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Where did Border Collies originate?

Happy birthday to my aunt, a woman who loved her grand-dog Dally so much the she requested her Birthday Doodle to be about Border Collies. These champion herders have captured hearts since the 1860's when they started to really separate from the standard Collie. However, the Border Collie as an official breed, did not come into existance until 1906, when the International Sheep Dog Society (ISDS) was formed and a stud book was opened.


The Border Collie was originally developed in Scotland and thrived in the region on the border of Scotland and England. “Collie” is a Scotch word used to describe sheepdogs and because this breed flourished in the border region, it was christened the “Border Collie”. It is thought the breed as we know it today can be traced back to a dog named "Hemp 9", also called "Old Hemp". Collies were strong and powerful dogs at the time, though difficult to control and could be rough with the stock they were herding. A more mild natured dog was preferred and a man named Adam Teller seemed to be the one to successfully bred for the temperament we know today in 1894, though the studbook had not yet been started.


Border Collies were originally bred to herd sheep. They excel at this task because of their strength, stamina, intelligence, and work ethic. Border Collies are famous for using “the eye”, staring intensely at their flock to intimidate them... I'm sure anyone who's owned a Border Collie can attest, they do have a captivating gaze. The earliest recorded sheepdog trial took place in 1873 in Bala, Wales, and the crowd was impressed by the Border Collies ability to herd sheep into a small pen, guided only by hand signals and whistles from their owners.


Today, Border Collies have broken all kinds of records. A Border Collie named Chaser has been widely recognized as the world's most intelligent dog; she knows the names of more than 1,000 objects. Another Border Collie, named Jumpy, holds a Guinness World Record for dog skateboarding: 100 meters in less than 20 seconds. Striker, a Border Collie from Quebéc City, set the canine record for rolling down a manual car window. In 2008, a Border Collie-mix named Sweet Pea set a record for dog balancing; she balanced a can on her head and walked 100 meters in only 2 minutes and 55 seconds.


Quite an impressive breed, if I do say so myself. It's no wonder Border Collies are popular among pet owners and farmers alike.




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