25 Must Know Border Collie Colors And Markings (With Pictures)


The Border Collie is a medium-sized dog with a long, athletic body and a beautiful coat. With its fluffy fur and bright eyes, the Border Collie is an irresistibly cute pup.

But did you know that not all Border Collies look the same? Their coats come in different colors and markings, giving each one its unique look.

Here’s a guide to help you understand this lovable breed’s different color combinations.

17 Border Collie Colors

Border Collies are one of the most popular dog breeds in the world, and it’s easy to see why. Not only are they incredibly intelligent and loyal, but they also come in a wide variety of colors, coat types, and markings.

The American Kennel Club (AKC) acknowledges 17 typical colors for Border Collies, such as black, blue, blue merle, gold, brindle, red, and lilac, among other colors. However, unless both parents carry other color genes, the offspring will always have the dominant black color that is considered traditional.

Blue Merle is another common pattern to see in Border Collies. Usually, you will find this pattern in red or blue-colored coats. Gold/ee Red is another rarer color for Border Collies, most commonly associated with Golden Retrievers. It’s also known as Australian Red or ee Red.

4 Border Collie Coats

Border Collies can also have a variety of coat types, including:

  • smooth coated (short hair)
  • rough coated (longer hair)
  • longhaired (longest hair)
  • double coated (medium length)

Each coat type requires different grooming techniques to keep them looking their best. For example, smooth coats require weekly brushing, while longhaired coats need daily brushing to prevent matting and tangles.

Double-coated dogs should be brushed at least twice a week to remove dead fur from the undercoat and keep it looking healthy and shiny.

4 Border Collie Markings

In addition to their color variations, Border Collies also have different types of markings that can give them unique looks. These markings include:

  • piebald (black & white patches)
  • saddleback/blanket back (a dark patch on the back with lighter areas on either side)
  • tan points (darker patches around the eyes and ears)
  • brindle stripes (striped patterns)

Each type of marking creates an entirely different look for your pup!

Everything You Need to Know About Border Collie Colors and Markings

The Border Collie is an intelligent and easily trainable breed of dog that can be an excellent companion. Additionally, this breed comes in various colors and markings.

Let’s take a look at the common border collie colors and the different shades and markings available for this lovely breed.

Blue Merle Border Collie

The blue merle has a unique marbled appearance due to its mottled gray-blue patches against a black background. These patches may also appear reddish-brown in some areas due to pigment dilution.

White patches may also appear on this coat as well as black spots throughout the body. Eye color for blue merles ranges from light blue to dark brown or amber.

Blue merles may have their ears tipped with tan fur similar to saddleback sables but will not have any tan coloring elsewhere on their bodies like other varieties.

Red Merle Border Collie

Red merles are often mistaken for red foxes because of their beautiful coats! Red merles tend to have slightly longer coats than other varieties and are characterized by reddish-brown patches over a light beige background.

They may have white patches throughout their bodies and dark spots ranging from black to dark brown in color. Eye color in red merles ranges from bright green to golden yellow, and they typically don’t have any tan tipping on their ears like other varieties do.

White Border Collie

The most common color of Border Collie is white, with some black or grey mixed in. These dogs typically have white fur covering their chests, stomachs, legs, feet, and muzzles with black or grey streaks down their backs.

They may also have spots on their backs or sides that can vary from light to dark shades of grey. This type of coloring is often referred to as “White and Tan” or “White and Black,” depending on which color dominates the coat.

Lilac Border Collie

The Lilac Border Collie is a rarer color variation of the breed that was first discovered in Australia in the early 2000s. These dogs have silvery-grey fur covering their bodies with black points on their faces, tails, and legs, giving them an almost ghostly appearance.

The fur around their eyes tends to be lighter than the rest of their body, making them stand out even more. They may also have white patches around their chest and stomachs and white tips on the ends of their tails, giving them an added touch of uniqueness.

Brindle Border Collies

Brindle-colored Border Collies were first seen around 2010 and are becoming increasingly popular due to their unique coats and eye-catching patterns. These dogs usually have brindled coats that come in shades ranging from light brown to deep red.

The patterning itself varies greatly between individuals, with some having stripes. In contrast, others have spots or blotches along with patches of solid color throughout the coat, creating a unique look for each Brindle Border Collie!

Red Border Collie

Red Border Collies are one of this breed’s more common coat colors. They typically have white markings with red or mahogany coats. The white markings can range from small spots on the chest to large patches on both sides of the body.

It is important to note that some red border collies may also have tan points or “freckles” on their face giving them an extra unique look!

Blue Border Collie

The blue border collie is another popular variation of this breed. They typically have a grayish-blue coat with white markings around their eyes, muzzle, chest, and feet.

They may also have darker gray or black patches around their eyes, which gives them an extra unique look! These dogs tend to be loyal companions who love playing fetch and running around outdoors.

Slate Merle Border Collie

The slate merle border collie is one of the rarest variations of this breed, but it truly stands out in terms of coloration. They typically have a slate-gray coat with white patches all over their body.

The eyes may be any shade from yellow to brown, and they may even have slight freckles on their face! These dogs are considered to be quite intelligent and can often be found participating in agility competitions due to their athleticism. 

Black And White Border Collie

The most iconic and familiar Border Collie color for a Border Collie is the black-and-white coat. This color combination is made up of either white or tan fur with patches of black.

These patches may be solid black, random splotches, or symmetrical lines running down the back of the dog. The face features a white blaze running from the muzzle to the forehead.

Additionally, some Border Collies have one blue eye and one brown eye that contrast nicely against their black fur.

Gold Border Collie

The Gold Border Collie is a stunning variation of the breed with beautiful colors and markings. The coat of the Gold Border Collie is a rich golden color that can vary from light to dark shades.

The coat is typically medium to long in length, with a dense and soft undercoat that helps keep the dog warm in colder weather.

Gold Border Collies may also have white markings on their chest, face, legs, and tail, which provide a beautiful contrast to the warm golden tones of their coat.

The overall effect is a striking and eye-catching dog that is sure to turn heads wherever they go.

Black Border Collie

The Black Border Collie is a classic variation of the breed with striking and timeless colors and markings. As the name suggests, the coat of the Black Border Collie is a deep, rich black color that is sleek and shiny in appearance.

The coat is typically medium to long in length, with a dense and soft undercoat that provides insulation in cold weather. Black Border Collies may also have white markings on the chest, face, legs, and tail, which create a striking contrast against the black coat.

Although rare, some breeders claim that Solid Black Border Collies do exist.

Lilac Merle Border Collie

The Lilac Merle border collie is another popular variety that contains patches of dark gray or black on a light gray base coat, along with white patches on its chest, muzzle, feet, and legs.

This particular variety gives off an almost iridescent sheen that can be truly mesmerizing to behold. Additionally, these dogs tend to have bright yellow eyes that stand out against their coat coloration.

Blue And White Border Collie

Blue and White Border Collies are beautiful pups with black fur mixed with white patches on their chest, muzzle, feet, and legs.

Although this color combination is stunningly gorgeous. It is recommended to avoid getting this type of dog because they have a higher risk of developing Color dilution alopecia (CDA) which causes hair loss due to improper pigment production in their fur follicles.

If you’re set on getting a Blue And White Border Collie, then make sure they get regular check-ups from your vet, as CDA can be treated if caught early enough but can become quite serious if left untreated over time.

Saddleback Sable Border Collie

The saddleback sable is the most common color for a Border Collie. This coloration is easily recognizable thanks to its black “saddle” over the back and shoulders (hence the name).

The face, neck, legs, tail, and underside of the Sable Border Collie are all tan or light brown. The muzzle will usually be darker than the rest of the body. This coat can also have white markings, such as socks on the feet, white chest blazes, or white around the eyes or collar area.

Unique Tri-Color Border Collies

One of the most interesting things about border collies is their wide range of coat colors and markings. There are many different combinations that can be found in this breed.

One of the most unique color combinations is the tri-color border collie. This type of border collie has three distinct colors: black, white, and tan or red.

The combination can vary from dog to dog but typically consists of a solid base color such as chocolate, blue, black, or red with white and tan markings around the face, chest, and legs.

Chocolate Tri-Color Border Collie

Chocolate Tri-Color Border Collie is a stunning breed, with its deep brown base color and white and tan color markings around its face, chest, and legs. The combination of colors creates an eye-catching look that will certainly turn heads wherever it goes!

The brown base can range from dark to light chocolate brown, while the white points are usually found on the chest, collar, and blaze. The tan markings often appear around the face and legs.

Blue Tri-Color Border Collie

The Blue Tri border collie is one of the most popular coloring patterns for border collies. This coloring consists predominantly of black fur with white patches on their chest, muzzle, feet, and legs.

This color combination is also seen in other herding breeds, such as Australian Shepherds. The Blue Tri coat is especially striking when compared to other varieties because it can contain two different shades of blue eyes, one light blue eye and one dark blue eye, giving your pup a unique look.

Black Tri-Color Border Collie

The black tri-color border collie is a classic look that never goes out of style. White markings around the neck, chest, and legs complement its jet-black base color.

Tan points can also be seen on its face, legs, and tail. This combination of colors creates a sleek yet playful appearance that will make anyone fall in love at first sight!

Red Tri-Color Border Collie

Finally, the red tri-color border collie is a vibrant combination with its deep red base color paired with white and tan markings around its face, chest, and legs. This unique combination of colors creates an eye-catching look that stands out from the crowd.

No matter which type of tri-color border collie you choose, you’re sure to have a loyal companion for life! These dogs are intelligent, loving creatures who will always be by your side no matter what life throws at you. So if you’re looking for a new pet to add to your family, consider getting one of these beautiful dogs today!

Do The Coat Colors Of Border Collie Puppy Change As It Matures?

It is common for a Border Collie puppy to change color as it grows and matures. For example, as puppies, Border Collies typically have a lighter coat that darkens as they mature. Some may even develop new colors or patterns, such as the merle coloring.

As they age, their coat will darken, and their markings will become more pronounced. Depending on the individual dog, this process can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months.

Additionally, the nose of a collie may change color from light to dark as it grows older. Some Border Collies may also experience a change in coat texture as they age, with their puppy fur becoming thicker and more dense.

Although it’s typical for Border Collie puppies to experience changes in coat texture and color, some may retain their puppy coat for life. It’s also worth noting that some puppies may display a partial range of colors that will ultimately emerge as they reach maturity.

What Causes The Merle Pattern In Border Collies?

The merle pattern in Border Collies is caused by a gene mutation, which can also be found in other breeds as well. This gene mutation causes the coat to have patches of different colors, such as black and white or blue and white.

The color of this pattern can vary from light grey to dark grey and even black. The intensity of the merle pattern also varies, with some dogs having more distinct patches than others. Blue Merle Border Collies are known for their striking coats, which make them stand out from other breeds.


As you can see, there are many different colors and markings when it comes to owning a border collie! Whether you’re looking for something classic or something unique, there’s sure to be an option for you! Do your research before deciding which type would be best for you—you won’t regret it! Happy searching!