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Border Collie Facts

Origin: United Kingdom
Lifespan: 10-17 years
Breed Group: Herding
Coat Type: Double coat, medium-length
Coat Colours: Various Colours, including black and white
Temperament: Intelligent, Energetic, Obedient
Height: 48-56 cm (19-22 inches)
Weight: 13-20 kg (28-45 lbs)


The Border Collie stands out as an immensely intelligent and energetically-driven herding dog breed, celebrated for its remarkable work capabilities. Revered as one of the most adaptable and teachable canine breeds, Border Collies consistently shine. Their acute senses, athleticism, and unyielding concentration enable them to thrive in diverse pursuits such as herding, agility, obedience competitions, and competitive sporting events. Moreover, their captivating appearance and unwavering loyalty contribute to their popularity as cherished companions and beloved family pets.

The Border Collie’s presence in Ireland extends far beyond mere companionship. These intelligent and agile canines have been working alongside Irish farmers and shepherds for generations, showcasing their unrivalled herding abilities.

Below you will find information about the history, characteristics, and allure of the Border Collie, while also providing insights into where you can find these extraordinary dogs for sale in Ireland.

A Brief History

The Border Collie’s roots can be traced back to the rugged borderlands of Scotland and England, where they were initially bred for their exceptional herding prowess. The name “Border Collie” itself originates from the border regions where these dogs were predominantly used. It was in the late 19th century that the breed as we know it today began to take shape.

Development and Recognition

The evolution of the modern Border Collie owes much to a shepherd named Adam Telfer. In the late 19th century, Telfer’s exceptional herding dog, Old Hemp, gained acclaim for its remarkable intelligence and herding abilities. Old Hemp’s descendants inherited his remarkable talents, becoming highly sought-after working dogs.

The breed’s popularity soared in the early 20th century, particularly after their extraordinary herding skills were showcased in sheepdog trials and agricultural exhibitions. Border Collies quickly gained recognition as premier herding dogs, thanks to their innate instincts, agility, and precise control over livestock.

In terms of formal recognition, the International Sheep Dog Society (ISDS) played a pivotal role. Established in 1906, the ISDS worked diligently to standardize the breed and promote the use of Border Collies for herding tasks. Official recognition by the Kennel Club in the United Kingdom followed in 1976.

Modern Status

Today, Border Collies are revered for their exceptional working abilities, keen intelligence, and adaptability. They remain indispensable to farmers and shepherds worldwide for managing livestock. Furthermore, their agility and obedience render them formidable contenders in an array of dog sports and activities.

The breed’s appeal as a companion dog has grown steadily over the years. Their unwavering loyalty and affectionate nature, combined with their need for both mental and physical stimulation, make them a perfect fit for active families and individuals capable of providing ample exercise and mental challenges.

As these remarkable dogs made their way across the Irish Sea to Ireland, they quickly established themselves as indispensable assets to Irish farmers. The Irish landscape, characterized by expansive pastures and flocks of sheep, provided the ideal backdrop for Border Collies to showcase their skills. Their ability to intuitively respond to the subtlest of cues, coupled with boundless energy and unwavering dedication, endeared them to Irish shepherds.

Border Collie Puppies

For those seeking to bring a Border Collie into their lives, the journey often begins with the arrival of a Border Collie puppy. These puppies are a true delight, known for their striking appearance, incredible intelligence, and charming personalities.

When welcoming a Border Collie puppy into your home, it’s important to create a safe and nurturing environment. Ensure that your home is puppy-proofed, removing any hazards that could pose a danger to your new furry family member. Provide plenty of toys and mental stimulation to keep their active minds engaged. Early socialization is key to raising a well-rounded Border Collie, so introduce them to various people, animals, and environments to build their confidence.

Purebred Border Collie

Purebred Border Collies are highly sought after for their predictable traits and lineage. To qualify as a purebred, a Border Collie must adhere to the breed standard, which includes specific criteria for appearance and temperament. This ensures that the dog you bring into your home will possess the characteristics that have made Border Collies beloved around the world.

In Ireland, reputable breeders adhere to strict standards to maintain the integrity of the breed. When considering purchasing a purebred Border Collie, it’s essential to research breeders thoroughly and ask for references. A responsible breeder will prioritize the health and well-being of their dogs, conducting health screenings and providing proper care for the puppies.

Size and Weight

Border Collies are a medium-sized breed known for their well-proportioned bodies and agility. In general, male Border Collies typically stand between 19 to 22 inches (48 to 56 cm) tall at the shoulders, while females are slightly smaller, ranging from 18 to 21 inches (46 to 53 cm).

As for weight, Border Collies are lean and muscular, with males typically weighing between 30 to 45 pounds (14 to 20 kg) and females ranging from 27 to 42 pounds (12 to 19 kg). These weight ranges can vary slightly depending on factors such as genetics, diet, and exercise.

Coat & Colors

The Border Collie’s coat is one of its most distinctive features. It is a double coat designed to provide protection in various weather conditions. The outer coat is dense, while the undercoat is soft and insulating. This combination allows Border Collies to thrive in the often unpredictable Irish climate.

Border Collies come in a wide range of coat colours and patterns, making each one unique. One of the most prevalent and timeless coat variations is the classic black-and-white combination. The primary colour is black, commonly accented with white markings on areas such as the chest, face, legs, and tail tip. The distribution and patterns of these white markings can vary significantly, imparting distinctive and individualized appearances to each dog.


Tricolor Border Collies display a captivating fusion of three primary colours: black, white, and tan. Typically, the black colour dominates the majority of the body, while white markings adorn the chest, face, and legs. Tan markings, meanwhile, can be observed above the eyes, on the cheeks, inside the ears, and on the legs. This tricolour pattern introduces an additional layer of visual intrigue to the breed’s coat.

Red and White

For Red and White Border Collies, the base coat ranges from a light caramel hue to a deep, rich red. These red tones serve as a striking backdrop to the white markings present on the chest, face, legs, and tail. This particular colour variation injects warmth and vibrancy into the breed’s overall appearance.

Blue Merle

Blue Merle is a distinctive coat variation characterized by marbled patches of grey or blue on a black base. The size and distribution of these patches can vary significantly, resulting in a coat that is both unique and enchanting. Blue merle Border Collies often feature white markings on their chest, face, legs, and tail, enhancing the overall visual allure of their coat.

Other Color Combinations

While the previously mentioned colour variations are the most widely recognized, Border Collies can also exhibit an array of other colour combinations. These include sable, chocolate, liver, and lilac, each arising from distinct gene combinations. These variations contribute to the breed’s wide spectrum of appearances, further emphasizing their individuality and appeal.

In sum, the diverse colour palette within the Border Collie breed accentuates their distinctiveness and charm. Whether bedecked in the classic black and white ensemble, showcasing the intricate tricolour pattern, sporting a vibrant red and white combination, or donning the captivating blue merle coat, Border Collies effortlessly stand out and captivate with their unique colours.


The Border Collie’s temperament is a harmonious blend of intelligence, loyalty, and boundless energy. These dogs are renowned for their work ethic and ability to learn quickly. Their intelligence makes them highly trainable, and they excel in various dog sports and activities such as agility, obedience, and herding trials.

In an Irish context, the Border Collie’s temperament aligns perfectly with the demands of herding and working on the farm. They are known for their intense focus and dedication to their tasks, whether it’s guiding sheep or cattle. This strong work ethic is deeply ingrained in their nature.

While Border Collies are remarkable working dogs, they also make exceptional companions for families who can provide them with the mental and physical stimulation they crave. They thrive on regular exercise and mental challenges, so be prepared for engaging playtime and training sessions.

Intelligence and Trainability

Border Collies are widely recognized for their exceptional intelligence. They are considered one of the most intelligent dog breeds and are quick learners and problem solvers. Their high trainability makes them enthusiastic participants in training activities, and they thrive when given mental challenges.

Energetic and Active

The Border Collie is a breed characterized by its high energy levels and an innate drive for physical exercise and mental engagement. Daily exercise is essential to meet their energy needs and prevent boredom. Activities such as walks, jogging, playtime, and dog sports are crucial for their well-being.

Work Ethic and Focus

Bred for herding livestock, Border Collies exhibit an intense work ethic and unwavering focus. They have a strong desire to work and excel in tasks requiring concentration and precision. Their ability to maintain focus contributes to their success in various working roles and competitive sports.

Loyalty and Bonding

Border Collies form deep bonds with their owners and families, demonstrating remarkable loyalty and devotion. They thrive on human companionship and prefer to be involved in daily activities. They are happiest when part of a loving and active family that provides attention and affection.

Alertness and Responsiveness

Border Collies are highly alert and responsive dogs, keenly attuned to their surroundings. They react quickly to changes or stimuli, making them excellent watchdogs who will readily alert their owners to potential threats. Their alert nature also enhances their agility and adaptability.

Herding Instincts

While not all Border Collies work as herding dogs, many retain their innate herding instincts. This may manifest in behaviours like circling, nipping, or attempting to gather and control groups of people or animals. Proper training and activities that stimulate their herding abilities help channel these instincts effectively.

Border Collie for Sale in Ireland

If you’re considering adding a Border Collie to your family in Ireland, whether in Dublin, Cork or elsewhere, it’s crucial to approach the process thoughtfully. Whether you’re looking for a puppy or an adult dog, consider the following options:


Our website,, is a comprehensive online platform dedicated to dogs in Ireland, offers valuable resources for those seeking Border Collies for sale in the country. With its extensive listings and user-friendly interface, we provide a convenient and trustworthy way to explore available Border Collie puppies or dogs.

2. Reputable Breeders:

Reputable breeders adhere to high standards of care and breeding practices. They prioritize the health and well-being of their dogs and provide a loving environment for their puppies. Research breeders thoroughly, ask for references, and visit their facilities if possible.

3. Rescue Organizations:

Another option is adopting a Border Collie from a rescue organization or shelter. Many wonderful Border Collies in need of homes are waiting for loving families. Adoption not only provides a home for a deserving dog but also contributes to reducing the number of dogs in shelters.

4. Breed-specific Clubs:

Joining a Border Collie breed club in Ireland can be a valuable resource. These clubs often have information on reputable breeders, upcoming litters, and events where you can meet Border Collie owners and enthusiasts.

Remember that bringing a Border Collie into your life is a long-term commitment. Ensure you have the time, space, and resources to provide for their physical and mental needs. Border Collies thrive when they have a job to do and a loving family to share their life with.

Useful Links

To aid you in your quest to find the perfect Border Collie companion in Ireland, here are some useful links and resources: