All dog breeds have size classifications based on their length and weight. This is a guide that many dog owners follow to make sure their furry friend is in good shape. And you should do the same for your Border Collie.
Health is wealth for Border Collies because being active is a crucial part of their life. Doing activities or tasks that they love keeps them happy and sane. These also serve as an outlet for their endless supply of energy.
Part of keeping them healthy is making sure they are within these healthy ranges. Otherwise, this could lead to physical hindrances that affect their quality of life. With this, they will not be able to enjoy activities without feeling any discomfort.
Is a Border Collie a Small, Medium, or Large Dog?
Border Collies pack an endless amount of energy in their medium-sized bodies. The males of this breed are larger and heavier than the females. But whichever you choose, you are not compromising their intelligence and athleticism.
What Is the Average Size of a Border Collie?
The average size of a Border Collie is around 18 to 22 in (457 to 559 mm). Males are on the taller end of this range, standing as tall as 22 in (559 mm). While females can be as tall as 21 in (533 mm).
Do Border Collies Come in Different Sizes?
Border Collies only come in one officially-recognized size. While males are larger than females, there is only a slight difference between them. There may be some that are larger or smaller than the standard, but this is a rare occurrence.
Are There Mini Border Collies?
There are miniature Border Collies out there, but they are not officially recognized. This breed is not exempt from the trend of miniaturizing breeds, which many people find cute. But these dogs are usually bred using unhealthy methods and it comes with a cost.
The standard-size Border Collie is already ideal. Border Collies are herding dogs and their physicality, as it is, allows them to do this to perfection. They are also healthy dogs in general.
But with mini Border Collies, the breeding methods may make them prone to health issues. So how does making a smaller version of this breed produce unhealthier puppies? Knowing the methods will give you a better idea of this.
Here is how breeders make these short-legged furry beings.
Breeding the Dwarfism Gene
Some dogs, regardless of breed, can have dwarfism at birth. Having this condition causes them to have unproportionate bodies. They will have larger heads, shorter legs, and longer bodies.
While these dogs look cute to a lot of people, this has adverse effects on their health. This includes the following:
- Stunted Growth
- Skeletal Deformity
- Heart Issues
Border Collies who express the dwarfism gene are being sold as miniature dogs. But this also means that they are prone to the health issues listed above.
Breeding the Runts of the Litter
The runt of the litter is the smallest puppy and is very underweight. These puppies will either die or will survive. If they do survive, they can grow up to be healthy and happy adults.
One method breeders do to create mini Border Collies is to mate two runts. This produces puppies who are smaller than the standard size. But these puppies still keep the look and personality of the breed.
This method is alarming, though, as mating two unhealthy dogs is unethical. Their puppies are prone to medical problems like the following:
- Weaker Bones
- Respiratory Issues
- Heart Issues
Some breeders do not care for the health of their puppies and only do this for profit. So if you buy from them, there is a good chance that you get an unhealthy puppy.
Crossbreeding With Smaller Breeds
If you want a smaller Border Collie, this is the most compassionate way to do this. It is often said that mixed-breed dogs are healthier. This is because they have a wider gene pool, so they have a lesser chance of getting genetic disorders.
So you can breed your Border Collie with a smaller breed that is also healthy or even healthier. Remember that this does not make your Border Collie immune to getting sick. They only have a decreased likelihood of it.
An issue with crossbreeding is that you cannot be certain how the puppy will turn out. Will they look more like a Border Collie or the other parent? You are also not sure if they are going to end up with a smaller puppy.
If a miniature Border Collie is something you want, here are some popular mixes:
- Border Collies and Chihuahuas
- Border Collies and Pomeranians
- Border Collies and Miniature Poodles
Why Is My Border Collie So Small?
If your Border Collie is on the smaller side, there are five possible reasons to explain this. This can be due to the following:
- Growth Rate
- Health Issue
As a responsible fur parent, it is natural for you to question this. So below, you will find explanations for these reasons.
They Have Inherited Small Genes
Your Border Collie’s genes have a big impact on their size. So if the parents are smaller, they are likely to be small as well. When you buy from a reputable breeder, ask to see the parents so you know what your puppy looks like as an adult.
But if the parents are average-sized, it is time to take a look at their lineage. They may have an ancestor who is a result of crossbreeding. With this, there is a wider variety of sizes for the succeeding generations.
There is nothing intrinsically wrong with having a smaller Border Collie. Even the runt of the litter can grow up to be healthy dogs. As long as your Border Collie gets the clean bill of health from your vet, you have nothing to worry about.
They Are Still Growing
Something to consider is your Border Collie’s age. They are full-grown at around 12 to 15 months of age. So if they are younger than this, they are still growing.
Their rapid growth is from birth to about 3 months of age. After this, it will slow down a bit.
During their development, their growth can be irregular. They will experience spurts and stalls. Individual dogs will also grow at different rates, so it is best not to compare yours with other dogs.
Border Collies are workaholics who love to do their jobs as much as they love to play. With their endless amounts of energy, sometimes, they do not know when to stop. They push themselves too hard and this has adverse effects on their body.
This is a bigger issue if your Border Collie puppy is still young. Overexercising it too much stresses their developing bodies. This can lead to life-long repercussions, such as stunted growth.
Their Food Quality and Appetite
Your Border Collie’s diet is crucial in keeping them healthy. If they feed on low-quality foods, they do not get enough nutrition and this will show in their body. Make sure to feed them high-quality food with adequate protein, fat, and carbs.
But even if they get the best food, if your Border Collie does not eat enough, this will all go in vain. If your Border Collie has a low appetite, they are not getting the nutrition that they need.
They Have Health Issues
An even scarier reason to explain your Border Collie’s size is that they have a health issue. They may have had this since they were puppies and this affected their growth.
Parasites like intestinal worms are commonly associated with this. The good thing is that this is treatable with medications and they will improve within a few days.
So make sure that you always go to your vet if you have concerns about your Border Collie’s health. You should always consider the possibility that anything could be medically-related.
Why Is My Border Collie So Big?
Some Border Collies are bigger than the average due to their genetics. While there is an average size for the breed, some can exceed this. So your Border Collie can be one of the few exceptions to this. But this is for purebred Border Collies.
If your Border Collie is a product of crossbreeding with a larger breed, this may explain their size. A popular combination is a Border Collie and a Great Pyrenees, with the latter being a very large dog.
You can cross out that possibility if you got your Border Collie from a reputable breeder. But if you got them from a rescue or a shelter, you may never know for sure since you do not know their bloodline.
It is also possible that your Border Collie is overweight. This is an active breed that loves to spend its energy. But they are not immune to gaining excess weight.
Run your fingers through their rib area. If you cannot feel their ribs, or if you feel fat instead of muscles, they are overweight.
Another thing you can do is to check their figure while standing over them. A Border Collie with a healthy weight should have an hourglass shape. Otherwise, this is a good sign that they have extra weight on them.
How Quickly Do Border Collies Grow?
Since Border Collies are medium-sized dogs, they take up to 18 months to finish their growth stage. This takes a longer time than smaller breeds, but they grow faster than larger breeds.
Their initial growth spurt starts at around 3 to 10 months of age. Much of their development here goes into their length and their height. So it is crucial that you give them the right diet for them to reach their size potential.
The second rapid growth can occur at around 8 to 14 months of age. Other than their height, they will also begin to fill out and increase their girth during this stage.
When Do Border Collie Puppies Stop Growing?
Your Border Collie will reach their full-grown size once they are 15 months of age. They will reach their full length and height at this age, with the latter stopping at about 12 months of age.
But your Border Collie will continue to grow until they are around 18 months of age. At this stage, they will gain bone density, weight, and muscle mass. So it will take more time for your Border Collie to fill out.
With this, continue to give them age-appropriate food until their 18th month. Make sure they get the right nutrients for their bone and muscle development. This will help your Border Collie in achieving their natural athletic build.
How Long Is a Border Collie Body?
The average body length of a Border Collie is around 28 to 34 in (711 to 864 mm). There may be a slight variation in this between males and females as the former is usually bigger.
A male Border Collie’s length is around 29 to 34 in (737 to 864 mm). While a female will have a length of about 28 to 32 in (711 to 813 mm).
How to Measure Border Collie Length
You can get your Border Collie’s body length in a few easy steps. To begin, grab your soft measuring tape and have your Border Collie stand still. If they are lying down, sitting, or moving around, you will not get the right measurement.
Once they are standing straight, follow these steps below:
- Step 1: Place the measuring tape along your Border Collie’s spine. Make sure that the tip is where their collar and neck meet.
- Step 2: Hold the tip in place and place the other tip at the base of their tail. The base is where the tail meets the body.
- Step 3: Read the measurement and take note of it. This is your Border Collie’s body length.
How Much Is a Border Collie Supposed to Weigh?
A healthy, adult Border Collie should weigh anywhere between 30 and 55 lbs (14 to 25 kg). Their weight can depend on various factors though, such as:
- Their Age: Border Collie puppies are lighter since they are still growing. They reach their full-grown weight at around 18 months of age.
- Their Gender: Male Border Collies are heavier than females. So they are on the heavier end of the weight range.
- Their Appetite and Diet: Border Collies who eat more are more likely to be heavier. A diet that has a lot of calories also has an impact on their weight.
- Their Activity: A Border Collie who lives a sedentary lifestyle will gain more weight.
- Their Health: Some health issues, like diabetes, can make them gain excess weight.
How Much Should a Male Border Collie Weigh?
The average weight of an adult male Border Collie is around 35 to 45 lbs (16 to 20 kg). This fits well within the weight range for medium-sized dogs. But some exceed this, reaching the lower end of the large-dog weight classification.
What Size Is a Border Collie Puppy?
This is tricky to answer since Border Collie puppies go undergo rapid growth. Their size changes from month to month and this is hard to keep track of.
So if you plan to buy their essentials, like their collar, it is best to measure them. They can start with the smallest size and then jump to a medium in a few months!
Once they are around 12 to 15 months of age, you can classify them as medium-sized dogs. This is because they will be full-grown at this age. Only then can you figure out their true size.
How Much Should a Border Collie Puppy Weigh?
Your Border Collie puppy’s weight will depend on its age. Since they quickly grow weight each month, having a growth chart with you can guide you well.
Young puppies will experience extreme weight gain within their first few months. They will gain a few pounds a week until they are around 4 months old.
This will begin to slow down once they are 5 months of age. But they will continue to put on weight until they are 18 months old.
Below is a puppy weight chart for your Border Collie that you can use as a guide. This chart is for their rapid-growth phase. So the guide will be for every week of age.
- 8 Weeks of Age: 4 to 8 lbs
- 9 Weeks of Age: 4.5 to 9 lbs
- 10 Weeks of Age: 5 to 10 lbs
- 11 Weeks of Age: 5.5 to 11 lbs
- 12 Weeks of Age: 6 to 12 lbs
- 13 Weeks of Age: 6.5 to 13 lbs
- 14 Weeks of Age: 7 to 14 lbs
- 15 Weeks of Age: 7.5 to 15 lbs
- 16 Weeks of Age: 8 to 16 lbs
After this, their weight gain will begin to slow down. You can now track their weight for every month of age.
- 5 Months of Age: 11 to 22 lbs
- 6 Months of Age: 13 to 26 lbs
- 7 Months of Age: 15 to 30 lbs
- 8 Months of Age: 17.5 to 35 lbs
- 9 Months of Age: 19.5 to 39 lbs
- 10 Months of Age: 21.5 to 43 lbs
- 11 Months of Age: 24 to 48 lbs
- 12 Months of Age: 26 to 52 lbs
Note: 1 kg = 2.2 lbs
After the 1-year mark, your Border Collie’s weight will increase in small increments. This will continue until when they are around 18 months of age when they finish filling out.
How Big Is a Newborn Border Collie Puppy?
At birth, Border Collies have an average weight of 7 to 14 oz (0.20 to 0.40 kg). Their weight will fall within their first 24 hours as they will lose their water weight.
But after this short period, they should begin to gain some weight right away. For the next few weeks, they will put on about 0.5 to 1.5 oz (0.01 to 0.04 kg) each day.
How Much Does an 8-Week-Old Border Collie Weigh?
At 8 weeks of age, your Border Collie should be around 4 to 8 lbs (1.8 to 3.6 kg) heavy. Expect them to gain a ton of weight in the coming weeks.
They are still in a crucial part of their development stage. So make sure you work with your vet in giving your puppy the right diet that fits their nutritional needs.
How Much Should a Border Collie Weigh at 3 Months?
Once your Border Collie reaches 3 months of age, it should weigh around 6 to 12 lbs (2.7 to 5.4 kg). Do not worry if their weight does not fall into this range.
Every Border Collie will grow at a different rate. It is good practice to visit your vet regularly to check their growth progress.
How Much Should a 4-Month-Old Border Collie Weigh?
On average, Border Collies who are 4 months of age weigh around 8 to 16 lbs (3.6 to 7.3 kg). Again, if they weigh more or less than this, do not be too concerned. Keep feeding them the right diet and make sure they get enough exercise.
How Much Should My 5-Month-Old Border Collie Weigh?
At 5 months of age, Border Collies weigh around 11 to 22 lbs (5 to 10kg) on average. This is a rough estimate, so do not feel too pressured if they fall short or exceed this range.
How Much Should a 6-Month-Old Border Collie Weight?
You can expect your 6-month-old Border Collie to be around 13 to 26 lbs (5.9 to 11.8 kg). They are still well within their initial growth spurt at this stage. So continue to give them nutritious meals to help with their development.
How Much Should a 1-Year-Old Border Collie Weigh?
Now that your Border Collie is a year old, their average weight is around 26 to 52 lbs (11.8 to 23.6 kg). Your Border Collie is close to being full-grown and they will still gain some weight after this age, but not much.
After the one-year mark, they fill out their bodies gradually. This is to make them look more balanced, growing out of their awkward proportions. So you will see an increase in girth and they will gain more bone density and muscle mass.
Are Border Collies Prone to Weight Gain?
It may come as a surprise, but Border Collies have a genetic predisposition to obesity. So although they love to use up all their energy by being active, they can put on excess weight.
Unfortunately, statistics say that around 25% of the Border Collie population is overweight.
Obesity is a serious health issue in this breed. This condition can lead to medical problems like the following:
- Joint Problems
- Back Pain
- Heart Disease
- Respiratory Problems
All these can cripple your furry friend. They may not get to frolic around how they want to due to these physical hindrances. And so, their quality of life significantly drops.
Given how serious these health issues are, they can also cause your Border Collie to live a shorter life.
So the key to preventing all these issues from happening is to avoid obesity. This way, they get to live a long and happy life where they can play around as they want.
Given their preference for an active lifestyle, this may not be as hard as with other breeds. Make sure you give your Border Collie plenty of physical exercises daily. This will keep them lean, healthy, and contented.
How Do I Know if My Border Collie Is Overweight?
There are a few ways to check if your Border Collie is obese. Of course, you can always consult your vet about your furry friend’s weight. But this may not be practical if you constantly watch their weight.
Here is how you can make an assessment of your Border Collie’s weight:
Feel Their Ribs
With the tips of your fingers, run your hand along their chest, behind their front legs. Do this in a back and forth motion, and you should feel their ribs without exerting a lot of pressure. The sensation should be like running your hand along the top back of your hand.
If you feel that there is a thick layer of fat or if you need to put a ton of pressure to feel their ribs, they are obese.
Look at Them From Above
A Border Collie with a healthy weight should have an hourglass figure. So you should check if your Border Collie has a defined waist behind its ribs.
You can tell if your Border Collie is obese if you cannot see their waist. Instead of an hourglass shape, they look rather oval. This means that they have a thick layer of fat deposits around that area.
Look at Them From the Side
Check your Border Collies profile when they are standing up. If their waist is sagging or if their stomach is hanging, this is a sign that they have excess weight.
With the ideal weight, their bellies should look tucked behind their ribcage. So their bellies should sit higher than their rib area.
Watch Out for Fat Pads
Obese Border Collies will have deposits of fat in certain areas of their body. One of these is their hip area. Feel their hips for any thick layer of fat.
You should also look at any fat deposits between their legs. This causes them to walk with a waddle.
Know Their Weight
It is a good practice to keep track of your Border Collie’s weight. If they do not fall into the average weight range, this is not something to worry about right away. Like humans, Border Collies can also vary in weight.
This can be due to their genetics, which can make your Border Collie bigger or smaller than the average size. But this does not mean that they are unhealthy.
Or it can be a seasonal fluctuation. During wintertime, it is not unusual for dogs to be less active and put on weight.
But when can you say that their weight is already alarming?
An overweight Border Collie will have a weight that is 10% to 20% above the normal range. You can consider them obese when their weight is over 20% of the healthy weight range.
Is My Border Collie Puppy Overweight?
Knowing whether your Border Collie puppy is obese or not follows the same steps above. So feel their ribs, check their weight, and look at them from above and from the side.
But while your Border Collie is still a puppy, weight fluctuations are normal. They are still growing and these individuals grow at a different pace. Some may be smaller, while others may be bigger.
If their weight concerns you, make sure it is not due to underlying conditions. Leaving anything unchecked can affect their development. These adverse effects can affect your Border Collie even when they grow into adults.
As long as you feed them right and your vet says they are okay, do not be too pressured about their weight.
Why Is My Border Collie Putting On Weight?
The most common reason for Border Collie obesity is overfeeding and underexercising. But this is not the only possibility that you should look at. Some reasons are out of your hands, so you may have to adjust how you care for your furry friend.
Their Genetic Predisposition
Border Collies, as a breed, are prone to being obese. Although you may not hear this a lot since they love to live an active lifestyle. So if your Border Collie is getting a bit chunky, take this as a sign that something is wrong.
They Are Eating Too Much
If your Border Collie takes in too many calories than they can burn, their bodies turn these into fat. But this does not mean that you should cut out most of the calories in their diet.
This breed loves to be active and enjoys doing its tasks. The calories are their source of energy, burning them when they are putting their body and mind to work. The problem arises when these calories are not getting used up.
So the calories you feed them should be appropriate for their activity level.
They Are Not Exercising Enough
Your Border Collie’s exercise regimen and diet go hand in hand, as mentioned above. A sedentary lifestyle is a common cause of canine obesity.
Lots of exercise keeps them in shape and allows them to use up all the calories they get from their diet. Not getting enough exercise can make them put on weight. Especially for Border Collies, who are genetically predisposed to obesity.
This may not be the biggest issue for this breed since they are often known to always look for something to do. But dogs are individuals, so some Border Collies may be lazier than others.
They Are Recovering
In some instances, like having an injury, your Border Collie may not get enough exercise. Especially if your vet advises that your furry friend should get a long cage rest. But once they bounce back, your Border Collie should shed the extra weight they put on.
They Are Already Neutered or Spayed
Getting your Border Collie fixed can increase the likelihood of obesity. This may be due to the shift in their metabolism and change in their hormones. So if this is true for your Border Collie, you need to put more work into maintaining their weight.
They Have a Medical Condition
This is the first thing you should rule out if your Border Collie is putting on extra weight. Because no matter how well you feed them or exercise them, they need medical intervention.
Watch out for hormonal imbalances, like adrenal and thyroid issues. These can contribute to your Border Collie’s weight gain.
Other conditions like diabetes can increase your Border Collie’s appetite. With this, they may be taking more calories than they can burn off.
How Do I Get My Border Collie Dog to Lose Weight?
To get your Border Collie to lose weight, you need to create a weight loss program. This will mainly involve their diet and their exercise routine. But before anything, you need to consult your vet.
A trip to the vet will help you rule out any medical issue that could explain their weight gain. If they do have one, you need treatment for that first before starting their weight loss journey.
Take this as an opportunity to speak to your vet about your plans too. They can guide you in creating an exercise regimen for your Border Collie. You can also ask them for any recommendations for an appropriate diet.
Now that you have crossed those out, here is how you can bring your Border Collie back to a healthy weight.
Maintain a Strict Diet
Feed your Border Collie a diet that is low on calories. The calories they consume should be enough for them to burn off. So this means no table scraps, no matter how cute they look when they are begging for some sausage.
Change Their Treats
Do you use treats as a reward during your training sessions? If so, the calories they eat can stack up. With this, you should switch to low-calorie treat options.
Fruits are popular alternatives as they are low in calories. But make sure that you are not feeding them toxic ones. You should also be careful in giving them too much since fruits often contain a lot of sugar.
Smaller, More Frequent Meals
Make their larger meals smaller and feed them throughout the day. This will help them to feel full, so they will not bug you for extra food for the rest of the day.
This is also a good opportunity to cut down their food cup sizes. By doing so, you can decrease the calories that they consume. But you should always consult your vet first before doing this.
Increase Their Activity Levels
The more your Border Collie moves around, the more calories they spend. This does not mean that you should give them a more intense exercise routine. You can do this by keeping them on their feet more, even with light activities such as a stroll around the park.
This is important if your Border Collie is young or older. A healthy adult Border Collie can handle high-intensity activities, like dog sports. But with a puppy or a senior, look for alternatives that have a lower risk of getting injured.
What Should I Feed My Overweight Border Collie?
If your Border Collie is on the heavier side, you need to cut back on their calorie intake. There are commercial kibbles on the market for this. But make sure you choose one that fits their nutritional needs.
Feeding them raw food is also one of your options. Turkey, lamb, and beef are some meats to consider. Adding some veggies, like steamed green beans, will help in satiating them.
You can also keep on feeding them their existing food but cut back their portions. But this may not be the best option since your Border Collie will not feel full or satisfied. They may end up begging for more treats throughout the day, which is counterintuitive.
But with any major change in diet, it is best if you talk to your vet first to make sure this is okay.
How Much Should I Feed My Overweight Border Collie?
There are a lot of factors to consider for this, so there is no exact answer to this question. One factor is your Border Collie’s age, which has a drastic impact on their feeding size. Another is their activity level since diet and exercise go together.
So if you feed them commercial food, check the nutritional label. Follow the recommendations written there as a start. If you feed them raw food though, this can be trickier.
When in doubt about how much they need to eat, you should consult your vet. They know more about your Border Collie’s condition and needs. So they will help you figure out a feeding size that is specific for your furry friend.
How Do I Know if My Border Collie Is Underweight?
You can tell if your Border Collie is underweight by looking at them. But a better way to check is to feel for their bones. There are a few ways you can do this and some of them are like checking if your dog is overweight.
Feel Their Ribs
First, observe your Border Collie when they are moving. You will see the last few ribs in a healthy Border Collie, but not every rib. They should not protrude too much and if they do, your Border Collie may be too skinny.
Now have your Border Collie stand up and feel their ribcage with the tips of your fingers. With the ideal weight, you should feel their ribs but also still feel a bit of fat on their bones. But if you do not feel a layer of fat, they are underweight.
Feel Their Spine
Like the ribs, your Border Collie’s spine should not protrude. Use the same method when feeling their spine. If it is very obvious with no cushioning on their vertebrae, this means that they are underweight.
Look at Their Waistline
A healthy Border Collie will have an hourglass shape. But in an underweight Border Collie, this figure looks too harsh.
Look at their waist after the last rib. If it is too sucked in, then your Border Collie needs to gain some weight.
Look at Their Hips
Like their waist, Border Collies should have a smooth transition from the waist to the hips. There should be a gradual rise, not a harsh transition.
If their waist to hip ratio is harsh, this is a sign that they are underweight. You should not see any outline of their hip bones when you look at your Border Collie.
Check Their Weight
The healthy weight range for a Border Collie is around 30 to 55 lbs (14 to 25 kg). If they fall short, this does not necessarily mean that they are underweight.
Some Border Collies are lighter than average but are still healthy. But if they are too far off from the average, you should talk to your vet. They will help you confirm if your Border Collie’s weight has any adverse effect on their health.
Is My Border Collie Skinny?
Some Border Collies appear skinnier than usual but are otherwise healthy dogs. This is more common in female Border Collies since they have a leaner build.
But how can you tell if your Border Collie is too skinny? You have to look at their body condition and be mindful of this when you touch them.
They are too skinny if you easily see their bones, especially on the hips, ribs, and spine. An underweight Border Collie bone protrudes in these areas.
During petting sessions, you should also try to feel their bones in these same areas. You should feel their bones with ease, but there should be a good layer of fat covering their bones. If you only feel bones and skin, then take this as a sign that they need to put on more weight.