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Mini Border Collie: A Complete Guide

Even though the majority of us will be familiar with the well-known and highly intelligent border collie dog, have you ever heard about the miniature border collie?

As the name suggests, the miniature border collie is a miniature (or toy) version of the original breed. Why could someone prefer a mini border collie to a standard one? Most likely because it won’t take up as much space in a small home, and is easier to clean and feed. Or someone may just like the appearance of a smaller dog more.

Let’s now look at some of the main characteristics of this breed which every potential owner should be familiar with. Follow along to find out how a mini border collie looks, the aspects of caring for it. as well as its cost and lifespan.

What Does A Miniature Border Collie Look Like?

Miniature border collies are often the result of breeding runts from a border collie litter (basically the smallest dogs, often below the average border collie size). Other than that, the mini border collie can also be accomplished through breeding border collies with the dwarfism gene.

As a result, the appearance of a miniature border collie always resembles that of a standard border collie, but in a small size. These mini dogs will have fur which comes in the combination of two or three colors.

Miniature Border Collie Appearance
Miniature Border Collie Appearance

Most often, this will be black and white, blue/red merle and white, or chocolate and white. There are also a ton of other such combinations, some more common and others rather unique. Mini border collies will usually have a coat that is of a medium length, a bushy tail, and pricked or semi-pricked ears.

However, some breeders cross regular border collies with other small breeds to produce offspring and then select those with the desired appearance and size to breed further.

Expert Tip: Sometimes a breeder may cross border collies with Jack Russel terriers, pomeranian, chihuahuas, toy poodles, or Shetland sheepdogs. As the breed develops along the line, the miniature border collie may begin to lose more characteristics of the other breed.

In spite of that, some mini border collies may still slightly resemble another breed from which it descends. For instance, it could have shorter or longer fur different markings, etc. Nonetheless, its appearance should mainly be that of a border collie.

Size And Weight Of A Mini Border Collie

A mini border collie can grow to measure 18 to 22 inches in height whereas their weight will amount to around 30 to 55 pounds. Females, as in most other breeds, maybe slightly smaller and lighter than the average male.

Not every breeder will produce dogs that are equal in size and weight, and some may stray from these measurements depending on various factors, but a mini border collie should never be as big as a standard border collie.|

Are They Good With Families?

Miniature border collies make wonderful family pets
Miniature border collies make wonderful family pets

Miniature border collies make wonderful family pets. They are very playful, obedient, and loyal to their owners. They love having something fun and engaging to do throughout the day which is great if you want a dog that will play with you and take part in whatever you are doing.

These miniature dogs love to work and be kept busy at all times. They like to be around their humans and enjoy pleasing their owners. They thrive on human companionship and like to be involved in whatever their family is doing.

Mini border collies inherit most of the same characteristics as regular border collies, which include high intelligence and a fast-learning ability. This will mean that a family won’t have trouble house training their mini border collie. A properly socialized mini border collie should not cause any trouble and will grow into a well-mannered dog.

Though smaller, miniature border collies still have similar energy levels to regular border collies. They will need around 1 to 2 hours of physical activity every day making them ideal for active families.

For this very reason, if you or your family is often away and busy, a mini border collie may not be the best for you. These dogs need to be taken on two to three walks each day and have some space to roam around in. A mini border collie can be kept in a small home as long as you can provide exercise for them outside of the home.

Occupying and providing your miniature border collie with mental stimulation every day is a must. Constant boredom will only lead to barking, loneliness, and sometimes even destructive habits such as digging in the yard or chewing household items.

Their herding skills will still be present in them, so if you need to be careful if you have other pets such as cats or dogs of a smaller size. A miniature border collie could even try to herd small children if it gets boring.

Playing with your dog and fulfilling their daily physical activity requirements, as well as completing adequate house training will prevent this from happening.


Miniature Border Collie Lifespan
Miniature Border Collie Lifespan

A standard-sized border collie usually lives up to 12 to 15 years of age. Some may live up to be 16 or 17 as this breed is most often very healthy and fit. A miniature border collie can live longer than that because of its smaller size and the health risks associated with larger dogs that aren’t present in small dogs.

That is as long as a mini border collie doesn’t come from a line of dogs with various health problems. Often breeding the runts of litters or dogs with the dwarfism gene is unsafe and leads to dogs with illnesses. This could result in a shorter lifespan, even shorter than a regular border collie.

Expert Tip: A responsible breeder will only select those dogs who are completely healthy and will test for various diseases before choosing to breed them. Buying a mini border collie from a good breeder will guarantee a dog with a very long lifespan.

Food & Diet

Miniature Border Collie Food and Die
Miniature Border Collie Food and Diet

Miniature border collies should eat twice a day, morning and night. If you prefer, you may feed your mini border collie three times a day meaning you would decrease his or her food portion during the other two meals.

Since miniature border collies can weigh anywhere from 30 to 55 pounds, which all mainly depends on the dog’s breeding line, you may choose to feed it according to its weight.

For a 30 pound dog, feed him 1 cup and 3/4 of a cup morning and night. For a 40 pound dog feed him 2 cups and 1/4 of a cup whereas a 50-pound dog would need around 2 cups and 2/3 of a cup of food.

The quantity of food that you give to your dog per day also depends on his physical activity. If your dog gets lots of exercise during the day goes for long runs or hikes, or even competes in agility contests, then this amount of food should be increased.

A miniature border collie’s diet should include a premium dog food of a reputable brand to ensure he gets sufficient nutrients and vitamins. An owner may choose dog food for active dogs because of the miniature border collie’s active nature.

You should also include raw meat, raw vegetables, eggs, and even fish in your dog’s diet from time to time for added health benefits. These can be obtained from the butcher or a pet company that provides frozen meat and vegetables that are sent to your home.

However, try to avoid adding grains to your dog’s diet, and opt for dog food without added grains. This is because border collies often have a grain allergy or may have difficulty digesting grains.


A miniature border collie will be easier to clean than a regular border collie as a result of its smaller size. The process will also take less time. What is the best way to clean a mini border collie?

To begin with, de-shed your miniature border collie with a pet brush. The best type to use for this breed is the slicker brush. De-shedding your dog before a bath will get rid of excess loose hair which would then clog up the drain, and it will also get rid of some dirt and filth trapped in the fur. You can also clip his nails.

Now when preparing for a wash, make sure that you are using lukewarm water. Avoid using water that is too hot or too cold always test prior to the wash. Also, make sure the bathroom is nice and warm. Next, place your mini border collie in your bathtub or shower.

It is always best to get your dog acquainted with being bathed from puppyhood by forming positive connections with the bathtub or shower. This can come in the form of feeding your puppy a treat when he gets inside so that he will be less likely to fear it.

Use a shower hose attachment to wash your dog or use a cup that you can refill with water. Pour water over your mini border collie to ensure all areas of his fur are wet but avoid his ears and eyes. With a specially formulated dog shampoo clean your dog thoroughly, massaging the shampoo into his skin.

Pay special attention to the dog’s paws, where a lot of dirt and mud accumulates. Keep the shampoo away from his eyes to avoid irritation. Once you have worked up to a foamy lather, rinse the shampoo off properly. You may follow up with a dog conditioner if you like, which would need to sit in your pet’s fur for a bit before rinsing off.

Your miniature border collie will usually need no more than one good clean once a month. However, each dog is different, and some may be prone to getting a bad odor more quickly than others. If you prefer to wash your dog mode often, use a gentle soap-free shampoo that is suitable for frequent bathing.

As well as that, remember to brush your pet at least once or twice a week. Regular good brushing gets rid of the accumulation of dirt and dust particles and removes the loose undercoat. This will limit the amount of hair that ends up on furniture and other items in your home.


So how much does a miniature border collie cost? There are many factors that can play a part when it comes to the cost of a mini border collie. Most often this will include the dog’s coat color, gender, and breeding line.

A miniature border collie will typically cost anywhere between $500 to $2000. Most usually, a female miniature border collie will cost slightly more than the male. The reason for this is because the female has the ability to be produce offspring which the owner would gain a lot of profit from.

Prices of a miniature border collie can, however, go up to $4000 or more if the dog has a great pedigree and comes from a good line of dogs. A rescue dog will cost much less than one bought from a breeder, usually from around $50 to $200.

Nonetheless, the cost of a mini border collie doesn’t only come under the purchase of a new dog, but also under the act of owning and taking care of it. If you wonder whether this type of dog would be an expensive choice, the answer is that usually, mini border collies won’t cost too much to keep.

Why is that? Mini border collies are quite small in size, so they won’t require as much food as a regular border collie, or an even bigger breed of dog. A medium packet of good quality dog food may cost anywhere from $25 upward.

The miniature border collie’s grooming requirements are not extensive, and all you will need to maintain your pet’s coat is a good slicker brush and a bottle of dog shampoo, both starting at the price of around $5. You will also need food bowls and a collar and leash, also starting at the price of around $5.

Of course, buying your dog accessories as well as toys will also add to the cost of owning your pet. You may also spend money on dog treats or vitamins and supplements.

Expert Tip: Another factor to consider when it comes to the cost of owning a miniature border collie is vet bills.

Like all other dogs, mini border collies also come with several health risks. Let’s look at some of the health risks this particular breed may be prone to.

Health Risks

Miniature Border Collie Health Risks
Miniature Border Collie Health Risks

A miniature border collie will have inherited some of the same health risks as its larger counterparts. A few of these include neurological disorders such as epilepsy, neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis, trapped neutrophil syndrome, collie eye anomaly and other eye diseases, allergies, hypothyroidism, and sensory neuropathy.

Like many other dogs, miniature border collies can also be at risk of certain types of cancer as well as obesity. It is for that reason that a balanced diet and regular exercise should be practiced.

Miniature border collie also has many health risks associated with how this breed is obtained. Since a lot of breeders would use runts from litters and breed them together to achieve this mini version of the border collie, there are a number of risks associated with this process.

Runts are the smallest and often weakest dogs from a litter. They are often much more prone to health risks than other normal-sized dogs from the same litter. Runts are susceptible to having heart and respiratory problems and may be more prone to fits or seizures. They will often have a lower muscle mass and weak bones.

Although some breeders are careful to breed only runts that are as healthy as possible, the risk of breeding such dogs is always there. These health risks will be passed down to the offspring for generations to come and may decrease the mini border collie’s lifespan.

Other breeders will use border collies that have the dwarfism gene to produce offspring, which, again, has a health risk to it. As a result of having short legs, a border collie with dwarfism has the potential of having skeletal-related problems as it ages.

The same goes for its offspring a miniature border collie may thus end up with similar problems if it descends from a line of dogs that possesses the dwarfism gene.

Crossing border collies with other dog breeds of a small size is by far the healthiest way of achieving the miniature border collie. In this case, a mini border collie will not end up with health risks linked to breeding dogs that are weaker than the average or have disproportionate body parts.

However, a miniature border collie will now also carry the health risk of the other breed it descends from. For this reason, a breeder must always health test their dogs before attempting breeding in order to extend the mini border collie’s lifespan rather than shorten it.


In conclusion what exactly is a miniature border collie? A miniature border collie is a smaller version of the regular border collie. As a result, they have inherited most of the same characteristics and personality traits.

Like the border collie, minis make great family pets, especially for those willing to dedicate the time to fulfill this dog’s exercise needs. Minis do, however, require less food, and their cleaning regimen will also take up less time. They do have a few health risks they are prone to.

So is the miniature border collie a dog for you? If you are willing to occupy this smart and active dog and are prepared for long walks every day, the mini border collie will be perfect for you. Fond of human companionship this dog will surely make a loyal friend for life.

About Rencel Leyran