Border Collies come from a long line of herding dogs dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries. These collies were bred for intelligence and endurance by shepherds along the borderlands of Wales, England and Scotland. The name "Border Collie" didn't come about until the first half of the 20th century, according to the International Sheepdog Society.
Throughout the 20th century, Border Collies remained important as herding dogs and towards the end of the century became more prominent in the show rings.
Today, Border Collies are highly regarded as one of the most intelligent dog breeds and are popular pets. They are a member of the Pastoral breed group.
Border Collies are medium-sized dogs weighing around 27-44 pounds and measuring from 18 -22 inches in height. They may have brown or blue oval eyes (some dogs have a brown and a blue eye).
Their coat comes in two varieties: smooth and short or rough and medium; however the face and ears of both varieties have short hair. They come in a variety of colors including black and white, black, red and white, tri-colored and yellow.
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Border Collies are energetic dogs bred for their intelligence and endurance. They can be excitable but should not be aggressive. Although they are extremely loyal and enjoy the company of people, Border Collies are most pleased when they have a job and are not content to live sedentary lives.
Because they were bred for herding, Border Collies can attempt to satiate this desire by herding other animals and even people. Border Collies have strong instincts and need thorough training in order to become well-behaved and happy members of their owner's family.
Additionally, although generally low-maintenance dogs, they do need regular brushing.
They are very loyal and can be reserved with strangers. Border Collies make good pets for active people, especially those engaged in dog sports such as obedience and agility. When well-trained, they are amiable and faithful companions capable of improving the quality of their owner's lives. They are happiest when they receive a few hours of exercise each day and thrive especially on exercise which stimulates their active minds.
Border Collies do not make good pets for people who do not have sufficient time to train and care for a dog. Busy businessmen, families with very young children or elderly individuals, in general, are not a good match for Border Collies. Additionally, inexperienced dog owners may not be able to train or control Border Collies and may be frustrated by the amount of energy and intelligence their dog displays.
Border Collies live an average of 12 to 15 years. They can be excellent pets when paired with the right owner. Before purchasing a Border Collie it will be helpful to spend time with an owner or breeder and get to know a typical dog.