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Posts Tagged ‘Border Collie’

The workaholic – Border Collie

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

The Border Collie, classified in the herding group, is a breed which is well known for its herding ability, extremely high intelligence, and its agility and speed.

A brief history of the Border Collie

Border_CollieThe Border Collie breed is descended from the landrace collies, which are collies which were found in England, Wales and the other British isles. The “collie” breed first appears in records near the late 19th century. Border Collies–or those with from a pure line–can trace their ancestry back to a particular dog, called Old Hemp. Old Hemp was bred by a man named Adam Telfer; Hemp was known to be quiet, intelligent, powerful and one which excelled at herding sheep and doing other work around the farm. Old Hemp was used for a stud by many different shepherds. Another popular Border Collie stud was Wiston Cap, born in the 1960s, who was bred by W.S. Hetherington and who–like Old Hemp–was used as a stud multiple times. Today, Border Collies are popular in numerous countries both as a working dog, a companion dog, and a show dog.


Border Collies are usually medium-sized and typically reach about 18 to 22 inches at the shoulders; adult Border Collies weigh about 30 to 45 lbs.–females are typically smaller and lighter than males. The breed does not have a standard ear shape; some Border Collies have full, erect ears while others have full, dropped ears, while others have ears which are semi-erect. Their double coats vary from thick and full to slick and smooth, and come in colors such as black and white, black/tan/white tricolor, red, and other forms of tricolor as well.

The breed is well known for its intelligence. It is often considered to be the most intelligent dog breed in the world.Because they were bred for sheep herding, they excel at sheep and cattle herding and are often used as farm dogs for this purpose. They are generally considered to be friendly and energetic, but because of their instinctive herding tendencies, their high energy, and their high intelligence, they do require a demanding regime of exercise, mental stimulation, and an outlet for their herding tendencies. There are many record cases of Border Collies exhibiting neurotic behaviors in the home if they are not properly physically and mentally stimulated–chewing holes in walls, chewing through furniture, and other destructive behavior are common. The breed can make an excellent and intelligent family pet—but owners must recognize that the breed absolutely needs proper physical and mental stimulation to keep it happy.

Did you know? Trivia

  • A Border Collie named Chaser was verified in 2011 to have learned over 1,000 words—a world record!
  • Border Collies have been known to try to herd small children who run around the house—owners with small children may wish to wait until their children are older to adopt Border Collies, or keep a close eye on their pet.
  • A Border Collie played a featured role in the hit film “Babe.”