Mini Borders: What you need to know about Miniature Border Collies

Do you have a fascination for miniature and toy dogs? If yes, the Mini Border Collie may be one of those canines that you’ll add on your list.

Mini Borders may look cuter because of their little legs, but they still have that big personality of the standard-sized sheepdog. Are you planning to get your own miniature Border Collie puppy? Keep reading to find out its pros and cons.

What is a miniature Border Collie?

It’s merely a smaller version of the Border Collie – the smartest breed that is also known for its unwavering energy and athleticism.

Come to think of it, this herding dog already has a suitable conformation that is perfect for its purpose, which is herding.

It seems that these herders are not excluded from the rise of the miniaturizing fad. Currently, miniature Border Collies are NOT considered as an official size of the breed, and it’s not recognized by any major dog clubs.

But if you watch this video of a miniature Border Collie playing with a Chiweenie, you’ll notice that she still looks like the standard Border, but just smaller. She also has that intense stare that the breed is known for.


Breeding: How do you get a miniature Border Collie?

Almost all toy or small breeds that we know of were developed from medium- to large-sized dogs. They’re a product of selective breeding in order to fulfill a useful purpose or to be companions.

Did you know that the miniature or toy lapdogs were initially called as sleeve dogs? The ladies of palaces or castles wore dresses with puffy sleeves to carry their little pooch. At night, they stay with their masters by sleeping on their feet and keeping them warm.

Another example is called earth dogs or small terriers. They’re used for hunting vermins and pests to drive them out of their dens or hideaways and kill them.

There are different ways to create a mini Border Collie.

Using the dwarfism gene

tricolor Border Collie with dwarfism

Canines who carry this gene and are bred together can produce smaller puppies. Dogs with dwarfism have shorter legs that are unproportioned to their large heads and long bodies.

Going for this method can also mean that the litter is prone to skeletal deformity, stunted growth, heart abnormalities, and obesity. These are just some of the adverse effects of using dwarfism, which can’t always guarantee a miniaturized dog.

Breeding runts repeatedly

a small newborn Border Collie puppy sleeping

Runt is a term in the canine world for the smallest pup in the litter. They’re newborn puppies who are excessively underweight. There are only two scenarios with a runt – they’ll either survive or problems will arise which may lead to death.

With this method, breeders will mate two unhealthy dogs so that they’d produce smaller puppies where their personality and physical traits will still be true to the Border Collie breed.

The downside of this option is that the puppies of the runts will be susceptible to a lot of health issues as well. Some of those ailments are respiratory problems, heart defects, weak bones, and seizures.

Mating unhealthy dogs already seem unethical, but it’s way worse when some breeders are okay with it. They don’t even care about the well-being of their breeding stock, as long as they gain profit.

Crossbreeding with a dog under the miniature or toy size range

This is considered as the most humane method of making miniature Border Collies.

Mixed breeds have a reputation that they’re healthier than their purebred parents due to hybrid vigor. The term doesn’t mean they can never get sick. It only means there is a decreased chance that they will inherit and develop genetic disorders.

The most common concern here is the unpredictability of the puppies. Breeding two different breeds don’t guarantee that the resulting litter will be 50% Border Collie and 50% of the other breed.

Crossbreeding also doesn’t always give certainty that the pups will be smaller. For now, some Border Collie mixes have a miniature parent which will give a better chance of getting a mini Border Collie.

Border Collie and Miniature Poodle mix (Mini Bordoodle)

a blue merle mini Bordoodle puppy

If you’re looking for a small Bordoodle, there’s a mini and petite mini size.

A miniature Bordoodle has a height of 16 to 17 inches (41 to 43 cm) and a weight of 20 to 30 pounds (9 to 14 kg). Petite mini Borderdoodles are smaller and they’re only 14 to 16 inches (36 to 41 cm) tall and weighs 12 to 20 pounds (5 to 9 kg).

Border Collie and Miniature Australian Shepherd mix (Mini Border Aussie)

a black and white mini Border Aussie

A mini Australian Shepherd has a height of 15 to 17 inches (38 to 43 cm) and a weight of 18 to 39 pounds (8 to 18 kg). Border Collies stands between 18 to 22 inches (46 to 56 cm) and weighs 30 to 45 pounds (14 to 20 kg). The size of the mini Border Aussie can be within that range, but won’t be as big as a standard size Border Collie.

Border Collie and Pomeranian mix (Border Pom)

a fluffy Border Collie Pomeranian mix

The average height of a Border Pom is 12 inches (31 cm), and they can weigh anywhere between 15 to 25 pounds (7 to 11 kg).

Border Collie and Chihuahua mix (Border Chigi)

a chocolate and white Border Chigi

With the large difference in the size of the Border Collie and the Chihuahua, their mixed-breed offspring, the Border Chigi, may have a very unpredictable size. They can stand anywhere between 6 to 22 inches (15 to 56 cm) tall, and weigh about 3 to 45 pounds (1 to 20 kg).

What does a miniature border collie look like?

Mini Borders doesn’t grow to have the same size as a standard Border Collie, which has an average height of 15 to 22 inches (38 to 56 cm) and a weight of 30 to 60 pounds (14 to 27 kg).

a tricolor miniature Border Collie sitting on a white background

No matter the size, any dog with the genes of the Border Collie would be perfect for living in the countryside or in houses with large yards. With the breed’s energy and love for running around freely, they’re not suitable for apartment living.

If the smaller version tends to look like the medium-sized Border, then they probably inherited the muscular build and the famous “eye” that they use in herding.

Borders have a coat that’s double layered and can be smooth and short, or rough and long. The Border Collie’s fur comes in a vast range of colors, patterns, and markings, but they’re commonly found in black and white.

Even if a Border’s hair is weather-resistant and is very useful with their outdoor work, they’re not hypoallergenic. They become heavy shedders when they’re shedding off their winter coat.

So you have to be prepared to do weekly brushing to keep your dog’s coat from matting. During shedding season, brush his hair daily to avoid having hair all over your house.

Miniature Border Collie’s Personality & Temperament

Miniature and toy dogs would often display the same behaviors of their parents, and the same thing goes for mini Borders. You’d still notice the extremely energetic and cheerful nature of the breed.

Remember, Border Collies are bred to be herders, and they’re exceptional at it. If they’re part of your family as a pet, watch over your little ones and other pets because your Border dog may nip and herd.

Just don’t let your fur baby get bored to avoid destructive behaviors. Even if you have a standard-sized or miniature Border Collie, it will still thrive by getting a lot of outdoor play.

Are miniature Borders also easy to train?

Absolutely! After all, the Border Collie is the most intelligent breed. Not only are they hard-working, but they also love pleasing their owners and are very willing to learn tricks and new tasks.

It’s recommended that you buy doggie toys and puzzles to keep your mini Border occupied when indoors, especially when you’re not around. It’s a great distraction to keep your pooch from boredom.

a black and white mini Border Collie puppy running through the meadow

Is the mini Border Collie a healthy dog?

Border Collies, in general, are a healthy breed. They have an average lifespan of 12-15 years. Still, there are health concerns that are associated with Borders. If they’re a mixed breed, you also have to think about the illnesses that the other parent may have.

There are other diseases that the miniature Border Collie may get (aside from the ones mentioned earlier, depending on the way they are created). One is neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis. It’s an inherited condition that affects the nervous system of canines.

The trapped neutrophil syndrome is a problem with the immune system where your pet’s body will have trouble fighting infections.

If you’re interested in crossbreeds or dogs that come in miniature, toy, or teacup sizes, whether it’s a Border Collie breed or not, do your research.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions and be observant of the breeder, the puppy, its parents, and its siblings. Everything will be related to the health and well-being of the pup you want to take home with you.

Where to buy a miniature Border Collie puppy

a tricolor mini Border Collie puppy resting

Always learn what method was used in getting the dog or breed you specifically want. Unfortunately, whichever way a breeder opted for, it will still have certain drawbacks.

If possible, ask to visit the kennel or the home where the puppies live.

Reputable breeders would proactively tell you about their breeding stock and litters that are available. They’d also show screenings and other medical records of the dogs.

The average price of a Border Collie puppy is about $600. Depending on factors like the breeder, location, pedigree, and how rare it is, the cost can vary and go up to $4,500.

Miniature Border Collie breeders

There are a lot of Border Collie puppies for sale online. But there aren’t a lot of breeders who focus on mini Borders.

To help you start looking for a miniature Border Collie puppy, check out Windwalker Ranch, which is located in Grande Ronde Valley, Oregon. Aside from that, Nightshades Border Collies (Douglass, Kansas) and Rising Sun Farm (Stacy, Minnesota) have the standard size of this breed.

Miniature Border Collie rescue/adoption

If you’re willing to adopt, talk to your local shelter and inform them of the kind of pet you’re looking for.

There are a lot of miniature Border Collies and mixes that end up in dog pounds or shelters.

Take a look at these websites and give one of these canines another chance in life and love:

Should you get a miniature Border Collie?

Unlike other dog breeds whose smaller size was needed for a specific task, the Border Collie’s conformation is appropriate for their herding duties. With all the fad for miniature and toy dogs, there will be breeders who would always try to give what the public demands in exchange for money.

a girl showing affection to her Border Collie dog

On the other hand, responsible breeders will try their best to keep the established breed standard or make it better.

Border Collies, miniature or not, are highly energetic, intelligent, and hard-working. They’re not suitable for those owners who are looking for a couch potato buddy and doesn’t have time for their pet.

A clever dog will need to exercise their mind and body to keep destructive behaviors at bay.

If you live an active lifestyle and you love the outdoors, and you can provide a spacious home with a securely fenced yard, then go for a Border Collie.

What can you say about miniature Border Collies? Share your thoughts by typing it all in the comment box below.

If you enjoy reading this article, you might also like our articles about small breeds, such as Toy Australian Shepherd and Teacup Pomsky.

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