This breed, the workaholic of the dog world, descends from drover stock in the border country between Scotland and England. First classified as the "Scotch Sheep Dog,” the breed allowed shepherds to maintain large flocks. The breed as we know it today has been around for more than 100 years and are often considered the world’s best sheep herding dogs. They are frequently used on farms all over the world to assist with the handling of livestock. The Border Collie’s ability to herd is instinctive, but they must be trained to actually “work” the livestock from human commands. While originally bred for farm work, they have also become popular as pets. Border Collies as pets must be constantly challenged and exercised to make them happy and well adjusted. Border Collies are widely considered to be one of the most intelligent breeds on earth. Their intelligence has been observed as having an intuitive quality that goes well beyond basic instinct. The breed controls stock with stalking movement and an intense gaze known as "eye." Chase, a specially trained Border Collie, earlier this year demonstrated that he could recognize over 1000 words.
Although the most common color is black and white, it is not unusual to see Border Collies with black, brown/tan, and white (tri-color), or brown and white. Also, there is no “standard” coat. You’ll see them smooth or rough (long hair), or in between . . . with both ears “perked” . . . one ear up and one down . . . or both down. Border Collies are working dogs, bred to do a specific job and not for looks.