The Border Collie is known to be the best herding dog breed. They are extremely intelligent, athletic, and energetic. They have a sharp eye as needed to heard cows, goats, sheep.
Imagine they can do this all with a ‘look’. On the farm, this eye is a god send to farmers, to a recretional owner, you must understand the ‘eye ‘ and learn how to understand your Border Collies natural instincts.
They excel in obeidence and can be when trained correctly, exceptionally fast learners. They tend to want to please thier owner. When you build that relationship, you will have a dog that will follow your direction without hesitation.
This is a working breed. While they are now entwined in traditional homes, it is valuable to understand their natural instincts.
The Working Line
Our line does come from a working line. They do have strong eyes and still carry traditional behaviours unlike some of their show counterparts. If you’re interested in learning about the true hearding line, this video while lengthy is excellent!
This video is not only about thier strengths but she does a great job at sharing they core characteristics. Whether they are working or not, understanding this will ensure you have a solid understanding of your border collie.
Origin of The Border Collie Breed
The Border Collie as a breed was originated in Northumberland, a place on the very border of England and Scotland. The breed is developed for the purpose of herding livestock, especially sheep. The name “Border Collie” came from the simple fact the breed had been developed in a place on the Anglo-Scottish border.
All Border Collies today are known to be descents of the Old Hemp, a tri-color dog that was bred by Adam Telfer. Old Hemp was a smart, quiet dog used by many shepherds as he was well known as the best herding dog around.
The first time the term “Border Collie” was used was in 1915 by the Secretary of the International Sheep Dog Society James Reid, naming the breed in order to register them as a separate breed along with other Collie breeds already registered. Although the breed didn’t have its present name up till then, Border Collies had worked with and helped many shepherds around the border area of England and Scotland for hundreds of years and with great success, well known for their herding qualities and intelligence.
The Border Collie didn’t become popular until the very end of the 19th century, when they were presented at the first official sheep dog trial placed in Bala, Wales, when Old Hemp won the trial first time in 1984 and continued with his winning prestigious competitions, so we basically have this amazing dog to thank for all the popularity and fame the Border Collie has today.
People started adopting Border Collies as they became known for their intelligence and instinctive and honest desire to work with humans. The basic role of these dogs indeed is working with stock, but they have become popular as house pets as well, as they are very energetic, playful and smart, and generally a lot of fun to be around.
The Border Collie need to be played with, and they need plenty of stimulation on daily basis. They can be demanding pets, but in an appropriate home with an owner willing to make the best out of his energetic and playful dog, the Border Collie can be the perfect dog.
For active homes, the opportunity for agility, sports and nose work is endless.
Just check out some of what they are capable of!
Training of the Border Collie should start early, while they are still puppies, simply because it is easier to train a dog while it’s brain is still developing. They are very popular among trainers because they are obedient and very enthusiastic when it comes to working with people, and as said before, they are very intelligent and always happy to learn new things, so they are very easy to work with, and the dog trainers love them.
Having said that “Good neighbour” training is critical. Sometimes this breed can be ‘snobby’, they don’t always want to engage with other dogs and they can appear aggresive if you don’t understand their cues. An “eye” or ‘stare” is a warning from a border collie. They use it to tell the other dog to stay out of their ‘personal space’ much like they would in a farm setting. To ensure you have a social Border Collie we highly recommend starting training and always incorporating ‘good neighbour’ practices early to ensure your dog learns how to engage succesfully with other dogs in a social enviornment.