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Short-Haired Border Collie: Care Guide, Pictures, Temperament & More

Written by: Visnja Radosavljevic

Last Updated on May 20, 2024 by Dogster Team

Short Haired Border Collie

Short-Haired Border Collie: Care Guide, Pictures, Temperament & More

Short-Haired Border Collies are medium-sized herding dogs native to the borders between Scotland and England. This breed is known for being extremely clever and protective. These dogs have well-proportioned bodies, with long legs and short, smooth coats. Their fur can come in different colors, from the standard black and white to red, blue, and various shades of merle.

These dogs are active, agile, and playful. They have high energy levels and require plenty of mental and physical stimulation to grow healthy and strong.

In this article, we talk more about this fantastic dog, everything from their characteristics and temperament to other things that you need to know when owning this breed.

Breed Overview


19–22 inches


38–45 pounds


12–15 years


White, blue, honey sable, sable, red, black, liver, chocolate, tricolor, various merle shades

Suitable for:

Active families or singles, those looking for a low-shedding dog


Loyal and loving, intelligent, affectionate, eager to please, good-natured

Short-Haired Border Collies are affectionate, intelligent, energetic, and playful, which is why they make excellent pets. They were primarily bred as herding dogs and their primary role was to protect and herd livestock.

Nowadays, people mostly breed Short-Haired Border Collies as pets, though this loving breed still has a herding nature. Therefore, you may commonly see these dogs trying to herd other animals or even kids.

Short-Haired Border Collies were first recognized by the International Sheep Dog Society in 1906, while the American Kennel Club recognized this breed almost 100 years later, in 1995.1 Ever since, the popularity of this dog breed has been extremely high, which is why Short-Haired Border Collies are among the most popular canine breeds in the world.

Short-Haired Border Collie 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.


Short-Haired Border Collie Puppies

Short haired chocolate tricolor border collie puppy laying in the grass
Image By: Alexandra Kruspe, Shutterstock

Short-Haired Border Collies are active, curious, and playful during their puppy years. They are extremely intelligent, so it’s best to start training them from an early age, preferably when they are between 6 and 8 weeks old. This is the perfect time to start obedience, crate, and potty training, as well as socialization.

Starting early will allow your Short-Haired Border Collie to pick up on things more easily and learn how to behave. However, keep in mind that puppies at this stage may be slightly stubborn and have short attention spans, so try to train your puppy in short intervals until they get older.

At this stage in their life, Short-Haired Border Collie puppies will need proper nutrition and a well-balanced diet to grow healthy and strong.

Temperament & Intelligence of the Short-Haired Border Collie

Are These Dogs Good for Families?

Short-Haired Border Collies are loyal, protective, friendly, and affectionate, which is why they make excellent family dogs. These canines love spending time with the family, bonding, and playing all kinds of interesting games.

However, this breed may be unsuitable for families with young children, toddlers, or babies. Although these dogs are good-natured, their high activity levels and herding instincts may be overwhelming for youngsters.

These dogs make the best companions for active singles and families with older kids who can also participate in caring for the dog.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets?

Short-Haired Border Collies are playful and friendly, so they can get along with other animals quite well, especially if they are socialized during their puppy stage. Early socialization will ensure that your dog knows how to act among other pets and humans.

However, one thing to keep in mind is that this breed has exceptional herding instincts, which may lead to conflict when with other animals. Collies may react and jump to sudden movements or chase animals near them.

Although Border Collies don’t want to harm the animals that they’re chasing, other pets may find this behavior too pushy or aggressive.

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Things to Know When Owning a Short-Haired Border Collie

Food & Diet Requirements🦴

Short-Haired Border Collies require a high-quality, well-balanced diet rich in proteins, nutrients, and vitamins. The food should be appropriate for their age.

Since this is a generally active breed with high energy levels, adult dogs need around 1,400–1,600 calories per day to stay healthy and develop properly. That said, this breed can be prone to overeating, which is why you should be cautious to prevent weight issues.

If you’re unsure about the proper food that you should give to your Short-Haired Border Collie, it’s best to talk to your vet, who can provide you with the necessary advice and diet ideas.


Short-Haired Border Collies are extremely active and energetic, which is why they require plenty of exercise and mental and physical stimulation to develop and behave properly. While your dog should have regular daily walks, those aren’t going to be enough to satisfy their exercise needs.

Your Border Collie should get other types of exercise, such as running, hiking, or playing fetch. These dogs should get at least 2 hours of exercise per day to meet their needs.

This is a breed for active owners who are ready to take on the responsibility of ensuring that their dog gets enough exercise. It’s best to keep these dogs outdoors and allow them to freely run and roam. They will thrive with active, playful owners who like to spend time outdoors and engage in all kinds of outdoor activities.


Short-Haired Border Collies are extremely intelligent and typically easy to train, as long as training starts from an early age. These dogs are eager to please their owners, and they learn the best through positive reinforcement. Due to their active and intelligent nature, they require plenty of mental and physical stimulation to grow strong and be happy.

Your Short-Haired Border Collie puppy should get all kinds of training, including:
  • Obedience training
  • Socialization
  • Crate training
  • Potty training

If you’re planning on training your Short-Haired Border Collie or you want to know more about dog training in general, there are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Start Early

Many first-time dog owners are unsure when they should start training their puppies. When it comes to Short-Haired Border Collies, it’s best to start their training when they are between 6 and 8 weeks old.

These puppies will have short attention spans and may not listen as much as you want them to; however, as long as you develop a healthy training routine, your Collie will follow your lead. You can first teach your Collie how to go potty, then begin proper obedience and crate training.

Socialization also needs to play an important part in your Short-Haired Border Collie’s training, as this is what will teach your Collie how to act when among other humans and animals.

  • Train Your Dog in Multiple Short Sessions

During their puppy stage, Short-Haired Border Collies often have short attention spans and may be stubborn. These dogs learn best with multiple short training sessions.

Having long training sessions may be frustrating for both you and your canine, as they likely won’t be able to follow your directions. Try to keep the training sessions short and fun, and give your dog enough time to rest and prepare for the new training session.

  • Practice Positive Reinforcement

Like most dog breeds, Short-Haired Border Collies work and learn best when trained through positive reinforcement. Ensure that you reward your dog with treats after a successful training session, and provide words of encouragement that will let them know that you’re content and proud of the work that they’ve done.

Short Haired Border Collie
Image By: anetapics, Shutterstock

Grooming ✂️

Short-Haired Border Collies are typically low-maintenance, as they have short coats that typically don’t shed unless it’s shedding season. However, you’ll need to regularly brush your Collie and provide the needed ear, nail, and dental care.

Here are four main care factors that every Short-Haired Border Collie parent needs to know about:

  • Coat care: Their short hair typically doesn’t have tangles or mats, which is why it’s usually easy to brush them. You should also bathe your Collie at least once a month to keep their coat shiny and silky.
  • Ear care: This breed has floppy ears, which makes them prone to ear infections. They require regular ear care to prevent the formation of bacteria, parasites, and pests.
  • Nail care: Your Short-Haired Border Collie will require regular nail care, which typically includes trimming their nails every 3–4 weeks. If your Collie is standing and their nails are touching the ground, it’s time to trim your canine’s nails.
  • Dental care: Short-Haired Border Collies can be prone to dental issues, which is why it’s crucial to keep up their dental hygiene. Care for your Collie’s teeth by regularly brushing them, providing dental treats, and having regular vet cleanings.

Health & Conditions❤️

Short-Haired Border Collies are generally healthy dogs with long lifespans typically between 12 and 15 years. Although this breed is considered healthy, they are prone to several minor and serious health conditions.

Minor Conditions
  • Multidrug Resistance Mutation: Short-Haired Border Collies can have a gene mutation that is also common in other herding dogs. It’s known as the multidrug resistance mutation, and it makes Collies more sensitive to medications. This mutation is typically not harmful, but it does require you to always consult your vet before giving drugs to your dog to prevent possible problems.


Serious Conditions
  • Hip Dysplasia: A common health issue in Short-Haired Border Collies is hip dysplasia. This condition occurs when the ball of the top joint doesn’t properly fit into the hip joint socket, resulting in the bones rubbing against one another. This condition can lead to pain and inflammation, while also commonly causing arthritis. Fortunately, with regular vet checks, you can notice this condition early and correct it with surgical interventions.
  • Epilepsy: This dog breed is prone to epilepsy; the seizures typically occur when the Short-Haired Border Collie is between 2 and 5 years old. There’s no known reason as to why this dog breed commonly gets epilepsy, but there are several anti-seizure medications that your vet can prescribe to control this condition.
  • Collie Eye Anomaly: Short-Haired Border Collies can suffer from a genetic disease that affects their eyes, called Collie eye anomaly. This condition can typically be detected around 5–6 weeks of age. Collie eye anomaly causes various malformations that may lead to impaired vision or blindness in your dog. Since this is a genetic condition, the treatment options for it are few, so be sure to get your puppy from a reputable breeder to prevent this issue.
  • Trapped Neutrophil Syndrome (TNS): Short-Haired Border Collies are prone to a syndrome called trapped neutrophil syndrome (TNS), which is only found in this dog breed. It occurs due to a gene mutation and compromises the dog’s immune system and its ability to fight diseases, leading to chronic infections. Unfortunately, TNS is not curable and is often considered fatal, which is another reason to ensure that you get a Collie from a reputable breeder.

Male vs. Female

Male and female Short-Haired Border Collies are similar physically, so it’s often hard to tell them apart, though male Collies are often taller and heavier than females. Both species are generally sweet-tempered, though the females tend to be slightly more protective.

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3 Little-Known Facts About the Short-Haired Border Collie

1. Border Collies Make Excellent Search-&-Rescue Dogs

Short-Haired Border Collies are extremely intelligent and hardworking, which is why besides being great herders, they make excellent search-and-rescue dogs. This breed has the needed stamina and enjoys working hard to get a reward. They’ll gladly help in stressful situations and have the needed energy for this type of work.

2. Border Collies Have Broken All Kinds of Records

The dogs of this breed excel in various ways, and some of them have become popular due to their excellence. Here’s a list of Border Collies that have broken world records:

  • A Border Collie named Chaser has been recognized as the world’s smartest dog, as she can recognize over 1,000 objects.
  • A Border Collie named Jumpy holds the world’s record for dog skateboarding.
  • A Border Collie named Striker set a record for manually rolling down a car window.
  • A Border Collie named Sweet Pea set the record for best dog balancing in the world.

3. Border Collies Are Excellent Herders

The heritage of Short-Haired Border Collies goes back to the earliest development of livestock farming, as these dogs were bred as working and herding dogs. They originally herded sheep and excelled at this job due to their agility, stamina, intelligence, and work ethic. Due to their strong herding instincts, these dogs may still often try to herd their owners and children.

Nowadays, these dogs make excellent pets, though there are still many people who use Short-Haired Border Collies for livestock protection and herding.

Short Haired Border Collie
Image By: Joe Kirby Photography, Shutterstock


Final Thoughts

Short-Haired Border Collies are loving, energetic, and playful, which is why they make perfect human companions for active people looking for a fun-spirited dog. If you want an intelligent, low-maintenance, and easy-to-train dog breed, the Short-Haired Border Collie should definitely be on your list!

Related Read:

Featured Image Credit: Eudyptula, Shutterstock

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