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Mini Border Collie Dog Breed: Pictures, Info, Temperament & More

Written by: Cassidy Sutton

Last Updated on May 24, 2024 by Dogster Team

Blue merle mini border collie dog up close

Mini Border Collie Dog Breed: Pictures, Info, Temperament & More

The AKC recognized the full-sized Border Collie in 1995, but never the Miniature Border Collie. Why? For one reason only: the Mini Border Collie isn’t a breed at all. Rather, it’s a smaller version of the full-sized Border Collie.

So, why are people searching for a smaller version? Keep reading to learn more.  

Breed Overview


15–22 inches (varies)


20–40 pounds (varies)


12-15 years


Black, blue, blue merle, red, red merle, sable, white & black, white & blue merle, white & red, lilac, saddleback sable, sable merle, gold, brindle, white & blue, white & red merle, white ticked

Suitable for:

Families with older kids, ideally with a large yard or land


High energy, loving, intelligent

All kinds of dogs are being crossed with other breeds to create never-before-seen designer breeds. Not only are they adorable, but they’re easier to care for than the full-sized versions.

Most people believe that you can cross a Border Collie with any smaller dog, and you get a Mini Collie. But that’s not entirely accurate.

For the dog to be a true Mini Collie, it must be a pure-bred Border Collie except smaller than the average size. Usually, this is unintentional and can be a result of Trapped Neutrophil Syndrome (TNS), a gene mutation only found in Border Collies.

However, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, dogs are smaller than they’re supposed to be, so if you find a healthy Mini Border Collie, you’re in luck!

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.


Mini Border Collie Breed Puppies

mini border collie puppy
Image Credit: Johana Mlichova, Shutterstock

Just because the Collie is smaller, doesn’t make it less expensive. These dogs can range between $650 to $2,500 or more.

Finding a Border Collie breeder is easier than some breeds because they’re popular. However, finding a miniature dog won’t be so simple because breeders want to create full-sized versions. Even so, you can call around and ask breeders if they have healthy smaller-than-normal dogs available.

Temperament & Intelligence of the Mini Border Collie

The temperament of a Mini Border Collie is about the same as a regular-sized Border Collie. The biggest thing to note is the extremely high energy of these dogs. If you don’t take them out for daily exercise, stimulate their minds, and train them, then this isn’t the dog for you.

Are These Dogs Good for Families?

Border Collies are excellent family dogs. They love to have fun and adapt to change rather quickly. Unlike other family dogs, Border Collies are more reserved and less tolerant of small child shenanigans. Miniature Border Collies could be less tolerant of small children because of their small size, but this depends on the dog. For this reason, Border Collies do best with families with older children.

With this in mind, a Border Collie can do very well in a home with small children as long as it has plenty of space away to burn energy and the children understand the proper way to handle animals.

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?

Border Collies are okay with other pets and dogs. How well the dog does depends on the dog’s training and personality. If you plan to own other pets, it’s wise to adopt a Border Collie that is well-adjusted around other dogs and cats and has graduated from puppy classes.

Things to Know When Owning a Mini Border Collie:

Food & Diet Requirements

Any Border Collie can thrive on a commercial or homemade diet as long as the food is high-quality and accurately portioned. The food should be appropriate to the dog’s stage of life (i.e. puppy, adult, senior).

Miniature Border Collies require some tweaking in their diets since they’re smaller and don’t require the same number of calories as a full-sized Collie; about 700–900 calories is expected, give or take a couple hundred. Work with your veterinarian on your dog’s ideal weight so you know how much to feed them—this includes treats.

Black and white mini border collie dog in pink studio
Image Credit: VIS DE ANIMALIS, Shutterstock


Border Collies are highly energetic dogs and excel at dog sports and farm work. A simple walk or throwing a ball around the yard won’t do for this breed. Border Collies require a minimum of 1 hour of vigorous exercise each day, so be prepared to put your work boots on with these dogs.

Mini Border Collies could possibly get away with less exercise, but we wouldn’t count on it. This breed loves to herd and have fun!


Border Collies are eager to please and are highly intelligent. They’ll show off their desire to learn when given a chance. Puppy classes are a good place to start. But with this breed, it would be a shame to not use their herding abilities somehow, so consider dog sports and farm training.

Grooming ✂️

Border Collies have two coat types: a rough coat and a smooth coat. The rough coat is a medium-length coat that feathers, whereas the smooth coat is shorter and coarser. Both coats are thick double coats and are water-resistant.

You’ll need to use a fine-toothed comb every other week, or as needed, to comb out any mats and debris accumulating in your Collie’s coat. This will also reduce shedding.

mini border collie dog sitting on the grass
Image Credit: Dalibor Valek, Shutterstock

Health and Conditions

Besides the typical illnesses that all dogs are prone to, like dental disease and flea and tick-borne illnesses, Miniature Border Collies are prone to specific ailments.

Minor Conditions
  • MDR1 (Multidrug Resistance Mutation): A gene mutation causing affected Border Collies to be sensitive to specific medications.
Serious Conditions
  • TNS (Trapped Neutrophil Syndrome): A fatal genetic issue that weakens the immune system and causes Border Collies to be smaller than the average size.
  • Hip dysplasia: When the ball of the hip joint does not properly fit or stay in the pocket of the hip.
  • Epilepsy: A seizure disorder.
  • Collie eye anomaly: A genetic eye disease causing blindness or vision defects.
  • CL (Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis): A genetic mutation that causes neurological disorders.

Male vs Female

There isn’t much difference between male and female Border Collies except for the notable physical differences.

The males tend to be a few inches taller and a few pounds heavier than females, but the gap shortens with Miniature Border Collies. Both males and females could be the same size, roughly. Without consistency, we can’t say for sure.

3 Little-Known Facts About the Mini Border Collie

1. “Collie” Is a Scottish Word for “Sheepdog”

Although “collie” has been used in many ways, in the Scottish dialect, the word describes all collie dogs, including Border Collies.

2. A Border Collie Was in the Movie Babe

In the famous movie, a gentle pig named Babe befriends a Border Collie called Fly. Babe realizes he can herd sheep, just like Fly, and thus seeks a non-traditional role on the farm.

3. Scotland’s National Poet Robert Burns Mentions the Border Collie

Robert Burns is a well-known Scottish poet who mentions his Border Collie Luath in the poem The Twa Dogs. A Tale. (1785).

In the poem, Luath converses with a Newfoundland, in which they discuss their owners. Burns rightfully describes the Collie as faithful and honest.

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The Miniature Border Collie isn’t a true breed, sadly. It’s a matter of luck or an unfortunate genetic mutation. Can you find a Border Collie mixed with a smaller dog breed? Sure, but it’s not a true Border Collie.

If it’s a smaller dog you want, you’re better off finding a breed naturally small. You’ll have a better chance of finding an ethical breeder or adopting.

Featured Image Credit: onira, Shutterstock

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