Border Collie | PetFirst
Breed Spotlights

Border Collie

by PetFirst Pet Insurance
5 years ago

Life Expectancy:  12 – 15 years
Dog Breed Group: Herding Dogs
Weight:  30 – 45 lbs.
Height: 18 – 20 inches

Where Does the Border Collies Rank?

See where this beloved breed ranks in comparison to other breeds in 7 key categories.


9 out of 10 rankingThe Border Collie is an extremely easy-to-train breed due to their strong desire to please their pet parent.

Shedding Friendliness

4 out of 10 ranking

The Border Collie is a moderate shedder the majority of the year. Twice per year, the Border Collie will shed excessively (seasonally).

Ease of Grooming

Your Border Collie should be brushed weekly to maintain a healthy coat. Weekly brushing allows the oils in his skin to distribute through his coat properly. This breed should only be given a bath as-needed; generally once every three to four months.


Border Collies are moderately healthy dogs, but do have a higher risk of eye issues such as blindness and retinal atrophy, as well as orthopedic issues including hip dysplasia, and can also suffer from allergies.

Exercise Needs

10 out of 10 rankingThe Border Collie is an extremely active, energetic dog and requires a significant amount of activity. A walk in the park or a game of fetch is not sufficient for this dog. This breed needs continuous daily activity which involves some type of duty. This breed is often seen on farms assisting with the farm chores.
Good with Children

The Border Collie, when raised properly, is an excellent family dog. Due to her herding instincts though, she may not be a good fit for some families. She may nip or bark at children due to her herding instinct.  

Barking Restraint

Excessive barking is not common in this breed.


What You Need to Know About Border Collies


The Border Collie was bred specifically to breed sheep. As such, she has a significant amount of energy and stamina. Throughout history, the Border Collie was utilized to herd sheep in rugged terrain and often ran over 50 miles per day.

Due to this specific purpose, the Border Collie is not the breed for you if you are searching for a cuddly, lazy dog. He does not want to be babied, he wants a duty around your home. He is most commonly seen happy on farms in current society. You may even notice him herding your children for fun. If he does not have a sufficient amount of exercise, he is at high risk of developing behavioral problems. For this particular breed, a walk each day or a game of fetch is not sufficient.

The Border Collie is an excellent match for a pet parent interested in canine agility competitions. With proper training, the Border Collie excels in agility competitions.


The Border Collie is an extremely easy-to-train breed. He is extremely intelligent and has a strong desire to please his pet parent.


The Border Collie has a medium-length double coat which consists of a soft undercoat and coarse outer coat. He also has feathering on his legs, chest, and belly. Grooming for this breed is not excessive but the pet parent should brush him weekly to keep the oils in his fur well distributed. More frequent brushing throughout seasonal shedding time may be necessary. You should only bathe this breed as-needed which is generally every four months or so.

Health Problems

Hip dysplasia – Hip dysplasia is a genetic condition common to medium and large breed dogs.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) –  PRA is a degenerative eye disorder.

Collie Eye Anomaly – This is an inherited health condition which results in eye abnormalities. This can sometimes lead to blindness and occurs prior to the 2-year-old mark.

Allergies – There are three types of allergies common to the Border Collie; food allergies, contact allergies and inhalant allergies. All are possible in this breed. Treatment varies based on the allergy.

Osteochondrosis Dissecans (OCD) – OCD is an orthopedic health condition which is caused by the improper growth of cartilage in the joints resulting in stiffness.

Top 10 Most Common Health Issues for Border Collies

  1. Otitis – middle ear infection
  2. UTI – urinary tract infection
  3. Diarrhea
  4. Laceration
  5. Arthritis
  6. Allergies
  7. Hip Dysplasia
  8. Conjunctivitis – pink eye
  9. Gastritis – inflammation, irritation, or erosion of the stomach lining
  10. Conjunctivitis – pink eye

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