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Featured Breed – Border Collie

If there ever was a dog thought to be as smart as humans, some might say it’s the Border Collie. This athletic, medium-sized herding dog is remarkably smart, but not opposed to a great snuggle with its owner. Learn more about the fascinating history of the Border Collie and what makes it a great canine companion today.

History

According to the American Kennel Club, the exact origin of the domestic Border Collie is subject to speculation, but it’s clear that the breed was created to protect flocks of sheep. This craft of tending sheep was introduced to the British Isles by the Romans. Since then, various groups created their own varieties of sheepdogs, which were later known as Welsh Sheepdogs, Highland Collies, etc. While the background of the Border Collie developed throughout the British Isles, its Scottish heritage is evident in the Scottish dialect word, "collie.”

The Border Collie is recognized worldwide as the premier sheep-herding dog and is known for its trainability and obedience. It became eligible for full recognition status from the American Kennel Club on October 1, 1995.

Looks

The Border Collie is a medium-sized dog with distinctive coloring and an athletic build. It displays style and agility with accuracy and strength. The height at the withers varies from 19 to 22 inches for males and 18 to 21 inches for females.

While black and white are the most distinctive Border Collie colorings, they can come in a combination of colors, including blue merle, brindle, red, red merle and more.

Personality

The Border Collie is a true working dog. If they don’t have a job to do and space to do it, they’ll likely create something of their own! They do have a tendency to herd objects and people, so while a family with children is ok, they might do best with mature children. They are very loving family members and can sometimes be reserved with strangers.

Daily exercise is a must for the Border Collie. In fact, they excel at agility championships, where they can exercise both their body and brain.

Fun Facts

  • The word "collie" is a Scottish word used to describe sheepdogs.
  • In the early 1860s, Queen Victoria became an active Border Collie enthusiast.
  • One Border Collie named Chaser has been widely recognized as the world’s most intelligent dog and knows the names of more than 1,000 objects.
  • They’re smart enough to be actors! Just take “Babe” for example.
  • Celebrities who have owned Border Collies include James Dean, Bon Jovi, Ethan Hawke, Tiger Woods and more.