The Border Collie is known to be the smartest dog breed in the world. Aside from that, they are also energetic dogs which are great pets for active and adventurous people. They are known for their unlimited energy, stamina, and working drive. No wonder they became a premier herding dog before, and until today, some of them are still being used to herd sheep on farms in different parts of the world. Border Collies are smart dogs, but how smart do you think are they? If you’re curious, then read on to know more about this dog breed.
History of Border Collies
The true origins of Border Collies are unclear but it is known to be a very old dog breed. In fact, it was developed in the British Isles between 5th century BC and 1 BC. In Gaelic, the world collie means “useful” which suggests that the Border Collie was used to perform certain functions such as grazing. They were first known as shepherd dogs which guided, protected, and controlled flocks of sheep.
The term border, on the other hand, came from “Borders”, referencing to the border between England and Scotland which dated from the seventeenth century. But the breed was not recognized until 1976.
Physical Characteristics of Border Collies
Border Collies can grow from 18 inches to 22 inches tall and can weigh from 30 to 45 pounds. They belong to the herding dogs breed group and are able to live up to 15 years. They come in two varieties of coats which are smooth and rough which are both double coats with a coarser outer coat and soft undercoat. The rough coat is medium length and has feathering on the legs, chest, and belly. The smooth coat, on the other hand, is short all over, coarser in texture, and has a minimal feathering. Their usual color is black with a white blaze on the face, neck, feet, legs, and tail tip. But they can also be any bicolor, tricolor, merle, or solid color except white.
How Active and Smart is the Border Collie Dog Breed?
The Border Collie is considered to be the most intelligent dog breed in the world. This is based on the book The Intelligence of Dogs which was written by a psychologist named Stanley Coren, where he claims that Border Collies are the most intelligent dog breeds in the world and he also gave a proof.
According to his book, the global ranking of canine intelligence is based on three points which are, instinctive intelligence, adaptive intelligence, and intelligence of work and obedience. He said that the most intelligent breeds can associate and develop an order with less than five repetitions and they generally always obey the first request. Stanley did several studies which proved that the Border Collie was the most intelligent dog in the world.
In fact, there was a Border Collie named Chaser who was able to identify and interact with 1,022 different toys. Amazing, isn’t it?
Aside from being smart, Border Collies are also incredibly active dogs and they need a lot of exercises. If they are not given enough walks and proper exercise, they might suffer from serious behavioral problems like destructiveness, hyperactivity, anxiety, and excessive vocalization.
Therefore, if you want a Border Collie as a pet, you should be able to provide it with a proper outlet for its unlimited energy and bright mind. They need about four daily walks with a combination of socialization and games. Aside from that, they also need mental stimulation through obedience training, canine abilities, and games. Dog sports can also be great for them.
Border Collies are also adaptable dogs but if you want to take care of one, they are best suited to an environment that gives them some elbow room such as in a city home with a securely fenced yard, or in a country farm or ranch. You should also keep in mind that they are bred to herd and chase, meaning, it can be dangerous for them to go outside especially in the city because they might have the instinct to chase cars.
Border Collies can also be stubborn at times and they will always try to outsmart an unwary owner if they are given the upper hand. Therefore, you need to give them lots of praise. As an owner, you should be able to understand and be aware of its intelligence to keep it under control. When a Border Collie is bored and not trained well, it can lead to serious behavioral problems and might not be able to be a good family pet especially when there are small children around. It might become sensitive to loud and sudden noises and may try to herd anything that moves including other pets and even kids.
Border Collies are great and loving pets. However, if you do not have the time or energy to give your all to it, maybe finding a more laid back dog breed with less energy is the best for you. But if you’re someone who’s into living an active lifestyle and loves to be on the move, then the Border Collie might be the perfect pet for you.