The Border Collie dog breed is considered to be among the smartest dog breeds in the world. They are a unique breed with a prestigious history. Besides being a brilliant family dog, this breed also has other qualities that can blow your mind. For example- the ancestors of this breed were working dogs since they were bred to look after the cattle.
Border Collie pups might need some extra space like large gardens so that they can stretch their legs easily. They also have a strong protective instinct which keeps them engaged during most times of the day. A fun fact about the Border collie breed is that they are excellent sniffers. Such a quality makes them good rescue dogs.
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But besides such surprises, there are other fun facts about the Border collie breed that can keep you occupied.
Top 14 fun facts about Border collie dog breed:
1. Border Collies are champions:
The Border collie dog breed was bred to herd the cattle. As a result, they have turned out to be highly energetic and observant. Such a factor makes them a champion herder. This is also one of the fun facts about Border collies.
They make proper use of their ‘eye’ by staring intensely at the flock members. By herding sheep, they have excelled in the field of work ethic and intelligence. This breed took everyone by surprise during the earliest recorded sheepdog trials held in Bala, Wales in 1973. Guided by whistles and hand signals, this dog was successful in herding the sheep into a small pen.
2. Royalty owned them:
This breed was considered popular during the 19th century. But, people became more interested in this breed after Queen Victoria decided to adopt one. A fun fact about the Border collie dog breed was that this breed was fancied by Queen Victoria.
She owned two Border collies, namely Noble and Sharp. As a dog lover, Queen Victoria was seen grieving over the death of her pets in different ways. Among all the dogs she had, Sharp was her most favourite. In total, the queen raised more than 15 dog breeds in her entire lifetime.
3. Old Hemp as the progenitor of border collies:
Some modern Border collies have the lineage of Old Hemp. This dog belongs to the 1800s and is considered the progenitor of this breed. This can also be considered as a fun fact about Border collies.
What made Old Hemp famous was his herding method. He started herding at the age of 6 weeks, using a quieter process compared to the dogs of his kind and was less aggressive. This method impressed the breeders who preferred a softer technique. Over years this dog became the father of more than 200 pups.
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4. Scottish poems have featured this breed:
A fun fact about Border collies is that they have been mentioned in Scottish Poetry. A Scottish poet named Robert Burns once owned a Border collie named Luath. The death of his beloved dog inspired Burns to write poems.
A well-known poem written by him was ‘The Twa Dogs’ that explained the magical bond of a man and a dog. There also lies a statue of Luath, standing right next to his master Burns in Boston’s Winthrop Square.
5. The American Kennel Club recognised them in 1995:
Even after Queen Victoria adopted this breed, Border collies took a long time to gain recognition. It was not until the 20th century when the ACK finally recognised it as a breed. This can also be considered as a fun fact about Border collie.
The biggest reason for recognising this breed was out of the objections laid by the Border collie fans. Breeders of this breed wanted to prove that their dog was more capable than just herding cattle. They would not compromise the breed’s talents due to a late registration in the organization.
6. They have two coat variations:
One of the interesting and fun facts about Border collie dog bred is that they have two variations of coat. One variant is the short and smooth coat. Those with this coat type do not shed much and lack volume.
The other coat variant of the Border collie is long and coarse. This coat grows up to 3 inches and is highly voluminous. To ensure that the coat stays healthy, it is necessary to groom the coat regularly. However, the dogs with this coat have a different appearance compared to the dogs with a short coat. These medium-sized dogs also have various coat colors like black and white, Black and blue, Brindle, Gold, Lilac, and even a tri-color (white, brown and black), sable and blue, etc.
7. They are a smart breed:
Apart from being workaholic dogs, Border collies are also very intelligent. As herders, these dogs are good at following commands and certain remarkable words that are said by their owners. This is also one of the fun facts about Border collie.
These breeds are very smart and can solve most of the problems on their own. As long as they have a ‘job’ to do, they are never mentally exhausted. Other dogs might be better than a Border collie in some way or the other, but no breed can outsmart him in intelligence.
8. They are record breakers:
A fun fact about the Border collie breed is that they have set records in various aspects. A dog named ‘Chaser’ has been considered as the ‘Most Intelligent Dog’. A border collie named Chaser has attained a record by recognizing the names of more than 1000 objects overcoming the previous record by another border collie named Rico.
Other dogs of this breed are also known for creating records. Jumpy, a Border collie holds a Guinness World Record for skateboarding 100 meters in 20 seconds. A Border collie from Quebéc City known as Striker also has a record for rolling a car window with its paws. Again in 2008, a Border collie made a record for balancing a ‘can’ on her head and walking 100 meters in just 2 minutes 55 seconds. The name of this dog was ‘Sweet Pea’.
9. They have featured in films:
Being intelligent and active is the reason why these dogs have been used in several films. A fun fact about Border collie is that they have acted in many films. In the 1990s, a Border collie named Maui performed the role of Murray in a sitcom “Mad About You”. This sitcom continued for seven seasons on television. The dog Murray was also pronounced as the ‘most popular dog’ on TV.
This breed was also seen acting in a TV series known as “Little House on the Prairie”. You have even seen Border collies casting in films like ‘Animal Farm’, ‘Snow Dogs’ and ‘Babe: Pig in the City’.
10. They are wonderful rescue dogs:
The skill of herding has turned them into perfect rescue dogs. One of the fun facts about the Border collie breed is that they have been used as rescue dogs by several organisations. These dogs follow their instincts to carry out successful rescue operations.
In 2016, Blitz, a Border collie rescued a woman named Jess Ellsmore who went missing under thick foliage for over 24 hours in England. Had it not been for Blitz, Jess would have never been found, since it would have been impossible for the human eye to find her.
11. They can have different eye colors:
An interesting and fun fact about Border collie dog breed is that, they can have two different eye colors. This can be the result of a hereditary phenomenon known as Heterochromia, an eye condition due to lack of pigment in the eye. As a result, a Border collie can be born with a blue eye, while the other eye is brown.
Sometimes, these dog breeds also possess albinism gene. These genes cause white spots around the eyes of the dog. In fact, a famous incident occurred a few years ago where a border collie named Molly was abandoned by their owners because of her this condition. She had one brown eye and other as pale blue. Molly eventually found a new home with a family in Hampshire.
12. They are not couch potatoes:
An interesting and fun fact about Border collies is that they are not couch potatoes. These dogs have always been an active breed. Therefore, regular exercise is required so that the breed can relax both its mind and body.
Adult Border collies requires regular and daily exercise or else they might start misbehaving. Regular exercise also keeps their health in check. Instead of lying on a couch, these dogs would prefer playing in the garden with their owner. One must consider this fact before thinking of buying a Border Collie.
13. They have participated in dog shows:
As smart and obedient dogs, these dogs have set up several records in different fields. A fun fact about Border collies is that they have also participated in various dog shows and earned laurels for themselves. Their intelligence, obedience and agility have helped them in achieving several titles in many dog shows.
A 5-year old Border collie named Pink along with her handler Crank won the 2020 Masters Agility Champion at the Westminster Dog Show. Verb, another Border collie, also won the Agility Championship, not once but twice (in 2019 and again in 2021) at the Westminster Dog Show. Slick, another Border collie, won best in the herding group at the 142nd Westminster Kennel club dog show. They have also participated in the National Dog show 2021.
14. Their name comes from the region where they flourished:
A fun fact about the Border collie breed is that it got its name from the lands of its origin. It is believed that the Border collie breed originated at the border of Scotland and England. Hence the name ‘Border Collie’.
The term ‘Collie’ is a Scottish word that describes ‘Sheepdogs’. Sources confirm that this breed dates back to the 1700s. Some even believe that this breed is the predecessor of a Scottish collie and a bearded collie and even a Spaniel! Known to be among the most hard-working dog breeds, the Border collie is a nimble dog. It loves to please its owner by doing various actions.
15. Romans brought sheepdogs to Great Britain:
Even though this breed originated along the border of Scotland and England, they were bred in Scotland. But the fun fact about the Border collie breed is that it was the Romans who helped them flourish.
It is assumed that Romans mastered the art of herding sheep. To set up a wool industry, they brought sheep and sheepdogs to the British Isles. But, most of the sheepdogs could not bear the cold. Therefore, Celtics started breeding these dogs in Britain, which were smaller than the original ones but were more agile.
In this article, we learnt about a few fun facts about Border collie that were unknown to many. These dogs have an in-built ability to carry out different tasks. But still, they need proper training. They are a smart and adaptable breed; therefore training them won’t be a problem.
However, improper training can cause these dogs to develop bad habits like barking, whining or nipping. Such behaviours can also result out of boredom and lack of activity. Make sure you train them in such a way that they can understand your commands easily. One thing can be assured that these dogs will grow up to be your personal favourites in no time.
Q. Are Border collies good with children?
Considered to be family-oriented dogs, Border collies are very loyal with children. However, they can be protective of their owners when strangers try to approach them.
Q. How long does a Border collie live?
The average lifespan of a Border collie is 10-17 years.