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Border collie dog breed profile

These herding dogs can make great first-time, family pets.

Whether your dog is a purebred border collie, or a border collie mix, learning about their breed can explain a lot about your pet’s personality, habits and overall health. Or maybe you're looking to adopt a border collie and want to do a bit of research first — we can help with that.

Border collies make great family pets because of their friendly, energetic nature and intelligence. If you’re looking to adopt a border collie as a first-time pet parent, you’ll want to read our tips to keep them happy and healthy.

What do border collies look like?

Border collies originated on the border between Scotland and England, Dr. Aliya McCullough, Fetch by The Dodo's on-staff veterinarian, says. Originally used as herding dogs, they're medium-sized and can weigh between 30 to 55 pounds. 

Regular brushing (usually once-or-twice weekly) is necessary with border collies because of their dense double coat, which can be rough or smooth in texture. “During intense shedding periods, they may need daily brushing,” Dr. McCullough adds.

What is a border collie's personality like?

“Border collies are high-energy dogs that are friendly, playful and intelligent,” Dr. McCullough says. These pups can usually be great family dogs. 

If you’re looking to adopt a border collie as a first-time dog parent, it’s key to know that this breed needs intense physical and mental stimulation. So, ensure you’re ready to train and play with these pups for a long time. 

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What health issues do border collies face?

Common issues that affect border collies include hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), deafness, epilepsy and collie eye anomaly, which is a genetic disease that can cause vision loss in certain dog breeds, Dr. McCullough notes.

Integrating a border collie into your home

Before bringing a border collie home, Dr. McCullough recommends researching the breed. We suggest talking to veterinarians, other border collie parents and rescue groups.

Before bringing a new pet home, regardless of the breed, a shopping spree is likely first on your agenda. Make sure you have all the necessary supplies for your new pup, as well as enough time to help them properly acclimate to their new home environment. Scheduling training sessions or carving out some time for socializing your pup (think: dog-park hangouts) can also help ensure your pup gels well in their new environment.

Another way pet parents can prepare for their border collie is to puppy-proof their home by hiding electrical cords, chemicals and medications, securing the trash cans and keeping houseplants and small items out of reach. And we’re not just talking about the inside of your space, puppy-proof the backyard areas by removing poisonous outdoor plants, toys, trash and checking your fence for gaps or weak spots.

Adopting a border collie

Are you interested in adopting a border collie, border collie mix or any pet at all? We think every pet deserves a home and encourage you to check out our shelter partners

The Dig, Fetch by The Dodo’s expert-backed editorial, answers all of the questions you forget to ask your vet or are too embarrassed to ask at the dog park. We help make sure you and your best friend have more good days, but we’re there on bad days, too. Fetch provides the most comprehensive pet insurance and is the only provider recommended by the #1 animal brand in the world, The Dodo. 

Photos by Tadeusz Lakota and Will Gardiner on Unsplash

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