Miniature Border Collie Guide: Size, Temperament, Grooming & More!

Hi, my name’s Irena and I live on the island of Crete in the Mediterranean Sea. I have a dog called Sherlock who is lovely though very hyperactive. I also have three cats, Hammie, Dimitris and Ebony.

Today I’m going to tell you about Miniature Border Collies.

What are Miniature Border Collies?

Miniature Border Collies are a smaller version of the medium-sized Border Collie.

Just like their larger cousins, Miniature Border Collies are smart, have excellent herding abilities and are full of energy.

However, they are not yet considered to be a proper breed and are not recognized by any major kennel clubs.

Miniature Border Collies look just like Border Collies except that they have shorter legs.

They are produced by selective breeding which can be done in three ways, the first being using the dwarfism gene.

Some Border Collies have this gene and they are mated with another Border Collie with the same gene.

However, Miniature Border Collies bred this way can have health issues, in particular, heart problems and skeletal deformities.

The second way that can be used is by breeding runts of the litter which are always smaller than the rest of the puppies. Their puppies will be smaller but have the same characteristics as Border Collies.

This can be done time and time again until the right size of a Miniature Border Collie is produced. However, they too might have health problems like heart defects and respiratory issues.

In addition, crossbreeding is used, usually mating the Border Collie with a much smaller dog.

However, this doesn’t mean that you’ll actually get Miniature Border Collies as they will probably have characteristics of the other breed.

On the other hand, you will usually get a healthier dog this way. Mixed breeds tend to have fewer issues with their health than purebreds.

How Big do Miniature Border Collies Get?

Miniature Border Collies grow to between 18 – 22 inches in height and they can weigh between 30 – 55 pounds.

Border Collies grow to between 22 – 26 inches and they weigh between 60 – 75 pounds.

Miniature Border Collie – What is their Temperament?

A border collieYou’ll find that miniature versions of most breeds will have similar temperaments to their bigger versions, and this is true of Miniature Border Collies.

Like Border Collies, they are energetic and cheerful. They also have the herding instinct that is so prominent in Border Collies.

It is probably better if you don’t adopt one if you have small children as they can be prone to herding them. They just see them as sheep without a woolen coat!

Miniature Border Collies are very smart dogs. They like to be doing something. If you have to leave them alone in the house, make sure you leave them something to do like a puzzle or interactive toy.

In reality, they shouldn’t be left alone for too long as they can become destructive. They need plenty of walks and playtime outside and then they’ll be happy.

How Long do Miniature Border Collies Live?

Miniature Border Collies can live a little longer than Border Collies. The smaller the dog, the longer the life expectancy is.

Border Collies are generally healthy breeds and can live between 10 and 14 years. Miniature Border Collies can exceed the 14 years unless unhealthy genes have been passed down.

Are Miniature Border Collies Prone to any Health Conditions?

The two main illnesses your Miniature Border Collies could suffer from are multidrug sensitivity and progressive retinal atrophy. Your breeder should have tested for these conditions. If not, go to another breeder.

Perhaps you’ve not heard of multidrug sensitivity. Well, it is a negative reaction to certain drugs and is common in herding breeds.

Your dogs could be allergic to up to a dozen drugs. The most serious are some anticancer drugs and antiparasitic drugs.

Perhaps you are wondering how this happens? This drug sensitivity is caused by a mutation in the multidrug resistance gene which is called MDR1.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy is a disease of the eye which leads to early blindness.

Unfortunately, it can’t be treated, although the process can be slowed down by making sure that your dogs get plenty of antioxidants in their diet.

There aren’t many other illnesses that Miniature Border Collies can get apart from neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis which affects the nervous system.

It is an inherited disease so you will need to find out if the parents of your new pup have this.

What do Miniature Border Collies Look Like?

Miniature Border Collies tend to look a lot like their bigger versions.

They can come in all sorts of colors, patterns, and markings, but the most common color is black and white. They are muscular in build as befits dogs with this much energy.

Their coats are double layered and can be either smooth and short or rough and long. The topcoat is weather-resistant which is ideal as they don’t mind being outside in all sorts of weather.

Miniature Border Collies are not hypoallergenic, not even the ones with short hair. All of them shed profusely, especially in the spring and fall. So, if you have allergies, these dogs are not for you.

How Much Grooming Do Miniature Border Collies Need?

Miniature Border Collies need a lot of grooming.

Because they love to be outside, they will probably get dirty, not to mention the fact that they do like to roll about in the mud and other interesting things! They will need to be bathed from time to time.


A border collie

As I have said they have two coats. The undercoat is thick, soft and insulating. You can expect Miniature Border Collies to shed all year long although spring and fall are the worst times.

Perhaps you are wondering why their coats shed so much. The fact is that the coat needs to stay warm as they are out in all elements. Shedding helps to keep their coats replenished and effective.

During spring and fall when your Miniature Border Collies are shedding you will need to keep your vacuum cleaner handy!

During this time, it is best to brush your dogs on a daily basis. It is also a good idea to rake the undercoat. Doing these things will help to keep shedding under control.

What is interesting is that the shorter-haired Miniature Border Collies visibly shed the most.

This is because the longhaired Collies often catch the shedding in their fur. Because of this, it is important to keep brushing them on a regular basis.

If someone in your family suffers from allergies, grooming should help although don’t groom them in the same room. You are best doing a complete undercoat rake on a daily basis, followed by a good brushing.

There are good results that come from grooming your Miniature Border Collies. First of all, it helps to strengthen the bond between you and your dogs.

Secondly, you will be able to examine your dogs to see if everything is alright.

Check the eyes, ears, teeth, nose, paws, nails, skin and fur while you are grooming. It is much better if you discover a problem earlier than later.

So How do you go About Grooming a Miniature Border Collie?

Well, first you should use a detangling spray. This helps to stop their hair breaking when you are brushing. It is particularly useful when your dogs have been rolling about in the mud.

The next step is to brush the undercoat using a rake to get out all the dead hair and debris. Doing this also helps to stimulate circulation underneath the skin so redistributing skin oils.

The last step is to brush the topcoat with a bristle brush which should make the coat shine.

Miniature Border Collies should also have their nails clipped from time to time to keep them strong. If you are uncomfortable doing this yourself, take them to a groomer.

Miniature Border Collies – How Easy?

Miniature Border Collies are not the easiest dogs to own because they are hyperactive and have masses of energy to expend. You can’t be a couch potato if you own these dogs.

They need plenty of exercise and mind-stimulating activities. A lot of people don’t realize this and then they can’t cope and have to turn the dogs into a shelter.

Miniature Border Collies are bred to herd sheep and there won’t be many out there who haven’t got this natural instinct.

They will try to herd young children so it’s not a good idea to get Miniature Border Collies until the children are older.

What do Miniature Border Collies Eat?

A border collieThese dogs, even senior ones, are highly active so they need to have more calories than most dogs of their size.

Adult dogs need at least 1,000 calories a day. If they are very active and are out herding sheep, they will need more like 1,400 calories.

Puppies will need around 1,000 calories a day as they are growing. Senior dogs need around 700 calories a day unless they are still particularly active then you should up the calories.

Miniature Border Collies don’t really have specific dietary requirements, nor do they much suffer from allergies, so it isn’t too difficult to feed them. Just make sure to choose high-quality dog food.

Nutrient Requirements

Because they are such active dogs, there are certain foods that will help them to remain healthy.

The first is calcium. Because Miniature Border Collies are so active, it can put a lot of pressure on their joints. Strong and healthy joints can be assured if you feed them a diet high in calcium.

Protein is also very important for Miniature Border Collies as it gives them masses of energy. Dogs are closely related to wolves who eat mainly protein.

Yes, your Miniature Border Collies may survive on a vegetarian diet, but it won’t give them the energy they need.

To increase the calorie intake, carbohydrates are essential in the diet of Miniature Border Collies.

However, there are two types of carbohydrates and you need to give them slow-burning carbs like vegetables and beans which will keep them going for a long time.

Avoid low-quality carbs like wheat, soy, and corn. They’re just empty fillers.

You should feed your Miniature Border Collies twice a day, once in the morning and then again in the evening, although there’s nothing wrong with feeding them three times a day if you want. That can help to stop bloat.

Just remember not to give them more food in the three meals. Miniature Border Collies, like their bigger relatives, can eat and eat so don’t be fooled that they are still hungry.

Give them what is recommended on the tin or dry food package. I would say that a mixture of dry and wet food is ideal. Dry food is more calorie-dense, but wet food gives well-needed moisture.

Miniature Border Collies – Are They Good with Families?

Miniature Border Collies are loving dogs who like interaction with humans. A family with older children is ideal, but if you have small children, it’s not a good option.

They will try and herd the children which will probably frighten them. The children will probably scream and run away which will bring out the herding instinct in the dogs.

They will chase the children and if they don’t agree to be herded, the dogs may nip them.

As I have said these dogs have masses of energy, so they need a family that has plenty of time to spend with them. They need a lot of attention, lots of walks and plenty of playtime.

How Much do Miniature Border Collies Cost?

A border collieThe average cost of a Miniature Border Collie is $600. However, if you are getting a dog with a superior pedigree you could be paying anything between $1,300 and $4,500.

Make sure that you check out the breeder before you commit to buy. There are breeders out there that are only interested in making a profit and not in the welfare of the dogs.

How to Pick the Right Dog Breed for You

It is a major decision to bring a dog into your home. You need to think about this seriously as they are a big responsibility.

Financial Commitment

Any dog will cost you money. If you buy a purebred dog, that can be very expensive.

If you adopt a mixed breed from a shelter, that won’t cost a lot, but you have to remember that you will be paying out for routine injections, spaying, and neutering and any other health issues your pups may have.

Then there’s food and the bigger the dog is the more food you will have to buy.

The Family Lifestyle

The next things you need to look at are the needs of your family, the size of the dogs, their energy level and age. Some dogs may not be compatible with children and others may be too active for older people.

When it comes to size, smaller dogs can be delicate and prone to feeling the cold in low temperatures. However, they can be easier to walk than larger dogs.

On the other hand, large dogs need more space and are not probably the best dogs to have in an apartment unless you have plenty of time to take them out for long walks and playtime.

The activity level of the dogs is also important. A Border Collie or Miniature Border Collie needs lots of playtime as do dogs like Huskies.

However, something like a Bassett Hound would suit a sedentary lifestyle.

You also have to think about the maintenance involved in having a dog. They need grooming, some more than others.

If you don’t have much time to dedicate to this, you will have to look for a dog that doesn’t shed too much.

Just remember that even short-haired dogs can shed a lot so be prepared to do a lot of cleaning. I’m always sweeping up after Sherlock and believe me, it is a full-time job!

If you like dogs with floppy ears, keep in mind that they are prone to ear infections. You will have to examine their ears on a regular basis and clean them to stop infections developing.

Have you Considered Adopting an Older Dog?

The next thing to consider is do you want a puppy or an older dog? Puppies are so cute, but you will have to spend a lot of time training them and housebreaking them.

You are going to have to be prepared for accidents around the house and furniture and personal belongings being chewed. You will just have to be patient until this phase is over.

Adopting an adult dog can be easier as they have probably had some training, although you will probably have to do a little more training. You will also have more idea of their energy level and temperament.

Adopting a senior dog is also a good idea. Not that many people adopt older dogs and they are left in shelters or euthanized. You would be giving an older dog a few years of happiness before they pass away.

Many people want to adopt a purebred dog, but there are so many mixed breeds out there who need a home and lots of love, so I do recommend it.

All the dogs I have had have been mixed breeds and they have had very few health problems and have lived a long life.

Final Thoughts: Miniature Border Collie

Three border colliesI hope you have enjoyed reading about Miniature Border Collies. They are lovely dogs with masses of energy, and they would do well in an active home.

They are just like their bigger relatives, so don’t adopt one if you are going to be out all day. These dogs need attention and plenty of playtime.

Hope I helped answer your queries about a Miniature Border Collie.