Breed Facts

Do Border Collies Have Webbed Feet?

What is Webbing?

Webbing, which is essentially a membrane connecting a dog’s toes, functions similarly to flippers or boat paddles. A duck’s foot is the most common example to associate webbing. The webbing will form a wide, flat foot that will cover a bigger area.

Animals can walk on atop of muddy places avoiding settling or falling through because of the larger surface area. Webbing is an evolutionary characteristic that allows types of animals to thrive and adapt. 

border collie webbed paws

Border Collies have nets only half the measurement of their toes, and not generally a characterization of webbed paws. In fact, the large number of dog breeds have as many membranes as the BC.

While not entirely obvious, their little web membrane has made a big difference in BC’s daily activities.

Why Do Border Collies Have Webbed Feet?

The Scottish and Northern English highlands are the origin of the Collies, a herding dog breed. The webbed paws of the Collies granted them a competitive edge over other breeds when it came to rushing across marshy fields and stinky hills. Seeing a collie in full fury will let you see how amazing their agility is, thanks in part to their non – skid webbed paws. Another reason why do Border Collies have webbed feet is because this feature assists them in daily tasks including digging, herding, swimming, and keeping balance.

Purebred Border Collies

Webbed feet are found on all purebred Collies. It is totally natural and indeed a characteristic of the breed. Collies’ webbed paws, which have been intentionally selected for their herding ability for hundreds of years, give them an advantage above all other dog breeds when it pertains to remaining athletic and running fast over difficult terrain.

Border collie puppy

However, their paws are not quite as “webby” or visible as the feet of a Border Collie crossbreed. Within a breed, crossbreeding results in more variance in physical traits. Purebred dogs, as a whole, exhibit comparable physical characteristics.

How to Care for Webbed Feet?

It is not challenging to take care of the Border Collies‘ webbed feet. Checking the dog’s paws on a regular basis for any significant concerns, whether they are webbed or not, is highly crucial.

There are a few guidelines that must be followed at all times. These are some of them:

1. Clean the Border Collies’ feet

Basically, the first step to do is to clean the feet of the Border Collie. Cleaning the BC’s paws is an excellent method to keep them in good condition. Fine particles can get lodged in the dog’s webbed paws, making them exceedingly unclean.

2. Always keep the webbed feet dry

It is critical to keep your Border Collie’s paws dry. Making every effort to keep the webbing as dry as possible is essential. Only in such circumstances will it be easier to manage the health and hygiene of the dog’s foot.

3. Cover and protect the Border Collies’ paws

Protecting the paws of the Border Collie is also crucial especially during the winter. Snow boots can be a terrific method to keep his paws warm and protected from the elements like snow. Using a variety of ointments is also one way to keep their paws moisturized or healed once damaged by dust and debris.

4. Regular inspection of the Border Collies’ paws

You are not only protecting the Border Collies’ paws from injury when you inspect them on a regular basis; you are also ensuring that they stay healthy! It is critical to contact your veterinarian as soon as you discover any infection, damage, or even small discoloration. Ignoring this issue could be harmful to the health of the Border Collie.

Benefits of Webbed Paws

Webbed feet are beneficial for the Border Collies. One of the advantages of webbed feet is that it gives an increased control and reduced energy usage for the BC.

Other advantages of webbed feet in Border Collies include:


When walking, the Border Collies can keep a stronger grip on gravel, sand, dirt, or any wet or slippery ground. This is highly comparable to any other dog with less noticeable webbed paws. The webbing across the Border Collies’ toes increases the surface area of their paws, making it possible for them to shift and spread their weight more properly and evenly on soft ground.


Border collie playing on water

The Border Collies adore the water, and while their paws are not as webbed compared to water dogs, they do have webbing that allows them to swim more swiftly. With each stroke, the webbing works as a paddle, allowing the BC to propel themselves far enough. Furthermore, because they efficiently paddle from one location to the next, they need a lot less power all in all.


Dogs have a natural instinct to dig, and Border Collies are much the same. They enjoy digging, and their webbed feet assist them when they are excavating and digging more effectively. With their limitless energy and handy webbing, they can move a tower of debris, snow, or leaves.


Border Collies’ webbed paws enable them to run through the snow without being caught up. Their paws have webbing that helps them grasp even the slickest of terrain and even when it is glacier outside.

Do All Collie Breeds Have Webbed Paws?

Black & white BC displaying 2 paws

Aside from the different types of Border Collies, all the other Collie breeds also have webbed paws, though some have more extensive webbing than others.

For instance, the webbed feet of the Bearded Collies are the result of centuries and centuries of crossbreeding for herding. Meanwhile, Welsh Collies, like the Bearded Collies and Border Collies, have a sheepdog ancestry. Their webbed feet enable them to tear over the drenched Welsh slopes, herding sheep and assisting Welsh shepherds.

Another one is the Rough Collies that are as athletic as the Border Collies. Their webbed feet are the product of crossbreeding for high agility and speed over the years.

Other Dog Breeds With Webbed Feet

Previously, it became understandable that Border Collies and other dog breeds have webbed feet. So, aside from the Labrador Retrievers, there are also a few dog breeds that have completely webbed paws, including:

  • Chesapeake Bay Retriever
  • German Wirehaired Pointer
  • Irish Water Spaniel
  • Newfoundlands
  • Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
  • Otterhound
  • Portuguese Water Dog

Webbed feet are common in mixed-breed dogs if any one of their ancestors come from bloodlines with this feature. Just in case you are unclear of your BC’s pedigree and observe their feet are entirely webbed, there is a good chance their descendants are from water dog lineage.

Why Do Some Dog Breeds Have Webbed Feet and Others Don’t?

The embryo of each and every terrestrial animal has webbed feet, but the covering will disintegrate during the growth cycle. Dogs with more webbing than you’d expect were usually bred to keep it.

Certain dog breeds, as a result of genetic selection and evolutionary development, may swim faster and seem to have better water management than other dog breeds. Every portion of a dog’s paw has evolved to perform a specialized role.

Pads on the underside of their paws protect their feet when walking and provide a strong grip. Their toenails give off grip and enable them to dig easily. Lastly, the webbing helps them walk more steadily and swim more effectively.

What if My Border Collie Doesn’t Have Webbed Feet?

Border collie showing his paw

Although some Border Collies may not have webbed paws, they do have just the proper amount of webbing around their toes for most of their everyday activity. Their narrow feet are ideal for sprinting, shifting directions upon its fly, and stopping quickly.

The Border Collies can also navigate difficult terrain, such as trails with a lot of pebbles and loose dirt. They can nevertheless swim very well and have fun in the water and indeed engage in dock diving activities despite not having genuine webbed feet.

Are Missing Webbed Feet a Problem?

Border Collies have very little webbing. However, it is possible that your Border Collie does not have any webbing at all in some circumstances. That, however, indicates a few things.

Border collies that are pure-bred have perfected characteristics. Webbed feet are also among these characteristics which is also a reason for breeding.

Nevertheless, if your Border Collie lacks basic webbing, it suggests that it is not a pure-bred Border Collie.

Though this may not affect your Border Collies in any way, it is a trait to look for if you are considering getting one. With that, missing webbed feet is not something to worry about.

Experience with My Border Collie

Border collie activity

Border Collies are an active dog breed that needs to spend a lot of time outside. Every day, as I walk with my BC for an hour and down the mountainous roads, I notice how this activity puts him to excitement. He always want to chase, fetch, and run after their balls a little further. His webbed paws are extremely useful during these circumstances as I observe their posture, stability and agility.


Border Collies have developed the attribute of webbing based on their lifestyle, physical appearance, and body weight. As a result, they have evolved to have very little webbing. So, rather than becoming an obstruction to the BC, this tiny webbing actually assists them.

In a nutshell, the lack of visible webbing in Border Collies has no negative impact on them. Besides, they still remain as an agile, intelligent dog breed that could be a loving furry buddy.


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