Border Collie

Border Collie is the world’s smartest dog breed. The Border Collie was developed to gather and control sheep in the hilly border country between Scotland and England. Borders are dogs with unlimited energy, stamina, and working drive.

Border Collies
Border Collies

Border Collie FAQs Frequently Asked Questions:

Let us seek some answers related to the Border Collie breed. Are they really the smartest dog breed? Are Border Collies hypoallergenic or do they shed a lot? Do they bark a lot? Are they good guard dogs? Are they good family dogs? Good with children? and many more questions that a potential Border Collie owner may be concerned about.

Are they really smart? How smart?

Yes, Border Collie is really the smartest dog breed in the world. Researchers have demonstrated that a Border Collie can remember the names of over 1,000 objects, differentiating between names of objects and orders to fetch them.

Is Border Collie a good family dog?

Border Collies are very people-oriented and are wonderful family dogs. Some Borders may not be good with other dogs or cats but others are good. Border Collies are the best working breed in the world for sheepherding. They also excel in performance activities such as agility, obedience, flyball, and freestyle, among others. Border Collies can make good family pets for families prepared to deal with natural herding instincts.

Are Border Collies good with kids?

If you are planning to keep a Border Collie in a family with children, try to find puppies that do not have the intense working herding instincts. For herding dogs, kids can be sheep and sheep that don’t listen may see some aggression to get them in line.

Can Border Collies swim?

Border Collies love to swim if encouraged to do so when they are young. Swimming is an excellent way to exercise this high-energy dog breed during the hot summer months.

Do Border Collies bark a lot?

Yes, Border Collies can bark a lot. Border Collies are highly alert watchdogs. However, they can be trained to bark less. Develop appropriate barking behavior when your Border Collie is young so it doesn’t become a nuisance later on.

Are Border Collies a good guard dog/watchdog?

Border collies are not guarding dogs (or Livestock Guardian Dogs) – they are a herding breed that works alongside livestock guardian dogs. However, the Border Collie is a smart and alert watchdog. They will instinctively bark at intruders but will not attack them or bite them.

How much do Border Collies cost? How much is a Border Collie puppy?

Border Collie puppies cost about $1200 in the United States. You can also find a lot of Border Collies up for adoption as many first-time dog owners have no idea what to expect from a smart dog breed. They buy a border collie puppy and are unable to keep up with them. Training and having a Border Collie is a full-time job. A smart bored dog can be very irritating.

Ok, so let’s assume you have chosen the Border Collie as the best breed suitable for yourself. You have decided to find yourself a puppy as your next family member. How will you choose the best pup? Let us look at some standard characteristics of the Border Collie dog breed which will help you select the right puppy, keep reading.

Choosing a good Border Collie puppy

The definition of the best Border Collie puppy depends on your requirements. Your expectations from an adult Border Collie can be broadly categorized as follows: Confirmation for show or breeding; obedience; smart guard dog; companion; homely pet; really smart pet (because it is the smartest dog breed).

Although it is tempting to look for all these qualities in one puppy you are planning to buy, it is almost never possible to find all qualities in a single pup.

If you want your Border Collie puppy to grow up to be a champion in the show ring, you should look for confirmation to the Border Collie dog breed standards. We have put together a general guideline for selecting an all-around good puppy for you. Our guideline not just includes breed standards, but also gives importance to temperament, appearance, physical details, gait, health issues, grooming needs, and maintenance. Look for the following characteristics while choosing a Border Collie puppy.

Border Collie General Appearance

Border Collie is the world’s smartest dog breed. The Border Collie is a well proportioned, smooth outline showing quality, gracefulness and perfect balance, combined with sufficient substance to give an impression of endurance. Any tendency to coarseness or weediness is undesirable.

Tenacious, hardworking sheepdog, great tractability.

Border Collie Temperament

Keen, alert, responsive and intelligent. Neither nervous nor aggressive.

Border Collie Size

Ideal Height Dogs – 21 inches (53 cm) Bitches – slightly less.

Border Collies
Border Collies are smart dogs

Border Collie’s Coat

There are two varieties of Border Collies:

  1. Moderately long-coated Border Collie.
  2. Smooth Border Collie.

    Border Collie and Smooth Collie
    Border Collie and Smooth Collie

In both, the topcoat is dense and medium textured, the undercoat is soft and dense giving good weather resistance. In the moderately long-coated variety, abundant coat forms mane, breeching, and brush. On the face, ears, forelegs (except for feather), hindlegs from hock to ground, hair should be short and smooth.

Border Collie Colors

A wide variety of colors are permissible. However, white should never predominate.

Border Collie colors
Border Collie colors

Border Collie’s Head

Skull: fairly broad, occiput not pronounced. Cheeks not full or rounded. Muzzle tapering to nose, moderately short and strong. Skull and fore-face approximately equal in length. Stop very distinct. Nose black, except in brown or chocolate color when it may be brown. In blues, the nose should be slate color. Nostrils are well developed. Eyes: Set wide apart, oval-shaped, or moderate size, brown in color except in merles where one or both or part of one or both may be blue. Expression mild, keen alert and intelligent. Ears: Medium-sized and texture, well set apart. Carried erect or semi-erect and sensitive in use. Mouth: Teeth and jaws strong with a perfect, regular complete scissor bite, (i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws).

Border Collie
Photo: Border Collie in a Herding Stance

Border Collie’s Neck

Of good length, strong and muscular, slightly arched and broadening to shoulders.

Border Collie’s Forequarters

Front legs should be parallel when viewed from the front, pasterns slightly sloping when viewed from the side. Bones should be strong, but not heavy. Shoulders well laid back, elbows close to the body.

Border Collie’s Body

Athletic in appearance, ribs well sprung, chest deep and rather broad, loins deep and muscular, but not tucked up. Body slightly longer than the height at the shoulder.

Border Collie’s Hindquarters

Broad, muscular, in profile, sloping gracefully to set on of tail. Thighs long, deep and muscular with well-turned stifles and strong, well let down hocks. From hock to ground, hind-legs well boned and parallel when viewed from the rear. Feet: Oval in shape, pads deep, strong and sound, toes arched and close together. Nails short and strong.

Border Collie’s Tail

Moderately long, the bone reaching at least to hock, set on low, well furnished and with an upward swirl towards the end, completing graceful contour and balance of the dog. The tail may be raised in excitement, never carried over back.

Border Collie’s Gait

Free, smooth and tireless, with minimum lift of feet, conveying an impression of ability to move with great stealth and speed.

Faults observed in the show ring – while judging the Border Collie breed.

Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded be in exact proportion to its degree.

Choosing the right Border Collie puppy for Herding

While almost all Border Collie pups bred from good working parents will become useful herding dogs, not all Border Collies have been bred for working ability from working bloodlines. The best way to get a good herding dog is to buy a pup registered with a working registry such as the ABCA rather than from a show registry such as the AKC.

You can find excellent Border Collies puppies with herding instinct for sale by attending open sheepdog or cattle dog trials.

Since working dogs are not bred for appearance in the show ring, working Border Collies don’t all look alike. They can vary in weight from 25 to 55 pounds, with coats that may be smooth, medium, or rough. Colors are typically black, black with tan, and reddish-brown, all usually with white markings, but merle, brindle and predominantly white Border Collies can also be found. Since appearance is not linked with working characteristics, choose a puppy whose appearance pleases you.

The puppy’s parents are your best indication of what the pups will be like, so learn as much about them as you can.  The pup is likely to have traits from both parents that directly reflect their working style, personality, and strengths and weaknesses.  Watch both parents working, if you can, and ask yourself if they are able to do the type of work you intend to do.   If you like the sire but not the dam, keep on looking.  There are plenty of fine working dogs, so spend the time and study to find the one most suited to you.

Border Collie Puppies
Picture: Border Collie puppies

Border Collie Videos

3 thoughts on “Border Collie”

  1. Among all the dog breeds that have been observed throughout, the Border collie is considered the smartest dog breed is ever known by mankind. The Poodle and the German shepherd ranking 2nd and 3rd respectively.

  2. this bothers me: there is all this focus on the dog’s appearance when appearance is not what makes a border collie. they weren’t bred for looks – they were bred for smarts and there is NOTHING on this page that addresses that.

    if you have a border collie that ticks all the beauty boxes but is dumb as a stump or won’t retain and follow commands or can’t tell a sheep from an F-150, then you can’t really call it a border collie – it’d be more like a “border collie type” dog.

  3. Border Collies were designed to work long and hard in all sorts of weather. They are high-energy herding dogs, intense and reactive to movement. They are intelligent, but that can be a two-edged sword! They need attention and training to make sure their intelligence is directed into constructive channels, not destructive ones. Before getting a Border Collie as a pet, look honestly at your lifestyle and the amount of time and effort you are willing to devote to your dog. Border Collies can make fine pets for those who can give them the extensive time, training and exercise they require, but if you are unable to make that commitment of time and effort, you would be better off choosing another breed – or finding a less-demanding dog at your local animal shelter.

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