Breed Spotlight: Border Collie

RESOURCES : Collapsed

Life Expectancy:  12 - 15 years
Dog Breed Group: Herding Dogs
Weight:  30 - 45 lbs.
Height: 18 - 20 inches

Where Does the Border Collie Rank?

See where this beloved breed ranks in comparison to other breeds in 7 key categories.


The Border Collie can be an easy-to-train breed due to a strong desire to please their pet parent.

Shedding Friendliness

The Border Collie is a moderate shedder the majority of the year. Twice per year, the Border Collie will shed excessively (seasonally).

Ease of Grooming

Your Border Collie should be brushed weekly to maintain a healthy coat. Weekly brushing allows the oils in his skin to distribute through his coat properly. This breed should only be given a bath as-needed; generally once every three to four months.


Border Collies are moderately healthy dogs, but do have a higher risk of eye issues such as blindness and retinal atrophy, as well as orthopedic issues including hip dysplasia, and can also suffer from allergies.

Exercise Needs

The Border Collie is an extremely active, energetic dog and requires a significant amount of activity. A walk in the park or a game of fetch is not sufficient for this dog. This breed needs continuous daily activity which involves some type of duty. This breed is often seen on farms assisting with the farm chores.

Good with Children

The Border Collie, when raised properly, is an excellent family dog. Due to her herding instincts though, she may not be a good fit for some families. She may nip or bark at children due to her herding instinct.  

Barking Restraint

Excessive barking is not common in this breed.

What You Need to Know About Border Collies


The Border Collie was bred specifically to breed sheep. As such, she has a significant amount of energy and stamina. Throughout history, the Border Collie was utilized to herd sheep in rugged terrain.

Due to this specific purpose, the Border Collie may not be the breed for you if you are searching for a cuddly, lazy dog. He does not want to be babied, he wants a duty around your home.  If he does not have a sufficient amount of exercise, he is at high risk of developing behavioral problems. For this particular breed, a walk each day or a game of fetch is not sufficient.

The Border Collie is an excellent match for a pet parent interested in canine agility competitions. With proper training, the Border Collie excels in agility competitions.


The Border Collie is an extremely easy-to-train breed. He is extremely intelligent and has a strong desire to please his pet parent.


The Border Collie has a medium-length double coat which consists of a soft undercoat and coarse outer coat. He also has feathering on his legs, chest, and belly. Grooming for this breed is not excessive but the pet parent should brush him weekly to keep the oils in his fur well distributed. More frequent brushing throughout seasonal shedding time may be necessary. You should only bathe this breed as-needed which is generally every four months or so.

Health Problems

Hip dysplasia - Hip dysplasia is a genetic condition common to medium and large breed dogs.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) -  PRA is a degenerative eye disorder.

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.

Allergies - There are three types of allergies common to the Border Collie; food allergies, contact allergies and inhalant allergies. All are possible in this breed. Treatment varies based on the allergy.

Osteochondrosis Dissecans (OCD) - OCD is an orthopedic health condition which is caused by the improper growth of cartilage in the joints resulting in stiffness.

Common Health Issues for Border Collies

  • Otitis - middle ear infection
  • UTI - urinary tract infection
  • Diarrhea
  • Laceration
  • Arthritis
  • Allergies
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Conjunctivitis - pink eye
  • Gastritis - inflammation, irritation, or erosion of the stomach lining
  • Conjunctivitis - pink eye

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 Border Collie

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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.