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Blue Merle Border Collie: Breed Info, Pics, Traits & Facts

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Male Blue Merle Border Collie

Height: 18–22 inches
Weight: 30–45 pounds
Lifespan: 12–15 years
Colors: White, blue
Suitable for: Active families with a large farm
Temperament: Intelligent, Affectionate, Easy to train

The Blue Merle Border Collie is a beautiful, intelligent, and affectionate dog. Despite being a loyal companion who will always be by your side, it is also a working dog. Interestingly, a Blue Merle Border Collie does not qualify as a breed. It is only a Border Collie with a blue merle coat pattern. Nevertheless, it is one of the smartest and most agile pets you will come across.

Border Collies are medium-sized dogs with strong and agile legs. Sometimes you can judge their mood by looking at their emotive ears, but it is their famous “herding eye” (intense gaze) that makes them an effective herding dog. Collies will either have short or medium-length fur with varying colors and patterns. The Blue Merle Border Collie, in particular, tends to have blue eyes.

However, these dogs aren’t for everyone. Before you decide to buy one, you need to consider whether you can keep up with their needs. Read on to learn whether this breed is the right fit for you and your family.

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Blue Merle Border Collie Puppies

puppy border collie blue merle sitting
Image Credit: Annorak Nk, Shutterstock

The price of a Blue Merle Border Collie will vary depending on your location. Additionally, some breeders will charge more to recover the costs incurred during health screenings, vaccinations, and other similar expenses.

If you find a breeder but the price seems a bit steep, you can choose to adopt one from a shelter or rescue. Although cheaper, this route takes more time, and it is not a guarantee that you will get the breed you want. But if you’re lucky enough, you will have an awesome pet in your hands.

The Blue Merle Border Collie is intelligent and easy to train. They are happiest with active families and lots of yard space. They would be an ideal pup if you live on a farm.

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3 Little-Known Facts About the Blue Merle Border Collie

1. You Should Not Breed Two Merle Dogs

Canines with multiple merle genes are susceptible to serious medical complications. Breeding two dogs with the merle gene could increase the puppy’s chances of inheriting blindness and deafness and put it at a higher risk of getting skin cancer.

2. They Were Originally Bred as Herders

Border Collies were used for their natural herding abilities by shepherds in England and Scotland. The dogs could work for extended periods over rugged terrains.

3. Their Name Has a Scottish Origin

Border Collies originally came from England and Scotland. The word “collie” comes from the Scottish dialect and is a descriptive word for sheepdogs.

Blue Merle Border Collie Laying On The Bench
Image Credit: xkunclova, Shutterstock

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Blue Merle Border Collie 🧠

The Blue Merle Border Collie is very intelligent. That means it can learn things quickly, but it also makes it hard to keep it challenged. The breed thrives on activity, and its energy levels are off the charts. It is hardworking and prefers to stay busy rather than just lying around. If you are the type that sits at home all day, this is not the canine for you.

Border Collies are also very alert and sensitive and will pick up your cues quite fast. For instance, they will detect the slightest whistle, a raised eyebrow, or a hand signal and respond promptly.

However, a Border Collie is strong-minded and independent. As a result, it can misdirect its energy when there is no job to do. If you don’t keep the dog busy, they will be happy to chase after other pets, cars, and children. They can also be fearful and shy if not properly socialized from a young age.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 🏡

Border Collies are great family dogs but are best suited for active families. Since they enjoy a lot of running and exploring, they will thrive better on a farm with plenty of space to roam around. At least one member of the family should also be ready to keep up with the dog’s level of energy. Otherwise, it will get bored quickly and become mischievous.

If you have small children in the house, you need not worry as long as your Blue Merle Border Collie has been socialized from a young age. However, never leave the dog alone with your young ones. No matter how friendly they are, always supervise their interactions with kids.

Does This Breed Get Along with Other Pets? 🐶 😽

The Border Collie will get along with children and other pets in the home, but only if it is properly socialized as a puppy. However, its herding instincts can lead it to chase, nip, and bark at other pets and children, so again, supervision is key.

Blue Merle Border Collie laying on the grass
Image Credit: Dora Zett, Shutterstock

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Things to Know When Owning a Blue Merle Border Collie

A Blue Merle Border Collie has its own unique needs. Here is what you need to know and consider before owning one.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Any high-quality dog food will do the trick. But how much your Blue Merle Border Collie eats will depend on a variety of factors, including age, size, metabolism, and level of activity. Since the dog is highly active, you must provide it with food that contains all the nutrients it needs for growth and energy. An active adult dog will usually eat roughly 2 cups per day, but this will vary depending on your pup’s lifestyle.

If you have to give them treats, ensure you do it in moderation to avoid excessive weight gain and the health problems associated with it.

Exercise 🐕

Border Collie owners often joke that if you fail to give the breed a job to do, they will find one for themselves. That is not far from the truth. Since Border Collies were bred to work for long hours herding and protecting livestock, they have high energy levels. Therefore, a daily walk around the neighborhood won’t cut it. You will need to do a bit more to meet the dog’s physical needs.

A Blue Merle Border Collie will need at least 30 to 60 minutes of exercise every day. But it would be better to keep them busy throughout the day. Of course, this will only work if your home has plenty of space to roam around. But if you don’t live on a farm, you need to take the dog out often for walking, running, or hiking. Agility classes and dog competitions are also great opportunities to keep your dog active.

Blue merle Border collie catching frisbee
Image Credit: JitkaP, Shutterstock

Training 🦮

Apart from physical exercises, your Blue Merle Border Collie will require mental exercises to keep them stimulated. It would be a good idea to buy them puzzles. Teaching them new tricks will also keep them sharp and allow you to bond.

They are highly intelligent and aim to please, so they will gravitate naturally to training.

Grooming ✂️

Whether it has a smooth or rough coat, a Blue Merle Border Collie does not require excessive grooming. Gently brushing their coat once or twice a week is adequate. It will help distribute the oils well and prevent matting. However, the dog’s grooming needs will increase when it is shedding its fur.

Regular baths are not necessary, and you should only give them when the dog is dirty or smelly. However, remember to brush its teeth at least thrice a week to prevent gum disease and eliminate bad breath. Also, make sure to trim their nails and clean their ears.

Health and Conditions ❤️

A Border Collie is generally healthy, but it is also susceptible to certain health conditions. Therefore, before buying a puppy from a breeder, ensure they have been screened and cleared of any potential health conditions.

The animals are at risk of some serious conditions such as canine hip dysplasia and cerebellar lipofuscinosis. You must also watch out for other conditions such as collie eye anomaly, lens luxation, and hypothyroidism.

Minor Conditions
  • Hypothyroidism
Serious Conditions
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Cerebellar lipofuscinosis
  • Collie eye anomaly
  • Lens luxation

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Male vs. Female

Male Border Collies are larger and more muscular than their female counterparts. And they can grow 19-22 inches tall and weigh between 35 and 45 pounds.  Females stand 18-21 inches tall and can weigh between 30 and 40 pounds.

Males tend to be more affectionate than female Border Collies and will use obvious attention-seeking tactics. They will be pushier when they want your attention and are usually cuddlier. Conversely, females tend to be more reserved and less affectionate. They like to be in control and are more stubborn.

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Final Thoughts on the Blue Merle Border Collie

The Blue Merle Border Collie is a beautiful, intelligent, and affectionate companion. And it’s no surprise that they are popular family dogs. Since the breed is strong, agile, and full of energy, it can hold its own on the farm doing what it was originally bred for — herding. Additionally, it will dominate in the competition ring.

You must be able to keep up with the dog’s level of energy if you want to own one. The breed thrives on activity. You, therefore, must make sure that it is always busy. Otherwise, it will direct its energy elsewhere.

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Featured Image Credit: ForeverNaturalPhotography, Shutterstock

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