Breed Spotlight: Border Collie

4 min read
Aug 31, 2022

Border Collie Quick Stats


12 – 15 years


30 – 45 lbs


18 – 20 inches




High energy, easily trainable, intelligent, affectionate

Common Health Problems:

Hip dysplasia, epilepsy, and hypothyroidism

Border Collie: How Do I Look?

The border collie is a medium-sized dog with a muscular and agile build, perfect for herding and farm work. Their medium-length double coat can be a variety of colors, and the American Kennel Club recognizes 17 of them.2

Coat Type and Colors

Border collies have a medium-length double coat which consists of a soft undercoat and coarse outer coat with feathering on their legs, chest, and belly. Grooming for this breed isn’t excessive, but you should brush them weekly to evenly distribute the oils in their fur, and to prevent matting and excessive shedding around the house.

Border collies come in a variety of colors, and often have white markings mixed in with colors like brown, black, or gray.


These dogs have moderately-sized, wide-set ears. Like most dogs, their ears often sit semi-erect and are highly expressive, perking up even more when alert.

Drooling Level

Border collies rarely drool, making them safe for your beloved furniture and floors.

Border Collie

Border Collie: Personality Traits

What My Adoption Bio Would Say:

Not to brag, but I’ve got it all — I’m super smart and full of energy, but still down to cuddle at the end of a long day. If we match, I’ll be your favorite companion and listen to everything you say. Herding is in my blood, so I’m good on the farm, but I also love agility training or other hobbies that can get me moving. Give me a chance and I’ll be yours for life!


The border collie was bred specifically to herd sheep.2 Because of this, they are disciplined but have a significant amount of energy and stamina. The border collie may not be the breed for you if you’re searching for a low-energy, lazy dog. They thrive when put to task or in a high-activity environment. They’re at risk for behavioral problems if they’re not given enough exercise, meaning a walk and a bout of fetch won’t always do the trick.

The border collie is an excellent match for a pet parent interested in enrolling their pup in canine agility classes. With proper training, the border collie excels in agility competitions.

Exercise Needs

The border collie is an extremely active, energetic dog and requires a significant amount of activity. This breed needs continuous daily activity which involves some type of duty or purpose. This breed is often seen on farms assisting with the farm chores, but also benefits from long runs in the park and agility training.


The border collie can be an easy-to-train breed due to a strong desire to please their pet parent. They’re often utilized as K9 detection dogs, military dogs, or private security dogs due to their trainability and high intelligence.

Good with Kids?

The border collie, when raised properly, is an excellent family dog. Due to their herding instincts, they may not be a good fit for some families. They may nip or bark at small children instinctually, but can be a great fit when socialized properly.

Barking Level

Border collies are a chatty breed, due to being herders by blood. Despite this, they’re very trainable and aim to please their owners, so you can curb this behavior with the right cues.

Good with Other Pets?

This breed will get along with most other dogs, but early socialization is key. Their herding instincts could come out as bossiness, which might upset playmates and lead to aggression. Teach your pup to follow the leader every now and then so they’ll be the perfect companion for other furry friends.

The Border Collie: A History

The border collie, as its name implies, was originally found on the border between Scotland and England.2 Their main duty was herding livestock, which is where they get their energy, agility, and trainability. One of the border collie’s most unique abilities, bred from their herding history, is their instinct to follow commands even when their owner isn’t present. This is particularly beneficial in herding situations, but it also means they can be trusted alone!

Common Border Collie Mixes

  • Bordoodle: border collie/poodle mix
  • Borgi: border collie/corgi mix
  • Border Jack: border collie/Jack Russell terrier mix
  • Borsky: border collie/husky mix

Border Collie Health Problems

  • Arthritis
  • Allergies
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Otitis (Middle ear infection)
  • Conjunctivitis (Pink eye)
  • Gastritis (Inflammation, irritation, or erosion of the stomach lining)
  • Collie Eye Anomaly: This is an inherited health condition which results in eye abnormalities. This can sometimes lead to blindness and occurs prior to the 2-year-old mark.
  • Osteochondrosis Dissecans (OCD):  OCD is an orthopedic health condition which is caused by the improper growth of cartilage in the joints resulting in stiffness.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA):  PRA is a degenerative eye disorder.

Protect Your Border Collie With Dog Insurance

Thinking of bringing home a new puppy? Consider protecting them with a dog insurance policy from MetLife Pet Insurance.1 Our dog insurance policies can provide the coverage and care your furry family member deserves. Get your free quote today.

Protect your Pets

Even the healthiest of pups can come with unexpected vet costs. Pet insurance can help keep your dog and your bank account happy.

Protect your Border Collie with Pet Insurance

Enroll in 3 Easy Steps

Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.

2 “Official Standard of the Border Collie,” American Kennel Club

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