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Meet the breed: Border Collie

Choosing to add a furry friend to your growing household is a long-term commitment, and picking a breed that fits your lifestyle presents the key to a happy home. With over 160 American Kennel Club-recognized breeds, that decision can seem overwhelming. We’re here to help you meet the breed that’s right for you. If you’re looking for an intelligent companion to add to your pack, find out everything you need to know about the Border Collie.


  • Intelligent
  • Easy grooming
  • Active lifestyle
  • Excels at obedience training
  • Pleasant temperament



Arguably the most intelligent dog in the world, the Border Collie ranks at the top of the canine honor roll. More than just brains, this breed is muscular and athletic with speed and stamina that surpass most other breeds. Bred specifically to complete complex tasks, the Border Collie has what it takes to accomplish just about any work or training command if trained properly. This breed requires a lot of time and dedication to training and exercise and is not recommended for first-time pet owners.

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Breed standards

  • AKC group: Herding
  • UKC group: Herding Dog
  • Average lifespan: 12 – 16 years
  • Average size: 30 – 45 pounds
  • Coat appearance: Varies
  • Coloration: Black and red
  • Hypoallergenic: No
  • Other identifiers: Known for its eye movement, you’ll likely spot this breed giving a hypnotic stare while crouching down to herd stock
  • Possible alterations: None

Is this breed right for you?

Although the Border Collie is a sweet and loyal pup and can be a great family dog, it’s not recommended for everyone. This breed requires incredible amounts of activity and due to its level of intelligence, you must keep its mental abilities piqued with daily work and training. Without the proper time dedication, this breed can become bored and destructive. Luckily, this pup’s grooming routine is a breeze so time spent brushing or bathing can be kept to a minimum, providing more time to play and work.

Border collie breed characteristics

A dream day in the life of a Border Collie

Learning new games with the Frisbee, taking on higher levels of training or starting a new agility course makes a day this pup would want to repeat over and over. Staying true to his natural instincts, the Border Collie would love a job herding sheep or cattle on a farm. Border Collies are the overachievers of the canine group, so keep this pup’s schedule jam-packed with activities and you’ll have a happy pup.

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