Border Collie FAQ

Table of Contents

  1. How do I register my Border Collie ?
  2. Where can I find information on Sheepdog Trials?
  3. Where can I find Border Collie Breeders ?
  4. How is a border collie supposed to look?
  5. Do border collies make good pets

This list will be expanded. If you have any specific question e-mail me at and I shall do my best to answer ASAP.


How do I register my border collie ?

With the right background your border collie can be registered with the Canadian Border Collie Association  in Canada or the American Border Collie Association Inc in the US. Check out their websites by clicking on them, this should give you all the information required. . If you have further questions contact me by clicking here (There are also some other registries in the US but ABC is the main registry) There are a variety of registries in other countries, the British registry is ISDS (International Sheepdog Society).

I believe it is very important that your border collie is registered with a "working" registry. Working dogs have been selected for good herding talent and also for a stable temperament. In Canada all border collies should be registered through CBCA, as a matter of fact unless the breeder tells you in writing that the dog will not be registered in Canada and as such might not be considered purebred in Canada, Canadian law requires all purebred animals to be registered with their Canadian registry. As the registration of animal is controlled by Agiculture Canada your rights are protected under law. I personally would be quite suspicious of a Canadian breeder that does not register with the Canadian Border Collie Association.

Back to Top


Where can I find information on sheepdog trials ?

Most Canadian Trials are listed on the website of the Canadian Border Collie Association(CBCA) others can be found on the website of the United States Border Collie Handlers Association (USBCHA) Most of the sheepdog trials in North America are listed on this USBCHA site.

The CBCA website has also links (in Resources) to provincial association and other border collie websites which might give you additional information. In my region both the Ontario Border Collie Club (OBCC) and the NorthEast Border Collie Association (NEBCA) are excellent sources for this information

Back to Top


Where can I find Border Collie breeders ?

Again the CBCA website has a breeder listing. Different border collie magazines have breeder listings, the USBCHA site has a page where dogs (and handlers) qualified for the finals are listed, many of these handlers are also breeders.

I personally would only buy a border collie from a working home - sheepdog trialling (ISDS style) or farm work. People who use their border collies day in day out to work livestock cannot do so with dogs that are temperamentally or physically unsound. Unfortuanately even in border collies there a breeders who now breed for looks. This often means that other qualities like temperament etc take a back seat in breeding decisions.

If you bought a purebred dog in Canada you have a right to receive the pedigree of this dog within six months of the purchase- that pedigree is to be furnished without further cost to you and should be issued by the Canadian registry - with border collies this is CBCA - this is the law. Before buying or contracting to buy ask to see at the very least the papers of dam and sire.

Back to Top


How is a border collie supposed to look?

Border Collies were and are bred as working dogs. As such there was never any "look" standards: generally they are black and white, red and white, tricolor or merle. They can be almost completely black (or red) with just a little white on chest, on feet.... or almost completely white with just a little black or red....

They are generally between 35 and 60 lbs with rough, medium rough or smooth coat. Breeding dogs were and should be selected from good working dogs with looks being unimportant. However farmers and ranchers will of course take the overall structure of the parents into account - after all farmers & ranchers have been breeding lifestock for generations.

None of the "working" registries have published a standard. The idea is that border collies should be selected for breeding by their working ability rather than looks. Many other breeds have lost not only their working ability but in many cases even good physical conformation as they were bred more and more to do well in the show ring - suddenly some attribute or other came into fashion and so everybody started breeding for this irregardless of the actual physical requirements of a healthy and fully functioning dog. A year later a different attribute came into fashion. It is quite interesting to see for example some of the hunting breeds in the show ring and compare them to their brothers who are actually bred for hunting.

Back to Top


Do border collies make good pets

If you want furniture don't get a border collie or for that matter any other active dog. But if you are willing to spend some time with your dog, train it, exercise it, make it part of your life, a border collie can make quite a good pet. In a way pet ownership is almost like having kids. You would not dream of leaving young children the run of your house while you are away for 8 or 9 hours (or any time) so why do we expect young pups to lie there and behave perfectly?

No young pup, regardless of breed, should be left unattended in such manner that it could hurt itself or destroy your house. Dogs are a little easier this way than kids, dogs are quite happy to stay in a crate for hours on end provided they receive sufficient exercise and attention when you are home. Pups quite quickly come to accept their crate as their den. Like all carnivores your dog, given the chance, will sleep for long periods of any day and so confinement to a suitable crate is no hardship . Eventually the crate can be left open to a secure environment of a room and, if you want, more and more of the house.

Border Collies with their intelligence seem to get into trouble a little more easily than some other breeds if left to boredom but because of their intelligence can also easily be trained to become well mannered companions. So I personally would not dissuade anybody from keeping a border collie as a pet if they are willing to see that dog as a companion with a need for both physical and mental stimulation.

Back to Top


Werner Reitboeck,
Copyright 2001  [Navall Farm, Winchester, ON]. All rights reserved.
Revised: January 31, 2018 .