Border Collies - DogGear

The Border Collie

The internet’s most practical guide to your favorite dog breed

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*Learn more about the breed below and some of the products recommended by our team of experts, which include veterinarians, explosive detection dog handlers and the dog obsessed.

Overview of the Border Collie Breed

Border collies are highly intelligent, energetic, and fun-loving dogs.

First and foremost, the Border Collie is a herding breed. This is what makes them so smart and trainable but it also means that they need to be given mental exercise to avoid boredom. Border Collies enjoy working with their owners and they are at their best when following instructions. Games of fetch and Frisbee are always popular but you can also train them to do more advanced tricks like bringing your slippers.

Border Collies are also strong physically and as such they need lots of exercise. Their large size means that they are best suited to stronger handlers and they aren’t quite as good a pick for the elderly or the physically less able.

Border Collies are very protective and can make great guard dogs. They like people and are often indifferent to other dogs and this means that they can make for loyal and trustworthy family pets. Due to their size though, it is very important to ensure they get the proper training and socialization at an early age. If you put the time in, then you will get tons back in love, affection and loyalty. These are great dogs and a great addition to any home.

Border Collie Diet and Health

It’s tempting to think that feeding a dog is easy – you just give them some canned food a few times a day and be done with it right?

Wrong! Dogs and puppies actually have just as many complex requirements as humans when it comes to their diets and if you fail to get this right, then they will be much more likely to become ill and won’t be as happy and healthy in general.

The problem is that we know even less about canine nutrition and many of us don’t even realize that it’s something we need to think about.

For instance: we don’t even know whether there is actually any advantage to using breed-specific diets. Does a pug benefit from eating any differently from a border collie? And if not, is there really any point in buying products designed specifically for either?

Seeing as we don’t have any concrete answers in this regard right now, the most sensible way to proceed is to avoid wasting your money on breed-specific brands and instead focus on the ages. Foods aimed at puppies and older dogs do have some merit and will ensure that your collie gets all the energy and nutrient they need at each stage in their lives.

What we do know however, is that dogs require a mixture of nutrients just like humans. They need a lot of protein in order to repair tissue and build powerful muscle (dogs are made of a lot of muscle!) and they need nutrients like vitamin C to improve their immune systems, magnesium and calcium to strengthen their bones, etc.

And conversely, you should try to avoid additives that your dog wouldn’t naturally have been eating in large quantities in the wild. These include things like large amounts of added sugar, which can actually do a lot of harm to your dog’s health.

As you can see then, there are plenty of things to think about if you want to give your pup the healthiest diet possible. Thankfully though, many manufacturers are now realizing this and making it easier than ever to do just that. The best dog food for puppies is natural, nutritious and packed with protein – while avoiding unwanted sugar and additives. Give these types a shot as a starting point and your pup will stand the best chance of living a long, healthy life! And if you’re feeling really adventurous, then you can try throwing in some raw meat for your dog to chew on as well – this is perhaps the closest thing to the way that dogs actually evolved to eat!

Leashes and Collars for your Border Collie

If you want your dog to be happy, healthy, social, and safe, then it is highly important that you get them on a leash. This will allow you to train your dog while at the same time keeping them out of harm’s way/preventing them from jumping up.

Starting with the collar, there are a few different types to consider. When you first start out with your new collie, you may want to think about using a training collar like as remote dog training collar. These deliver small shocks – don’t worry, they don’t hurt your dog! – and that can help you to train them. That little spark simply tells them when they are doing something wrong an therefore allows you to gradually get them to behave in the way you want them to.

Border collies are working dogs which means they are both highly intelligent and very trainable. If you get yourself a training collar, you should have no problem getting them to walk calmly and politely next to you!

It is also possible to train a border collie or any dog with any regular collar like as scent floral collection regular. These work better than harnesses as they provide a more immediate form of feedback, but of course it’s important to ensure that you find one that is a good fit.

The best collar will be one that is too tight for you to fit a single finger down beneath – while still leaving a little slack for them to breathe. This tightness is not only important to ensure that your dog doesn’t slip their collar, but also to prevent them fromr hurting themselves. If the collar is too slack and your dog bolts suddenly, they can otherwise risk hitting their own necks against the collar and jolting themselves that way. If it is tighter however, then this cannot happen.

Harnesses are a great option for well trained dogs. These are more comfortable because the force is not around the neck and they thus allow you to play more freely.

Consider different types of leash too. Retractable leashes can sometimes cause a little bit of whiplash if your collie runs off suddenly, and really you should find that they are well enough behaved in order to walk with a regular short lead.

Best Crates, Beds, and Doghouses for Border Collies

Crate training is good way to help keep your dog under better control. Essentially, a crate (sometimes called a flight kennel or vari-kennel) is a type of collapsible metal pen. You can travel with these but they can also remain in your home in their erect form.

If you crate train a dog, then that means that by giving a command such as ‘kennel’, you can get your dog to return to their home. This in turn is very useful if you have guests coming around, if you are engaging in work and can’t afford to have a dog under your feet tripping you up, or if you want to spend time with friends and family for a while. This is also very useful for getting to sleep – and most dog trainers and behavioral experts recommend against letting your dog sleep on the bed.

If you want to achieve the same thing but make it more comfortable, then you can often do so by using a dog bed. This will give your pup somewhere comfortable to sleep and you may be able to find one with space for toys and their belongings too. Depending on your approach to training, you can even let your dog sleep on their bed in your room.

Finally, finding a dog house or kennel like suncast DH350 dog house can help to keep your border collie safe and under shelter outdoors. While it’s true that these are outdoor dogs and should be well suited to spending time outside, if they get wet or if it is very hot, then this can be bad for your health. At the same time, it’s not advisable to make your dog live outside – as collies are also very social animals that naturally live in packs. Therefore, they won’t be happy if they are left living outside away from the family!

Border Collie Toys

Looking for a toy for your border collie? There are plenty of great options available, all of which can help to keep this highly energetic, intelligent, and social breed entertained.

One of the most basic types of toy for any type of dog is the chew toy like real flavor wishbone dog chew toy. This is simply something that your dog can chew in order to strengthen their jaw and clean and sharpen their teeth. One of the most popular options for this type of toy is the conk – a proprietary chew toy that is made from a specific type of rubber that provides the perfect amount of resistance. These come color coded to suit different sizes of dog, so try to find the right type of conk for your pet.

Conks are of particular importance when your dog is smaller and still growing. At this point, they will be teething, meaning that they will be chewing everything! Getting them a toy can be a good way to give your hands and your furniture some respite.

Note that at every age, these types of toys are also good for their teeth – and essentially are their alternative to brushing teeth.

Being social animals, collies also like toys that they can play with with you. That means that anything you can throw for them will be a great hit. Look for a ball like as dog ball launcher on a rope and you’ll be able to use that to launch it far further, giving your collie a real workout on your next walk! Otherwise, anything that you can play tug of war with is always going to be popular as well.

If you don’t want to spend a great deal on a dog’s toy, then there are lots of cheaper options you can use instead. These include simple pieces of rope, as well as second-hand children’s plush toys which they can rip apart. Finally, consider giving your dog an old water bottle with the lid taken off. They love these because they can throw them around and listen to the sound they make as they crunch!

It’s much cheaper than pretty much anything at the pet shop and it makes them just as happy!

Grooming Insights for Border Collie owners

Border collies have thick, white and black or brown coats. They are relatively low maintenance and are very practical dogs meaning that you don’t need to spend all your time and money at the groomer!

Border collies essentially have two types of coat that they can sport. They either have a smooth coat, which is short and sleek, or a rough coat which is a bit longer and more ruffled. Both these coats require only a minimal amount of trimming as the breed does shed their fur.

That said, if you have the rough cut collie, then you may want to take them to a professional groomer about once every couple of months in order to get a light trim. It’s also no bad idea to comb them around once every three weeks. For shorter coats, this is less necessary but it’s still a good idea on occasion.

What many people don’t realise, is that grooming their pets isn’t just about aesthetics – it is also important for their health for a number of reasons. For one, when you comb your dog, you actually remove dead skin and any hairs that you no longer want there. If you don’t remove these, then they can otherwise lead to problems such as skin issues, infections, and more.

That said, you can also go too far the other way. If you are constantly bathing your dog, then this will actually be worse for them in the long run. That’s because dogs – like humans – have a natural layer of oil on their skin that is produced naturally. This oil is intended to help them keep out infections from bacteria and other germs and at the same time will help to hydrate the skin. It is often referred to as the skin barrier, and you’ve probably come across that phrase when shopping for your own skin products!

If you keep bathing your pooch, then you can dry up that skin barrier and leave them susceptible to problems. Try not to back your dog unless they need it – which should be around once every 6 weeks. Use this time as well to clip your border collie’s nails while they are soft after being in the water – as this can prevent them breaking and also avoid other issues.

Use any time combing your dog to look out for signs of ticks and fleas. Occasionally, you can also use this time to brush their teeth as well!

Border Collie Accessories


A clicker is an incredibly useful tool that you can use to train your dog. This works by creating an association between the sound of the click and the reward (you do this by clicking whenever you give your pup a treat), which then allows you to reward your collie without the need for the treat. Smart! This is a powerful tool for training and a great accessory to invest in.

Shaping is a method of dog clicker training that involves rewarding each minute step of a positive action. So, in other words, you reward your dog for numerous small actions that ultimately add up to one big one.

Say you want your dog to sit when it gets to a certain point in your garden, you could use the clicker to reward your dog as soon as they orient themselves in the right direction, then again as they get closer and then when they sit down. This will allow you to guide them all the way through the action!

Similar to this is another method called ‘food luring’. The idea here is that you use food as a lure/guide in order to help your dog understand the correct movement and then present the food to them once they have performed that behavior.

For instance, if you were to try and teach a dog to lie down, then you might hold the food opposite them where they could see it and then slowly lower it to the ground in order to get them to lie down. Most dogs will lie down as they follow the treat with their eyes. You only click once they are lying flat and then you let them eat the treat right away. Without the clicker, they wouldn’t understand that the action was what they were being rewarded for. Using a lure and clicker for dog training though, you can train far more complicated movements much more quickly.


While there isn’t quite the same trend for dressing up border collies in funny outfits as there is for chihuahuas and for pugs (thankfully!), it’s still a good idea to consider investing in a coat for your dog if you will be walking them outdoors and if you live in a cold climate. This can keep them nice and warm, and also keep them drier when it rains.

You should also think about getting your own clothes and accessories for walking. If you plan on doing lots of winter walks with man’s best friend, then you’ll need some layers to avoid getting cold and wet yourself!