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Mini Border Collie – All That You Need to Know!

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Raymond Umpa

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Mini Border Collie

Are standard versions of popular dog breeds too big for you, or your living space? If so, you may want to check out their miniature counterparts. And, the Mini Border Collie is one interesting candidate that you can add to your roster of potential canine companions.   

If you find the miniature Border Collie intriguing, then, you are definitely not alone. The practice of producing smaller versions of famous dog breeds is becoming more prevalent than ever.

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It's easy to understand the allure of miniature or toy versions of several dog breeds. The distinguishing traits you seek in a particular dog breed are present, and the smaller size just adds to their distinctiveness.

And miniature Border Collies are no different. This old breed's dapper appearance and regal bearing in a compact size—sometimes as small as a puppy—make them immensely desirable pets.

Now let's take a closer look at some of this breed's key traits and other essential aspects that every prospective owner has to be aware of, such as its appearance, temperament, price, maintenance, diet, and a lot more.

Breed at a Glance:

  • Size: 18 to 22 inches
  • Weight: 30 to 55 pounds
  • Energy Level: High Energy
  • Lifespan: 10 to 14 years

Miniature Border Collies Breed Overview

A Miniature Border Collie is simply a much smaller version of the standard Border Collie, an extremely old breed that was first found in Northumberland. Although various color combinations are possible, their typical coat is black and white.

The Border Collie is the smartest dog breed and is also known to be an active, and obedient dog. Hence, one can also expect the same extraordinary qualities to the mini Border Collies.

However, they are not yet recognized as an official breed by any kennel club, including the American Kennel Club (AKC).

Mini Border Collie dogs work on a variety of tasks during the day, including herding, running, and solving problems. However, while they are incredibly active dogs, they are also affectionate with lots of love to share.

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History and Origin

When people in what is now Britain first started using dogs to guard and herd sheep, the Border Collie's forebears were already around. 

The herding dog rose to prominence as one of a shepherd's most prized possessions in Northumberland, one of the two border countries straddling Scotland and England. And the greatest working dogs were bred with one another.

The type varies according to the geography or the job needed in each area. These herding dogs subsequently acquired the names Welsh Sheepdogs, Northern Sheepdogs, Highland Collies, and Scotch Collies after becoming linked with their respective geographical areas.

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The Border Collie's name honors his half-Scottish ancestry because the word collie, which denotes sheepdogs, is a Scottish dialect word.

The second dog exhibition in England's history, held in 1860, featured Scotch Sheep Dogs. Queen Victoria spotted one of the dogs during her trip to Balmoral and developed a love for the breed.

The invention of sheepdog trials is attributed to one R.J. Lloyd Price. He performed a presentation in London's Alexandra Palace in 1876 with 100 wild Welsh sheep.

According to a report in the Livestock Journal, the onlookers were astounded by the dogs' alertness given that their handlers provided only hand signals and whistles as means of communication.

The Border Collie is currently regarded as the best sheepherding dog. Many breeders recommend breeding Border Collies strictly to working standards, not conformation standards, due to the breed's exceptional herding aptitude. The Border Collie was recognized by the American Kennel Club on October 1, 1995.

And since the smaller Border Collie is essentially the same breed as the Border Collie, it is assumed that both dog breeds originated in the same areas, and have the same history.

However, one significant difference has to be that the smaller version is a somewhat more recent breed of dog than the standard one, which dates to the 1700s. 

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How Are the Miniature Border Collies Developed?

Nearly all of the toy or small dog breeds that we are aware of descended from medium- to large-sized canines. They are the result of selective breeding for companionship or to serve a specific function.

Selective breeding to produce miniature versions of different popular dog breeds can be done in three ways. The key concern is that, regardless of the method chosen to reduce the dog's size, there can be some unfavorable consequences.

Using Dwarfism Gene

When canines carrying this gene are bred together, the puppies they produce can be smaller. Dogs with dwarfism have shorter legs that are out of proportion to their huge heads and long bodies.

Choosing this method can result in a litter that is more prone to obesity, cardiac problems, stunted growth, and skeletal deformities. These are only a few of the drawbacks of employing dwarfism, which doesn't always result in a dog that is miniature.

Breeding Runts of the Litter Repeatedly

The second method is to breed the litter's runts, which are often smaller than the other puppies. Although their offspring will be smaller, they will still exhibit Border Collie traits.

You can repeat this process numerous times until you get a Miniature Border Collie that is the perfect size. However, they could also experience breathing problems, heart defects, and other health issues.

Crossbreeding With Another Toy or Miniature Dog

Breeding a Border Collie with a smaller dog is one approach to getting a smaller Border Collie. Due to a phenomenon known as hybrid vigor, this is the healthiest and most compassionate method of producing a miniature Border Collie.

When two different dog breeds are combined, there is a lower likelihood of inheriting genetic problems. The drawback of this approach is that its results are also the most erratic.

There is no assurance that the puppies will be smaller than a typical Border when two different dog breeds are bred together. They may completely resemble the other breed's parent in terms of look and disposition.

Some of the popular breeds crossed with Border Collies to produce smaller dogs are Poodles, Pomeranians, Jack Russells, Chihuahuas, Shetland Sheepdogs, and Corgis.

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Border Collies will resemble miniature Border Collies in appearance, with the exception that they are smaller and have shorter legs. Despite their different sizes, they share the same muscular, strong, and well-proportioned bodies that make them agile for laborious work.

Mini Borders have double-layered coats that can be rough and long or smooth and short. The majority of small Border Collies have a body that is a solid color with a white blaze on their face and down their chest, as well as a white collar, white legs, and white fur at the end of their tails.

They also come in a variety of patterns, markings, and colors, with black and white, and gold and white being the most popular.

Their topcoat is weatherproof, which is useful when they are outside in a variety of weather conditions. However, their coat is not hypoallergenic, and mini Border Collies shed heavily once they start losing their winter coats.

In order to prevent mating in your dog's coat, you must be ready to brush him once a week. And if you want to keep his hair from getting all over your house during the shedding season, you should brush your dog's coat daily.


Toy and miniature dogs frequently exhibit the same traits as their parents, and the same is true of miniature Border Collies. The breed's exceptionally vivacious and joyful personality would be hard to miss. 

Keep in mind that Border Collies were developed as great herders. If you have a Border Collie as a pet, keep an eye on your children and other animals because they could nip and herd.

Mini Border Collies are exceptionally intelligent canines. They enjoy being active. So, if you must leave them home alone, make sure to give them something to do, such as a puzzle or interactive toy.

Miniature Border Collies, however, pick things up quickly. So, it is crucial that you domesticate them and socialize them at a very young age, especially with kids and other animals. This way, you can be sure that they will grow up as well-behaved dogs and wonderful family dogs.

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The tiny Border Collie is a double-coated dog with either rough or smooth fur and long. Since these dogs enjoy being outside in all types of weather, their topcoat's weather resistance is perfect for them.

Miniature Border Collies shed all year long, with spring and fall being the hardest seasons. And you might be wondering why their coats shed so much.

Since they are outside in every weather, the coat must keep them warm. Shedding keeps their coats fuller and is effective in regulating their body temperature.

You should keep your vacuum close at hand in the spring and fall when your Miniature Border Collies are shedding.

It is essential to brush your pet every day during this time. Raking the undercoat is a smart idea as well. These actions will assist in controlling shedding.

Grooming should assist if someone in your family has allergies, but don't groom them in the same room. It is advisable to perform a thorough undercoat rake each day, followed by thorough brushing.

Grooming your Miniature Border Collies produces positive outcomes. First of all, it contributes to the development of your relationship with your pets.

Second, you'll be able to check your dog over to make sure everything is okay. So, having said this, you should check your dog’s eyes, ears, teeth, nose, paws, nails, skin, and fur while grooming him. Early problem detection is always preferable to late problem detection.

Mini Border Collies enjoy being outside, therefore they are more likely to get fleas and ticks. When left unchecked or untreated, these can result in blood infections. So, eliminate them as soon as you notice them, take precautions, and maintain a clean environment.

This breed should be bathed approximately every three months with a premium shampoo. You can increase the frequency if your dog embarks on a very muddy outing, but you shouldn't go overboard.  Your dog's skin will only become irritated by over-bathing.

Moreover, to keep their nails healthy and strong, little Border Collies occasionally need to have them clipped. Consider getting assistance or taking them to a groomer if doing it yourself makes you feel a little uneasy.

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Common Health Issues

Miniature Border Collies live an average of 10 to 14 years since they are a generally healthy dog breed. However, they can be susceptible to different health concerns. You must also consider the ailments that the other parent may have if they are a mixed breed.

Even though miniature Border Collies are sometimes completely healthy, unethical breeding practices, such as purposefully mating dogs with known health issues to create a smaller Border Collie, can have serious negative effects.

The dwarfism gene may be particularly problematic since this can give affected dogs substantially shorter legs compared to the rest of their bodies. Mobility issues will also have a significant impact on this breed's quality of life.

In addition to problems that result from selectively mating smaller dogs, mini Border Collies are susceptible to diseases that are typical of Border Collies in general, such as the following:

  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Epilepsy
  • Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD)
  • Focal/Multifocal Acquired Retinopathy (FMAR)
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis
  • Heart Disorders (e.g. Patent Ductus Arteriosus)
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Deafness
  • Collie Eye Anomaly

There is no assurance that a small Border Collie will inherit any of these illnesses, but there is also no assurance that it will not. Consequently, it's crucial to take your pet to the veterinarian for regular check-ups.

How to Care for a Miniature Border Collie Puppy

Exercise & Living Conditions

Miniature Border Collies are well renowned for being incredibly clever, diligent, and energetic. These characteristics make them challenging to own as household pets.

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They will flourish in a setting that can challenge them physically and cognitively, such as fields where they can gallop around and assist you in herding sheep. Although they are people-oriented and need attention, they will also be content in a house with a large garden.

Due to their outdoor lifestyle, miniature Border Collies fare best in settings with lots of space. Unless the owner is committed to taking the dog for walks and runs, apartment living can be quite challenging for this breed.

Even if you have a sizable garden for your miniature Border Collie to go about it, this won't be sufficient. You need to be more involved in spending time with your pet since he needs to be entertained.

A miniature Border Collie will still need vigorous, mentally demanding activities and games despite being a smaller version. Playing fetch or frisbee with them is ideal since it feeds their herding instinct.

Diet & Nutrition

Mini Border Collies don't have a lot of dietary requirements, but they do need a lot of calories to keep them going all day long because they are often very energetic working dogs. Depending on how active they are, mini Border Collies require between 1,000 and 1,400 calories.

Fortunately, Miniature Border Collies do not require a special diet or have any allergic reactions, so feeding them is not too challenging. Just make sure you feed them high quality dog food throughout the day.

Additionally, Miniature Border Collies require two daily feedings—one in the morning and one in the evening. There is no issue if you wish to feed them three times a day, and it may help prevent bloating.

However, don't give them more than the recommended amount of food in their three meals. These canines, like their larger cousins, may eat continuously and deceive you into believing they are still hungry when they are not.


Miniature Border Collies require early socialization, just as many other dog breeds. Early on, they especially need to be watched around kids and other animals since even the smallest motions could set off their herding instincts.

Mini Border Collies have a high level of intelligence and benefit from mental stimulation during training. You can easily housebreak miniature Border Collie puppies since they work hard and pick things up quickly.

Buyer’s Guide

What to Look For

Finding a mini Border Collie, whether for adoption or purchase, is the next step if you have made up your mind about getting one and are ready to care for one.

If you want to purchase a miniature Border Collie, research AKC-registered breeders and request to see their litter. You can choose the smallest or runt of the litter because a litter of puppies comes in a variety of sizes.

Be aware of unscrupulous breeders or pet stores that might intentionally breed two runts or incorporate the dwarfism gene, as these practices can lead to health issues and increased costs in the future.


Miniature Border Collies cost between $600 and $800. Depending on the pedigree and availability, it might cost up to $1,200. However, it's also crucial to look at the breeder's reputation.

Puppies from exceptional or champion lines can cost up to $5,000, so be prepared to pay more.

When you get a tiny Border Collie, the costs keep coming. A new dog will cost you at least $1,000 in its first year since you need to purchase its initial supplies and make your first payments for various services. You can also expect, though, that the cost will go down in the following years.

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Is a Female Miniature Border Collie Better Than a Male Mini Border Collie?

There will be a lot to adore about your new tiny Border Collie, whether it is a boy or a girl. Although there are benefits and drawbacks that may influence your choice, there are no distinctions that make one gender superior to the other.

Each dog will have a unique temperament and personality. However, males are typically more enthusiastic and diligent, whilst females are more intelligent and focused. In addition, male small Border Collies typically develop slightly larger heads than females.


The mini Border Collie is the ideal pet for active families and single people. It is a small yet energetic dog. It will do its fair share to help you out, especially if you put it to work. Its hardworking disposition and commendable work ethic guarantee this.

However, mini Border Collies can be challenging to own as house pets. Because of their constant need for human interaction, and their high energy levels, these dogs suit people who can keep them as close companions and are able to offer them the affection they deserve.

Because of their natural impulses to herd, they can be difficult for families with young children and require early socialization and training to help them adjust to their new homes.

However, having said all of these things, they can thrive as house pets and remain with you for many years if you have a lot of patience and care.

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