Border Collies are well known as high energy, speed demons. They fly through agility courses and often get mad at their handlers for not keeping up. If you need a herding dog you can’t get one better than a Border Collie. But how high can a Border Collie jump? And are they likely to jump your back yard fence?

An adult Border Collie can easily jump 12-24 inch jumps in an agility competition, up to 4 feet in a long jump and can jump over 6 feet high from standing.

What Were Border Collies Bred To Do?

Border Collies originated in Britain, though they were heavily influenced by both Roman and Viking herding dogs. When the Roman empire invaded Britan they brought along some of their herding dogs to watch over the livestock they brought.

These herding dogs were big-boned and large in size. Later the Vikings invaded Britan and brought along their herding dogs. These were more spitz like in size and much quicker. 

Border collies are high energy
Border Collie catching a frisbee

The British bred the little spitz dogs with the old Roman dogs to get a more agile and quicker breed. It was from these two breeds that the Border Collie got its start. The British found that these dogs were perfect for herding in the rocky, hilly highlands of Wales and Scotland. 

Border Collies are considered to be some of the best herding dogs out there. They often top the lists smartest dog breeds and some of the fastest agility dogs you would ever want to see.

How High Can Border Collies Jump?

If a Border Collie is 22 inches tall at the shoulder and entered in agility competitions then he would be jumping 12-24 inch jumps, depending on the venue and level of competition.

That same Border Collie would be expected to jump between 3 and 4 feet for a long jump. But what is a Border Collies top hight? Some have been seen to jump as high as 9ft 4 inches in a high jump event! That’s pretty high.

What Age Can Border Collies Start Jumping? 

Border Collie puppies should not be asked to jump until they are sexually mature, around 18  months old. This is because until that point their growth plates are open.

Growth plates are a part of a puppy’s bones that are open and growing. If an injury occurs or the growth plates get impacted then serious issues can occur. If a puppy’s growth plates are damaged it can make that bone stop growing or grow less. This can lead to uneven legs and a lifetime of potential pain and misalignment. 

border collie puppy
A Border Collie Pup

If you are set on teaching your Border Collie pup to jump, you can have the pup x-rayed to make 100% sure the plates are closed. Of course, that is not to say that you can’t start some training before the plates are closed. You can still practice having the pup run through the uprights just don’t put the jump in. 

Can a border collie jump over a backyard fence?

I guess it depends on the height of the fence!

So, with all this epic high-flyingness of the Border Collie, you might be wondering “will they jump my fence?”

Yes, they most definitely can escape your yard over or under a fence. Border Collies are curious, intelligent, and easily bored. This makes for a dog that will happily leave the yard in search of something to more interesting. 

The type of fence is not that important. Chain-link they will climb, wood they will leap, invisible they may either ignore or become reactive. Plus, they are willing to dig under a fence as well. So, if something is more interesting is on the other side of the fence, it’s hard to stop them from escaping.

My own border collie Millie is pretty smart  and even figured out how to open the side gate to our yard by jumping up and using her nose to lift the latch. 

So, what is the solution then?  The solution is to keep a close eye on them and to not let them get bored. Provide them with attention, fun, and whenever possible a job to do. You are going to have to be more interesting than whatever is on the other side of the fence.

A good recall command, can truly be a lifesaver for these dogs. If you see them heading for the fence call them back to you and do something fun. 

What jobs are Border Collies good at?

If you are trying to stop your border collie from getting bored and jumping the backyard fence as soon as you leave him alone, then regular activities together can really help.

Due to the Border Collie’s high level of intelligence, they tend to excel at most any dog-related competition there is. From obedience to agility, herding to fly ball. In fact, a lot of Border Collies are involved in multiple competitions. 

The most obvious job for a border collie is herding! This is what the breed was originally for, after all. Whether you have livestock of your own to herd or you participate in herding trials, Border Collies will excel at this job.

Well, perhaps you don’t have access to livestock. How about some urban herding, also known as treibball? In this game/competition the dog herds balls. Large exercise style balls. This can be quite fun for any dog.

Doing scent trials can also be fun for your Border Collie. They have great noses and high-intelligence, making them great for this type of challenge.

Obedience can be a great outlet as well, a test of focus and concentration. If you don’t want to be quite that serious then perhaps Rally Obedience would be better for you. It’s similar to formal obedience but the rules are a bit easier.

Border Collies often own the field in agility. They fly over the jumps, through the tunnels, through the weave poles, and over the dog walks. It’s amazing to watch these dogs do agility. Be prepared though, if you can’t keep up, your Border Collie will get mad at you!

Fly ball is another super fast-paced dog-sport. This is a team sport and it involves running, jumping, and fetching. Border Collies will excel at this sport too. Check out this video showing Border Collies enjoying some fly ball at Crufts:

Another sport that you will often find Border Collies in is Disc Dogs competitions. Basically, chasing down, jumping up, and otherwise doing anything to catch that frisbee! This is a sport that includes their handler quite a lot, often having the dog jump off their back after the frisbee. Again this is super impressive to watch!

Due to their high-intelligence Border Collies can also do amazing things in CanineFreestyle. Canine Freestyle is also known as dancing with your dog. Pick a song, work on the choreography, and learn the dance together! Then compete, if you so desire or you can just show it off to your friends and family. 

Perhaps you have a Border Collie that loves water. They might be perfect for dockdiving!  Taking a running leap off the edge of a dock after a toy. Dock diving can either be tests of vertical jumps or distance jumps. With the Border Collies amazing ability to jump they can excel at dock diving if they like water. 

Another potential is to teach your dog lots of tricks. This is fun for both of you. You can teach him things that help you with everyday stuff like turning off the light or helping collect the laundry. There are also trick competitions to enter is your want to do that.

Border Collie Achievements

Here are some more ideas for things to teach your Border Collie. Perhaps you want to go for a world record and not just win competitions!

  1. A Border Collie holds the record for slalom hoop jumps. They set up 10 hoops and this Border Collie jumped them all in only 8.58 seconds.
  2. Another Border Collie, Kelpie mix holds the world record of the fastest tight rope walk. This dog crossed the tightrope in a mear 18.22 seconds.
  3. Then there is Gizzmo another Border Collie, Kelpie mix who holds the record for most jump ropes skipped by a dog. Gizzmo skipped the rope 91 times in one minute.
  4. We also have Hero the “super collie” who preformed 49 tricks in one minute.
  5. Then we have Sweet Pea an Australian Shepard, Border Collie mix who holds many records! She holds the record for the fastest 100m while balancing a can on her head. She finished that in 2 minutes and 55 seconds. Sweet Pea also holds the record for balancing a glass of water on her head while walking up stair backward and, also, forwards. A pretty amazing dog!

What is the best Joint supplement for Border Collies?

With all this jumping and running around, a Border Collies joints take a real beating. So, here are a few tips and tricks to help keep your Border Collies joints healthy and pain-free for years to come.

First and foremost, a raw species-appropriate diet will go along way to reduce joint damage and inflammation. The high-carb kibbles are going to cause inflamation. We don’t want this, so feeding a raw meat-based diet is going to work wonders for your Border Collie. 

A high-quality omega-3 fatty acid supplement will help to protect the joints as well. This could be in the form of fish or krill oil or salmon oil.

Glucosamine is essential for healthy joints. Be sure to feed your Border Collie foods that are rich in glucosamine. These include foods like bone broth, green-lipped muscles (you can buy these freeze-dried), and raw bones with joints.

Feeding your Border Collie a nice recreational, knuckle bone could provide him with hours of enjoyment. Not to mention you with some time to breathe and not have to entertain him!

Another thing you want to be sure to avoid in order to help your Border Collies joints is “fixing” your dog too early. Having spay/neuter done before your dog is at least 24 months old can result in joint damage among other issues.