Information about Border Collie Norfolk Terrier Mix

The Border Collie Norfolk Terrier Mix, a blend of the sharp-witted Border Collie and the spirited Norfolk Terrier, is a fascinating combination of energy, intelligence, and spunk. When you combine two breeds with such distinctive characteristics, the resulting mix is sure to be unique. Both parent breeds have garnered admiration for their respective skills, history, and appearance, so when combined, the resulting hybrid has a myriad of qualities that are equally enthralling.

Characteristics of a Border Collie Norfolk Terrier Mix

As is the case with any mixed breed, the characteristics of a Border Collie Norfolk Terrier Mix can be varied, depending on which parent breed it leans more towards. However, one can generally expect this mix to be spirited, energetic, and highly intelligent. The Border Collie is known for its remarkable intellect and agility, often touted as one of the smartest dog breeds.

On the other hand, the Norfolk Terrier is a small, courageous dog with a heart of a lion. Combined, the mix is likely to be agile, alert, and full of life. They may have a pronounced prey drive and a natural instinct for herding, making early socialization crucial.

History of Border Collie Norfolk Terrier Mix

The history of the Border Collie Norfolk Terrier Mix is relatively short when compared to its parent breeds. While specific details about the first intentional crossbreed between these two might be murky, it is possible that this mix emerged in the last few decades, a period during which hybrid breeding has gained popularity.

The Border Collie has been recognized for its exceptional skill in herding and it originated from the border area between Scotland and England. Meanwhile, the Norfolk Terrier originates from East Anglia in England and was primarily used for hunting vermin in barns and fox bolting. While the combination of a herder and a hunter may seem unconventional, this crossbreed seeks to capture the best of both worlds: agility and tenacity.

Appearance of Border Collie Norfolk Terrier Mix

Given the differences in the physical appearance of both parent breeds, the appearance of the Border Collie Norfolk Terrier Mix can be quite varied. Generally, they may exhibit a medium-sized body with sturdy legs, reminiscent of the Norfolk Terrier, combined with the graceful, athletic build of the Border Collie. Their head could be well-defined with expressive eyes that radiate intelligence and curiosity. Ears might either be erect or folded, and the tail could be medium in length and set high.

Size, Height & Weight

The size, height, and weight of the Border Collie Norfolk Terrier Mix will significantly depend on which parent breed’s genes are more dominant. Border Collies typically weigh between 30-45 pounds and stand at about 18-22 inches tall. In contrast, Norfolk Terriers are smaller, weighing around 11-12 pounds and standing at 9-10 inches tall.

The mix, therefore, can range anywhere between these figures. A typical Border Collie Norfolk Terrier Mix might weigh somewhere between 15-35 pounds and stand around 12-18 inches tall.

Coats & Colors

The coat of the Border Collie Norfolk Terrier Mix can be a delightful mix of both breeds. While Border Collies have a double coat that can be straight or wavy, Norfolk Terriers possess a wiry, straight coat. The hybrid may inherit either coat type or a combination of both. This could result in a medium-length, dense coat that might require regular grooming.

As for colors, the mix can showcase a variety of hues. Border Collies are known for their black and white coats, but they can also come in blue merle, red merle, and sable. Norfolk Terriers, on the other hand, are often red, wheaten, black and tan, or grizzle. Hence, the mix could manifest in any of these shades or a combination of them.

border collie dog lying in bed

Personality & Temperament of a Border Collie Norfolk Terrier Mix

The Border Collie is known for its alertness, energy, and herding instincts, while the Norfolk Terrier is prized for its fearless yet friendly demeanor. A mix of these breeds could yield a dog that is both energetic and sociable. They might possess the Border Collie’s eagerness to work and the Norfolk Terrier’s spirited and affectionate nature. Given the diversity in temperaments, early socialization is crucial to ensure a well-rounded and confident dog.


Both parent breeds rank high on the intelligence scale. The Border Collie, in particular, is often cited as the most intelligent of all dog breeds, with an innate ability to understand complex commands and even anticipate an owner’s needs. The Norfolk Terrier, while primarily a terrier, is smart and can be quite crafty. The mix would likely be a clever dog, keen to learn and displaying a blend of herding intelligence and terrier cunning.


This mix would undoubtedly be energetic. Border Collies are known for their high energy levels and need for regular exercise to remain happy and healthy. On the other hand, Norfolk Terriers are spirited and lively. A potential owner should be prepared for an active companion that requires regular playtimes and walks.

Family & Kids

Given the affectionate nature of both parent breeds, this mix would likely do well in a family setting. The Border Collie’s keen senses make it gentle around children, and the Norfolk Terrier’s friendly disposition adds to the mix’s suitability for family life. However, supervision is recommended, especially with younger children, to ensure that playtime doesn’t get overly boisterous.

Other Animals

A Border Collie’s herding instinct might make them inclined to chase or herd other pets, while a Norfolk Terrier’s terrier instincts might make them more prone to chasing smaller animals. Early socialization and training are essential to ensure harmony in a multi-pet household.


While Border Collies can be reserved around strangers, the Norfolk Terrier is typically more outgoing. The mix might be somewhere in between – curious yet cautious. Proper introductions and regular socialization can help ensure a balanced reaction to new faces.

Do Border Collie Norfolk Terrier Mix Bark A Lot?

Given the alert nature of both breeds, it’s possible that this mix could be vocal. Norfolk Terriers can be barkers, especially if they notice something amiss in their territory. Border Collies might bark to alert or when they are bored. Proper training can curb excessive barking.

Are Border Collie Norfolk Terrier Mix Good For Newbie Dog Owners?

Given the intelligence and energy of this mix, a newbie dog owner might face challenges. It’s essential to be well-informed and prepared to invest time in training and socialization. However, with dedication, even a first-time owner can cultivate a beautiful bond with this mix.

Training & Exercise of Border Collie Norfolk Terrier Mix

Consistent training is paramount. Leveraging the intelligence of the Border Collie lineage and the eagerness of the Norfolk Terrier, training can be a rewarding experience. Positive reinforcement techniques work best. Exercise needs will be high; daily walks, playtime, and mental stimulation are crucial to keeping this mix content.

Taking Care & Maintenance

A Border Collie Norfolk Terrier Mix, being a blend of two highly active breeds, requires regular exercise to maintain its health and happiness. Daily walks and playtimes are crucial. While the Border Collie side craves physical and mental stimulation, the Norfolk Terrier part will add a dash of fun and mischief to your play sessions. Additionally, training is essential from a young age, given the intelligence and sometimes stubborn nature of these dogs.

Health of the Border Collie Norfolk Terrier Mix

Generally, mixed breeds tend to have fewer health problems due to a broader genetic base. However, it’s essential to understand potential health risks from both parent breeds. This mix can be prone to issues like hip dysplasia from the Border Collie side and dental problems from the Norfolk Terrier lineage.

Diet & Nutrition

A balanced diet tailored to this mix’s specific energy needs is crucial. Ensure high-quality dog food, ideally one designed for medium-sized, active breeds. Regularly monitor their weight and adjust portions accordingly. Also, provide fresh water at all times.

Life Span

This mixed breed can enjoy a relatively long lifespan, ranging from 12 to 15 years, with proper care, regular veterinary check-ups, and a healthy lifestyle.

Health Issues

While the mix can inherit the robust health of a mixed breed, they can still be predisposed to some health conditions. Watch out for signs of hip dysplasia, eye conditions like progressive retinal atrophy, and some common terrier ailments like luxating patella.

norfolk terrier dog

Grooming a Border Collie Norfolk Terrier Mix

Regular grooming is essential, especially if the mix has inherited the longer coat of the Border Collie. Weekly brushing will help remove dead hair, reduce matting, and keep the coat shiny. Regular ear cleaning and nail trimming are also essential for their well-being.

Does Border Collie Norfolk Terrier Mix Shed A Lot?

While the Border Collie is known to shed moderately, the Norfolk Terrier has a wiry coat that sheds minimally. Depending on which coat the mix inherits, shedding can range from minimal to moderate. Regular grooming can manage shedding effectively.

Male vs Female Border Collie Norfolk Terrier Mix

Male Border Collies tend to be larger and more dominant in nature. They may require consistent training and clear boundaries to ensure they become well-behaved adult dogs. On the Norfolk Terrier side, the males are often described as being slightly more independent and adventurous. When combined, you can expect a male mix to be assertive, inquisitive, and potentially more suited to an owner with some prior dog experience.

Females in both breeds can be slightly more reserved and may bond intensely with their primary caregiver. They might be more sensitive to environmental changes and may benefit from a more gentle approach to training. A female mix could be slightly smaller in stature but compensates with an enormous heart and a penchant for forming close bonds.

Cost of Breeding

Breeding any dog involves costs, both financial and time-wise. The price of breeding a Border Collie Norfolk Terrier Mix will depend on factors like the pedigree of parent dogs, health screenings, and more. It’s essential to prioritize health and temperament over mere appearance or demand.


The average litter size can vary significantly based on the mother’s size and overall health. Border Collies typically have litters ranging from 4 to 8 puppies, while Norfolk Terriers usually have smaller litters, averaging 2 to 5 puppies. When you blend these breeds, you can reasonably expect a litter size of 3 to 6 puppies. However, this can fluctuate, and there’s always a chance for outliers. Proper prenatal care for the mother can play a role in ensuring a healthy litter size.

Breeders & Shelters

Breeders: If you’re keen on getting a Border Collie Norfolk Terrier Mix, choosing a reputable breeder is of utmost importance. Good breeders prioritize the health and well-being of their dogs over profit. They will be transparent about the health histories of the parent breeds, employ ethical breeding practices, and ensure that puppies are socialized early. A responsible breeder will also be keen to provide post-purchase support, answering any questions you might have about care, training, and health.

Shelters: Adoption is a beautiful way to provide a loving home to a dog in need. Many mixed breed dogs, including the Border Collie Norfolk Terrier Mix, can be found in shelters waiting for their forever homes. Adopting from a shelter not only saves a life but also makes room for other animals in need. Shelter staff will usually provide valuable insights into a dog’s personality, which can help ensure a good match for potential adopters.

Conclusion: Is the Border Collie Norfolk Terrier Mix Right For You?

While the Border Collie Norfolk Terrier Mix is a delightful blend of energy, intelligence, and charm, they require a dedicated owner ready to provide ample exercise, training, and love. If you can offer these, you’ll find a loyal, loving, and entertaining companion in this mixed breed.

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