The Border Collie has been considered as the most intelligent dog breed in the world. If you have been impressed by their intelligence, you’ll be also impressed by the following facts that make the Border Collie unique and truly charming.
1. Where did the name “Border Collie” come from?
The origins of the name “Border Collie” are still doubtful and open to debate. Some sources say that the name “Collie” was derived from the words “colley,” “coly” and “coal,” which are connected to the color black.
However, the word “Collie” might have been a Gaelic word meaning “useful,” referring to the breed’s capabilities and task of herding sheep. And then there’s another theory (which we think is the closest) that “collie” is related to the German word “kuli,” which is spoken like the English “coolie” which means “worker,” pointing out to the breed’s hardworking nature.
The word “Border” can be attributed to the fact that this breed had been developed somewhere on the English-Scottish border.
2. Border Collies are extremely intelligent dogs
Border Collies are born extremely smart. They are the most capable of learning and picking up words and commands than any other dog breeds. And yes, they can learn a considerable level of human vocabulary, and can even acquire the amazing ability of recognizing the names of several everyday objects!
Not only you’ll be captivated by this breed’s intelligence, they can also charm you with their stamina as well as their workaholic and “eager-beaver” attitude. This dog is actually quite happy when he’s doing something useful or when he’s at work.
3. Border Collies are excellent herders
The Border Collies’ natural intelligence, skill, stamina, speed and unique work ethic make them perfect as sheep herders — it goes without saying that they were originally bred that way. They are also known for using their eyes to stare at members of the flock as the dog’s method of intimidating them.
Not surprisingly, Border Collies have competed (and many of them won) in several herding competitions.
4. Border Collies does a lot of other things — not just herding sheep
With their innate intelligence, stamina, drive and desire to work alongside humans, Border Collies can do lots of other tasks, aside from herding sheep.
They can also make excellent search-and-rescue dogs. A Border Collie named Blitz performed a search-and-rescue work when he saved an elderly woman. He found the woman somewhere in the woods after she had been reported missing for one day.
Several Border Collies also starred in several films and TV shows. The most famous among them are Rex and Fly, two Border Collies in the movies Babe and Babe: Pig in the City.
Border Collies also make exceptional therapy dogs and assistance dogs to the sick and the disabled.
5. All modern Border Collies are the descendants from either one of the two dogs
Most Border Collies today can trace back to one dog named Old Hemp, who lived from 1893 to 1901. People found out that Old Hemp displayed his own style of herding sheep — quiet, less aggressive compared to other herding dogs, but nevertheless effective. Old Hemp’s unique herding style and his other positive traits inspired people to develop the Border Collie breed that it is known today. Old Hemp is generally considered as the “father” of all Border Collies.
Another ancestor of the modern Border Collies is Wiston Cap, who was born in 1963. Like Old Hemp, Wiston Cap was also a stud dog, who went on to become the most prolific Border Collie. It’s estimated that almost every Border Collie today carries his bloodline.
6. Owning a Border Collie
If you want to own a Border Collie, remember that since it is a high-energy animal, don’t expect it to be a house dog like many other breeds. It needs a lot of space to run and play, as well as daily exercise. Obedience training and tricks are also essential as they will provide a mental stimulation for this intelligent, energetic breed. Otherwise, it will get bored easily and as a result, it will have the tendency to get a little mischievous. It is definitely easier to train a Border Collie while it’s still a puppy.
If you have an active and outdoorsy lifestyle, the Border Collie can be a perfect pet companion to go along with you on your adventures.
Border Collies are also the ideal dogs for professional trainers because they respond to the training techniques very well, are obedient and are also happy to learn new tricks.
7. Poet Robert Burns owned and wrote about a Border Collie
The 18th-century Scottish poet Robert Burns extolled the Border Collie’s intelligence, devotion and faithfulness. Well, it’s because he himself was a laird of a Border Collie named Luath. He loved Luath so dearly that, upon the dog’s tragic death, he wrote a poem titled “The Twa Dogs” that became one of Burns’ best works.