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Facts, Temperament, Characteristics, Life Span

Facts, Temperament, Characteristics, Life Span
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Each month we will be shining a light on different dog breeds in our series, Dog Breed of the Month. This month, we take a deep dive into the world of energetic and athletic Border Collies. Want to adopt one of your own? Keep reading to find out all you need to know, including size, temperament and character.


“Border Collies are happy, smart and hard-working dogs, famous for their intelligence and herding skills,” Bill Lambert, a spokesperson for The Kennel Club tells Country Living. “They make great working dogs, but they can also be a loving pet as long as owners provide this very energetic breed with enough exercise and mental stimulation.”

border collies

border collies

Do Border Collies make good house pets?

Yes, Border Collies make brilliant family pets, but will need a home with a large garden where they can stretch their legs regularly. With intense herding instincts (they were developed to gather and control sheep), they are best for active families who head outside often.

Bill confirms this, adding: “Border Collies cannot stay locked up inside all day, they need space and time to run, so we’d advise those thinking of giving a home to a Border Collie to be honest about the time and energy they can dedicate to a four-legged friend, making sure they will be happy, healthy and engaged.”

What were Border Collies bred for?

Border Collies were originally bred to work with sheep and cattle, with many still working as farm dogs around the world.

“They are perfectly suited for the task due to their speed, strong herding instinct, and agility,” Bill tells us. “Their name harks back to the area where they were most widely bred and worked, the border regions of England, Scotland and Wales. Apart from farms, Border Collies are also popular rescue or sniffer dogs.”

How often do Border Collies need to be groomed?

A Border Collie has a double coat, which will need to be groomed more than once a week, often more during the shedding seasons of spring and autumn. As well as regular grooming, they will need minimal trimming around the back of the legs to give a tidier appearance.

” Border Collies either have moderately long or smooth, dense coat that protects them from weather conditions when working outside. Their coat requires regular grooming – more than once a week,” Bill explains.

border collie

Ruth Dalrymple/The Kennel Club

What type of owner does a Border Collie need?

Border Collies need owners who will welcome them into a loving home. While these pups can adapt to almost any living situation that provides the mental and physical exercise he requires, a Border Collie is a good match for those who are active.

“Their character and energy means they will be the happiest with active owners with access to a large garden or an open land, who can spend time outdoors with their dog and provide a very active lifestyle,” Bill tells us.

“Their intelligence and drive means that they need to be engaged both physically and mentally on daily basis to lead a healthy life. They are also better suited to experienced owners that can dedicate time to their training. Border Collies are known to be versatile dogs and can be a good choice for a family, as long as they have enough exercise and space to use up their energy.”

6 fun facts about Border Collies

  1. They are incredibly smart dogs
  2. Queen Victoria loved them
  3. They are excellent herders
  4. Border Collies also make brilliant search and rescue dogs
  5. They are superstars at canine activities such as herding, obedience, and agility
  6. They are very people-oriented and are wonderful family dogs
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