exercise is mandatory to avoid destructive behaviors.

    How smart is the Border Collie?

    The Border Collie is one of the smartest dog breeds. Having a very smart dog is fun, but it is also demanding- they require mental challenge and stimulation just as much as physical exercise.
    Amount of Barking

    How much does the Border Collie bark? Does the Border Collie bark too much?

    The Border Collie barks a lot. This is important to consider with your living situation- will it be ok when you leave them at home alone or will they disrupt the neighbors? The Border Collie will oftentimes bark just to express their thoughts... even just to be heard!
    Guard Dog Ability

    Is the Border Collie a good guard dog?

    The Border Collie is not typically used as a guard dog, although they can be alert and oftentimes notify you if there is a stranger at the door or otherwise something to be concerned over.
    Tolerates Being Alone

    Is the Border Collie good at staying alone? Is the Border Collie independent?

    The Border Collie does not enjoy being left alone for extended periods. They can do well for a couple of hours alone, but may have anxiety for time beyond that.
    Home and Environment Considerations
    Good for Apartment Living

    Is the Border Collie a good apartment dog?

    The Border Collie is not a good dog for apartment living for several reasons. It is still possible to make it work if the owner is dedicated to plenty of training and daily exercise, but it may be challenging.

    How big is the Border Collie?

    The Border Collie is a medium sized dog breed. They can range in size depending on genetics, and males are larger on average than females.
    Tolerates Heat

    How much does the Border Collie tolerate hot weather? When is it too hot for a Border Collie?

    The Border Collie can tolerate some heat, but should not be over-exposed to hot weather. In general, they can live in hot weather climates, but would do best with air conditioning or at least a fan in their home, especially where they sleep.
    Tolerates Cold

    How much does the Border Collie tolerate cold weather? When is it too cold for a Border Collie?

    The Border Collie can tolerate cold weather well. Play time in the snow or on particularly cold evenings may need to be limited, but overall they can do well in cold climates.
    Potential to Run Away

    Does the Border Collie try to run away?

    It is natural for the Border Collie to run away. They are easily distracted and excited, so the urge to run away should be expected and prepared for- a fenced yard is important.
    Physical Characteristics
    General Health

    Is the Border Collie a healthy dog? The health of a Border Collie should be measured not just by how many years they live, but also by how many health issues they've had. It is important to know which health conditions your breed is prone to- hip problems, eye problems, bloating, and arthritis are all common dog health problems.

    The Border Collie is very healthy, but it is still important to feed the Border Collie high-quality food and to live a healthy lifestyle.
    Energy Level

    How energetic is the Border Collie?

    The Border Collie has a lot of energy and this needs to be considered before bringing the Border Collie into your home. Can you give your Border Collie enough exercise? They will need several small daily walks, or a large dog park trip to get all of the energy out.
    Amount of Drooling

    How much does the Border Collie drool?

    The Border Collie drools very little, typically to where it's never a concern.
    Prey Drive

    Does the Border Collie have a large prey drive? Does the Border Collie like to chase birds, cats, and other small animals?

    The Border Collie has a high prey drive and has a natural tendency to chase after any small animal. Every case is unique, but the Border Collie may not be the best dog for living with other cats or small animals.

    Is the Border Collie atheltic?

    The Border Collie is a true athlete. The Border Collie is both fast, strong, and has a ton of endurance that suits it well for runs, hikes, and even marathons!
  1. Herding
  2. Shepherd / Sheepdog
  3. Border Collie
The Border Collie is a purebred dog that belongs to the Shepherd / Sheepdog sub group, which falls under the larger Herding dog breed group.
Herding group: The Herding group dogs all share an instinctual ability to control the movement of other animals. They have traditionally been raised on farms to help herd and protect valuable livestock. They are intelligent, and have been bred to treat each day like they have a "job" they must do. Their innate herding ability is such a big part of who they are, that they are known to even "herd" their owners, children, or other small dogs. Some can seem stubborn and even obsessed with their herding, since they take it seriously! They have high expectations, and must be stimulated mentally just as much as physically. The reward to these "high expectations" is that they can be trained very well, and are oftentimes used in competitions. Certain breeds such as the well known German Shepard are also used by Police forces, because of their discipline, intelligence, and ability to be trained.
Shepherd / Sheepdog sub-group: Shepherd dogs are the super performers of the dog world. For many generations they have served their owners by performing their job of helping in the farm- guarding, protecting, and herding. Shepherds were bred based off intelligence and temperament, and willingness to serve their families. Today they are excellent family dogs, but also excel as military service animals, emotional therapy dogs, and in competitive obedience competitions. They are highly trainable and intelligent, but that does not necessarily mean they are an easy dog or optimal for first time owners. With this potential comes greater responsibility from the owner. They need a firm owner who is willing to stimulate them both physically and mentally from an early age. They need a leader. If they have one, you will be rewarded with one of the friendliest and most intelligent dogs in the World.

Border Collies for adoption

Similar Breeds