Border Collie: How Many Colors Do They Have?

Among dog breeds raised alongside humans, the Border Collie is considered one of the most intelligent.

They are well-known for their smooth coat with different beautiful colors, of which the Red Border Collie is the most prominent.

What are the common coat colors of the Border Collie?

Known as the best herding dog in the world, the Border Collie also ranks highly for its appearance. According to The American Kennel Club (AKC), the Border Collie comes in more than 20 different colors. Here are the most common standard ones. 

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1. Red Border Collie

Because red is a recessive gene, breeding two red Collies will help you get a litter of puppies with different red tones.

Red Border Collie
Red Border Collie

Red Border Collies are one of the most popular colors recognized by Kennel Clubs. Red Border Collies often come in different red tones, such as Merle red and red/white. 

However, there are still some that have quite light red and almost appear as cream. 

Red Border Collies and Red Merle Border Collies coats have the red and white mixed together. In addition, red and white colors are sometimes randomly spotted on the dog’s fur, such as on the chest, face, neck, or tail, making the dog even more outstanding and special.

2. Black Border Collie

Contrary to what many people think, the Black Border Collie does not have a pure black coat. The black and white coat is the main characteristic of these dogs.

As black is the dominant gene, the Black Border Collies will usually have more black than white on its coat. Their body is mostly black, with white patches on the face, tail, paws, and neck. Some have the entire head covered with black fur, while from the collar to the tail is black and white.

This black-white type of the Black Border Collie is prevalent and easy to find, while completely black-rimmed Collies are rare.

3. Blue Border Collie

The word “blue” in Blue Border Collie doesn’t mean a firm, pure color. In essence, these Collies have an ash gray or black coat when they are born, but the coat turns gray/blue as they grow up.

Blue Border Collie

Besides, the “blue” in Blue Border Collie also has another meaning. It is the word used to describe “the recessive dilute gene”. In other words, that is the situation when the black color on the Border Collie is diluted and produces a blue or ash gray. 

Because of this, Blue Border Collies are more likely to suffer from hair loss due to color dilution, which can lead to skin problems. Therefore, when choosing them as pets, you need to be very careful and take good care of them.

What are the non-standard coat colors of a Border Collie?

In general, a Border Collie with any color other than the traditional colors like black/white and red/white can be classified as a non-standard color of Border Collie. 

Color mixing and color differences set them apart from other standard-color Collies, sometimes making them less competitive in conformation shows. However, they still have the intelligence and characteristics of a Border Collie dog.

Here are some popular non-standard coat colors of a Border Collie.

1. Seal

Seal is a strange color that is often confused with dark red or black. It is dark black with brown or gray. The coat of a Seal Border Collie can be very dark or as light as chocolate-brown color.

Seal Border Collies have black fur that appears brown when it is seen in sunlight. Normally, their nose, legs, and tail will remain dark, but other areas of their body will be brown. This brown tint is sometimes lighter, but usually, it is almost liver-color.

Seal color is a non-standard color in Border Collies, but it is a common color in other breeds and other species such as Boston Terriers, Italian Greyhounds, even Siamese cats.

2. Slate

The coat of the Slate Border Collie is usually a mix of silver and gray, and sometimes a light blue color. Slate Border Collie is considered a Collie with strange and rare colors. 

Their fur color is quite similar to other white-blue and blue Collies, but they are still unique because the black and white color of the fur has been diluted to give a slate color or light gray/silver. 

What’s more, the Slate Border Collie’s coat is also embellished with the Merle patterns that make them different from other Collies.

Slate Border Collies are becoming more popular than ever, and however, according to the AKC, this is not yet the official Border Collie color.

3. White & Gold

Like their name, the White and Gold Border Collies coat is mostly white with some golden tones. The mix of these two colors makes the coat color of these Collies lighter. Therefore, their color is often confused with white and cream – similar colors to Golden Retrievers.

An interesting fact of the White and Gold Border Collies is that you would find that its nose is light to dark brown, and its eyes are mostly brown when you look closely at it.

4. White & Sable

Sable is a unique shade that combines a yellowish-brown color and black. Like the Merle color, Sable is seen as a pattern for the coat of Border Collies, not covering their entire coat.

The special thing about the White and Sable Border Collie fur is that if you look closely at the sable pattern on its fur, you will see a mixture of black, chocolate, or pale brown. 

In addition, its coat is also colored with many white patches on different parts of its body. This unique color mixing makes it easy to associate the coat of Sable Border Collie with the kaleidoscope effect. 

Due to this unique characteristic, the White and Sable Border Collie has become more extraordinary, and many people want to raise them as their pet.

Although sable colors are the officially recognized Border Collie colors, they are relatively rare.


With the variety of colors and the unique personality of the Border Collie, it is definitely one of the most favorite dog breeds for pet parents. 

If you’re thinking of getting a Border Collie, in addition to color selection, research everything about the breed and make sure you follow the standards and consider the dog’s health.

Richard Hayes

Hey there! Meet Richard Hayes, the big boss and marketing guru behind Pet Dog Planet. He's been a total doggo fanatic since forever and loves all kinds of pups, from tiny teacup Chihuahuas to big, burly Bulldogs. His absolute favorite pastime? Snuggling with adorable puppies—he can't get enough of those cute little faces! Plus, he's totally into iced coffee, chilling in hammocks, and, of course, more puppy cuddling!

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