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Border Collie

Personality:Remarkably smart workaholics; not adverse to a good cuddle when the job is done

Coat & Grooming:Rough and smooth coats need regular brushing; a high shedder

Energy Level:Very Active; Off-the-charts energy and intelligence need outlets

Originally: England/Scotland

Nicknames: Border; BC

Size: Medium

Meet the Border Collie

​Borders are athletic, medium-sized herders standing 18 to 22 inches at the shoulder. The overall look is that of a muscular but nimble worker unspoiled by passing fads. Both the medium-length rough coat and the shorter smooth coat come in a wide variety of colors and patterns. The oval eyes are the focus of an intelligent expression—an intense gaze, the Border’s famous “herding eye,” is a breed hallmark. On the move, Borders are among the canine kingdom’s most agile, balanced, and durable citizens.

What's Their Story?

​Long-ago breeders of the British Isles crossed their native stock with dogs brought by invading Romans and Vikings to create many still-familiar breeds. The Border Collie, from the borderland between England and Scotland, is one of their masterpieces. Borders have been called the world’s greatest herders, and anyone who’s seen them work—with their sweeping outruns, their stealthy crouching and creeping, and their explosive bursts of focused energy—would have to agree. When shepherds dream of the perfect dog, you can bet it’s a Border.

What are they Like?

The uncanny intelligence, athleticism, and trainability of Borders have a perfect outlet in agility work. Borders rule the championship levels of this fast-paced sport. Having an outlet, a job to perform, like agility—or herding or obedience competition—is key to Border happiness. They’re affectionate with friends but, as the breed standard says, “may be sensibly reserved toward strangers.” These are amazing dogs—perhaps a bit too amazing for owners without the time, energy, or means to keep them occupied.

See more Border Collie photos here

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