Border Collie

Herding Group

Two Border Collies sitting in front of white background

Height at Shoulders

Females 18-21 in, Males 19-22 in

Weight

30-55 lbs

Life Expectancy

12-15 yrs

History

The Border Collie originated in Northumberland on the border between Scotland and England, bred to herd livestock on the hilly, rocky terrain. It is unknown exactly when the Border Collie originated, but they can all be traced back to one tricolor herding dog named Old Hemp. Old Hemp was born in 1893 and had around 200 puppies in his life. His work style, one in which sheep responded easily, became the characteristic Border Collie style that we see today.

Breed Characteristics

While not all Border Collies will display the exact characteristics typical of the breed, most share a personality and temperament can be generalized by the characteristic rankings below. 

Intelligence

Affection Towards Family

Friendliness Towards Strangers

Friendliness Towards Other Dogs

Exercise Needs

★★★★★

★★★★★

★★★★★

★★★☆☆

★★★★★

Energy Level

Sensitivity

Noise Level

Prey Drive

Shedding

★★★☆☆

★★★☆☆

Intelligence

★★★★★


Affection Towards Family

★★★★★


Friendliness Towards Strangers

★★★★★


Friendliness Towards Other Dogs

★★★☆☆


Exercise Needs

★★★★★


Energy Level


Sensitivity


Noise Level


Prey Drive

★☆


Shedding

★☆

Common Traits

Can be very shy if not sufficiently socialized early

Considered to be the #1 most intelligent breed according to Stanley Coren's The Intelligence of Dogs

Strong herding instinct that can't be trained out, only redirected

Their curiosity and intelligence can lead them to become escape artists

Border Collies were originally bred to be able to run 50 miles per day, so they have a huge amount of energy they need to burn off daily

Known pick up on subtle body language and predict commands before they're given