Border collies originally came from the border of England and Scotland, as early as the 16th century. Other names for the border collie are the working collie, the farm collie, the English collie and the old-fashioned collie. Collies are typically black and white, very intelligent and full of energy. Because of their high level of activity, border collies aren't for everyone. They require much more time and patience than other breeds when training.
Consider a border collie if you are looking for an active dog, and you know you will have the time to exercise and train it. Border collies make excellent companions for runners and hikers, as they rarely tire.2
Take into consideration a border collie's features. A well-bred border collie will have oval, dark brown eyes, a slightly raised tail, ears that are slightly perked, a coat that does not have white as its main color, and short hair around its face, ears and front legs.3
Reconsider getting a border collie if you have children in the house. Because they were bred to herd livestock, these dogs have a tendency to nip at the heels of people and other animals. However, if a dog is socialized early on, there shouldn't be a problem.4
Note that you will have to give your border collie obedience training very early on. Because of their high level of intelligence, these dogs can get into a lot of trouble if they are bored and untrained.5
Keep in mind that border collies are not watchdogs. They are herders. But they will usually bark when they hear noises, and they are protective.6
Think about purchasing a border collie from a pet rescue organization only after you have thoroughly checked the dog for behavioral problems. Most collies from pet shelters have only been partially trained and require diligent training.7
Expect a full-grown border collie to weigh between 30 and 50 pounds. Border collies mature rather slowly, taking two to three years to reach full maturity. Their life expectancy is 12 to 13 years.8
Understand the health problems common to the border collie before your purchase. They are prone to hip dysplasia (a malformed ball and socket in the hip joint); progressive retinal atrophy (progressive damage to the retina); collie eye anomaly, which can cause blindness; osteochondritis desicans, which can cause lameness; and other diseases. Be sure to check whether potential breeders screen for these health problems before they breed.9
Know that you will probably pay between $300 and $1,500 for a purebred puppy.