Breed Facts

Things to Know Before Getting a Border Collie

Whether you opt to purchase or adopt a Border collie, we always want to establish an enjoyable relationship with this furry buddy. However, if this is your first time owning this smartest dog breed, the best solution is to learn the things to know before getting a Border collie. Knowing that will equip you with information that is of big help in taking care of your new dog.

In this blog post, we will unravel the details that are essential to know prior to having a Border collie. From the way to take care of them up to other things to consider in having one, all those information are here to serve as your guide.   

What are the Things that You Need to Know Before Getting a Border Collie?

Well, in order to have an idea if the Border collie is really the right dog for you, here are some of the things to know before getting a Border collie.

Getting to Know the Border Collie Characteristics

Aside from being a popular herding dog, the Border collie is also well-known for being a smart furry buddy. They are also the best choice to compete in dog sports and even as a new member of the family. To be able to know them better, check below their physical and personality traits that make them stand out.


Statistics of Border Collie’s Physique:

HEIGHT:  18 to 22 inches from the shoulder level (fully grown)

WEIGHT:  30 to 45 pounds (fully grown)

LIFE EXPECTANCY:  12 to 15 years

Basically, the Border collies have a lean body and athletic stance. Their activity and endurance level are naturally very high. Since they have a natural instinct as herding dogs, they are required to run as far as 50 miles in one day. Because of that activity, the Border collies actually make themselves a physically healthy dog breed.

When it comes to their appearance, the coat of the Border collie can either be rough or smooth-textured. But, regardless of that case, their coat generally comes in dual-layer having a coarser outer part while the undercoat is a soft one. The fur of this dog breed is usually ranging from short to medium.

Most of the time, they generally appear in black color with white patches in certain body areas like the face, neck, feet, and legs. Sometimes, you may also see some Border collies having touches of tan in their fur. However, this is not as common as that of solid black coloring.


Due to their amazing personality, the Border collies generally make great and wonderful pets. That’s why most dog lovers nowadays are considering owning a Border collie despite their herding history. Yet, one of the things to know before getting a Border collie is their demand for your time and attention. In case you are a busy person and tend to be working in the office the whole day, then a Border collie is not meant for you.

The following are among the best personalities of this dog breed that you need to know before getting a Border collie.

*Alert and highly energetic
things to know before getting a border collie

A Border collie is an athletic dog that has an incredible level of endurance and one-of-a-kind energy. Because of that, they highly demand exercise activities to release their pent-up energies. Even regular walks in the park may already do the job for this dog breed. So, allot time in spending this kind of activity with them, or give them enough space to run and burn up some of their reserved fuel.

*Incredibly smart

The Border collies actually land on the top spot as being the smartest dog breed. Knowing that the Border collies must be kept busy and occupied. They should also be provided with a number of tasks that generally stimulate them physically and mentally. The best solution for this is to train them properly.

Moreover, the Border collies are well-known for pleasing their owners and they really love doing it. Another good trait of the Border collies is their strong desire to perform tasks. If this is combined with their high intelligence level, training them would really be easy and enjoyable.

However, keep in mind that these positive traits of the Border collie can be a problem if not work out properly. For instance, without the guidance of sufficient tasks and activities, the high level of intelligence of the collies may turn into stubbornness. Aside from that, with a lack of exercise, their high levels of energy will be converted into recklessness and have some attempts to escape.

The other important things to know before getting a Border collie is their likelihood to nip kids, other pets, or any moving object. This is generally due to their boredom. So, make sure that this dog breed must be provided with enough exercise or activities.

Caring and Grooming of the Border Collie

If the personality and physical attributes of the Border collie fit in your preference, the other things to know before getting a Border collie is the proper way of caring for them. Basically, this includes their grooming, feeding, and their health issues. It is actually really crucial for you to have an understanding of those because it will define your capability as a pet owner.


The type of food that the Border collie needs is actually premium quality dry food. Generally, in one single day, this dog breed must have to consume about 1 1/2 to 2 cups of dry dog food. However, keep in mind that their food must be divided into two individual meals and given in the morning and evening. Feed them more if the Border collie performs a lot of exercise during the day.

Being an active dog breed, Border collie highly opts for dog food that is rich in protein. This is in order to get the nutrients they need to maintain their muscles. Additionally, this kind of dog food may also make them strong and healthy.

In addition to protein, carbohydrates are also essential in the diet of the Border collie. It is better to feed them this carb-rich meal in the morning. The carbohydrate meal will serve as fuel for them to energize their day.

Always monitor the weight of the Border collie because it will determine if the amount that you’re feeding them is actually the right one. Add more to their portion sizes if you notice that the dog is becoming too thin. In case, the dog is starting to get obese, reduce the portion size of their meal.

Ideally, the diet of the Border collie contains high carbohydrates and high protein in the morning. And in the evening, you must feed them with only a high protein meal.


The good thing and what I really love about the Border collie is that they are very easy to groom. Compared to other dog breeds, they do not that much, not unless if it is shedding season. During those months, brushing their hair on a once-a-week basis makes the home clean and free of their hair.

In case the shedding season is over, bathing them occasionally is highly recommendable, ideally once a month. Although not recommended, brushing their teeth twice a week is also a good one. But, if you do not feel good about doing that, a dental chew is a big help in removing the tartar and preventing the buildup in the Border collie’s teeth.

things to know before getting a border collie

Since they are intelligent dog breed, the Border collies have the ability to figure out the needs and want of their owners. And, to add to their eagerness to work on a given task, these general results make them highly trainable. Yet, you still need to train them and spend some time and effort in providing specific tasks to them.

Early training and teaching them other things than following the basic commands is highly crucial for them. The Border collie would be your perfect match if you want a dog that can able to do certain tasks. However, you still need to look further if you want a furry friend that you can cuddle as you sit on the couch because a Border collie is not that type.

Socializing them is another important training that a Border collie needs. This generally offers a wide range of benefits for them. For instance, this serves as a great playtime for them to release the excess energy. Other things to know before getting a Border collie is that socializing this dog breed will prevent them to become introverted and aggressive to other dogs.


Well, every dog is unique and due to the specific genetic predisposition, there are illnesses and health conditions that you may found certain to one dog breed. However, this does not necessarily mean that all Border collies may get all the medical conditions associated with them. What it means is that Border collies are susceptible to have those health issues.

More so, this doesn’t mean that as a pet owner, you should always be on the lookout in finding signs and symptoms of Border collies conditions. The best thing that you can do is to lower the risk of the dog acquiring such conditions. It will generally help if you opt to get a mixed breed instead of a pure one.

Actually, the genetic diversity of the mixed breeds allows them to become highly resistant to breed-specific medical conditions. Yet, you will also have the opportunity to enjoy the fun of owning and taking care of the Border collie.

*Collie Eye Anomaly or CEA

If the Border collie is in their puppyhood stage up to two years of age, they have a higher probability to acquire Collie Eye Anomaly or CEA. This is actually an eye condition highly specific to the Border collie. It generally affects their choroid which is a tissue that works by supplying oxygen to the retina of their eyes. This eye condition may eventually lead to blindness as the choroid of the collie becomes too thin. There may also be instances that intraocular hemorrhage occurs.

*Hip and Elbow Dysplasia

Actually, almost 70% of dogs are suffering from hip dysplasia. On the other hand, elbow dysplasia is not as common as the previous but it can also be experienced by Border collies. These conditions are another genetic issue faced by this dog breed. At any age, the Border collie may acquire this kind of condition.

Border collies suffering from this joint problem usually have partial dislocation of the femoral head along with the development of their joints. Moreover, wearing down of their joints may eventually lead to pain, gait, and stiffness.

Depending on the hip or elbow dysplasia severity, the treatment plan may be developed by the veterinarian. Surgery may also be performed on the Border collie, so if ready yourself with the possible cost of treating this degenerative disorder. Fortunately, this can also be treated with some pain medication and rehabilitation.

*Osteochondritis Dissecans or OCD

This is another joint condition in Border collie in which the cartilage of the dog’s joints starts to break down. Without the cartilage, the Border collie may have unstable and painful joints. Border collie puppies having an age of four months may already develop OCD. The most common treatment for this condition is surgery or arthroscopy.

*Progressive Retinal Atrophy or PRA

Border collies are prone to eye disorders and it includes the PRA or also known as Progressive Retinal Atrophy. This condition may eventually decrease the vision of the dog and thus may also cause blindness. Commonly, the onset of PRA for Border collies is at the age of three. But, some tests reveal that this may even occur and affect this dog breed at an early age.

Unfortunately, no treatment is available for PRA. The good thing is that the effect of this condition is highly manageable. And because of their high level of intelligence, even at the loss of vision, the Border collies can still adapt to their environment.

However, it is still important to make sure that the surroundings are safe for them. Consider that there is no furniture that blocks their way. Additionally, you can also use safety gates or walk with them with a leash.


In general, epilepsy is the most common medical condition of this dog breed. They may usually experience seizures which may be observed in the first six months. Sad to say, there is no existing diagnostic test to screen out the presence of this health issue. But medications are available to manage this condition in Border collies.

Other Things to Know Before Getting a Border Collie

With those features and traits of the Border collies, it is actually amazing to have them as a pet. However, there are still other things that you must have knowledge about this smartest dog breed.

Border collie can be a cat’s friend

things to know before getting a border collie

Actually, cats and the Border collie can have an opportunity to get along well with each other. However, because of the herding behavior of the collies, you still need to keep an eye on these two pets. There may be instances that the Border collie may nip the cat if their herding instincts arise. With this, the cat may not find this doggy behavior an acceptable one.

Border collies are kid-friendly

Generally, if they get along well with cats and other dogs, Border collies are also great with children. This is one of the reasons why most pet owners are already gearing to have Border collie as a pet. Basically, this dog breed has an idea of how to play with the kids in a subtle and delicate manner. Their loyalty also pushes the collies to protect the kids being one of their advantages from the other dog breed.

On the other hand, smaller children must be taught to play appropriately with the collies. Keep in mind that inappropriate children’s behaviors like pulling the collie’s tail or sitting on the dog’s back are triggering factors to make the dog aggressive.

Adopting or purchasing a Border collie

Getting a Border collie from a reputable breeder is a great option, but this is not always the case. You may also need to consider visiting a shelter nearby and look for a Border collie there. Basically, purchasing a Border collie will end you cashing out at least $2,000 or even more. While adopting this dog breed from the shelter may only cost you about $50 to $100. That would generally save you a lot of money as well as the life of a Border collie.

Final Thoughts

Nowadays, Border collies become a popular choice of dog breed as a family pet. If you tend to have an active lifestyle, then, definitely a Border collie is your fur-fect match. Aside from that, they are smart enough in which training them tends to be easy and simple.

However, there are still other things to know before getting a Border collie. And you just have to keep that in mind. Make your own research and weigh things down. If you think that you can adapt to the activeness and smartness of the Border collie, and then better to have them as a new family member.

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