VCA Angel Animal Hospital

Border Collie

Border Collie

Basic Border Collie Information

  • Lifespan: 10 - 14 years
  • Height: - inches
  • Weight: - pounds

Medical Conditions Seen in Border Collies

Border Collie Traits

  • Joggin Partner
  • Lap Dog
  • Good with Children
  • Warm Weather
  • Cold Weather
  • Grooming Requirements
  • Shedding
  • Barking
  • Ease of Training

Border Collie History

  • The border collie originated in Britain around the English and Scottish border during the 1800s.
  • A defining event was the advent of the first competitive sheepdog trial in 1873, in which a dog named Hemp made such a good showing that he became sought after for stud. Hemp is considered to be the father of the border collie.
  • Hemp and his progeny herded not by nipping and barking, as was commonplace, but by staring and stalking (known as "giving eye"). This intimidated the sheep into moving.
  • Early border collies were selected only for working ability, and in fact, the first breed standard, drawn up in 1906, addressed only ability, not appearance.
  • In 1915 the dogs, formerly referred to as sheepdogs, were named border collies.
  • Many border collie enthusiasts fought against recognition by the AKC, but the AKC recognized the border collie in 1995. The majority of border collies, especially working ones, are not registered with the AKC.

Border Collie Behavior Concerns

  • Makes an endlessly enthusiastic and energetic companion.
  • Playful and very good with children
  • Somewhat reserved with strangers
  • Good with other dogs and pets.
  • Does best with reward-based training involving games, food or praise.
  • Learns quickly, but can become easily bored. Border collies enjoy learning new things.
  • A border collie without a job to do or without mental stimulation can become frustrated and destructive. This is not a breed for a lazy person.
  • Border collies from working lines tend to be more active than those from companion or show lines.
  • Some may bark a lot.
  • The border collie is a leading competitor in the sports of obedience, agility and herding.

Border Collie Suggested Exercises

  • Makes an alert housedog.
  • This is an extremely active and playful dog that enjoys having a job to do. It needs a long run or exercise period every day, plus some short play sessions.
  • Does well in dog parks.
  • Games and tricks provide needed mental exercise.
  • Herding is a favored activity.
  • Agility, flyball and disk catching are also activities that exercise the mind and body, and that border collies enjoy.
  • Border collies tolerate cold weather, but cannot live outside in it.

Border Collie Grooming

  • Coat can be either smooth, where it is short all over the body; or rough, where it is medium to long in length; and flat to slightly wavy.
  • Coat requires brushing once or twice weekly, depending on length.
  • Shedding is average.

Suggested Border Collie Nutritional Needs

  • Border collies tend to stay in good weight, or even be somewhat lean.
  • Adult dogs should be fed a balanced diet, with restricted calories if the dog starts to gain too much weight.

Did you know?

  • Grapes and raisins are harmful to dogs.
  • Some dog parasites are transferable to humans.
  • Many common pet ailments may be detected early and prevented by visiting your veterinarian twice yearly - saving both time, money, and most importantly, ensuring the best quality of life for your dog.

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Have unanswered pet health questions? Dr.Donna Spector, with 10+ years of hands-on Internal Medicine experience, is here with your answers every Friday.


Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

As part of the VCA family, we have over 83 specialty hospitals across the US and Canada which provide referral specialty care, so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: behavior, cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, integrative medicine, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology, rehabilitation, reproduction, and surgery.

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Emergency Care

In case of emergency during normal business hours, please call us immediately. If you have an emergency outside of our normal business hours, please contact a local emergency animal hospital.