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White Border Collie: Info, Pictures, History & Facts

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on June 29, 2024 by Dogster Team

White border Collie

White Border Collie: Info, Pictures, History & Facts

The saying goes that from little acorns grow big oak trees, and the same is true for the White Border Collie. Although they started as a simple sheepdog, they have become one of the most prized and popular breeds in the world. Their work ethic, loyalty, and intelligence give them a versatility that serves them well in all canine careers and as treasured family pets.

Breed Overview


18–22 inches


30–55 pounds


12–15 years



Suitable for:

Active families or singles, houses with a fenced yard, agility, obedience competitions


Highly active, playful, loyal, intelligent, affectionate, easy to train

The Border Collie might be most known for their tidy black-and-white coloring, but the breed standard encompasses many more colors than you might expect.1 These dogs can be completely white or have a mix of white and other colors, such as blue, merle, red, and tan.

White Border Collies are just as keen to work as the more commonly colored members of the breed. The striking appearance of their white coats, combined with the breed’s natural intelligence, make these dogs a force to be reckoned with.

White 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.

The Earliest Records of the White Border Collie in History

White border Collie
Image By: Charlotte Post, Pixabay

Originally bred on the border of England and Scotland as a herding dog,2 the Border Collie was well equipped for work in the rugged terrain of the Scottish and Welsh highlands. They were first developed from the breeds that followed the Roman legions and the Viking forces that occupied England throughout history. These dogs were also the building blocks for many herding breeds that we know today and played a big part in the development of the Collie in particular.

The first Border Collies had the black-and-white coat that we all recognize today, and it remains the most common coloring. These days, though, there are many more variations. White is one of the recognized standards for the breed and is steadily becoming more popular with breed enthusiasts throughout the world.

How the White Border Collie Gained Popularity

It was the Border Collie’s work ethic and loyalty that played the biggest part in their popularity.3 They weren’t always a well-known breed, though, and they remained on the border of England and Scotland for several hundred years before taking the world by storm.

When they were introduced to sheepdog trials for the first time during the late 19th century, they drew the eye and favor of Queen Victoria and gradually gained the attention of other dog lovers. Eventually, their intelligence and willingness to work earned them jobs in all sorts of careers, and their affectionate nature made them good companion dogs too.

White isn’t one of the most common colors for the breed, with black and white still being the most well-known. Their striking looks, however, have still earned them a place among the world’s favorite dogs.

Formal Recognition of the White Border Collie

Once the Border Collie earned attention during sheepdog trials and in poetry, more people began exporting them outside of the U.K. It wasn’t until the late 20th century that they began soaring in popularity, though. After Border Collies starred in the movie “Babe,” dominated sheepdog trials, and won awards for their intelligence, agility, and obedience, they gained increased favor.

Despite their skills, however, recognition was slow in most other parts of the world. Most of their initial formal recognition remained in the U.K. where they continued excelling in sheepdog trials and gaining ground in obedience competitions.

In the U.S.A., the Border Collie was included in the AKC’s Miscellaneous class in 1955 but wasn’t completely recognized as a breed until 1995. White is one of the standard colors for the breed and is accepted in formal competitions.

White border Collie
Image By: Rhian, Pixabay

Top 3 Unique Facts About the White Border Collie

1. They Herd Everything

The Border Collie was bred to herd sheep, and their instincts serve them well in their job. You’ll find most Border Collies living as family dogs these days, but that doesn’t mean their herding instincts have been forgotten.

Like most herding dog breeds, the Border Collie is naturally inclined to herd everything, and they’ll often direct their instincts on people and objects around the house. Your Collie might shepherd party balloons behind the sofa or direct their favorite ball toys into a corner. They’re even known to herd children and other animals.

This instinct is why socializing these dogs is important. Teaching them when and where their herding instinct is acceptable is necessary to ensure that everyone feels safe.

2. They Are One of the Best Working Dogs in the World

Herding isn’t the only job that Border Collies can do, even if it’s the one that they’re best known for. Their keen intelligence and admirable ability to follow gestures, whistles, and voice commands serve them well alongside shepherds and owners in many other careers.

With the right training and activities, the Border Collie is a loyal and hardworking companion with boundless amounts of energy to dedicate to their work. Due to this high work ethic, Border Collies have found jobs in police work, acting, search and rescue, and as service animals.

3. They Were Loved by Royalty

The Border Collie might have begun life in the fields alongside herds of sheep, but they were never destined to stay obscure. Besides being adored by Robert Burns, a Scottish poet, the Border Collie also earned favor with Queen Victoria during the late 19th century. She was a well-known dog lover during her reign, and the Border Collie became one of her favorite breeds during the early 1860s.


Does the White Border Collie Make a Good Pet?

The White Border Collie can be both a treasured companion and a menace, depending on the family looking after them. Their intelligence and energy are well-loved in the working dog world, and their affectionate nature makes them awesome family pets. However, they require much more work than many dog owners first assume.

Despite their eagerness to please their family members, these dogs aren’t suited to an idle lifestyle. They need plenty of activity to keep their mind and body active, and many families simply can’t keep up with their needs. The Border Collie, no matter what color they are, is raring to go at all times.

For active families who have the time and patience to dedicate to their Border Collie, these dogs are playful and adoring. They love to socialize with their family members and will get along with children and other pets. Watch out for their herding instincts, though! It can be a source of amusement, but other pets and children might be wary or frightened by the behavior.


Loyal, hard-working, and incredibly intelligent, the White Border Collie has gone from a simple sheepdog to a breed that’s skilled and versatile. Besides herding sheep and sometimes geese, the Border Collie is used in police work and search and rescue and as a service animal.

Most of all, they are beloved family dogs with a striking appearance and eagerness to play. Owning a White Border Collie isn’t for the faint of heart or the idle, but when these dogs are well-socialized, active, and trained, they are rewarding companions.

See also:

Featured Image Credit: April Reid, Pixabay

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