Border Collies are ranked number one in intelligence and have been used in Hollywood. In the movie Babe, the pig is taught how to herd sheep by a Border Collie named Fly. In the T.V. show Mad About You the dog Murray is a Border Collie mix. The first canine movie star was a Border Collie with the name of Jean and known as the Vitagraph Dog. Border Collies are known for their vocabulary, and a Border Collie by the name of Chaser was said to have a vocabulary of 1022 words. He was also able to recognize objects by grouping. A Border Collie by the name of Striker is in the Guinness Book of World Records for opening a car window in 11.4 seconds.
Border Collies are between 17 and 22 inches tall and weigh between 27 and 45 lbs. They can be solid colored, bi-colored or tri-colored with many combinations. Border Collies are very intelligent and ranked number one on intelligence in Stanley Coren’s The Intelligence of Dogs. This breed has a friendly personality and is gentle. Border Collies are a herding dog breed that has descended from the Landrace Collies of the British Isles. All true Border Collies can trace their lineage back to a single dog named Old Hemp. They are specifically bred to be a working stock breed.
This breed has a double coat and is a frequent shedder. Their coat can be thick and lush or slick and comes in red, black, white, sable, brindle, lilac, merle, chocolate or any combination therein. Their eyes can be blue, brown or amber and sometimes they have two different eye colors.
It is not unusual for a Border Collie to sustain injuries such as broken teeth and scars from their job as working cows can be dangerous for them. This breed is prone to hip dysplasia, cancer, hearing loss, epilepsy, collie eye anomaly. Collie eye anomaly is an inherited condition and caused by the autosomal recessive gene. It can affect all parts of the eye and in extreme cases cause blindness. There is no cure for collie eye anomaly. Hip dysplasia, collie eye anomaly and epilepsy are all hereditary and the parents likelihood of passing on these genes can be screened for.
The Border Collie is bred for herding. This breed can respond to voice commands or whistles over a long distance. This is quite handy for their owners, who cannot move as fast or be as many places as the dog can. This breed is known for its long sweeps to bring strays back in and is praised for knowing what to do without any direction from their owner. It is said that the Border Collie can do the work of three humans in a pasture and the work of 5 humans in desert like areas. This makes them an economical and logical choice as a companion in a herding environment. When working a herd they use a stare that is known as “the eye” and a lowered stance. This stare will make the livestock move to where they need to go. A Border Collie isn’t afraid to get physical with livestock if they won’t move to where they need to go. These physical altercations can result in scrapes bruises and missing teeth.
Border Collies originated in the borderlands of Scotland and England. They were a Shepherds primary tool at maintaining their flocks of sheep. When Queen Victoria saw a Border Collie she fell in love with the breed and was active in ensuring its future. A Border Collie by the name of Old Hemp is an ancestor to all true Border Collies of today. Old Hemp lived to be 8 years old, yet his legacy has lived on for over a century.
Today Border Collies are used for more than a valuable ranch hand. They also compete in sporting events, sheepdog trails, flyball, Frisbee, and agility competitions. Their intelligence and trainability makes them great at learning new things. Their agility enables them to jump high and their stamina enables them to keep going. Border Collies also have a well-developed sense of smell allowing them to compete in tracking trials. They have been used with great success as mountain rescue dogs.
Border Collies are bred to be a working stock breed and are sometimes referred to as workaholics. This means that they have lots of energy and are a physically tough dog. They need lots of exercise and mental stimulation beyond walking and a romp in the dog park. Like other working dog breeds they need an active family and room to play. Their gentle demeanor makes them a favorite as family pets. However, their herding instinct means that they will try and herd younger children as well as other pets in the household. They will also try to chase cars as they are sensitive to motion and feel that this is a game.
Border Collies can be any color combination of their red, black, white, sable, brindle, lilac, merle, chocolate colors. They are required to have an expression that is full of interest. They need to be gentle and obedient taking their commands or cues from their Master in the ring. They should look and act intelligent, agile, courageous and trustworthy. Their bodies should be proportionate and allow them to perform their jobs without hindrance. Broken teeth and scars are not be taken into consideration by judges because these are part and parcel with being a working stock dog. Border Collies of show bloodlines tend to conform more to the breed standard in looks while their working farm counterparts may not. This leads many people to feel that the show standards of the appearance of the Border Collie will result in a decline in the ability of the breed to perform its job as a herd dog.