Here’s the Tailster guide about everything you need to know about Mini Border Collies.
Border Collies, both herding and working dogs, come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes (and mixes thereof). Even if you’re not aware of it, you’ve no doubt seen miniaturized versions of the most popular Border Collie breeds. More noticeably miniature than the mini Australian Cattle Dog or mini Pitbull, mini Border Collies are reasonably rare and very popular.
What is a miniature border collie?
Miniature Border Collies are not a new breed. They are miniaturized versions of the traditional Border collie and come in all shades and colours.
Miniature Border Collies are bred-down miniaturized versions of the traditional Border collie. They typically range between 18 to 25 pounds and stand 14″ to 15.5″ at the shoulder, although some may be slightly larger or smaller than this. Just like their bigger cousins, they come in all shades and colors. Any dog registered as a mini or standard can be bred together to produce mini Border Collie puppies.
Breeders have been hard at work miniaturizing the traditional Border collie for decades, and mini breed enthusiasts continue these efforts today. The mini in miniature describes a smaller version of a breed, not a separate and distinct type in itself. There is no official mini breed standard as of yet.
It is important to note that Miniature Border Collies are not a recognized AKC breed. Still, dogs registered as mini or standard can be bred together to produce mini Border Collie puppies.
How do you get a mini border collie?
Mini border collies with the dwarfism gene
Miniature border collies may be just normal-sized border collies that have dwarfism. It’s a relatively new breed, and they’ve only been around for a few decades.
What is dwarfism?
Dwarfism is when the body doesn’t grow to its proper size due to a genetic mutation in one or more genes. The same mutation causes dwarfism in humans, resulting in a smaller dog.
What are the symptoms of dwarfism?
Dwarfs may seem perfectly healthy, but some health issues dwarf dogs can develop. They may have trouble breathing because their trachea is smaller than usual, and they could create problems with their joints due to weak bones. Dwarf dogs are also at risk of dwarfism-related diseases, like diabetes and heart disease.
Crossbreeding with another toy breed
Another way that miniature border collies come about is when they are crossbred with another toy breed. Some of the most popular species used are the Chihuahua and the Pomeranian. These two breeds are very similar in size, temperament and appearance so it’s easy to see why they would be used together.
Not only does this crossbreeding create a miniature border collie, but it also creates several other dwarf dog breeds such as the ‘Chiweenie’ and the ‘Pomchi’.
Some Border Collie mixes have a tiny parent, giving them a better opportunity to obtain a small Border Collie. This mixed breed may result in a smaller border collie.
What does a miniature border collie look like?
Miniature Border Collies are bred to have the dwarfism gene, so they look so different from regular Border Collies. They are typically 11-13 inches tall and weigh around 18-25 pounds. They are incredibly agile and intelligent dogs that make great companions! They can grow to become superb family dogs when appropriately trained. However, they can become ‘clowns’, mischievous and more nuisance than anything else when not appropriately trained.
The length of a mini border collie is around 10 -13 inches (25-33 cm). However, they can reach sizes of up to 35 – 55 pounds when fully grown, which makes them on the larger end of the weight of a miniature toy dog breed.
The miniature Border Collie looks precisely like the traditional Border Collie but smaller, which is why they are sometimes called the toy Border Collie or teacup Border Collie.
Size differences aside, they have the same firm, well-proportioned, muscular bodies that make them agile for hard work. The majority of tiny Border Collies have a solid-coloured body with a white blaze on their face and down the chest and a white-collar, white legs, and white fur at the tip of their tails. They are frequently black and white, although solid-colored coats and other color combinations are feasible. The white markings, tan points, and brindle points are considered typical breed features.
Personality and traits of a Miniature Border Collie
The temperament of a Mini Border Collie is very different from an average Border Collie. Miniature Border Collies have been bred down to a smaller size to be kept as house pets. They are very friendly, just like any dog breed, but they don’t need as much exercise or mental stimulation as their larger counterparts do.
They will follow you around all day and try to please you. Ideally, they are an indoor dog breed, but they will be just fine kept outside for short periods if necessary. If they have enough mental and physical stimulation, they probably won’t want to leave your side anyway, especially if there’s a bit of food involved!
They are also very independent, which means that training them can be pretty hard, and you will have to be patient and consistent, or they will take the lead. Their smarts also mean that this type of Border Collie can get bored quite quickly, so they need to be given toys that are not only interesting but also challenging.
Other traits are that these dogs are very protective of their owners and home, and they are one of the best watchdogs you can get. They will bark to let you know if there is something wrong, especially suspicious people around your property.
Like other breeds, Miniature Border Collies require early socialization and training to be good citizens and pets. Maybe even more so because their intelligence means that if they are left to train themselves, they might do it in their way, which isn’t always ideal.
The trainability of the Miniature Border Collie
Miniature Border Collies are known to have the following trainability:
Intelligence/Trainability of the Mini Border Collie
Intelligence is defined as “the ability to learn, understand and think about things”. The Miniature Border Collie exhibits high intelligence, thus making them extremely easy to train. They also tend to be exceptionally eager to please their trainers. Because of this, Miniature Border Collies are often chosen as service dogs.
The Miniature Border Collie’s small size, trainability, and intelligence make it an ideal working dog for a wide range of activities. Trained professionals have made the breed popular in countries worldwide by teaching them tricks, commands, and sports such as agility and obedience.
Motivation/Work Ethic of the Mini Border Collie
The Miniature Border Collie is a herding dog, and thus it exhibits high levels of energy and drive when given tasks to complete, such as chasing and gathering livestock. This means that owners can use the Miniature Border Collie for several activities without fear of them getting bored.
The Miniature Border Collie is eager to learn new tricks and commands, but it can be difficult for some owners to keep up with the breed’s high energy levels during training sessions. Thus, if someone wants a dog that will play fetch or tug-of-war all day long (and then the next day and the day after that), they should probably choose a different breed.
The Miniature Border Collie is known for its high energy levels and work ethic. It is not recommended to purchase one of these dogs if you intend on keeping them in an apartment or small house with little exercise. The Miniature Border Collie requires a large backyard and two long, intensive walks every day.
How much grooming do miniature border collies need?
The Miniature Border Collie is a double-coated breed.
An undercoat is a layer of fur closest to their skin made up of primarily thick, soft hair that feels like silk or velvet to the touch. It does not shed very often, and it insulates the dogs against hot and cold temperatures by trapping warm air in pockets next to the skin.
An outer coat is made of coarser, longer fur, which sheds seasonally and protects against dirt and wetness.
Miniature Border Collies must be brushed every 3-4 days to maintain grooming requirements. This will remove most loose hair before it becomes a problem, but grooming will still need to be done daily to keep the coat healthy and shiny.
The grooming requirements of Miniature Border Collies can be easily met with one or two brushings per day along with regular baths every season, depending on how dirty your dog gets while playing outside.
Other grooming requirements include cleaning their eyes and ears, and this can be done with a damp cloth and some grooming wipes that you can easily find in pet stores.
Under no circumstances should you attempt to shave or clip your Miniature Border Collie’s fur. It is an essential part of the breed’s grooming process because it regulates body temperature, protects against dirt and insects, and keeps the dog cool in the summer. Only a licensed grooming professional should attempt to do this unless you know what you are doing and have many experience grooming dogs.
In addition to basic grooming requirements, Miniature Border Collies need frequent haircuts during shedding seasons to keep their skin healthy. Some even say that it is essential to brush your Miniature Border Collie every day if it is left outdoors in the grooming process.
Nail clipping a mini border collie
Clipping a mini border collie is supposedly much more manageable than nail clipping a more giant dog. This is because mini border collies are small, and their nails are easy to access. However, nail clipping may not be as easy as it seems!
Before you begin nail clipping your Miniature Border Collie, ensure that you have all the tools necessary for nail clipping: nail clippers, nail file, styptic powder and nail guard.
After you have all of these things in hand, it is time to get started with nail clipping your Miniature Border Collie. To do this:
1. Take your dog onto a table or high place, so he is easy to handle. If possible, take him into a room that is not carpeted because nail clippers can sometimes make a loud noise that might startle your dog.
2. Hold the nail clipper in one hand and hold your Miniature Border Collie’s paw in the other hand with his nail facing you. The nail should be bent slightly downward, so you can see the nail from all angles.
3. Clip only the tip of the nail since it is easier to cut less nail than to have to re-clip a longer nail.
4. Be sure not to clip too much nail at once since this could cause bleeding, and your dog might become uncomfortable for a short time.
5. If nail clipping your Miniature Border Collie , carefully file the nail with an emery board to curve the nail’s end slightly downward. This will help prevent nail breakage and dirt from getting caught in between the nail and paw pad, leading to infection if not removed.
6. Use a nail guard to prevent nail breakage.
7. Finally, touch up nail clipping with nail clippers if needed, but do not over-clip this time.
8. Wipe away any smears of blood or saliva on your dog’s paw using a cotton ball dipped in hydrogen peroxide to avoid infection.
Remember, nail clipping a Miniature Border Collie is easy if you follow the above tips. Just be sure to do nail clipping slowly and carefully, and you can expect your Miniature Border Collie to look fantastic with those cute nail caps!
Tips on bathing your mini border collie
Most people don’t bathe their dogs too often, but washing a Miniature Border Collie is essential. Bathing your dog regularly not only gets rid of dirt and loose hair, which can affect the quality of their coat later, but it also keeps them clean and smelling good!
Before bathing your Miniature Border Collie, ensure that you have all the bathing materials necessary: shampoo, towel, brush/comb, nail clippers, ear cleaner and ear powder.
1. Take your Miniature Border Collie to a non-carpeted area in your house so that the floor is simple to clean up.
2. Brush or comb out tangles with a metal comb before bathing your Small Border Collie to avoid mats.
3. To clean your Miniature Border Collie’s ears, use an ear cleaner and cotton swabs. They may wiggle around a lot after you do this, but don’t let water into their ears!
4. Finally, before washing your Miniature Border Collie’s hair, wet it through using shampoo and water.
5. Allow your dog’s coat to sit for about two minutes before rinsing it with warm water. Rinse until no more soap is visible on your dog’s coat, or it will not look as clean.
6. Wipe any water or saliva smears off your dog’s paw with a cotton ball soaked in hydrogen peroxide to avoid infection.
Finally, follow these bathing tips, and you’ll have a clean Miniature Border Collie in no time!
To prevent your Miniature Border Collie from getting bathed too frequently, try using a bathing mitt to keep dirt away from his coat. Bathing isn’t necessary as often when you use one of these.
Remember to give your Miniature Border Collie lots of attention and love after bathing him to show how much you appreciate his cleanliness!
Potential health problems of a Miniature Border Collie
The health problems of Miniature Border Collies are the same as those of other purebred dogs. This means that health conditions can arise from various genetic and environmental factors, including diet, toxins, and exercise load.
Lifespan of a mini border collie
Miniature Border Collie’s lifespan is usually about 14 to 16 years. However, health problems can arise from various factors, so be sure to keep track of his health over the years. Miniature border collies live for a decent lifespan, as long as these extremely energetic dogs are kept active.
The health conditions commonly presented in Miniature Border Collies include hip dysplasia, epilepsy, canine cancer, and degenerative myelopathy. In addition, health problems that might affect this breed’s health include allergies and ear infections. While they were previously thought to be a healthy breed, it’s worth noting the various health concerns that may arise.
The health problem of Miniature Border Collies that health professionals are most concerned with is hip dysplasia, a genetic disease resulting from malformation of the hip joint. The American Kennel Club (AKC) rates dogs based on their likelihood of developing this health concern at one year old. Dogs rated “Fair” are more likely to develop hip dysplasia than those rated “Good.”
Epilepsy and a higher chance of seizures in Miniature Border Collies
Epilepsy, which manifests in various ways, is another frequent medical problem. Miniature Border Collies can be born with it or acquire it as they age due to brain degeneration or tumours. Seizures may also be deadly therefore, epilepsy must always be treated.
Canine Cancer in Miniature Border Collies
Miniature Border Collies are more likely than other breeds to develop canine cancer, which commonly includes various forms of lymphoma and mast cell tumors. Keep track of any lumps or bumps on your dog’s skin and take him for regular check-ups at the veterinarian.
Degenerative Myelopathy in Miniature Border Collies
Degenerative myelopathy, which may lead to immobility within six months of onset, is another critical health issue that must be kept track of on a regular basis. If your Miniature Border Collie begins dragging his feet or has difficulty walking, it’s essential to keep track of his activities.
Allergies and Ear Infections
Finally, keep an eye out for symptoms of allergies in your Miniature Border Collie’s skin. Take him to the veterinarian as soon as possible if he has ear infections since this might indicate that additional health issues are developing.
Hypothyroidism in Mini Border Collies
Hypothyroidism is one of the most common health concerns in Miniature Border Collies. Hypothyroidism means that the thyroid gland isn’t producing enough hormones. Hypothyroidism can cause a host of symptoms, including hair loss, skin problems, weight gain, and lethargy. Your veterinarian will conduct blood tests to diagnose hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism can be easily treated with thyroid hormone replacement.
Other frequently asked questions about Mini Border Collies
Can mini border collies be left alone?
Mini border collies are more independent than their larger relatives, but this alone is not a reason to leave them alone. Miniature border collies still need daily physical and mental activities. If your dog is alone for too long, it can become depressed or destructive. If you work part-time or 3-5 days weekly, consider getting two dogs. This way, the dogs will have company while you are gone. Also, twice the number of animals means that nobody will be alone for too long. If you work full-time, consider dog daycare or hiring a dog walker if your schedule does not allow you to get home early enough to walk your dog twice daily.
Are mini border collies good family dogs?
In the traditional sense, a family dog is a dog that is small enough to be family-friendly. Typically, this means getting on furniture without destroying it, not barking too much, and being gentle with children. The family-friendly designation can also apply to larger dogs who are active enough that their energy isn’t destructive, but they aren’t so large that they can’t cuddle up on your lap. Miniature border collies are family dogs in every sense of the definition, but there are a few things to keep in mind as you train and take care of your family dog. Mini border collies love people.
A miniature border collie puppy would have been bred as family dogs unlike some other breeds. They have excellent family instincts, which means they are friendly to people of all ages and sizes. Larger family members won’t intimidate them, and children will be easy for a mini border collie to love.
Do miniature border collies bark a lot?
Yes, they do.
Miniature border collies bark for a variety of reasons, such as barking at the doorbell or barking to tell you that there’s someone at the door and barking when they see other dogs on walks. Some puppies also like to chew and bark excessively when they are teething. Chewing can become a barking problem with some puppies, barking on and off all day long.
To break this barking habit, first, you need to understand why your dog is barking. Then you can start desensitizing them to the thing that’s causing them to bark. If it’s the doorbell barking, practice with them every time the doorbell rings before feeding them or giving them any attention. This way, they will learn that barking does not get them anything good. Give them a treat when they are quiet for five minutes, and then repeat this process until your dog stops barking when the doorbell rings. If your puppy is barking because they are teething, try using a frozen washcloth or chew toy to soothe their barking and chewing. Give them something else to do and only give the toys when they’ve been good and quiet for five minutes. If your puppy barks at other dogs on walks, remember you need to be the pack leader. Please make sure they are on the leash, and you are in control, don’t give them any leeway. Make sure they make good choices by rewarding them when they do what you ask of them. If barking is a problem at night, try keeping their bed in your room or investing in a kennel.
Do mini border collies shed a lot?
Miniature Border collies shed at least once a year but shed heavily twice a year. The best way to cut down on shedding is to brush your puppy during this time, and brushing will get rid of dead hair faster than if you are to leave it in.
What are the activity and exercise requirements of a Miniature Border Collie?
In general, Miniature Border Collies have high exercise requirements and should receive at least an hour of exercise per day. Although they are a medium breed, they have more exercise needs than a large breed dog. You can exercise a standard Border Collie in several ways, including running, hiking, jogging with you on trails, swimming, and biking with your Miniature Border Collie.
If you are a couch potato, then the miniature border collie’s unlikely to be the dog for you.
Should you get a Miniature Border Collie?
Miniature Border Collies are a smaller version of the famous Border Collie breed. They are bred for working on farms and around livestock, but can also make great family pets. Mini Border Collies need plenty of exercise and can be high energy, so they may not be suitable for everyone. But if you’re looking for an energetic dog that is also intelligent and easy to train, a Miniature Border Collie is a fantastic dog and one that may be the right choice for you.