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Sable Border Collie: Facts, Origin & History (With Pictures)

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on June 14, 2024 by Dogster Team

Sable Border Collie

Sable Border Collie: Facts, Origin & History (With Pictures)

The Sable Border Collie, a stunning variation of the Border Collie breed, is known for its unique coloration and exceptional intelligence. Originally bred for herding livestock, this energetic and versatile dog has found its way into the hearts of many dog enthusiasts around the world.

Today, we’ll be delving into the Sable Border Collie’s rich history and examining some interesting facts about this truly remarkable canine companion.

Breed Overview


18 – 22 inches


30 – 55 pounds


12 – 15 years


Sable, white, tan, black tips

Suitable for:

Active families looking for a smart and trainable dog


Highly trainable, eager to please, smart, energetic, loyal

The Sable Border Collie showcases a beautiful coat that sets them apart from the other Border Collie color variations. Their sable fur, a mix of light and dark hairs, creates a striking appearance that is both eye-catching and elegant, making them stand out in the crowd.

Sable Border Collie Breed Characteristics

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.

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The Earliest Records of Sable Border Collies in History

Sable Border Collies, like their other-colored counterparts, have their roots in the border region between England and Scotland. The breed is believed to have originated in the 19th century and developed from a mix of native British herding dogs and Roman livestock guardian dogs.

The exact origins of the sable color variation are not well documented, but it is likely that the color was present from the beginning, although less common than the more widely recognized black and white variety.

What’s more, the breed’s exceptional herding abilities and intelligence quickly gained the attention of farmers and shepherds in the region, leading to its rise in popularity.

How Sable Border Collies Gained Popularity

The Sable Border Collie’s popularity grew alongside the rise of the traditional Border Collie. As the breed became known for its incredible herding abilities and intelligence, dog enthusiasts began to take notice.

With its unique and beautiful coat, the Sable Border Collie became particularly attractive to those seeking a distinctive and capable working dog. As dog sports like agility, obedience, and flyball gained popularity, the breed’s versatility and athleticism only added to its appeal.

Today, the Sable Border Collie is beloved by many as a loyal companion, skilled working dog, and impressive competitor in various canine sports.

Sable Border Collie
Image Credit: Eoghan, Shutterstock

Formal Recognition of Sable Border Collies

The Border Collie breed was first recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1995, and the Sable Border Collie was included as one of the acceptable color variations. Other breed organizations, such as the United Kennel Club (UKC), recognized Border Collies much earlier in 1961, and the breed standard includes the unique sable coloration.

Furthermore, the sable coat is recognized and accepted in competitions, including conformation shows, ensuring that this stunning variation of the breed continues to gain recognition and appreciation from dog enthusiasts worldwide.

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Top 3 Unique Facts About Sable Border Collies

1. Besides Sable, there are 19 other Border Collie colors!

While sable is a beautiful coat color, there are over a dozen other Border Collie colors—even two other variations of sable: saddleback sable and sable merle.

2. Sable Border Collies are highly Intelligent.

This breed is highly intelligent and often considered one of the smartest dog breeds in the world, excelling in both work and play.

3. Sable Border Collies are born to set records.

Due to their natural intelligence, Sable Border Collies could set the next world record! Right now, Border Collies hold records for knowing the names of over 1,000 objects, skateboarding, and running.

Sable Border Collie sitting in the grass
Image By: Annabell Gsoedl, Shutterstock

Dogster_Website dividers_v1_Jan 18 2024-03 Does a Sable Border Collie Make a Good Pet?

The Sable Border Collie makes an excellent pet for active families and individuals willing to invest time and energy into their canine companion. Their high intelligence, trainability, and sociable nature make them well-suited for a variety of roles, from loyal family pets to competitive athletes. This breed is also incredibly protective of its family and excels in the role of watchdog.

However, it is important to remember that this breed requires significant physical and mental stimulation to remain happy and healthy. The Sable Border Collie thrives when given a job to do, making them an ideal choice for those who enjoy engaging in activities and sports with their dogs.


The Sable Border Collie is a striking and intelligent dog breed with a rich history and a multitude of talents. As both an exceptional working dog and a loving companion, the Sable Border Collie has captivated the hearts of many and continues to be a popular choice for those seeking a versatile and engaging canine partner.

Featured Image Credit: Annabell Gsoedl, Shutterstock

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