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10 things you may not know about the Border Collie

In the UK, the Border Collie is the 12th most popular dog breed. They are highly intelligent – arguably the smartest dog breed in the world –  highly trainable, and they are master herders. But, what else is there to know about them?

Here are ten things you may not know about the humble Border.

There is a Golden Retriever-Border Collie mix

In this age of hybrid dog breeds, the Collie has not been left out. Recent breeders have begun mixing the breed with Golden Retrievers. Golden Retrievers are a popular breed on their own. They are beloved because of their intelligence, gentleness, and relatively low care requirements. Border Collies, on the other hand, are also quite intelligent. They are also affectionate, active, and loyal.

While you cannot completely predict the personality of a hybrid dog, a Golden Retriever-Border Collie mix works well. In general, the resulting dogs are slightly larger than normal. They are highly intelligent, sweet, easy to train, and active. Both breeds are prone to separation anxiety, so if you decide on this dog breed, make sure you can give it all the love and attention it needs.

They get their name from a location

Collie is the Scottish word for sheepdog, but that is not the whole story behind their name. In fact, they were developed on the border between England and Scotland. Because the breed originated and flourished in that region they took the name Border Collie.

They are herd dogs

Traditionally, Border Collies were used as herding dogs. Herding sheep was their main job. That does not stop Border Collies from being able to herd just about anything. Chickens, sheep, cows, pigs, and babies, the Border Collie can do it all!

But, they are also great at search and rescue

The high trainability of the Border Collie makes them a great search and rescue dog as well as a herder. Some of that herding instinct comes into play in search and rescue missions. Their desire to please humans and amazing nose make Border Collies an ideal search and rescue dog. You can begin training your Border Collie puppy for a search and rescue role quite early.

They can come in any colour combination or marking

The most famous colouring for a Border Collie is black and white. However, the AKC recognises many more colourings and markings. Black, Blue, Blue Merle, Brindle, Gold, Lilac, Red, Sable, and Saddleback Sable are just a few of the many standard colours recognised in the Border Collie. Tan points and white markings of many kinds are the recognised markings. Essentially, you can find a Border Collie in any colour or marking that you desire.

They come from a cross between a Roman breed and a Viking breed

Although the Border Collie was bred along the border between Scotland and England, they do not come from either a Scottish or English breed. Instead, the Border Collie is actually a mix of a Roman herding breed and a Viking Spitz-variety herding breed. The Border Collie then illustrates the multicultural history of England.

The AKC only recognised them in 1995

Border Collies are a relatively new addition to the official AKC list of registered dogs. They were added in 1995 along with the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Greater Swiss Mountain Dog. They are the AKC’s 139th breed.

Border Collies use “the eye” to herd

One technique that Border Collies use to herd is called “the eye.” This is an intense stare that they employ to intimidate animals. It makes the animals easier for the dog to herd. Even if your Border Collie is not a herder, you may still witness “the eye.” It is common for this breed to try and use it on humans when they want something—such as food.

Many Border Collies hold world records

Border Collies are known for their intelligence and trainability, both of which are discussed below. This has helped many Border Collies break world records. For example, one Border Collie named Chaser has been taught to identify over 1,000 objects. She can even remember their proper names. Another Border Collie named Striker has the world record for being the fastest dog to open a car window.

They are one of the most intelligent dog breeds

By far the most known thing about Border Collies is their intelligence. Not only are they extremely smart, but they are very trainable as well. They want to please their humans. This means that they both understand and respond to human commands. They are so intelligent that you need to provide a consistent source of mental stimulation and training or they can become destructive.


Border Collies are amazing dogs with a very interesting history. They come with high activity and socialisation requirements. However, if you want a playful, intelligent, and loveable dog, then this breed may be for you.

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