Please enjoy this information page for colors. Still under construction, please be patient!

Border Collie Coat, Colors, and Markings

A short guide with photos to information on the Border Collie coats, colors, and markings!

From the AKC Breed Standard:

Two varieties are permissible, both having close-fitting, dense, weather resistant double coats with the top coat either straight or wavy and coarser in texture than the undercoat which is soft, short and dense. The rough variety is medium in length without being excessive. Forelegs, haunches, chest and underside are feathered and the coat on face, ears, feet, fronts of legs is short and smooth. The smooth variety is short over entire body, is usually coarser in texture than the rough variety and may have slight feathering on forelegs, haunches, chest and ruff. Neither coat type is preferred over the other. Seasonal shedding is normal and should not be penalized. The Border Collie's purpose as an actively working herding dog shall be clearly evident in its presentation. Excess hair on the feet, hock and pastern areas may be neatened for the show ring. Whiskers are untrimmed. Dogs that are overly groomed (trimmed and/or sculpted) should be penalized according to the extent.



The Border Collie appears in all colors or combination of colors and/or markings. Solid color, bi-color, tri-color, merle and sable dogs are to be judged equally with no one color or pattern preferred over another. White markings may be clear white or ticked to any degree. Random white patches on the body and head are permissible but should not predominate. Color and markings are always secondary to physical evaluation and gait.


While everyone thinks of your classic, traditional black and white Border Collies, they actually come in a wide range of colors! Below I am posted photos with short descriptions, as simple as I can keep it without getting into big genetic terms for anyone not familiar with them!
Please note--- all text and images on this page are property of & copyright to Danielle Nichols of Ammardan Border Collies or used by me with permission. You may not copy, distribute or reproduce without my written permission!


The tradition black. Black is a dominant color and will always be produced unless other color genes are carried by both parents.

Blue Merle. The merle is a modifying gene that causes the merle pattern. It is a pattern acting on any color base (ie: genetically a blue merle is a black dog, or a red merle is a red dog with the modified pattern breaking up the color). The merle can come in endless shades and patterns. It is a dominant gene, meaning it will produce merle no matter what dog it is bred to. It is NOT a recessive/carried gene, one parent must be merle to produce merle. You MUST avoid breeding Merle to Merle. There are many health issues that come along with breeding 2 merle dogs together, specifically blindness and deafness. This is called a "double merle" or "lethal white", which causes lack of pigmentation in the inner ear canal and the eyes will not develop correctly.

Another shade/pattern of Blue Merle.