What to look for when selecting a purebred border collie

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If you've decided to get a purebred border collie puppy, know what to look for before making the final decision.

Never assume that because a purebred border collie pup is AKC registered that it is a healthy animal.

Purebred simply means that the dog's parents were both the same breed, making the pup an “full-blooded” border collie. It does not guarantee that the pup is of better quality than a pup without AKC accreditation. AKC recognition is the only assurance that the pup is not mixed with other breeds. Ask to see the papers of the pups and also shot records, vet receipts, and dates when the pups received shots or worm medicine. If the collie is over 8 weeks old and hasn’t been to the vet, nor had shots and been wormed, it could indicate that these pups haven’t been well provided for by the current owners.

purebred border collie


There are signs which you can look for to determine whether or not the pup you’re considering is healthy. After making an initial selection, look at several things about the pup itself to determine its state of health. Look at the pup’s eyes to see if they are bright and clear. Lift the dog’s tail to see if the rear is clean. Feel the pup’s nose - it should be damp but not dripping, and cool. If the pup’s nose is dry or warm, it could have some underlying health problems. Pet the pup and feel for any lumps, misshapen vertebrae, or disproportions of any kind. Check the pup’s stomach. Is it swollen or too large? The pup could have worms or has simply been overfed.

Observe the dog’s size. Is it larger or smaller than the others? If it’s considerably smaller, you might want to pass on this pup, since these “runts” are sometimes stricken with health problems as they grow. Does the collie’s fur seem shiny and healthy? Are there any apparent bare spots in his coat? Feel his paws and look them over well. Make sure there are no obvious problems with the pads or claws. Look in the pup’s mouth to check for sores, missing teeth, lumps or lesions. Observe how it walks. Does the collie limp at all? Does it walk, seemingly unbalanced? If so, the pup could have joint problems, cognitive problems, or even spinal trouble.

Health issues aren’t the only thing to examine when choosing a purebred border collie. It’s also important to select a border collie which has a likable disposition. Many people, when choosing a pup, think that the proper method is to adopt the dog which comes to them first. Most dogs that approach the new owner without hesitation are bold or more aggressive. The pup which first approaches you may be harder to raise, since these dogs seem to have no fear and often, a mind of their own. It’s a much better choice if you take one of the pups who doesn’t necessarily cower away but is somewhat more apprehensive about you. These dogs tend to be a little more cautious and later, loyal. Pups that run away with their tails between their legs are likely to be the nervous type who bites when they’re scared.

If possible, spend at least an hour playing and interacting with the litter. This will give you a little peek into their personalities. Watch the dog running and at play. Does it accept you or does it shy away from playing while you’re present? A border collie pup with a good disposition should approach you somewhat cautiously, but upon seeing that you won’t hurt it, you should play and respond to you in a positive way. Notice whether the collie pup seems to pay attention to what you’re saying. Walk around and see if the collie will follow you, or lose interest. The pup which follows you endlessly probably displays the highest level of loyalty.


If it’s a busy household where you’ll be bringing the collie, try to select a pup that doesn’t to seem too jumpy upon sudden movement or noise. But, a pup who seems oblivious to any sound or movement might not be the playful, attentive dog that you’re wanting. If you think you’ve chosen which one will be going home with you, take it away from the rest of the litter, off somewhere to yourselves. Does the pup whine and cry away from its siblings, or seem happy just to be with you? Does the pup constantly paw at you, refusing to settle down? If so, this pup might be difficult to train. When you’ve finally selected the purebred border collie which is right for you, give it lots of love and attention and it will do the same for you.