Animal stories: Border Collies

Border Collies are the alert and energetic farm dogs. They are excellent working dogs often used in mountain rescues, as sniffer dogs and for tracking. Although these breeds like all dogs, are descendant of the wolf which is a natural predator of sheep, they do not attack the sheep. When working, these breeds will usually be seen in the crouched position, with their alert eyes fixed on the job in hand. The ‘hypnotic’ eye characteristic is probably more defined in Border Collies than any other breeds and it is this quality that makes them so superb in herding sheep, using their eyes to guide a herd without the need to bark.

Their coat can either be smooth or of medium length with a thick water resistant undercoat. Their nose is primarily black, except in the brown coloured dogs when it is brown and in the blue coloured dogs when it is slate. Their brown eyes are set well-apart, oval-shaped and of moderate size. Their ears are medium-sized, set well apart and carried either erect or semi-erect. Their tail is low set that can be carried high in excitement but never carried over the back.

Border Collies form a very close bond with their owner and family. But they should be given plenty of time and exercise, as they are not ideal pets for a family with very young children as it is in their nature to herd anything that moves.

They are totally devoted to their masters and will follow them to the ends of the earth. They are determined and brave but if not kept occupied will get into mischief, as their brains are always active.

Average size

The Border Collie Dogs are almost two feet tall at the shoulders and weigh between 15-20 kgs.

Coat colour

Border Collies mostly comes in black and white colours but other colours with white are also seen, for example brown, blue merle, red and tricolour.


Border Collies are very receptive to training than any other breeds. Their minds are like sponges, absorbing all new tasks with eagerness and the greatest desire to please. Because of this, these dogs are like a gift from heaven for those wanting to compete in obedience/agility/ herding trials. It is always in their natures to herd sheep and if this is not what they are required to do, other activities must be given to keep them content and happy — and to stop them rounding up the children.

Food requirements

As puppies, they must be given the correct diet. But, it costs relatively little to keep them once they are fully-grown.


They have a lifespan of 9-15 years.

Pet grooming

They need grooming once a week. Their coat is easy to maintain and must be brushed once a week. The feathering down the front legs and tail should be trimmed when necessary.