The Ultimate Guide: Border Collies

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Border Collies

Moderately sized dogs at less than 2 feet tall, the Border Collie is actually a relatively lightweight dog, though you wouldn’t know it by looking at them. That’s because they have quite a bit of fur to make them appear larger. But, what you’ll really want to know about these dogs, is that they are extremely energetic and outgoing.

They’re workaholics, which may not surprise anyone who’s seen them hard at work on a farm. For those who have plenty of energy and really want to run and play with them, they can be great dogs.

They have all the energy you could need and they are more than willing to cuddle and relax at the end of the day. They’re athletic herders with plenty of muscle and a rough or smooth coat depending on the specific parentage. They also have several different colors and patterns to their coat.

Highly trainable and a Border Collie puppy, they are great at agility and tend to be extremely friendly, though they may take a little time to warm up to strangers. They’re calm but somewhat reserved around those that they don’t know. As they get to know new people they become friendlier and more sociable, though they are not ideal for families that have smaller children. They do well with older children and with adults, however, and can be a great playmate for an older child who loves to run and be more energetic and rambunctious.

Border Collies Diet & Nutrition

Good quality food is always an important thing when it comes to feeding your Border Collie and you should be sure that the food you give them is tailored to their stage of life as well. Make sure that you talk with your vet about the right type and quantity of treats to give and about any human food that you might be questioning giving to your dog. These things can lead to obesity and it’s important to keep your dog at a healthy weight. Keeping plenty of fresh water available at all times is another important factor for any type of dog.


Dogs with a rough coat tend to have medium length and a feathered style while those with a smooth coat have shorter but coarser fur. Either of these is quite dense and is considered a double coat. They also are quite weather-resistant, which enables these dogs to work outside even in less ideal weather. They need grooming at least a couple of times a week to keep dirt and tangles out of their fur. Keep in mind that it’s important to use a pin brush and to brush both the outer and undercoats.

When the shedding season comes up, you’ll want to brush them daily to make sure that they don’t shed too much and you should definitely make sure to trim their nails and brush their teeth regularly. This keeps them healthier overall.

Exercising A Border Collie

Border Collie Exercising

Exercise is extremely important with a Border Collie because they are natural-born work dogs. They have a lot of drive and a lot of energy that requires a great deal of exercise daily.

Having a job to do is important and having vigorous exercise either as part of the job or outside of the job is crucial.

This will help them get rid of some energy but means that the owner needs to be active and available constantly. 

Plenty of space for running is important and even activities involving agility, rally, tracking, and herding are great ways for the dog to burn off some of that excess energy.


Socialization from an early age is a great thing for these breeds and will allow them to feel more comfortable with people and different situations as they grow older. Border Collie training includes obedience which will also give them the mental stimulation that they need and will make sure that they are happy and healthy. The Border Collie will have no problem with obedience training as it is very smart—perfect for families. They are best with older children, however, rather than small children.

They’re extremely agile and balanced and tend to be quite strong as well. Activities that keep them outdoors and keep them running and moving constantly are actually very appealing to these dogs and will keep them happier than a sedentary life indoors.

Border Collies As Emotional Support Canines

The Border Collie is an extremely wild and energetic dog at times, which makes it difficult to use as an ESA support dog for those who want to travel frequently. They tend to have their own behavioral issues if they don’t get the kind of stimulation that they need (both mental and physical) and also need a lot of time from their human owner. They need to have the space and the time to run and get rid of some of the energy that are inherent in these larger dogs, but they can become your best friend and source of emotional support if you live an active lifestyle.


These types of dogs are actually quite healthy and hardy, though they can be prone to some conditions. It’s important to deal with a reputable breeder if you are thinking about getting a Border Collie so you can be sure that they have been checked for health conditions that include:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Progressive renal atrophy
  • Deafness
  • Epilepsy
  • Collie eye anomaly
  • Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis
  • Trapped neutrophil syndrome

Bottom Line

The bottom line is that this dog breed is very active and energetic. If you have plenty of energy to devote to them or if you have a task for them to perform, such as herding, then they will be a great companion. They are moderately sized and tend to be comfortable and loyal to their families and training your Border Collie is easy. Though they can be a little reserved around those they don’t know they do warm up quickly and can be a great deal of fun. They’re not ideal as an emotional support dog, however, as they may require a little too much effort for this purpose.

Border Collies