How To Tell If a Border Collie is Purebred [Hidden Truth]

How to tell if a border collie is purebred

Who wouldn’t want to own a highly intelligent and playful dog breed like the Border Collie? However, it’s crucial to ensure that you own a purebred Border Collie to prevent any unexpected problems.

So, how can you tell if a Border Collie is purebred? Examining its size, coat, coat color, head, eye color, tongue color, and behavior is crucial. Additionally, checking pedigree papers, performing a DNA test, and consulting with a veterinarian are other recommended methods.

Whether you’re looking to own an adult Border Collie or a puppy, there are several important factors you need to consider. Let’s dive right in and explore these key considerations.

How to identify a purebred grown border collie?

First of all, you need to be mindful because there are tons of scam breeders out there, and you can easily be fooled. So, following the right approaches, you can easily prevent potential problems that come with mixed border collies.

We will discuss those problems before the end of this article. Now let’s get back to the topic. So, in order to identify an original border collie puppy, consider the following things.

  1. Look at their size
  2. Examine their coat
  3. Checkout their coat colors.
  4. Checkout their head
  5. Eye color
  6. Checkout tongue color
  7. Examine their behavior

The size of a purebred border collie

One of the important things you need to look for is the size of the border collie. Generally, they are considered medium-sized dogs. But you have to be aware of their size.

Male height24-26 inches
Female height22-24 inches
Male weight23-32 Kg
Female weight25-41 kg
Border collies height and weight chart

Furthermore, take a look at their hind and forelegs. Then compare it with other larger breeds, and you will realize that the hind legs and forelegs are quite shorter. And it can make them look a little bit closer to the ground.

Check out these border collie facts

Moreover, think about the following things.

The body: If you look carefully, you can easily see that their body is somewhat long and well proportioned.

The legs: The legs of a purebred border collie are somewhat muscular and which can indicate their speediness, and it would be extremely helpful during herding activities.

The chest: Let the dog sit on the floor and look straight ahead at him. You can easily see that they have wide and deep cheats compared with their body.

The shoulders: Their shoulders are slightly sloping, and it’s not wider.

The temperament of the coat

We can identify two coat variations from the original border collies as smooth collie and rough collie.

  • Smooth collie: Generally, these border collies have a thin coat, and it’s so smooth as its name suggests. But the undercoat is profuse and soft. their coat is,
    • Flat
    • Dence
    • Short
  • Rough collie: Usually, this variation has a well-fitted coat, and it’s long. The undercoat is profuse and soft same as smooth collies. Moreover, their coat is,
    • Thick
    • long
    • Their coat covers the body from head to toe.
    • If you touch their coat, you will feel some harshness feeling.

Checkout their coat colors.

There are several color variations we can see from purebred border collies. The most common colors are,

  • Black and white
  • Black and tricolor
  • Blue and white
  • Red
  • Sable
  • Lilac
  • Chocolate tricolor
  • Chocolate and white
  • Blue and merle
  • Slate merle
  • Blue tricolor

It doesn’t matter what the color variation of the coat is. Every border collie has specific color markings in some places of their body.

White colorFeet, tail tip, legs, chest
Blaze, white color markings Face
Color spots on border collies
White color on feet tail tip, legs and chest
Check out whether they have white color markings.

The shape of the original border collie’s head

Border collies have a nice and distinct head structure. So, You can clearly see that the shape of their head is somewhat triangular.

In fact, the size of the head is slightly smaller when compared to their body.

Eye colors of purebred border collies

Eye color is one of the main things you need to examine when it comes to choosing a border collie for you. If the eye color does not belong to the following colors, you need to think a little bit more before buying that dog.

Coat colorEye color
Black-white, tricolored dogsBrown (can be varied from light brown to dark, black)
Red-white, Red-tri color dogsYellow, amber (Sometimes green)
Blue dogsGreen, amber
Merle dogsMerle
Any color border collieOne eye or both eyes blue
Eye color variation with coat color of border collies

Recommended article: Are Border collies good first-time dogs?

The tongue colors of purebred border collies

The tongue color is one of the significant things you need to examine. Usually, if a dog is purebred, we can see some kind of purple color from their tongue.

Otherwise, it can have spotted purple color on it to make sure their parents or ancestors’ pureness. But the problem is there are some differences of opinion on this statement.

The behavior of purebred border collies

First, you need to understand the temperament of border collies. so they are,

  • Energetic
  • Intelligent
  • Responsive
  • Tenacious
  • Alert
  • Keen

Border collies are active, intelligent

As we discussed earlier, border collies are the smartest dog in the canine world. Since they are an incredibly active breed, they love to run backyard or through the woods.

When we compare rough border collies and smooth border collies, the smooth border collies have proven to be more,

  • Agile
  • Athletic
  • Energetic

Border collies are extremely loyal faithful to the owner.

This sounds may be obvious because all dogs are faithful to the owner and their family. However, the border collie breed has the distinction that has been incredibly faithful to its family.

They are close to their guardians because they emphatically understand what they feel and quickly return the love their owners provide.

However, they can be reserved around strangers, something which depends on their socialization.

Check if that border collie gets along with other breeds.

When you are going to buy a purebred border collie from an animal shelter or any place, check whether they are interacting with other dogs positively.

Due to their natural herding or shepherding distinction, border collies are more likely to get along with other dogs. If the dog you gonna check is aggressive toward other dogs and animals, there should be something wrong with that dog. So, be aware.

Usually, border collies are vocal dogs.

Examine their barking. Since border collies have belonged to herding dogs’ families, they are quite vocal while barking. It can remind the vocal range of Siberian huskies.

Also, they are smart enough to show their feeling through their facial expression.

Check out how they are running

how dogs look like when running can be varied according to the breed. But when it comes to border collies, they tend to keep the body structure close to the ground.

Recommended article: Do border collies have webbed feet?

How to identify a purebred border collie puppy?

identify a purebred border collie puppy

If you wish to buy a new border collie puppy, you have to find at least a two-month-old puppy. Basically, all the border collie puppies’ external characteristics are the same as adult dogs except for the height and weight.

Since they are not still socialized well, they may not get along with other dogs and might show some strange activities or behaviors.

As I mentioned above, the head shape, body structure, and coat color are almost the same as matured border collies. So, it’s quite hard to find out if border collie puppies are purebred or not.

But there are some approaches you can follow to do that. Let’s discuss that in the next section.

What are the other methods to tell if a border collie is purebred?

If you are still unable to do that with the information mentioned earlier, don’t worry. Because there are several other methods too, you can easily do.

  • Check if the border collie has pedigree papers
  • Do a DNA test
  • Consult a veterinarian.

Check if the border collie has pedigree papers.

If you are going to purchase the dog from a breeder or a pre-owner, don’t forget to ask about the pedigree papers. To be honest, you have to be mindful of this. Because there are so many scam breeders out there that are smart enough to fool people very easily.

If you want to own a purebred border collie and if the breeder refuses to show the pedigree papers, I don’t recommend buying that specific dog.

In fact, there might have been loads of pedigree paper registration organizations. Please be aware to check whether the organization is a recognized or a well-known one.

Do a DNA test to check if your border collie is purebred.

If you don’t have pedigree papers, DNA testing is the other recommended method. Check if your border collie is purebred. To be honest, this process is simple.

You can do this in two ways.

  • Do an at-home DNA test
  • Do DNA testing with a Veterinarian.

Do an at-home DNA test.

This is the easiest way. But, you need to spend some money which is I think good rather than facing some unwanted problems buying the wrong dog. So, let’s understand how to do that step by step.

  1. Order a DNA kit from a well known branded company. (You can easily do this online)
  2. Get the swap provided in the DNA kit.
  3. Get a sample from your border collie’ cheek cells.
  4. Then package and mail the sample according to the instructions given on the DNA kit.

Do DNA testing with a Veterinarian.

Sometimes, DNA tests require blood samples, So I don’t recommend doing this on your own. So, you do need to get help or consultation from a listened veterinarian in your area.

Either way, you can get the results of the DNA test within a few weeks. (This time can be varied according to several factors.)

If your border collie is an absolutely purebred one, you don’t wanna be worried. The result will show you that he/she is 100% purebred.

But, if you have a mixed border collie, The percentage of your dog’s pureness will be given on the resulting paper. They will provide an approximate percentage value.

Consult a veterinarian.

This is the last method that you can verify if your border collie original one or not. Consult a veterinarian.

Disadvantages of owning a not purebred border collie

There are numerous amount of disadvantages by owning this kind of dog. So, let’s understand them one by one.

  1. Congenital or genetic health issues
  2. Difficult to predict the future temperament of the dog.
  3. Difficult to predict their adult size

1. Congenital or genetic health issues

To be honest, there is a difference of opinion among people that cross-breeding tends to produce stronger and healthier dogs. But, the matter is there is no scientific proof or evidence regarding this statement.

Therefore, in cross-breeding between two separate breeds, the newborn puppy may have significant genetic problems. But not always. So, choosing a purebred border collie is crucial.

2. Difficult to predict the future temperament of the dog.

If you are thinking of buying a dog, there is definitely a purpose associated with that decision. Do you agree? Right. For example, If you want some extra protection, you need to find a guard dog.

But If you buy a not purebred border collie puppy, indeed you cannot predict the future temperament of that puppy. So, you will have to face some potential problems in the future.

3. Difficult to predict their adult size

This factor is also one of the main disadvantages. The size of the border collie is really mattered. We know that border collies are medium-sized dogs.

But, what if he/she becomes kind of a smaller dog as he/she mature? Obviously, you will have to face loads of unexpected problems.

Things to be aware

You need to be aware of loads of things when it comes to finding a purebred border collie. So, let’s dive right in.

  • Always try to find a standard and well-recognized breeder. Then buy the dog. As we discussed earlier, people are smart enough to fool you. Ask about the papers of the dog and recognize whether the registered organization (The paper) is a standard one or not.
  • Don’t buy a dog less than 8 weeks old. Because they need their mother’s heat and care for at least 8 weeks. In fact, during that time, they need to breastfeed. It will definitely lead to a healthier future.
  • If you have now realized that your border collie is not a purebred one, the blame is on you, not the dog. So, treat your dog like you have ever done before. Be a good sign of humanity. Moreover, consult a veterinarian as soon as possible. Ask if your dog has some potential health problems and make sure to get advice about his/her exercise needs and nutrition needs. Because this dog is somewhat different from other border collies.


Most people love to own a border collie. But finding a purebred border collie is a really crucial factor in order to prevent loads of problems. So, This complete guide includes how you can do it. I hope you enjoyed it. Have a nice day.

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