Border Collie breed information

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Own a Border Collie, or welcoming one into the family? Here's everything you need to know about your furry friend, from grooming and exercise to common health problems.

  • Size: Small to medium
  • Life span: 10-15 years
  • Coat: Short and easy to clean, but needs to be groomed at least once a week
  • Exercise: 2 or more hours a day for adult dogs

Border Collie personality

Intelligent and enthusiastic, Border Collies are hard-working and well-suited to outdoorsy and active families. Border Collies are known for their loyal, sensitive and determined personality. Though each dog's coat will vary, classic markings for this breed include a black body with a blaze of white across his face and chest, and white socks.

This highly intelligent dog is born with an instinct to work and responds extremely well to training, which is why it is often used as a farm dog.

Collies have the reputation of being workaholics. They are not interested in lying around the house all day with nothing to do. This dog is a suitable companion to those who regularly spend time indulging in outdoor activities like hiking or running, and lead a physically active lifestyle.

The most famous Border Collie was Shep, the long-term companion to John Noakes from BBC's Blue Peter in the 1970s. Border Collies have also appeared on the silver screen in Academy Award winning film, Babe.

A Border Collie puppy. 

Common health problems and illnesses

Joint problems

Arthritis is common in Border Collies due to their active nature. Hip dysplasia is also seen in a large number of these dogs. This condition is caused by genetic problems in the hip, leading to damage in the muscle and tissue around the joint. Look out for any changes in your dog's mobility, and if persistent, speak to your vet who will advise on the best treatment depending on your dog's circumstances.


This hereditary condition may affect some Border Collies, usually in dogs between the ages of 1 and 4. Epilepsy is caused by over-activity in the brain, resulting in twitching, seizures and fits. The effects of epilepsy can vary between animals and the condition can be controlled through treatment and medication but it is often a lifelong condition.


Our pet policies explained

Time Limited pet policies

  • Our Time Limited policies cover an illness or condition (and their related conditions) for a maximum of 12 months from the date of the first treatment up to the limit you choose 

  • No more claims will be paid once the 12 month limit has been reached 

  • This cover is most suited for short-term illnesses and injuries 
  • Our Lifetime policies provide cover for all illnesses or conditions that occur in the policy year, up to the policy limit you choose

  • The policy limit is then refreshed and applied again at renewal, so you know your furry family member is always covered

  • This covers illness and injuries needing cover for longer than 12 months

Don't forget: if your pet has any pre-existing medical conditions when you take out your policy, we won't cover these or any condition linked to them.