Female vs. Male Border Collie Differences

Eduarda Piamore
By Eduarda Piamore, Expert in canine and feline psychology, education and training.. January 16, 2024
Female vs. Male Border Collie Differences
Border Collie

Animal file: Border Collie

Telling the difference between a male and female Border Collie is not easy from afar. While we can sex this dog breed by looking at their sexual reproductive organs, this is not always possible. Sexual dimorphism in animals refers to the level of difference between male and female specimens. Although Border Collies do have some differences, they are not considered highly sexually dimorphic. Those with experience or the knowledge to differentiate can tell the difference by looking at some of their distinctive traits. These can be both physical and behavioral.

At AnimalWised, we look at the female vs. male Border Collie differences to help you tell the difference about the sex of a Border Collie. Get to know this beautiful dog breed better by seeing our comparison.

  1. Female vs. male Border Collie size
  2. Female vs. male Border Collie character
  3. Other differences between male and female Border Collies
  4. Should I adopt a female or male Border Collie?

Female vs. male Border Collie size

One of the most obvious differences between male and female Border Collies is their respective physical build. According to the breed standard published by the FCI provides the expected size of Border Collie according to sex. Male Border Collies should be in a height range of 19–24" (48–60 cm) and females should be 18–22" (46–56 cm) at the withers.

In terms of body weight, males should be 31–55 lb (14–25 kg) and females 26–42 lb (12-19 kg). Both male and female Border Collies have elongated bodies, with the total length exceeding their height at the withers. They have a very athletic appearance. With these measurements in mind, it is important to note these are average comparisons. It is possible for a female dog to be larger than a male individual, even after fully developed.

The variety of Border Collie coat colors does not depend on sex, but rather on the genetic makeup of each individual. For this reason, a male or female Border Collie will be able to display a wide range of combinations in their coat. These include different shades of black, grey, tan, red, among others. However, the breed standard demands these colors will always present on a white base.

Learn more about the general differences between male and female dogs which apply to all canines.

Female vs. male Border Collie character

It is very important to note that the character and behavior of a dog will depend on various factors. While genetics are important, they are not usually the most significant factor. Their environment, experience, socialization, education and training will have a greater influence on how they interact with different environments and individuals.

Recent studies suggest that less than 10% of the behavioral variations observed in dogs can be attributed to genetics[1]. In terms of behavior, the main differences between male and female Border Collies derive from the differences in upbringing of each individual. This means they are not as influenced as much by their sex.

Generally speaking, Border Collies are known for their great intelligence and predisposition towards training. Stanley Coren is a dog psychologist who presented a list of the most intelligent dogs by studying their behaviors during obedience tests. He placed the Border Collie at the number 1 position. Specifically, he was able to determine that Border Collies can learn a new order within just 5 repetitions.

This amazing learning capacity comes hand in hand with almost inexhaustible energy and a highly accentuated herding instinct. Guardians of either a male or female Border Collie should not neglect their physical and mental stimulation. It is highly recommended to start these dogs in the practice of some canine sport, such as dog agility training. Investment in their environmental enrichment and training from an early age are also important.

One of most important factors in any dog's care if socialization. Socialize your Border Collie puppy from their first weeks of life to help them react appropriately in the face of various stimuli and environments. This helps them interact with others in an even way. It is important to pay particular attention to their herding behaviors, especially if we have children in the home.

Learn more about socializing puppies and adult dogs in our related guide.

Female vs. Male Border Collie Differences - Female vs. male Border Collie character

Other differences between male and female Border Collies

Another important difference between a male and female Border Collie is related to the reproductive cycles of canines. In females, this is known as the heat cycle in dogs. This occurs when the female reaches sexual maturity, but it will also affect the behavior of males.

Being a medium-sized dog, we can estimate that a Border Collie will reach sexual maturity between 7 and 12 months of age. The exact age of the first estrous cycle can vary depending on the characteristics of each individual. When we compare them, male dogs may take slightly longer than females to reach sexual maturity.

The key difference between the sexes in terms of reproduction is that sexually mature males can mate with a female at any time of the year. In female dogs, they are only receptive to mating when they are in the fertile phase of their heat cycle. Typically a dog experiences two heat periods a year which last around 15 to 21 days. The fertile estrous phase is usually around 6 to 9 days.

There are also differences in the signs of heat in female dogs compared to arousal in male dogs. Both sexes tend to show more restless behavior when a female is in heat, characterized by the intensification of sexual behaviors such as marking, mounting and escapism. Only female dogs will present the typical vaginal bleeding, accompanied by inflammation of the vulva.

Despite bleeding being a normal sign of heat in dogs, it is important to remember that complications can arise. Learn more about why a dog may be bleeding a lot during heat in our related article.

Female vs. Male Border Collie Differences - Other differences between male and female Border Collies

Should I adopt a female or male Border Collie?

When considering adoption of a female vs. male Border Collie, it is vital to know there is no predetermined answer. Choosing one or the other will depend on various factors. These include the dog's individual personality, your lifestyle and your home environment. Knowing the differences between male and female Border Collies might influence your decision if you have other dogs, but it is more important to consider their individual personality.

A female Border Collie will need certain differences in terms of care when it comes to their heat cycle or if they become pregnant. However, it is important to know that it is a myth that female dogs should become pregnant at least once in their lives. This does not have a bearing on their well-being and can even provide complications.

We recommend spaying or castrating your Border Collie if they are female or male, respectively. This is because neutering provides many benefits for the individual dog in terms of health and behavior. It is also because it reduces the risk of unwanted pregnancy which outs added strain on dog welfare services.

Many say that females are more affectionate than males. The reality is that the level of love and affection a will show to their guardian depends on the quality of the bond you develop. This is based on your behavior and the level of care you provide.

Border Collies are not a dog breed which is suitable for all homes. They will never be a lapdog, regardless if they are male or female. They not only respond well to training, they need it to maintain a balanced personality. If you do not provide them with sufficient training and education, they will not be able to expend their energy or receive the cognitive stimulation they require.

If you and your family have a sedentary lifestyle, you should not adopt a Border Collie. These dogs need to be stimulated regularly throughout the day. More than taking walks, they need to be engaged in regular activity. If they do not, they can become anxious, destructive or even aggressive.

In addition to socializing and training, we recommend you introduce intelligence games into their routine. These will allow the dog to both engage mentally and expend energy. This include enriching their environment with toys and accessories so they can also be stimulated when we are not at home.

Whether we adopt a male or female Border Collie, meeting their needs in these ways will determine whether they are a good fit. In this way, Border Collies can be a great family dog if that family is active and willing to put the time into meeting their needs.

If you want to read similar articles to Female vs. Male Border Collie Differences, we recommend you visit our Comparisons category.


1. Morrill, K., Hekman, J., Li, X., McClure, J., Logan, B., Goodman, L., Gao, M., Dong, Y., Alonso, M., Carmichael, E., Snyder-Mackler, N., Alonso, J., Noh, H. J., Johnson, J., Koltookian, M., Lieu, C., Megquier, K., Swofford, R., Turner-Maier, J., White, M. E., … Karlsson, E. K. (2022). Ancestry-inclusive dog genomics challenges popular breed stereotypes. Science (New York, N.Y.), 376(6592), eabk0639.

  • FCI Standard No. 297. Border Collie. Retrieved from:

  • Coren, S. (2006). The Intelligence of Dogs: A Guide to the Thoughts, Emotions, and Inner Lives of Our Canine Companions.

  • The Kennel Club – Breed Standards: Border Collie. Retrieved from:
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Female vs. Male Border Collie Differences