Collies Life

What are the rare Border Collie colors?

Rare collie colors

In general, any color outside of the standard black/white and red/white is classified as a rare border collie color. The overwhelming majority is black/white. On the other hand, this goes back to their origins as farm dogs. Black and white become the classic border collie look and lots of farmers and owners only need a border collie in these colors.

Rare border collie colors red and white become more prominent in the last decade. Red could be a cistron meaning that both parents must carry a duplicate so as for the offspring to be red. As you may see, black and red are the genetic basis of the rare border collie colors.

Dilute Border Collie Colors

The cause of dilute colors is a specific recessive gene that lightens the pigmentation of a border collies base coat color. The recessive genes affect the pheomelanin pigment, which is often associated with darker colors. If there is too much pheomelanin in the coat, it can be diluted to a lighter shade and appear gray or silver. Border collies who have this trait are called “Dilute Border Collies”(short and long hair Weimaraners are expensive dog breeds).

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Blue may be a dilute black color which makes the border collie appear grey. Genetically these dogs have to dilute gene that lightens the coat and are black. Blue border collies are born in an exceedingly light grey color that darkens as they age. Blue border collies have dark grey nose color and commonly green eyes.

See also: All About the Border Collie Blue Merle Dog

Slate Merle

Merle is a common gene in slate merle border collies. The blue coloring can go together with the merle gene, which causes parts of the coat to be randomly lighter.

The merle gene has been associated with some health issues such as blindness and deafness. However, it does not appear that merle dogs are more prone to health problems than other types of dogs.


Lilac border collies have red colors and expressed dilute genes. These border collies appear in faded red but in the sunshine, it looks purple thus the name lilac. These colors are prevalent in different colors having names:

  • Fawn in kelpies
  • Lsabella in Dobermans
  • Silver in Weimaraners

Lilac border collies look distinctly different from the blue color in the sunlight, though they might be confused in low light.

Gold/ee Red

Gold Border Collies are often mistaken for Golden Retrievers.

They have the same warm, friendly personalities, and they share the same golden coat color—but there are some differences. Gold Border Collies are known for their intelligence and ability to work in a variety of settings, whereas Golden Retrievers tend to be more focused on family life and hunting. The border collie was developed to herd sheep at high speeds on steep terrain, so it needs a strong body, thick coat, and an agile mind.

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Rare Border Collie Colors Pattern

Patterns influence how the colors are expressed. The most common one is the patterns, in which colors are diluted. However, there are many more patterns, and some of them are very rare.


The Border Collie, a breed of herding dog, is expounded to the opposite collies in appearance. Sable could be a pattern that’s very prominent in other breeds like German Shepherds, but rather rare in Border Collies. Sable dogs have a tan coats with black tips about each hair. This gives them the characteristic brown/black look.


Seal Border Collies have an incomplete expression of this gene. The sable gene cannot be expressed completely, creating a dark dog with just barely noticeable tan or “faded” areas. Seal Border Collies are very dark and near as black or light as chocolate brown.


Brindle is another pattern that often is seen in other breeds, but is rare in Border Collies. During this pattern, the dog usually has brown as a base color and also having black stripes on top. In Pitbulls and Mastiffs, brindle is seen often.


Piebald Border Collies have cabbage butterfly patches across their body. Piebalds can go along in different colors or patterns black and white piebalds, blue merle piebalds, etc.

Minimal White

The Border Collie with minimal white is more commonly seen in Australian Shepherds. This coat pattern is extremely rare and may occur in combination with other different colors or patterns. Minimal white Border Collies don’t have any little white markings.

Tri-Colored Border Collies

A rare pattern, of tri coloring, is a pattern that may occur within any base color and pattern. Tri-colored border collies have light tan spots on their face like cheeks, eyebrows, and legs. Some breeds only come in tri colors, such as the Bernese Mountain Dog or the Doberman. In Border Collies, tri-color is less common. Both parents should pass the duplicate of the tri-color gene to express within the offspring. The foremost common tri-colored dog is black, tan, and white. However, we can able to see very rare combinations, like lilac tri-color or slate merle tri-color.

Are tri-colored border collies rare?

Border Collies are tri-colored, black and white with tan coloring; however, when there is minimal tan or minimal white, or a rare pattern or color on top of that, it is very uncommon.

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What is the rarest Border Collie Color?

The rare border collie colors are written below:

  • Slate merle with tri
  • Red Brindle
  • Slate Sable
  • Lilac Merle with tri

Border Collies with rare colors are the most desirable dogs in their category. However, you have to look at all of their qualities, not just the color. While it’s fun to pick a puppy with rare colors, you always need to make sure that your future breeder also pays attention to the parents’ health and temperament. Unfortunately, some breeders try to produce such types of border collies that have rare colors to make more money than others without considering other qualities of the puppies.

See also: Top 10 rare Border collie colors


The rarest color for a Border Collie is red with white foot pads and a few other spots on the dog’s body. Geneticists have traced this breed back to an indigenous sheep herder known as Old Hemp, who was born in 1867 on a farm in Northumberland, England. This fellow thus gave his name to the Border Collie Breeding Association and left behind many offspring who contributed their genetic material to create what we now know as the Border Collie. Here is the complete detail about rare border collie colors. Read this article to know about border collie’s rarest colors.

Do Border collies see color?

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