How Fast Do Border Collies Run? – Are They The Fastest Breed?

The Border Collie was bred to serve sheep herding purposes in the border area between Scotland and England. They are famous for their intelligence, agility, and fast speed. So exactly how fast do Border Collies run?

Border Collie

Top Speed: 30 mph

The average speed of an adult Border Collie falls between 20 – 30mph. A well-trained Border Collie can reach top speeds of 30mph or more. Like any working dog, Border Collies love to run and have an active lifestyle.

how fast can a border collie run

Border collies are among the fastest dogs in the world 

The Determining Factors on How fast can a Border Collie run?

Border Collies can run so fast because they were selectively bred from parent breeds with an agile and flexible bloodline. In addition, due to the nature of sheep herding work, which requires running a lot to control the livestock going in the right direction, Border Collies had daily practice opportunities which made them faster and faster. Plus, farmers just bred the fastest and smartest border Collies, as a result over time, we got the incredibly fast and agile Border Collies today.

Collie Borders have the characteristics of a fast-running dog

  • They have 4 proportional long legs along with feet with long and sharp claws that increase the ability to grip the ground for making traction and complex turns.
  • These four-legged creatures have lean bodies and deep chests along with strong and powerful cardio and lungs that allow them to run continuously without getting exhausted easily.
  • They have long flexible spines, long loins, and sturdy abdominal muscles that add on their flexibility and endurance.
how fast can a collie run

Border collies have a special body build to run fast

Are border collies the fastest dogs?

Border Collies are considered one of the faster dog breeds but they are not the fastest in the world. Greyhound, Vizsla, Borzoi, and Whippet are said to be faster than Border Collies with top speeds recorded at 45mph, 40mph, 35mph, and 35mph respectively.

What are Border Collies used for today?

With outstanding intelligence and incredible speed, Border Collies today are still mainly used by farms to raise cattle in the great valleys. The jobs of these sheepdogs include keeping the herd moving in the right direction, darting to bring stray back to the herd, patrolling for danger, or loading sheep into trucks. The amazing thing is that these dogs are capable of understanding more than 200 human words, so communication between shepherds and dogs becomes easier. 

In addition, border collies are also used in locating missing people after disasters such as earthquakes because they can sniff and cover the rubble quickly.

Thanks to their intelligence, flexible body, and endurance, Border Collies are also loved by many circuses. They can perform jumping through fire rings, obstacle courses, and more.

Identification Characteristics of Collie Borders

Border Collies belong to the collie group that includes 3 other types which are smooth collies, bearded collies, and rough collies. Border collies are medium in size. The most common colors of this breed are black and white. Some are only black, brindle, gold, or red. Others are more specifically bred to have 3 colors black, tan, and white. 

how fast does a border collie run

A typical border collie

There is also a merle color, however, it is quite rare in this breed and usually costs a lot. The average height of this breed from foot to shoulder is somewhere between 18-22 inches and can weigh up to 55 pounds. They have moderately broad heads and a tapering muzzle which makes them look so smart and elegant. 


Border collies are very loyal and affectionate. This is a dog with a calm and loving personality. However, they are quite shy and wary when meeting strangers. When excited, they often bark loudly or jump around. 

As mentioned before, this breed is very energetic and has a high need for exercise. If you plan to keep a Border Collie, you need to prepare them with a large enough playground and recreational activities both physically and mentally so that they can burn out their energy. 

Border Collies are among the smartest breeds in Scotland. They can learn quickly, are obedient, and easy to train. This breed has a high tolerance. It tends to do challenging tasks and likes to be praised after completing the work.

Health condition

In general, border collies are relatively healthy and are not prone to serious diseases. They are featured on the list of the longest living dog breeds with an average lifespan of up to 17 years. This breed is more susceptible to disease as it gets older. Common diseases often involve the joints and eyes.


Border Collies were born to be great runners. Their top speed is even faster than the fastest man alive – Usain Bolt – the Olympic winner. How fast a border collie can run is affected by breeding factors and the training process. In addition to the amazing speed, this breed is also very intelligent, energetic, affectionate, and calm. Although Border Collies are not the fastest dog, they are the most agile. If you plan to keep this dog, make sure to get enough activity for them to release their energy because they love to run and exercise a lot.

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