The border collie is one of the most intelligent, work-loving breeds.
He is among the best herding dogs in the world and is happiest when he has a task to do.
These high-energy dogs do best with people who have time and energy to spend with them. They are not good dogs for families with children under age 5, and they often don’t get along with other dogs.
- A male border collie weighs 30 to 45 pounds, while females range from 30 to 42 pounds.
- Their height is 20-23 inches and 18-20 inches in male and female sexes respectively.
- Their coats are most commonly black and white, but the dogs also can be red and white or completely black.
- They are medium-sized dogs, compared to other breeds.
- Their life span is about 10 to 14 years.
- They are energetic. Border collies are excellent herders and are good at sports such as agility and flyball. They love to run.
- Border collies are smart and can remember up to 1,000 words.
Border collies are amongst the most active dogs and need regular exercise. They are not a good choice for couch potatoes or people who live in apartments.
Because border collies have been bred for centuries to work as herders — sheep, cattle, and goats — they have a lot of energy and need a lot of exercise.
If they don’t get enough exercise, they become restless and can become destructive or even hostile.
You can supplement physical activity with mental stimulation. Consider challenging your border collie with interactive dog toys such as:
- The Dog Tornado Plastic Interactive Dog Toy works to stimulate the dog’s brain. The toy has four layers of rotating discs. Treats can be hidden in three of the four layers and the dog has to use his nose or paws to find them.
- The Ethical Pet Seek-a-Treat Shuffle Bone is a wooden bone-shaped puzzle with 10 holes for hiding treats. Six sliding disks provide a challenge for the dog to find the treats.
- The Trixie Flip Board offers several compartments to hide treats. The non-slip rubber rim keeps the game in place as your dog explores.
Start training your border collie early. Don’t be surprised if he tries to herd the other dogs in your training classes. Just don’t let him become too aggressive with them.
The good news is border collies are relatively easy to train because they are so smart. Use positive reinforcement training and once your dog has mastered basic obedience, consider other training including agility or fly ball.
Plan to take your border collie on at least two long walks per day. If you have a large yard or live near a dog park, let him run, too.
Border collies have long coats that need regular brushing. You also should consider including teeth brushing as part of your dog’s daily routine.
Border collies are prone to ear infections, cancer, and epilepsy. Regular vet visits are crucial.
Stella Lincoln is a dog lover who has a beautiful dog named Ellie. She works part-time as a pet writer at Crowd Writer and assists students at Academist Help. She also leads seminars to provide information about the health and safety of pets.