Border Collie: Size, Characteristics & Personality


The Border Collie is a medium-sized shepherd dog with agile, durable, energetic and graceful build. Very smart, hardworking Border Collies are easy to train and learn commands quickly. This breed is also known by the names Scottish Shepherd Dog and Highland Collie. The Border Collie dog comes in two varieties, with long and short hair. This hard-working breed is tireless, has unending energy and a sense of duty. They should definitely have a job to occupy during the day. It is also likened to the Australian Shepherd Dog with some of its habits and appearance. The concept of family is very important for the Border Collie. He wants to spend time with his family and play games. The Border Collie dog is a breed that should be preferred by people who can take time for themselves and adapt to their energetic nature. If you do not have high energy to adapt to the dog, have time to spare for activities and do not have a garden to live comfortably, this breed of dog will not be suitable for you.

Personality & Character Traits

The most distinctive feature of the Border Collie is that it is an intelligent and hardworking shepherd dog. They move quite fast, change direction quickly, do not get tired and do not know how to stop. With a good training, you can see them doing different jobs in different tasks. It is a workaholic dog that gets bored of being idle during the day and likes to be busy with something. They need to unload their higher energies by being busy, with adequate exercise and work. Otherwise, they may exhibit negative behaviors such as barking, chasing and digging, and may become irritable. Keep in mind that the Border Collie is descended from a sheepdog, it is not a breed that will sit next to its owner all day. It was bred to watch, care for, and work with flocks.

The Border Collie also has a childish side that demands attention and affection. At the end of the day, there is no reason why he shouldn’t come in his big body and get on his owner’s lap and not be loved. They are very attached to their family, they make an effort to do and complete their requests and commands. The Border Collie knows its owner well and sometimes anticipates commands. They want to do the given tasks correctly, complete them and be appreciated when they succeed. For a happy Border Collie owner; It is necessary to provide suitable space for him to spend time with, play, take a walk and run.

The Border Collie is an intelligent and easy to train dog. With the good training he will receive and the praise and support of his owner, he will show success in various sports. He excels in agility skills, frisbee game, shepherd dog missions. He achieves outstanding success in the competitions he participates in. This breed wants to complete the tasks given to the end, so it is a dog that pushes its rivals in competitions, loves competition and winning.

There is nothing a Border Collie can’t achieve with a good leader. All your leader has to do is not let the Border Collie do what he wants. Because part of this breed is independent and stubborn. Because he is a pack dog, once he is given the opportunity to become a leader, he strives to maintain it. That’s why the Border Collie owner should always hold the strings and remind his dog who the leader is. You should never be harsh in Border Collie training. This breed is fragile, emotionally vulnerable. You can complete the training process more easily by giving commands with calm tones, praising and rewarding your dog.

You should add socializing your dog to the training you started in the puppyhood period. Socialization and communication with different people and animals in different environments will make the Border Collie a more good-natured dog in adulthood. Socialized Border Collie’s communication with strangers, dogs and other animals is better and more tolerant. Dogs that do not receive adequate training and socialization are likely to be shy, fearful or shy towards their environment.

It is not a very suitable dog for apartment life. They may not be able to live in an apartment because they are energetic, active and need a lot of exercise. In addition, it is among the loud dogs with high barking potential. With these habits, they can show their presence and cause discomfort to the residents of the apartment. Therefore, a safe, fenced house with a garden is more suitable for their life. They are happier in an environment where they can easily walk around in the garden and enter the house whenever they want. It may have a shed in the garden, but it should not be left tied up there for long. They do not like to be alone and tied for long periods of time.

Also known as the smartest dog in the world, the Border Collie is both a shepherd and a good family dog ​​with its obedient, hardworking, good-natured and loving nature. You can find the Border Collie in both urban and rural areas. Its popularity continues to increase every year.


Border Collie History

The ancestors of the Border Collie were used in Great Britain from the 1800s on different missions, but mostly in guarding and herding sheep. In Britain there were sheep herding dogs with different herding styles. Some dogs had a natural gift for circling sheep and bringing them back to the shepherd. Most of these dogs were boisterous and tended to nip and bark while they were doing their job. While raising the perfect shepherd dog Border Collie, breeding studies have been carried out on various dogs in order to have more and different functions than all other dogs, and they have been successful.

In Great Britain, the Border Collie is seen as one of herders’ most valuable assets. They crossbred the most hardworking dogs with each other. Dogs with different characteristics and structures emerged. The appearance of these dogs varied according to the place they lived and the work they did. Dogs with different appearances were given names such as the Welsh Sheepdog, Northern Sheepdog, Highland Collie and Scotch Collie, associating them with the region in which they were raised and bred. It is likened to the Australian Shepherd Dog, which it contributes to the formation of the Border Collie, with some of its habits, behaviors and appearance. The Border Collie dog breed was named in later years to reflect its Scottish heritage. The word collie, derived from the Scottish language, means shepherd dog. The Boder Collie is also known as the Scottish Shepherd dog.

Interest in dogs and people’s praise for these dogs continued to increase. A Shepherd Dog competition was held in England (between 1860 and 1873) for these praised dogs to display their skills. The sheepdog named Hemp did not gather the flock by nipping or barking the sheep. With his calm gaze, he managed to move them as he wished with his eyes and to frighten them away. He was admired for his herding ability, which was different from other breeds, without making much noise. The ancestor of the Hemp sheepdog Border Collie breed is considered to be the father. In the following years, interest in dogs increased when Queen Victoria saw, loved and became interested in one of these dogs during her trip to Balmorat.

In 1906, a breed standard was prepared for the Border Collie, different from other breeds. In other dog breeds, the breed standards, which mainly mention their physical appearance, also included a definition of extra working abilities in this breed. The stated working abilities were instrumental in shaping the breed. Despite his many talents, the dog was referred to as a shepherd dog. In 1915, the name Border Collie was officially registered, referring to the dog’s origins around the English and Scottish borders.

Border Collies were later brought to the United States. His speed, herding, and obedience skills captivated American shepherds. Border Collie fans have struggled for many years to ensure that this dog is not recognized by the Akc as a show dog. The Border Collie has earned a reputation for exceptional abilities, being a highly intelligent dog and herding herd. It was officially recognized by the Border Collie Akc in 1995.

Today, the Border Collie is one of the leading shepherd dogs. With his superior intelligence, herd ability and being a loyal friend, his popularity continues to increase day by day.

Physical Qualities


The Border Collie is a medium sized, athletic looking dog full of energy. With its muscular and agile structure and strong body, it acts as a herd guard as a shepherd dog. It has a strong, muscular and slightly sloping neck structure. Body structure is slightly longer than shoulder height. In general, the Border Collie dog is seen to have a proportional, elegant and durable body. This breed stands out with its intelligence rather than its physical features.


The skull of the Border Collie breed is flat and of medium width. The muzzle and skull are of medium size and approximately the same length. There is a prominent, broad forehead protrusion and a thin white line towards the top of the muzzle. Its black nose tapers towards the tip. Their eyes are at a distance from each other, their distance is proportional. The Border Collie jaw is quite strong and overwhelming. Their teeth, which are closed with a scissor bite, are very sharp and strong. His teeth are set squarely on his jaw. In the face area, the hair on the pointed part of the ears is short. In the neck area, it is possible to see the long hairs and mane.


Border Collie ears are medium in size. Their ears are different from many dog ​​breeds. Their ears are usually semi-erect or fully erect. However, there are rare Border Collie dogs with floppy ears. The ears, which are distant from each other in the head region, and their semi-upright position are as follows: The ear comes out with a slight tapering from the bottom up, and then it is seen that the tip hangs down. Both ear structures can be seen in the Border Collie breed. Regardless of their ear structure, they can hear very well in their ears.


Almond eyes in oval shape have medium size. Their eyes are at a moderate distance from each other. Next to the white line from the forehead to the muzzle, there are bright eyes, usually dark brown, hazel and amber, among the dark hairs. In an exceptional case, the Merle colored Border Collie may have one or both eyes blue. The eye color of the merle breed of Border Collie is different from other Border Collie dogs. This very intelligent and intelligent dog reflects this feature in its expressive gaze.

Legs and Feet

The front legs of the Border Collie are straight when viewed from the front and slightly curved when viewed from the side. It is a shepherd dog that can move quite quickly with its durable foot structure that adapts to its agile body and strong strong steps.


The tail of the Border Collie breed is proportional to its length. The length of its medium-sized tail reaches the length of the heel. Its long hairy tail is usually hanging down. When the Border Collie is excited, you can see its tail rise and position itself on its back.


It has a double layer, dense, tight and weather resistant fur. The outer layer of the double-layer fur is thick, while the lower layer consists of soft hairs. The Border Collie can come with two types of fur, 8 cm thick, straight, coarse and long or 2.5 cm long, short and smooth. Short-haired and long-haired dogs have hair in different places on their bodies. The long-haired Border Collie has a mane on the neck and long hair on its tail. The rest of its body is the same as the shorthaired ones. The face, the tips of the ears and the front legs are short-haired. The Border Collie has a noble stance with its soft, shiny and non-shedding feathers.


There is a Border Collie dog of various colors with short and long hair. The most well-known and the first fur color that comes to mind of this breed is black/white, but there are also other hair colors. In addition to the black and white color, the Border Collie can also appear in black-gray, red-white, yellow, yellow-white, sable, tri-color or completely black colors and with various patterns. In various parts of the body of the Black Border Collie; White color and sometimes brown spots are seen on the face, neck, feet, legs and tail tip.


Border Collie Care

The Border Collie breed has two types of fur. This breed has long, rough or short, straight and thick hair. Regardless of whether they are short or long, the structure of both is double-layered, dense and weather-resistant. You can comb and brush once or twice a week to care for their fur. You can choose the structure of your brush with frequent needles or in a different way. The important thing is to collect your dog’s dead hair, to keep the body away from dirt and not to allow a dull appearance. During the shedding season, she experiences more shedding than the general of the year. In this process, it is very important to brush their hair regularly every day. Otherwise, their fur will become tangled, clumps will form around and the dog’s color will become dull.

Nail care should be trimmed 1-2 times a month when it is not worn or broken too much. However, broken and damaged nails should be cared for and cut for a short time. Border Collie dog, which is active, must have smooth and short nails in order to move freely. For oral and dental health, you should brush your dog’s teeth 2-3 times a week. Bad breath, bacteria formation and tartar build-up are best prevented by regular tooth brushing and care.

The need for a bath is not very frequent. However, he should definitely take a bath as soon as possible when it is dirty, smells bad and in other similar situations. In the normal cycle, washing 3-4 times a year is sufficient for them. You can plan this cycle every three or four months with shampoo and care products suitable for your dog. Outside of the bath, you should clean your dog’s hair by wiping it with a damp cloth from time to time.

In addition, your dog’s skin, eyes, ears, nose, paws, mouth and teeth should be checked on your weekly grooming list. If you encounter conditions such as smelly ears, watering in the eyes, redness and runny nose, you should follow the progress and inform your veterinarian. You can prevent possible health problems with weekly general care and controls for your dog.

Border Collie Nutrition

Border Collie can consume high quality prepared foods or home prepared foods suitable for medium breeds approved by your veterinarian. If you are considering giving home meals, you should definitely know about what foods your dog should and should not eat. Consuming any food from the list of prohibited foods that dogs should not eat can negatively affect their health. For ready-made food, you can buy high quality food from brands such as Royal Canin, Proplan, Acana, Hills, N&D, Gimcat, Brit, Purina, Felix, Brit Care recommended by veterinarians and responsible breeders. You should make this choice according to your dog’s age and allergen status. For the Border Collie, which is genetically sensitive to allergies, it is important for your dog’s health to look at the ingredients of the foods you will buy.

Although they are energetic, active and medium in size, they are prone to obesity. Therefore, you should control calories in their diet and pay attention to what they eat. To meet the daily nutritional needs of the Border Collie breed, it is sufficient to divide 1.5 – 2 scoops of high quality dry food into two meals. This scale and the number of meals we have mentioned is a generalization. It is possible to customize the nutrition plan according to your dog’s active structure, age, height and weight. If you have questions and problems about your dog’s diet, weight and diet, you should consult your veterinarian for information.

Border Collie Exercise

The Border Collie is a highly athletic breed with an energetic body and quick strides. This dog has a high need for exercise. It is essential to take long walks and exercise during the day. The small games and excursions you will do will definitely not meet their needs. It should be ensured that these dogs participate in not only physical activities but also mental activities.

This breed, which is among the smartest dogs in the world, has the ability to show superior success in competitions because it is easy to train and obeys obedience. With a good leader, they can be very successful in a variety of sports such as obedience, agility, frisbee, flyball, rally and tracking competitions. Do not think that they are just shepherd dogs, that they will guard the herd. These dogs, who love to work and strive to achieve the given task, are talented enough to stand on two legs and walk. As long as you provide him with these opportunities and let his talents show.

With its high energies and active nature, the Border Collie does not like to be idle during the day. He should have a job to do, a place to work and a specific task. If you can’t meet these counts, you should set aside 90 minutes for your dog’s daily activity needs or take long and brisk walks of 3.5 to 4 kilometers. At least during these times, your dog will be able to release his energy in vigorous and high-paced activities. In the future, he will perceive these activities that you do every day as a task. They love to play games. Running after a ball, playing Frisbee and chasing things are among their favorite things.

The Border Collie dog is not a dog breed to be adopted for people who do not like to walk, do not stay at home much, live in a small house and have a busy working life. This breed will live a happier and longer life with a person who will adapt to its energetic nature.

Border Collie Training

Very intelligent and intelligent, the Border Collie is an easy breed to train. It is very important to start socializing and training when they are still puppies. For your dog to socialize in the first 7 months, entering different environments and communicating with different people and animals will positively affect their development. The education process, which starts at an early stage, will continue throughout his life. In addition to training such as obedience, toilet and area protection, you can train in many other areas. Learning new things and being successful in them will make this breed very happy.

The Border Collie excels in multiple fields. It is a successful breed in various dog competitions and activities such as livestock obedience, advanced obedience, free obedience, agility, frisbee, flyball and agility. There is little that a good leader cannot accomplish. That’s why it is a favorite of dog competitions. You can see that Collie is enjoying the training process with his desire to please his owner and his love for playing. In its environment, it may unintentionally harm small children with its large size and herding tendency. It will be better for families with large and good-natured children to adopt these dogs instead of families with small children.

With positive reinforcement methods such as praise, reward and play in training, approaching your dog with interest will allow you to reach the result in a shorter time. Since they learn everything very quickly, they can learn and practice bad behaviors as well as good behaviors. That’s why you should follow the behavior and not keep your dog for a long time in environments with bad behavior.

Easy to train, successful, loyal, the Border Collie needs an owner who can take care of it. The easier it is to train, the greater the need for exercise. Therefore, it is not a race that everyone can adapt to. When adopting, don’t just look at it in terms of education and health. Try to evaluate according to all the characteristics and needs of the dog.

Border Collie Health

The Border Collie is generally a healthy, hardy breed. But there are some health issues that he is prone to. Knowing what these problems are and their symptoms will make it easier for you to intervene when they get sick. Border Collie should be screened precautionary breeding stock for health problems such as hip dysplasia, progressive renal atrophy (PRA), deafness, epilepsy, collie eye anomaly, Osteochondritis Dissecans, flea allergy, neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis and trapped neutrophil syndrome by a responsible breeder.

Body care of Border Collie such as teeth, eyes, nose and ears should be done regularly. It is important in terms of health monitoring that you regularly check your body for possible signs of discomfort and go to the vet when necessary.

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