Border Collies and Collie-crosses breeds

What to do if you want to welcome a Collie into your life

Choosing to get a dog is a very big decision, whatever breed you want to get. If you decide to get a Collie, you will need to do some research to decide where to get one from.

The head of a border collie  What to do if you want to welcome a Collie into your life

Choosing to get a dog is a very big decision, whatever breed you want to get. If you decide to get a Collie, you will need to do some research to decide where to get one from. 

Breeders: You can contact Collie groups for advice on reputable breeders in your area, asking them for tips on the pitfalls to avoid and how to approach them. Beware of anyone advertising (i.e. in local or free newspapers) puppies of many different breeds - especially if they say they can get breeds in 'to order' as this could mean that they are running illegal puppy 'farms' or transporting dogs over long distances to 'meet demand'.

Rescue Centres: There are always Collies looking for homes at Dogs Trust rehoming centres, and there are lots of Collie­specific rescue groups you could contact about the dogs they have for rehoming . Remember that Collies can find kennel life stressful, so they may appear a bit boisterous when you meet them. You'll see their true personality away from a kennel.

Be a responsible owner and neuter your dog - it's simply the best choice for you and your pet.

Border Collies have been around for a long time, originally as working dogs assisting shepherds around the Scottish Borders. They’re intelligent, active and loyal – but they’re not for everyone. If you’re fit and have an active lifestyle, plenty of time and want a dog to keep you challenged, a Collie would be perfect!

A border collie jumping for a frisby  

Training: because they're intelligent, Collies are often easy to train - but they always want new things to do and like solving problems. Teach them new tricks and they'll respond beautifully.

What you should know about Collies

There is no such thing as an ‘average’ Border Collie. The most familiar type is the classic black and white ‘sheepdog’ – though there are also many colour variations, such as blue or red merles who sport a fetching ‘dappled’ colour to their coats. The main thing you’ll notice about a Border Collie is how athletic they are. Their physique and stamina lend themselves to being active a lot of the time and are most at home outdoors and taking part in activities such as agility and flyball.

Think long and hard about your lifestyle and whether or not it is suited to taking on such an active dog before getting one. You should consider:

  • Your current lifestyle – you need to have an energetic lifestyle to keep these lovely dogs happy.
  • Your family situation – because they’re naturally high-spirited, they’re often not ideal in homes with young children.
  • Don’t fence me in – how much space do you have at home? Collies love the outdoor life, so if you have a huge garden or public spaces nearby that they can run around in you could make a great Collie home.
  • The work-Collie-life balance – how much time do you have to devote to your new dog? As they need so much exercise and mental stimulation, Collies aren’t the ideal breed for people who are out at work all day. They get bored easily and need to be kept motivated and entertained. Otherwise they can get into mischief.