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Male vs. Female Border Collie: Main Differences (With Pictures)

Patricia Dickson

By Patricia Dickson

Male vs Female Border Collie

Border Collies are popular dogs with pet parents worldwide. However, if you’re considering adopting or purchasing one of these dogs, you’ll want to know the difference between the male and female of the breed.

The female reaches 18 to 21 inches in height, while the male reaches between 19 and 22. The male weighs between 31 and 44 pounds, while the female tops out between 26 and 42 pounds at full growth.

Male and female Border Collies are similar in many respects, but they also have their differences. While they have more in common, it’s still important to know all you can about Border Collie males and females so that you can make the right choice.

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Visual Differences

Male vs Female Border Collie side by side
Image Credit: (L) Jumpstory | (R) Yoav Hornung, Unsplash

At a Glance

Male Border Collie

  • Average height (adult): 19 to 22inches
  • Average weight (adult): 31 to 44 pounds
Female Border Collie
  • Average height (adult): 18 to 21 inches
  • Average weight (adult): 26 to 42 pounds

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Border Collie 101

The Border Collie is often referred to as the most intelligent dog in the world. These hardworking dogs are devoted to their work and show Einstein levels of intelligence often. The breed is driven, energetic, focused, highly intelligent, loyal, obedient, expressive, and responsive: all great qualities to have in a dog.

Border Collies are suited for active families with older children and families that love to spend time outdoors in rural areas where the Border Collie can run. They also work well on farms and make the perfect pet for competitive trainers.

The breed is not suited for families with smaller children, someone who is inexperienced or a first-time pet owner, apartment living, or someone who is away from home for long periods. Border Collies become attached to their owners, so you must be prepared for that before you adopt a Border Collie, whether a male or a female.

The Border Collie requires extensive exercise and is happiest when active and busy. Remember, this breed was created to herd livestock, so small pets and children may seem like something that needs to be herded to your canine pal.

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Male Border Collie Overview

Personality / Character

lilac border collie lying on grass
Image Credit: Susan McQuade, Shutterstock

From what we could find during our research, there is no concrete evidence that a male Border Collie has a different temperament than a female of the breed. However, some say that the male is easier to handle than the female and that they become more attached and devoted to their pet parents.

As with any other male dog, if your Border Collie isn’t fixed, you’ll have to deal with them marking their territory and the behavior associated with them smelling a female in heat. There have also been reports of male Border Collies being more aggressive than females. It’s also said that males tend to bite more often than females, especially males who have not been fixed.


Border Collies are easy to train because of their extreme intelligence and love of people. They’re good pets for those with the time and patience to train them. Without proper training, the breed can become bored and destructive.

While there’s no concrete proof, it seems males get bored and destructive faster than females. Of course, male dogs roam more than females, and this tendency could make it hard to train them to come when you call them. However, there is no proof that males are more challenging to train than females.

Health & Care

There are very few differences in the health issues regarding the difference between male and female Border Collies. Some studies showed that males are more likely to develop hip dysplasia, cancers, and other health issues. Below, we’ve listed the severe and minor conditions you should watch out for with a male Border Collie.

Minor Conditions
  • Glaucoma
Serious Conditions
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • NCL
  • Certain types of cancer
  • Conditions with the eyes
border collie dog playing fetch with the male owner
Image Credit: elbud, Shutterstock


The Border Collie breed is often dependent on one stud. For the breed to remain strong, however, breeders should rely on more than a single male, and the dog doesn’t need to breed several times a day. If you visit a breeder to adopt a Border Collie, ask them how they run their breeding program and if they use several studs.

  • Easy to breed
  • Easy to handle
  • Trains easily
  • Increased chance of marking
  • Likely to wander
  • Possibly prone to hip dysplasia
  • Higher chance of the male biting

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Female Border Collie Overview

Personality / Character

Border Collie
Image Credit: 4924546, Pixabay

Female Border Collies are similar in personality and temperament to their male counterparts. They may be less likely to become aggressive, but the dog’s environment and care can influence its attitude. As with any animal, the way you raise them has a lot more to do with their aggression levels than whether they are male or female.

Since females go into heat two times a year, they have personality changes that the males don’t. Hormones, as with any female, will affect their personality. This makes it hard to predict the female’s temperament, though getting the dog fixed can solve many potential behavioral problems.


Females are considered easier to train, as they don’t have the marking instinct. However, it isn’t unheard of for a female to mark her territory, though it is rare. Females are thought to be less likely to wander off than males, which means they’ll respond to recall commands better.

The differences in training between the male and female Border Collies are so tiny that you probably wouldn’t even notice them if they weren’t called to your attention.

Health & Care

Since females are different biologically than males, there are a few health conditions they can develop that you don’t have to watch for in males. For example, females can develop uterine and cervical cancer while males can’t. Other than that, there are common health conditions to watch for in the breed listed below, which are the same as those in the male.

Minor Conditions
  • Glaucoma
Serious Conditions
  • Hip Dysplasia
  • NCL
  • Certain types of cancer
  • Conditions with the eyes
Border Collie
Image Credit: CC0 Public Domain, pxhere


Of course, it’s harder to care for females when it comes to breeding. With the males, they breed, and it’s over. With the females, you have to take care of the pregnant female and her litter of puppies after they are born.

The female is in heat twice a year, so it takes quite a bit of timing and planning to breed her. Females should be bred later and at a more advanced age than males, as the female has to carry the litter of puppies.

  • Lower chance of biting
  • Easier to train
  • Less territorial and marking issues
  • Less prone to hip dysplasia

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Which Gender Is Right for You?

As you can see, the differences between the male and the female Border Collie aren’t as apparent as you might think. They have more similarities than differences. The differences are so slight in most cases that you wouldn’t even notice them if you hadn’t been told.

When choosing the ideal gender of Border Collie for you, you can determine if the breed’s differences are a significant concern. Whichever one you choose, a Border Collie is a loving, loyal, protective companion, and any pet owner would be lucky to call one their own.

Featured Image Credit: xcunclova, Shutterstock

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