As most Border Collie owners will tell you, this breed may probably well be the most intelligent breed in the world – with most breed rankings yielding first place to the Border Collie. With their intelligent eyes and their impressive ability for recall, it’s highly understandable why we’ve witnessed a drastic increase in sales for Border Collie puppies around the world today, especially for families who are looking for smart and independent yet affectionate breeds.
In this article, we’ll delve into some of the most interesting facts about Border Collie, and some information that may help you decide whether a Border Collie puppy might be a good addition to your family.
- Border Collies Were Bred as Herders
Border Collie puppies were bred specifically for herding and gathering purposes, thanks to their quiet and instinctual ability to round up herds of cattle, sheep, or even llamas. For over 200 years, Border Collies were raised and bred based on their strong herding drive, leading to a breed that offers herding expertise that is hard to top for other dog breeds.
In fact, a Border Collie’s herding ability remains unrivaled even when compared to humans – with a single Border Collie having the herding capacity of three humans combined.
- Border Collie Puppies Consistently Ranked Highest in Obedience and Command Recall
If you’ve scoured the internet for the most intelligent dog breeds, chances are you’ve found that the Border Collie always emerged on top of the rankings. This is mostly because Border Collies continue to ace obedience tests, as well as recall exams. Among other dog breeds, they require the fewest repetitions before they learn a new trick or command, and they can easily replicate these commands faster than other breeds. This means that Border Collies are some of the best dog breeds for training.
- The Border Collie Name Comes From Its Regional Origins
The name “Border Collie” comes from the geographic location where this dog breed originated from: the border between Scotland and England. This name’s coinage is generally attributed to by multiple sources to the former Secretary of the International Sheepdog Society, James Reid.
“Collie,” on the other hand, has a much more unclear origin since it’s been spelled in multiple ways throughout history, including “Colly,” “Coaly,” and “Coally.” While the exact source of the name is still not 100% clear, the closest meaning that it may have been taken from is the Anglo-Saxon word for dark, “Coll.”
- Border Collies Were Queen Victoria’s Choice of Dog
Before Queen Elizabeth II’s popular choice of the Welsh Corgi, Queen Victoria had a favorite dog breed as well: the Border Collie. Known as a dog lover, Queen Victoria took care of multiple dogs within her lifetime, but it was mentioned that she favored Border Collies above all. Some of her most well-known Border Collies include Sharp and Noble, both of which have their own graves and statues at Windsor.
- Border Collies Can Be Traced Back to One Dog
All Border Collies alive in the world today can be traced back to Old Hemp, a dog born in 1893. Old Hemp worked with a unique herding technique, characterized by quiet movements and a calmer approach. This made Old Hemp a favorite among breeders, leading to him fathering up to 200 Border Collie puppies within his lifetime.
- Border Collies Require Immediate Training
While Border Collies are some of the most intelligent dogs in the world, this doesn’t mean that training them can be postponed up to when they’re older. Because they’re impressionable breeds and they can take up habits fast, Border Collie puppies are also highly susceptible to learning negative behaviors as they grow up. While this can be easily corrected through proper training, it might be harder to undo these instead of just training them at an earlier age to avoid developing them in the first place.
- Border Collies Have a Unique Herding Technique
Unlike other herding dogs, Border Collies have their own unique herding method that makes them doubly effective on animal herds. Instead of using their hunting instincts, Border Collies use a herding technique that’s less aggressive, typically through body language and powerful stares. When these don’t work, that’s the only time that they’ll nip or bark at the herding animals.
For Border Collie owners, this herding technique may also be observed even in home settings wherein puppies don’t need to herd animals. Sometimes Border Collies might try to herd their family members by lightly nipping at their heels or moving in a roundabout manner. This is why early training is also needed, especially for puppies who will not be used in herding situations.
- Border Collies Are One of the Most Active Dog Breeds
Because Border Collies are genetically made up for herding and hunting, they’re a highly energetic bunch. They need lots of exercise and activity to keep them from being bored. For owners who live in smaller spaces wherein a Border Collie pup might not have a large area to run around, they will need to devise a plan and schedule of when they’ll take their dog out for adequate exercise and physical stimulation.