They’re the Einsteins of the canine world, and the best sheepdogs around, but how much do you really know about Border Collies? Aside from their prowess in the fields, these super-intelligent pooches make the perfect pet for people with the time and commitment to give them the mental and physical exercise they need.
The Border Collie’s astounding intelligence means that they love to learn new tricks and skills, and therefore need an owner who can constantly set them new challenges. A bored Border Collie can spell disaster for furniture and neat gardens, so prospective owners need to be prepared to put in the time and effort to keep their pooch entertained and mentally stimulated. Because they are such fast learners, Border Collies need to be trained from a very young age, so that they don’t pick up any unruly behaviours.
As working dogs Border Collies have traditionally been bred for their ability and agility rather than appearance. This has resulted in them being born with relatively few genetic or congenital disorders compared to many other breeds. They are extremely active, and require plenty of exercise and mental stimulation to keep them from acting out.
Did you know…
- Border Collies have been named the world’s most intelligent dog breed, thanks to an American Border Collie called Chaser, who has the largest proven memory of any non-human animal. She is able to identify a whopping 1,022 toys by name, and can retrieve them on command!
- The name “Collie” comes from the Celtic “colley”, meaning faithful. The modern Border Collie hails from the Borders between Scotland and England, hence the name “Border Collie”.
- Border Collies have a special trick up their sleeve when it comes to controlling their flock. By giving livestock an intense stare, known as “the eye”, Collies are able to intimidate them into being herded more easily.
- A Border Collie called Momo has risen to fame, thanks to her owner, Andrew Knapp’s photography skills. Find out more here.
- While they’re best known for their herding abilities, Border Collies’ high intelligence makes them suitable in all sorts of other working roles, including as search-and-rescue dogs, medical alert dogs and therapy dogs. After all, who wouldn’t want to be comforted by a pooch like this?!
Featured image via Andrew Knapp.