Facts you need to know about the Border Collie colors and markings

The breed standard for this canine, set by the Border Collie Society of America (BCSA) and American Kennel Club (AKC), acknowledges the diverse range of colors, shades, patterns, and markings found in Border Collies.

Speckled or tickled patterns, such as merle, sable, tricolor, and bicolor, are typically found in Collie Border dogs, but solid-colored ones are rare. Additionally, some dogs of this breed come in gold and slate or seal colors.

Here’s a video that functions as a slideshow of various Border Collie hues, designs, and adornments.

Border Collie puppy colors changing

Their permanent coat color would be reached once they reach maturity. Puppies aren’t always visible in the colors and markings we mentioned.

The offspring and the medical records of their parents, like important paperwork, can indicate a reputable breeder when looking for a puppy, regardless of the color you’re interested in. However, not all colors, like merle, can determine a puppy’s health or temperament, including certain shades and patterns.

In fact, there are even breeders out there who would take the time to explain how Border Collie’s genetics affect their color.

The most common Border Collie colors

We noted that Border Collies are available in various hues, but a few of them are rare.

Often available are these options if you’re on the hunt for a good-looking Border (meaning this breed with a color you like).

Black & White Border Collie

a black and white Border Collie outdoors, sitting on a pavement

Whenever this breed is mentioned, a lot of people would picture them with two colors – black and white.

Some Border Collies have their whole head covered in black fur, with mostly black markings on their body and white markings on their underside and face. Their tail is white and black, while the signature look of the Collie is technically from the collar.

The black color is a dominant gene that makes it a standard for this dog.

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Chocolate & White Border Collie

Border Collie with brown and white-colored coat on a white background

Another common color combination is brown and white, but others simply call it brown. It looks like the pattern of black and white Borders, but the shade can range from light to dark brown. The white is usually found at the collar and chest area, as well as the bottom.

Border Collies with this bicolor trait display unique eyes, which can vary in shades such as light to medium brown, golden yellow, or green.

In order to obtain a brown Border Collie, both of its parents must possess a chocolate gene.

Blue & White Border Collie

A blue and white Border Collie puppy laying on the corner

The black hue becomes diluted, resulting in a slate-like shade, with hints of blue or a gray undertone. It is the descriptive term used for the recessive dilute gene referred to as “blue” in dogs. When we mention “blue” in relation to dogs, it does not denote a solid color.

This illness is caused by skin issues and can affect any dog breed with a blue coat. Color dilution alopecia is the name of this condition that they are prone to, so it might be best to avoid getting a Border with a blue and white coat.

Red Border Collie

Border Collie with red and white-colored coat in a meadow

Also called as Australian/Aussie red, gold, yellow, liver, or tan, this shade isn’t that popular. Although it’s rare, this Border Collie color is recognized in the US.

The recessive gene for red color is present in Borders, who have parents with the same hue.

Another version of this shade is red merle.

Blue Merle Border Collie

a blue merle Border Collie with heterochromia

Remember that “merle” is not a color, but rather a pattern that is often linked to blue or red fur.

A dog with a base coat of white or grayish color will have patches and spots that are black or blue-ish in color due to the dominant gene that modifies the pigmentation, resulting in a merle effect.

The gene that triggers the merle pattern not only impacts the Border’s fur, but also their eyes and nostrils.

Border Collies with merle coloring commonly have different-colored eyes, also known as heterochromia. So, don’t be surprised if your dog has bright, blue-colored eyes, similar to the color of the sky.

This is a common health issue for most white-bordered dogs, as they may suffer from poor overall health, deafness, and blindness due to the merle double gene. Although they have stunning looks and are highly sought-after, these dogs come with the price of potential ailments.

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Red Merle Border Collie

a red merle Border Collie puppy on a white background

Similar to blue merles, red merle Borders have the red and white color as a base and the pattern that breaks up the color.

Some Borders would be mostly white with red, brown, or cinnamon patches all over their bodies. They also have a liver-colored nose.

Slate Merle Border Collie

a slate merle Border Collie puppy in a push cart

Border Collies who have one parent with merle coat, have two recessive dilute genes and this coat can be in a diluted color such as blue, black, or white, making the slate shade more visually striking.

Blue merles are gaining popularity, but it is not an authorized color of the Border Collie according to the AKC.

Black Tri-Color Border Collie

a black tricolor Border Collie on a white background

Tri-colors are quite common in this breed. They’re so beautiful on Borders that it’s their 2nd most popular coat variation.

Typically, a merle pattern would include three colors, along with white and tan markings. These colors can range from black, chocolate, blue, to red, resembling solid hues.

Markings are frequently discovered on their eyebrows, cheeks, chest, legs, and posterior region.

Other individuals can have different patterns or markings, but once again, they can be distinct. They often have a white and black coat with tan markings, particularly black tri-color borders.

Blue Tri-Color Border Collie

a blue tricolor Border Collie doing the famous "crouch and stare"

The only difference here is that one of the parents carries the dominant merle gene, while the other parent is a tri-colored Blue Borders.

In certain regions, or only in specific sections, their patterns are either copper or tan, while their underlying fur color resembles that of blue merles. They might display markings across their entire physique.

Chocolate Tri-Color Border Collie

a brown tricolor Border Collie laying on fallen leaves

Both parents should have the tri-color gene and the chocolate gene, but one of them has the recessive chocolate gene.

You will find a Border Collie with a chocolate tri-color fur, where the primary color is brown, along with copper and tan markings.

Lilac Border Collie

a close-up photo of a lilac Border Collie

In order to achieve this hue, one must possess both the chocolate and dilute genes, however, the lilac shade resembles a combination of chocolate and white.

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Merle tricolor lilac and merle tricolor lilac possess Border Collies. It is certain that something beautiful is found in these dogs. They are sometimes referred to as Isabella for silver Dobermans and fawn for Kelpies, as lilac is a unique hue associated with them.

Due to its rarity, breeding this color is more challenging.

Sable Border Collie

three sable Border Collies on the snow

Sable Borders have fur that’s tan- or cream-colored and darker tips. Remember, sable is a type of marking, and it’s sometimes visible on the spots of the dog. Some have black roots, and the tip is light brown.

Although officially recognized as a color of the Border Collie, they are quite uncommon.

Brindle Border Collie

a brindle Border Collie running with a ring during playtime or training

Black and yellow or black and red stripe alternating is pattern brindle the but mentioned color base any have can Borders these.

If a Border Collie has a recessive yellow or Aussie red base, it may exhibit an overall brindle pattern. However, it is important to note that this pattern typically appears only on the tan areas of the dog’s body.

The Verdict: All Border Collie colors are beautiful

a portrait of Border Collies with different colors, markings, and patterns

If you want to breed Border Collies, make sure that you follow standards and consider the dog’s health, not just getting the color you want.

According to Mrs. Barbara Carpenter on The Border Collie Museum, dogs that were bred to protect and guide livestock were selected not only for their physical attributes but also for their skills.

If you’re planning to buy a Border Collie puppy, we hope you read our article about the best names for coffee-loving dogs. We hope you research everything about the cute color and breed of your adorable pooch, even if you’re planning to take it home.

We frequently see those of us who are focused, if we haven’t even discussed this breed that comes in shades of all. It’s like being able to use an entire range of colors and markings in Border Collies with tons of variations.

If you desire to observe every single shade accessible for Border Collies, take a look at the Furry Paws website.

Do you have a Border Collie with the same color as mentioned or is it different from what we were discussing about commenting on it by all of us below the box?

Cess at BCH

Cess is a seasoned dog enthusiast and expert in the canine care field, with over 5 years of experience in the pet industry. She is a go-to resource for dog owners seeking guidance.

Cess, as the Head of Content Writing at Health Collie Border, actively enjoys participating in dog-related events and volunteering at local shelters. Beyond her professional role, she shares her extensive knowledge through practical tips and informative articles.

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