Border Collie: Description, Temperament & Facts

Country of origin: Great Britain
Shoulder height: up to 53 cm
Weight: 14 – 22 kg
Age: 12 – 14 years
Colour: all colors, not predominantly white
Use: working dog, sporting dog, companion dog, the family dog

The Border Collie comes from Northern England and is the herding and working dog par excellence. His pronounced eagerness to learn, his excessive urge to move, and his need for the mental activity must be satisfied from an early age so that the dog can have a full and happy life.

Origin and history

The Border Collie is a herding dog from northern England. The breed name goes back to its geographical origin, the border between England and Scotland. The breeders’ association International Sheep Dog Society (ISDS) has existed in England since 1906 and deals intensively with the working qualities of Border Collies. Border Collies have existed in Germany since the 1970s, and in 1978 the first Border Collie was entered in the Stud Book of the Club for British Sheepdogs.

The Border Collie is the ultimate working dog. It is used worldwide as a herding dog for large herds, as well as a rescue dog for high-performance sports. In recent years, the dog breed has also become increasingly popular as a family dog, not least because of films such as “A Pig Called Babe”. But the agile, very lively herding dog is completely underutilized as a pure family companion dog and can become a problem dog.


The Border Collie is a medium-sized dog, its physique is particularly well suited for speed, agility, and endurance. According to the breed standard, two coat variants are recognized – the long-haired and the stock-haired variant. Both have a dense coat with an undercoat. The coat is relatively easy to care for.

Many combinations are possible with the color of the fur, whereby the color white is never predominant. The head is broad, the muzzle moderately short, the eyes are oval and set wide apart, and are medium size. The medium-sized ears are erect or tilted forward. The tail is moderately long, well-haired, set low, and never carried over the back.


The Border Collie is a very alert, intelligent, very energetic, and independent working dog. It is alert without being aggressive and has a strong herding instinct.

The workaholic among the herding dogs needs consistent, expert guidance and species-appropriate employment. Without regular and intensive work opportunities, the Border Collie is not suitable as a pure family companion dog. In addition to extensive physical exercise, he also needs demanding mental activity every day, which the average dog owner cannot offer. A large garden and a bit of exercise are not enough for a Border Collie. It is out of place in a city apartment. Without appropriate, intensive activity that suits his eagerness to work and herding instinct, he can quickly become a problem dog, ranging from hyperactive to aggressive.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

Leave a Reply


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *