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How Long Does a Border Collie Live? Average Lifespan, Data & Care Guide

Written by: Jeff Weishaupt

Last Updated on May 29, 2024 by Dogster Team

A blue-merle border collie lying down on concrete stairs

How Long Does a Border Collie Live? Average Lifespan, Data & Care Guide

Border Collies are intelligent, loyal, and energetic pets. As with any beloved pet, owners want their Border Collies to live long and healthy lives. Border Collies tend to live up to somewhere between 10 and 15 years on average. To ensure their longevity and well-being, it’s best to understand what impacts your dog’s lifespan. By taking proactive steps to support their health, you can maximize your chances of enjoying a long and fulfilling life with your Border Collie.

Today, we’ll explore the lifespan of Border Collies and the factors impacting it.

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What Is the Average Lifespan of a Border Collie?

On average, the lifespan of a Border Collie is typically between 10 to 15 years. Still, various factors can influence their lifespan, including genetics, environment, lifestyle, and healthcare.

Border Collies can lead healthy lives with proper care into their senior years. Owners must provide a balanced diet and regular exercise to ensure longevity. Routine check-ups with a vet can also increase the dog’s chances of living a longer and healthier life.

blue merle border collie dog lying down in the daisies
Image by: L.A.Kennedy, Shutterstock

Why Do Some Border Collies Live Longer Than Others?

Most Border Collies live between 10 to 15 years, but some may live longer than others.

Nutrition

Nutrition is a critical factor in a Border Collie’s health and longevity. A balanced, high-quality diet with the necessary nutrients can prevent various health issues and promote good health. Like all dogs, Border Collies need a balanced diet that meets their nutritional needs.

High-quality dog food containing protein, fat, and carbohydrates will promote healthy growth. It will also maintain their weight and prevent obesity, diabetes, and digestive problems.


Environment and Conditions

Dogs in a healthy and safe environment may live longer than those in unhealthy or stressful conditions. For example, dogs living indoors face fewer toxins than dogs in a kennel environment. Exposure to harmful substances and toxins can lead to various health problems, including cancer, respiratory issues, and organ damage. Ultimately, these issues impact your Border Collie’s lifespan.


Genes

Genetics can play a significant role in determining a Border Collie’s lifespan. Like any breed, some Border Collies may have a genetic predisposition for longevity. If a dog’s parents lived long and healthy lives, it’s likelier for the dog to have a longer lifespan.

So, it’s best to research a dog’s bloodline before adopting or purchasing a Border Collie. A responsible breeder will provide information about the dog’s genes and potential health issues.

woman looking at border collie dog while having vet check up
Image Credit: Tyler Olson, Shutterstock

Lifestyle

A Border Collie’s lifestyle can also influence their lifespan. Dogs with an active lifestyle and a balanced diet will likely live longer and healthier lives. The same cannot be said for overweight dogs leading a sedentary lifestyle.

Border Collies need at least 2 hours of exercise to maintain their physical health. Regular exercise also promotes healthy joints and muscles and improves cardiovascular health. More importantly, it reduces the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.


Healthcare

Healthcare is an essential component of a Border Collie’s longevity and well-being. Regular check-ups can help vets identify health issues before they become serious. A vet can also provide necessary vaccinations to protect your dog against infections.

Additionally, vets ensure your Collie receives the proper care for specific health conditions. For example, if your dog has any allergies, they can provide medication.

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The 4 Life Stages of a Border Collie

Like any dog, Border Collies go through four stages of life. Owners must leverage different training methods and stimulation throughout each phase to transform them into happy, well-behaved adults.

1. Puppy Stage

Adorable tricolor blue merle border collie puppy with blue eyes lying in a basket with hay
Image Credit: Olga Maksimava, Shutterstock

The puppy stage is a crucial period in a Border Collie’s life, lasting from birth to around 6 to 12 months. During this stage, puppies are active, curious, and playful. They are constantly exploring their environment and learning about the world around them.

One of the most vital aspects of the puppy stage is socialization. Exposing puppies to people, animals, and environments during this stage is crucial. It can help them develop positive social skills and avoid anxiety later in life. Well-socialized puppies are more confident and become well-behaved adults.


2. Adolescent Stage

Short Haired Border Collie
Image by: anetapics, Shutterstock

Adolescence in a Border Collie lasts up to 2 years. The dog is still highly active, playful, and curious during this stage. However, they may start to become more independent and challenging to train.

At this stage, Border Collies may experience a second fear period. They may w become more sensitive and fearful of new experiences and environments. This can be challenging for the dog and owner, but consistent training can help the dog develop into a well-behaved adult.


3. Adult Stage

brown border collie
Image by: Anna Aybetova, Shutterstock

The adult stage in a Border Collie’s life lasts 2 to 6 years. At this point, the dog is mature and at their physical peak. Adult Border Collies are active and need daily stimulation to maintain their well-being.

Border Collies may settle into their personalities and predictable behavior during this stage. They may have a better understanding of boundaries and expectations. As a result, they will be more obedient and responsive to commands.

Still, continue your regular training and socialization to maintain their good behavior.


4. Senior Stage

a border collie dog looking sick covered with blanket on couch
Image by: Lindsay Helms, Shutterstock

The senior stage in a Border Collie’s life begins around 7 years and lasts the rest of the dog’s life. During this stage, Border Collies may start to show signs of aging, which include decreased mobility, reduced energy levels, and changes in behavior.

They may also develop age-related health issues, requiring regular check-ups and specialized care. Regular exercise is still important but may need to be altered to account for any mobility issues. Shorter walks or gentle playtime may be better than more intense activities.

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How to Tell Your Border Collie’s Age

If your Border Collie is a stray, it may be hard to tell how old they are. Luckily, examining their teeth and eyes can provide a general age range.

  • Teeth: In puppies, baby teeth come in around 3 to 4 weeks. Then, they begin to lose them around 12 to 16 weeks. By 6 months, most dogs have all their adult teeth.
  • Eyes: Puppies have bright, clear eyes that change to a more mature appearance as they age. Senior dogs may develop a cloudy appearance in their eyes. That can point to the development of cataracts.
  • Coat: Puppies have a soft, fluffy coat that is significantly shorter. As they age, their fur becomes denser and coarser. Senior dogs may develop gray hair around their muzzle or have a thinning coat.
  • Behavior: Puppies are very energetic and playful. Meanwhile, adult dogs are more settled and focused. Senior dogs may move more slowly and have difficulty with stairs or jumping.

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Conclusion

Border Collies are energetic, intelligent dogs that make great companions. Their lifespan can vary depending on genetics, environment, and nutrition, but it is typically 10 to 15 years. To ensure a long and healthy life for your Border Collie, you must provide them with proper care. You should also socialize your dog to keep them happy throughout their lives.

By understanding the factors that impact a Border Collie’s lifespan, you can enjoy many healthy years with your pup.


Featured Image Credit: Koen Adriaenssen, Shutterstock

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