Border Collie Dog Breed Information

The name Border Collie tells just about all that is known of the origins of this uncannily intelligent dog. The breed originated along the border between Scotland and England, and one of its ancestors was probably the Collie, which was well known among Scottish shepherds during the 19th century. Other than that, the Border Collie is really an amalgamation of an untold number of British shepherding dogs, with function over form being the driving factor of their breeding.

A dog named Hemp, who appeared at the first sheepdog trial in 1873, is commonly thought of as the first Border Collie. Unlike other herding dogs, who would bark and nip at the sheep in order to force them into compliance, Hemp would use a peculiar stare (the so-called eye) to cow the sheep without raising his voice. His great skills laid the groundwork for the breeds future popularity, and in 1906 the first breed standard for the Border Collie was drawn up; fittingly enough, the standard made no mention of the dog?s appearance and instead focused solely on its working habits.

The Border Collie was introduced to the United States during the early 20th century, and quickly gained a strong foothold among American shepherds. Nevertheless, AKC recognition would take a very long time, as fans of the breed worried that breeding Border Collies to conform to a certain appearance would diminish the dog?s unparalleled intelligence.

Amid heated opposition, the Border Collie was recognized by the American Kennel Club as a member of the Herding Group in 1995. Today, the Border Collie is still used to herd sheep, and is also a perennial winner at herding trials and competitive obedience events.


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