Border Collie is a fascinating dog breed. Intelligent, energetic, cute, funny, and loyal – this dog breed can win your heart even before you realize it. In this article on Border Collie facts, we are going to learn why they are such amazing dogs and where do they stand on the intelligence scale.
If you are a dog person, you are going to love this facts sheet. So, what are you waiting for? Dig in and enjoy!
Border Collie Facts: 1-10
1. Border Collie is known by two other names – Sheepdog and Scotch Sheep Dog.
2. The breed gets its name because they were, for the first time, bred on England’s and Scotland’s border.
3. The Romans are credited for bringing sheepdogs to Great Britain. However, the herding dogs that Romans brought to Britain weren’t sturdy enough to handle the extreme cold weathers. So, they succumbed easily.
4. This is when the Celtics started breeding their own herding dogs that were smaller than what the Romans brought. The Celtic variants were also way more agile.
5. The term Collie comes from the Celtic word colley which means faithful or useful.
6. All the purebred Border Collies that live today can trace their lineage to one dog – the Old Hemp.
7. Born in September 1893 in Northumberland, Old Hemp was a tricolor dog. He died in May 1901.
8. Old Hemp was a tricolor dog and his mother was black-coated and strong-eyed dog named Meg and his father was a black and tan dog named Roy.
9. Old Hemp was bred by a person named Adam Telfer. Old Hemp turned out to be a powerful and yet a quiet dog to which the sheep responded pretty well.
10. Many shepherds went on to use Old Hemp as a stud and the working style used by Old Hemp became the now famous Border Collie style.
Border Collie Facts: 11-20
11. Old Hemp is not the only one from who the modern Border Collies come. There was another one named Wiston Cap. Born on September 28, 1963, he is the one who is portrayed on the International Sheep Dog Society badge. The badge portrays the characteristic Border Collie herding pose.
12. Wiston Cap was a very popular stud. Most of the modern Border Collies have his bloodline.
13. It was W. S. Hetherington who bred Wiston Cap. John Richardson was the one who trained and handled Wiston Cap.
14. Border Collie is considered as THE MOST INTELLIGENT dog breed in the world. It can learn a large number of words – way more than any other known dog breed in this world.
15. One particular Border Collie named Chaser managed to learn 1,022 proper noun names of different toys.
16. There are many more like Chaser who have set some incredible records that remain unbroken till today. For instance, a pooch named Striker has a world record of the “fastest car window opened by a dog.” Striker managed to rolled down the window of a non-electric car in 11.34 seconds!
17. Border Collie is a high-energy dog. It is not ideally suitable for being a cuddle bag for the entire family.
18. This breed is highly energetic and hence, you as a parent of a Border Collie need to ensure that your pooch is getting a lot of daily exercise to burn the near-mythical levels energy he or she has.
19. Border Collies require intense physical and mental stimulation. If they don’t get it, they will invent their own games to get rid of the pent-up energy and can become very destructive. They will chew up things, resort to digging and barking, and even chase cars.
20. Coupled with its strong herding instincts and its need for extreme exercise, a Border Collie can start chasing pets, cars, and children if he or she is not getting ample exercise.
Border Collie Facts: 21-30
21. Border Collies are extremely sensitive. They are known to respond to subtlest of commands, and they are often touted as a breed that can understand the desires of their owners in advance.
22. Border Collie is not usually known for roaming around. However, since it is a curious and intelligent dog breed, it can quickly become an escape artist. You need to be very careful about that!
23. Young children playing nearby and making a lot of noise can tickle the herding instinct of your Border Collie and make him or her bark, nudge, and nip.
24. If you think a brisk walk a day or a quick game of fetch every day will work, you are so very wrong. Your Border Collie will need something intense, preferably herding and if that is not available, he or she needs to get involved in challenging physical tasks and activities that lead to mental stimulation through problem solving.
25. Border Collie can excel in any activity like advanced obedience training, agility training, freestyle obedience training, flying disc games, flyball games, tracking, etc.
26. Border Collie is very intelligent. That, however, doesn’t make training a Border Collie easy. You need to train a Border Collie from a very early age. They are best trained by a professional trainer.
27. Because of their high intelligence, Border Collies can pick up bad habits very quickly. This makes proper training a necessity. It is necessary that you keep your Border Collie focused while training because this breed has a knack losing focus.
28. Border Collies are herding champs. They have been bred to do so! In short, it is a modified predatory behavior that will not involve killing but will involve stalking, crouching, and nipping, which are all the beginning of a hunt.
29. Did you know that the herding behavior is so deeply rooted in them that some people end up hiring sheep so that their Border Collies can herd them!
30. Border Collies have a characteristic crouching move just like the cats. They can move swiftly in that crouched position.
Border Collie Facts: 31-40
31. The reason why Border Collies can crouch and move swiftly is that there is a space between the top of their shoulder blades.
32. The crouching pose is one of the key characteristics of a Border Collie that allows it to become such an excellent herder.
33. They also have a very intense stare that allows them to become a champion herder. That stare intimidates livestock, which in turn, helps a Border Collie to control the animals.
34. Border Collies are known for throwing that intense stare even at their owners whenever they see something delicious in their hands!
35. Queen Victoria, who was a true dog lover, developed a special liking for Border Collies in early 1860s.
36. Border Collies are great actors as well. They have been cast in various films and TV shows. For instance, Border Collies acted in Animal Farm (a movie), Snow Dogs (a movie), Babe (a movie), Mad About You (a TV show).
37. Border Collies are official goose masters too! In Florida, there is a company that trains Border Collies to keep geese off the property of people.
38. The University of North Florida went on to hire Bee (a Border Collie) to keep geese away from high-traffic area of the campus.
39. There are many celebrities who have owned Border Collies. For instance, Queen Victoria, Ethan Hawke, Tiger Woods, James Franco, Bon Jovi, Anna Paquin, James Dean are some of the famous people who have owned Border Collies.
40. On the popularity rating of AKC, Border Collie ranks 35 out of 191. They are definitely not as popular as breeds like German Shepherd, Labrador Retriever, etc. and that’s partly because of the super active lifestyle they need.
Border Collie Facts: 41-50
41. AKC recognized Border Collie in the year 1995. Border Collie was the 139th breed that was recognized by AKC.
42. Did you know that Border Collie was first classified as “Scotch Sheep Dog?”
43. Robert Burns – a Scottish poet from 18th century described the essence of Border Collie accurately. He described the breed as loyal and honest.
44. Border Collies are known to be prone to shyness. This means that they need a firm pack leader who can lead from the front and help them socialize right from puppyhood.
45. Border Collies are medium-sized dogs with males measuring between 19 and 22 inches at shoulder height while females measure 18 to 21 inches at shoulder height.
46. Males weigh 30 to 45 pounds while females weigh 27 to 42 pounds.
47. The breed has either coarse and rough coat or short and sleek coat.
48. They are not hypoallergenic and they seasonally shed a lot.
49. The common color of Border Collies is black and white but they can also come in a wide range of colors like brindle, red with gold, blue merle, lilac, blue, chocolate, red tricolor, red and white, sable and white, black tricolor, and some may be single-colored.
50. Their ears are set wide apart and the ears can be semi-erect or erect.
Border Collie Facts: 51-60
51. Border Collies can live up to 10 to 15 years with the average age being 12 years. However, there are some that can live up to 17 years or even more.
52. They are extremely alert and this makes them great guard dogs. Don’t think that they will attack but rather they will patrol and give warnings.
53. You can find a Border Collie with one brown eye and one blue eye. This is caused by hereditary phenomenon known as Heterochromia.
54. There are some great Border Collies that have set amazing records. For example, Jumpy holds a record of skateboarding 100 meters in under 20 seconds.
55. Another pooch named Sweat Pea was the champion of dog balancing act. She walked for 100 meters balancing a can on her head. He covered the distance in 2 minutes and 55 seconds.
56. Border Collies require frequent combing and brushing. They need brushing at least once a week.
57. Border Collies are also known to be excellent performers when it comes to tracking. They have extremely developed sense of smell that help them to excel in this field as well.
58. Border Collies are extremely agile and are known for changing direction and speed all of a sudden without losing balance and grace.
59. Border Collies are prone to several health problems which include Collie eye anomaly, canine hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, osteochondritis dissecans, hypothyroidism, and seizures.
60. Border Collies are placed in the Herding group.