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Lilac Border Collie: Pictures, Facts, Origin & History

Gregory Iacono

By Gregory Iacono

lilac border collie lying on grass

The Border Collie is a wonderful breed with vast amounts of energy and a non-stop attitude that can often be overwhelming to a new owner. Border Collies were initially bred to be herding dogs and are some of the best at the job. That’s due to their high level of intelligence, trainability, and agility.

Height: 12 – 18 inches
Weight: 15 – 35 pounds
Lifespan: 12 – 15 years
Colors: Lilac, white, light brown
Suitable for: Highly active families, farmers, trainers, search & rescue squads
Temperament: Affectionate, highly intelligent, very easy to train, friendly, gets along with other pets but less with small kids

Lilac Border Collies, one of the many colors recognized by the AKC, are no exception and make excellent pets and working dogs. They are also one of the loveliest dog breeds, and their coloring is a showstopper. Read on to discover all the important facts and figures about the Lilac Border Collie below to determine if this is the breed for you.

Border Collie Breed Characteristics


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The Earliest Records of Lilac Border Collies in History

The Border Collie is an incredible herding dog trained to herd for centuries. This dog knows how to crouch, creep, and then, when necessary, explode in a burst of energy to keep sheep, cows, and other livestock safely in line. Although Border Collies as we know them have been around for about 150 years, their roots go further back. In 1557, for example, a book titled “Treatise of Englishe Dogges”  spoke of a dog similar to a border collie and how well it did its shepherding work. When were Lilac Border Collies first seen? That, unfortunately, is the information we had a difficult time finding, although it likely happened hundreds of years ago.

How Lilac Border Collies Gained Popularity

Border Collies have been extremely popular around Europe for several years due to their excellent herding abilities. In the late part of the 18th century, Border Collies started being imported to the United States, although the exact year is unknown. The breed quickly became popular not only around farms but also among dog obedience trainers.

Trainers were fascinated by the Border Collie because of its boundless energy, willingness, and desire to learn new things and work hard. Since then, the breed, including the lovely Lilac Border Collie, has remained popular and today is one of the more sought-after breeds in the United States. In 2021, for example, the Border Collie was the 31st most popular breed in the country out of 197 species. The Border Collie is even more popular in the UK and comes in at #12.

Formal Recognition of Lilac Border Collies

The American Kennel Club (AKC) formally recognized the Border Collie in 1955, although it was under the “miscellaneous” class or breed of dogs. In 1995, however, the breed was fully recognized, including the Lilac Border Collie. In Great Britain, the Border Collie was recognized by The Kennel Club in Britain in 1976.

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Top 7 Unique Facts About Lilac Border Collies

1. The Name Comes From Where the Breed Was Created

Border Collies were initially developed near the border between Scotland and England, which is where the “border” part of their name comes from. As for “collie,” that’s the Scottish word for “sheepdog.”

2. Border Collies Are Excellent Search and Rescue Dogs

Border Collies are excellent herding dogs, but they also make fantastic search and rescue dogs because they’re so eager and able to learn new skills.

3. Border Collies Were the 139th Breed Recognized by the AKC

It took the AKC quite a few years to recognize them, even though Border Collies had been in the states for over 100 years at that point.

4. Any Color of Border Collie Is Accepted by the AKC

Lilac and a rainbow of other colors and color combinations are all accepted by the AKC, which is quite unusual. Most dog breeds have a “standard” color, and only that color is recognized.

5. Lilac Is One of the Rarest Border Collie Colors

The Lilac Border Collie is one of nine colors among dog breeds that are very rare, including the Merle Cocker Spaniel and the Brindle Greyhound.

6. Border Collies Are Considered to Be One of the Smartest Dog Breeds

Border Collies, including the Lilac, are considered one of the most intelligent dog breeds in the world, which is one reason they make such excellent herding and search & rescue dogs.

7. Lilac Border Collies Are Actually Muted Red Border Collies

Lilac Border Collies are actually red but express the dilute gene, making them appear faded and, in the sun, purple-ish. For that reason, the name “lilac’ was bestowed upon them.

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Do Lilac Border Collies Make a Good Pet?

Border Collies, including the Lilac variety, make excellent pets but demand a lot of attention, time, and energy from their owners. You should also note that Border Collies don’t tolerate little children well, especially those that pull on them and bother them excessively. They get along OK with other dogs and cats, but proper socialization is needed for the best results.

If you live in a small home or apartment, you’ll need to take your Border Collie out several times a day for walks, exercise, training, and more. The average Border Collie needs 2 to 3 hours of strenuous activity to stay healthy and happy. Plus, giving your Lilac Border Collie a job to do will make it even happier. If you don’t have good access to a local park, dog park, or another area where they can run and play, your Border Collie may become restless and unhappy, which can cause destructive behavior.

Lastly, Border Collies are a very boisterous and energetic breed. That makes them best suited for adults or families with older children that can handle rough, energetic play.

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Final Thoughts

Lilac Border Collies are one of the Border Collie colors registered by the AKC and have been in the United States for over 120 years. They are loyal, highly intelligent, hard-working when necessary, and love to learn new things. They also are some of the best herding dogs in the world, and their name, Collie, means Sheepdog in Scottish. As one of the most popular breeds in the United States, the Lilac Border Collie makes a fantastic pet and companion for those with plenty of energy to handle them. Whether Lilac or any other color, a Border Collie will impress you with its intelligence and incredible energy levels.

Featured Image Credit: Susan McQuade, Shutterstock

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