Owners of working Border Collies that are herding livestock on a farm are generally indifferent to the appearance of their dog. They are more interested in the dog’s ability to perform their jobs.

On the other hand, the Border Collie dogs bred for conformation ring competitions are more similar in appearance. Breed club standards focus on many aspects of structure, coat and color of the Border Collie. These standards include that the Border Collie must have a “keen and intelligent” expression, their eye color should be dark brown, and any scars or broken teeth suffered from working should not be discounted against the dogs score.

Border Collie height at withers (the highest part of the back at the base of the neck) for males is from 19 to 22 in (48 to 56 cm) and for females is from 18 to 21 in (46 to 53 cm).

The size of the Border Collie should express a muscularly balanced and agile dog.

Border collies shed seasonally.

Facial Features

  • Strong jaw and strong teeth that close in a scissor bite. This is the only acceptable bite.
  • Nostrils well developed and the nose should match the main color of the body.
  • Under jaw should be strong and well developed.

Border Collie San Diego
Border Collie in the Water

Generally border collies are black with white marking on their chest, collar, paws, tip of the tail and fanned out stripe on their head. Those these are the usual colors, border collie colors often vary and can include a predominance of white or black, red mixed with the black and white or even blue merle, red merle, sable and occasionally even tan and black or brindle. Typical border collies weigh around 40 pounds with ranges from about 35 to 55 pounds.