Thinking of Bringing Home, a Border Collie Pup?

The most intelligent dog on the planet....paws down

The Border Collie, according to what historians know for certain, developed at least 150 years ago in the border land between England, Scotland and Wales. Of course, that many years ago, they were simply known as a collie, sheepdog or a shepherd's dog. This pretty much tells us their main purpose without a lengthy resume. Border Collies have a work ethic to put all others to shame. Herding, keeping watch, running, guiding, barking instructions and being a SHEEP BOSS, the Big Kahuna of the Hillside....that's a Border Collie.

If you're thinking of adopting a Border Collie, you don't have to own a sheep farm, but you really need to do some research on this complex breed of working stiffs.

I can offer some assistance in your thought process, if you please. I certainly understand an attraction to this handsome & intelligent dog. They are regal in stature, with a thick, dual-colored coat (usually black & white) . Their facial features are distinct.....a long straight snout, and very dark, close-set eyes that focus intently and zero in with a constant stare. These serious-minded dogs are fiercely loyal to their Master, a bit snobbish toward other dogs and totally indifferent to cats in the same household. Never fear though, they are as lovable as can be, because they KNOW to brown-nose and expose their CHARM. I'll say this, if a Border Collie could talk, it would most definitely be with a polished British Accent!

I SPEAK FROM EXPERIENCE

My three year old boy genius is my best buddy. I remember well, the two little pups remaining from the litter, one that waddled away from me and "Taz," who literally jumped into my lap. Love at first sight. I also remember the Breeder stressing that he will "always welcome the pup back, should I find he isn't my kind of dog." Ridiculous, I thought. Do we return our children to the maternity ward if it doesn't work out? (Parents! Shame on you for what just went through your mind!!)

"Taz," had already been registered and given his official "biblical" name, "Tazmanian Devil." Most people call him, "Taz," I call him "TazMan," and as his Master, I have the right to give him a nickname exclusive to our communications. I can whisper "Tazman," from 2 rooms away and he's at my feet in a shot.......no kidding. Their vision and hearing is keenly sharp beyond belief......what they may not see, they hear and vise-versa. There is absolutely no attempting to quietly tip-toe behind their backs. Their reaction is instantaneous. They follow your feet, closely and unwaveringly. It's their nature, beyond their control, they're HERDERS! If you plan on becoming annoyed at this natural instinct or erroneously believe you can break him of it, you do not want a Border Collie.

TRAINING, CARE & ENTERTAINMENT

Any dog can be trained to do what you want him to do. If you spend enough time and effort teaching your dog to sit, lay, fetch, speak and stay, eventually you may have yourself a talented, obedient pal. Border Collies soak up training in the accelerated mode, often performing a task after one or two short sessions. This makes a lot of sense when you consider their ability to FOCUS as well as the acuteness of their senses. They WANT to work, so they excel in the classroom. They love to perform and aim to please. The next time you're watching TV, pay close attention to commercials with a dog. FACT: 90% of these commercials feature a Border Collie, for the simple reason that they train easily and quickly.

A little side note here for your consideration: If you haven't the time, patience or desire to BRUSH BRUSH BRUSH your dog, at the very least, once a week, skip over the Border Collie and go for a beagle or a weiner dog! These beauties have a coat that run the gamut from rough to smooth, a combo of both, coarse to silky, in THICK, double layers. Hair, hair, everywhere, but easily controlled if you're willing to work at it.

THE JOHNNY BENCH OF DOGS

Border Collies appear to have sprouted wings when it comes to leaping into mid-air to catch a FRISBEE. They literally amaze with their speed and grace, not to mention the timing and focus it requires to NEVER miss. Playing catch is one of the best ways you can help your four-legged pal burn off some of that super energy stash. Which reminds me to tell you that Border Collies are the BEST breed to own if you like to walk or jog....the greatest fitness partners ever. Even when you may try to find another lame excuse to blow off your routine for the morning, it's doubtful Mr. Ants in his Pants will let you slide!

A LOVABLE BIG MUSHY BABY

I can't speak for all Border Collies on this note, but I can tell you that my "Taz," is a lover for sure. Of course I encouraged this and am a kissy-huggy Mom, but being as serious and reserved as they are, it's a surprise to most people, that they transform to drooling babies who want their bellies rubbed and ears ruffled. At 65#, my "baby" is hardly a lap dog, but that doesn't stop him from jumping onto my lap for a cuddle-session. He is ever so gentle when waking me in the morning. Careful not to tromple on me, he nudges the side of my face with his big old cold, wet nose. Oh yeah, and they do NOT give up until you do as they want. I have NO choice but to get out of bed!

If you are the proud Master of this wonderful specimen of dog, nothing that I've said has come as any surprise to you. 

And I haven't a single doubt you love him/her as much as I love mine, but never as much as they love US!   If you may have considered bringing a baby Border Collie into your family, I hope I've encouraged you to do some in-depth homework on this sensitive and intelligent breed, before signing on the dotted line.  Just as we humans are all unique, so too is the vast assortment of Man's Best Friend. 

Oh........Taz just reminded me to recommend a couple of great books that will give you all the information you could want.  He also said he'll read them to you if you'd like!

Your Border Collie's LIFE    Kim D.R. Dearth/Joanne Howl, D.V.M.

The BORDER COLLIE           TRACY LIBBY/Wayne Hunthausen, D.V.M.   

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Comments 42 comments

fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Kerri....Thanks for stopping by to read my Hub. FYI, there are several very well-written, informative hubs, right here on HP, that will provide you with a lot of tips and suggestions for raising a BC. No sense spending money on books, when these articles will tell you just as much as you might need to know.

Whatever you want her to learn....you can easily train her to do. Believe me. BC's are eager to please and learn quickly and well. Yes, Prissy will be a loyal pet and although it seems she is interested only in you......this is because BC's will single out ONE individual to be their Master.....the person of their choice, btw!..LOL.......but will also be fond of others in the family and interact from time to time......like when you are not available. Good luck. You will never regret rescuing Prissy...


Kerri 3 years ago

I've just rescued a baby(3 years old) Border Collie. I'm a SAHM with 2 children. So far really the only person she seems to care about is me and where I am at all times. Granted we are still getting to know our Prissy. She doesn't fetch, chase tennis balls or care for a Frisbee(which kinda bumed me out 2 kids later I needed an exercise buddy) I grew up with a Lab( we went duck, goose,quail, turkey) hunting so I amused to a working dog but I guess Prissy is going to be a loyal pet. Any ideas on what we can do to help her(I worry about health for her as well)


epbooks profile image

epbooks 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

I have a friend who adopts border collies and he said the personality of a duck toller is very similar to a border collie. I have pictures of Toffee on some of my hubs. There is one of my hubs called Interview with a Dog- Toffee and there's pics of her there. And yes, my dogs make me exercise daily too!!


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

I can see I need to google "duck toller." That's a new one on me. Busy as they keep me......I would be lost and lonely without my boys. At one point I thought I was too old for such a feisty breed, but the truth is, he's my personal trainer. I get fresh air and exercise, daily......like it or not!


epbooks profile image

epbooks 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

This is an awesome hub! Voted up and for all 5 categories. I love that you said Taz can hear you from the other room and you can't sneak up on him. That is too funny. I know exactly what you mean. My duck toller is the same way, highly energetic, smart as a whip and drives us crazy...but we love her anyway. You're right- exercise is SO important. It's the one thing that can make them behave just a little better. Thanks for posting this-very well-written!


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Alocsin! You left this 4 weeks ago? I am so sorry....I didn't even know. SNAKES??!! Yikes! I'll take a rain check on dinner at your house!!! LOL!!


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Thanks midget......Taz likes to "work"...he's a tireless worker bee! He supervises my grandchildren out side.....if they walk further than he thinks they should, he will circle them continuously until he herds them back where he wants them!! Seriously! LOL......I have to keep him in the house when my husband mows the yard on his riding mower....or Taz will circle him for an hour, until my husband drives it back into the garage....Taz comes prancing out of the garage as if without him, the tractor would have never been put away!!! LOL We love him........Thanks Midget.


midget38 profile image

midget38 3 years ago from Singapore

Now this is a beautiful, active dog!! Say hi to Taz for me. He is a darling!! Yes, they are on top of the list of very active breeds. For myself, I love a dog which likes to play.Taz and I will get along! Thanks for sharing and I am passing it on!


alocsin profile image

alocsin 4 years ago from Orange County, CA

Sounds like a wonderful and cuddly pet. I'm partial to snakes myself. Perhaps not as lovable, but just as warm and easier to take care of. Voting this Up and Interesting.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Keith.....Oh, He is a total lover-boy......he will jump into my husbands lap and literally snuggle his nose into his neck like a human baby! We also have an American Cocker Spaniel....(our 2 fur babies couldn't be less alike...but they make a funny pair of brothers!!) Our cocker is a big baby too......he wants to cuddle all the time.! Thanks for commenting. I'm glad you enjoyed this!


KDuBarry03 4 years ago

This is such a gem! I absolutely love Border Collies! LOL those cuddle sessions sound awesome! I watched many videos on big sized to medium sized dogs jumping on their owner's lap, expecting to be pet and hugged LOL Glad to see you and Taz have an awesome relationship :)

Give Taz an extra cuddle session from me! :)


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

l-m-y......Depends on who you ask. I firmly believe if we choose to bring a pet into our home and our life, they are to be "members of our family." ....in terms of care and concern.

I did have the 2-legged kind....and when they were still at home, they were responsible for the pets. Once they all made their way in the world, apparently I had not depleted my maternal instincts.....and needed 2 dogs and 2 cats. Go figure.

Better that we are accused of being a bit off the charts with our pets than to be seen as neglectful pet owners. I'm not fond at all of people who mistreat animals.......I'm sure you feel the same! have a great day.


love my yorkies profile image

love my yorkies 4 years ago from way out west

Life style change dictated new choice of dog breed. Yes, I agree completely. We don't treat them like dogs or pets, they become part of our family and treat them as such. Sometimes I do wonder tho if this a good thing to treat them as such. I do try to let my dogs be dogs, but yes, I do consider them my "kids" as I was not blessed with the two legged kind of my own. So, sometimes I figure I'm over compensating, but that's ok I guess! I love my dogs and take care of them and that's all that matters!


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

love my yorkies.....I can truly appreciate how much you must have loved Joey. I'm glad to hear she was rescued by someone who gave her all that love. Of COURSE she felt like a human...this is how we treat them!!

You really went with a completely different type of dog afterwards, I see.

Wishing you and your "kids" a great summer!


love my yorkies profile image

love my yorkies 4 years ago from way out west

Before I got my two yorkies, I had a border collie. She passed away just last year at the age of 14 and I had rescued her from a shelter when she was just 6 weeks old. Josette, or Joey for short, was so full of life and so loving. I loved her so much and was very grateful for the time I got to have her in my life. She is still missed and I think of her often. Of course, she didn't realize she was a dog, she thought she was a human.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

dahoglund.....They definitely are "workr" dogs nd like to keep busy. The "herding" is continual, but can be funny. Taz MUST stay in the house when Dad is riding the mower. He will circle him for hours on end, until it's driven back into the gargae, where of course, our dog thinks HE HAS LEAD IT TO!!! lol

rlion.....I guess one word says it all for you. Thank you!


rlion profile image

rlion 4 years ago

agreed


dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

I know some of this about Border Collies. We had one that was half border collie and half German shepherd. Great dog but not for old folks like my wife and me. Because they are intelligent they get bored and make up things to do. They tend to herd the family around to where they think they should be. Ours also played tricks like putting stuff in my boots. At that time the Border Collie was not a recognized breed. A friend of mine was against it being recognized because they would change it.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

very interesting. I did not know this. Thanks!


alancaster149 profile image

alancaster149 5 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

Whereas the Border has to keep quiet on duty and steer clear of the animals - not to 'run the meat off them' - the Aussie is both vocal and up close and personal, riding on their backs at times, going by what I've seen on their films or docu-dramas. At the same time, however, they've got something like ten or twenty times the number of sheep to control than your average Border's got.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Thanks stylezink....You're good for Taz's EGO! Aussie's are closely related and I'm sure just as smart! Yes, the eyes are piercing....when they focus, their eyes are literally GLUED to the subject. And this explains their lightening speed reactions. Appreciate your visits!!


stylezink profile image

stylezink 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA.

Great hub on border collies. A person I know has 5 of them. They are wonderful dogs and super smart. I remember this one time at a dog park with them their owner yelled, "let's go black and whites!" all 5 of them came running over the hill towards the gate. It was amazing to watch. There focus when learning is awesome to watch as well. If you watch a border's eyes closely you can see them telling you something. They are great dogs! I own an aussie, I swear she has the personality of a border though. Thanks for sharing this hub, I really enjoyed it!


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

alancaster149....So happy to have you!! Thanks for your wonderful comment. The reality is, if I were to go on and on about this dog and the THINGS he does, my friends would begin to make the "this girl is looney" gestures, behind my back. Seriously. SUPER intelligent is an understatement. This collie of mine understands Spanish! While helping my grandson with his homework, I said, "Donde esta el coche?" (where is the car?) The damned dog pushed the screen door open and ran to sit beside my car as he barked! Don't believe me, do you? See what I mean?? I'd be better off to just say he's a dumb mutt I picked up from the side of the road!! Yes, Border Collies are quite popular here. Especially where I live in the rural areas. Come visit again please.


alancaster149 profile image

alancaster149 5 years ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

Is there a big following for Border Collies in your neck of the woods? I shouldn't wonder. One year when I took Kath and the kids - including Suzy - up north we went to watch a local shepherd who uses his dogs for demonstrating his and their skills. This was close to Hardraw near Hawes in upper Wensleydale. He takes his dogs to the States, Canada and around other parts of the Commonwealth as well, I believe, controlling up to three dogs at a time with differently pitched whistles. So they have to learn to listen for their own signals. I've also heard they see 'in colour', which explains why they're used as search dogs after disasters such as earthquakes, and can 'lift' sheep in the snow after blizzards when they've taken shelter in the lee of high dry stone walls. Nice writing. I've got an 'adopted' collie on one of my hubs, THE SWALEDALE CIRCUIT.We had a Border Collie-sized Shetland Sheepdog called Max - he was Kath's dog before we met - who was still learning new tricks a long time after we got to 'know one another'. One I got him to remember was 'shaking hands', remembering left from right!


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Sharyn...My sister had poodles (standard,from Germany) and they WERE incredibly smart! I appreciate your comments as always. Just returned home from being away for 11 days and I'm being mauled & kissed to death....& not by humans!!


Sharyn's Slant profile image

Sharyn's Slant 5 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

Great hub Paula,

I love the humor throughout too. My last dog was a toy poodle and I really thought he was incredibly smart and human like. But I won't argue which is smarter. He was perfect for me. I believe my Dad's dog Shadow is part Border Collie that he got from a shelter. He's an awesome dog. Thank you and TazMan for a great read!

Sharyn


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Miss Lil'Atlanta....Certainly I would not argue with you! We notice that our boy actually LISTENS to conversations and reacts to words being said. It's as bad as having to "watch what you say in front of the kids!!!" LOL

I pay no attention to what "people say" anymore about dog intelligence. In my opinion, if they've never known a B.C....they have not met the GENIUS of CANINES. Period, the end.


Miss Lil' Atlanta profile image

Miss Lil' Atlanta 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

Oh yeah, and when it comes to Border Collies and kids. Although it seems to me now that "most" Border Collies I have met are wonderful with kids, this is still not entirely true either... Usually, this more so applies for Border Collies with "very" strong herding insticts though. Thankfully, my BC doesn't herd too many children, but he does insanely herd other dogs (besides other Border Collies) and inanimate objects. Lol, My pup herds my dog (seemingly no matter what) in every which way he can. He gets so crazy into it, it's like he has literally an evil alter ego. lol


Miss Lil' Atlanta profile image

Miss Lil' Atlanta 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

I'm a first time Border Collie owner, and just got my puppy a few months ago. After getting my current little boy I have to "by far" say that Border Collies in every way, shape, and form are the smartest breed of dog hands down.

I mean, yes a Border Collie that is slightly on the "lower-end of smarts" for the breed, might not be as bright as an incredibley intelligent German Shepherd per-sai. That being said, that's a rare thing to see.

Without a doubt, "anyone" who says that "any" other breed of dog is "anywhere" close to being as smart as Border Collies is either (A) Biased, (B) Misinformed, or (C) Just Stupid. I mean, after owning my Border Collie, it still utterly shocks me how bright one dog can be.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Thank you! You and your family were wise and so unselfish to give your adoptee to a place where she could be happy and thrive! Bless your heart! Arf!


Cloverleaf profile image

Cloverleaf 5 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

Hi there fpherj48, I absolutely love border collies! Growing up we adopted a border collie for a while but she had just way to much energy for us to look after her properly so we found an amazing farm for her to work on instead. It was wonderful to visit her and watch her work with the sheep! The are very hardworking and great with kids, too. Thumbs up!


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Cogerson....My son has had 3 Labs....2 choc, 1 yellow...WONDERFUL family dogs! Gentle, protective and playful. Have fun checking out all the hundreds of different dogs with your girls. Kids have a natural instinct when it comes to making their choice. As a child, we always had one mutt or another that my Dad would "rescue" and carry home...and we loved every one of them like family! It's no accident they're called, "Man's Best Friend."


Cogerson profile image

Cogerson 5 years ago from Virginia

Great information on Border Collies...I love the name Taz...especially what it is short for....I have always wanted to get a collie.....my two dogs are labrador retrievers but they are both already in double digits....so I am thinking about the next dog....that our daughters can grow up with......just have to talk the wife into another dog...my little girls have my back on this decision...lol. Voted up and interesting.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Ken...It's always nice to hear from YOU....speaking of TALENT!


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

Dear fpherj48, GREAT hub. Anytime a hubber writes a true story about their dog, Im there. Thanks for your wonderful talent. I mean that.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Thank you for stopping by Diana Lee....sister-dog-lover! What breed is your baby?


Diana Lee profile image

Diana Lee 5 years ago from Potter County, Pa.

Very nice dog, but then I'm a dog lover.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

E.S.P.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

Thanks so much tillsontitan. Taz thanks you too. They are a beautiful-looking animal and all that HAIR is a part of their special look. a Min Pin? Miniature Pincher (sp?) Buzz Lightyear....great name!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 5 years ago from New York

Great hub. I've always admired Border Collies for their looks and personality. However, as you mention I can't deal with the brush, brush, brush so tormented myself with a Min Pin - Buzz Lightyear. I really enjoyed your hub. Voted up as it is also well written.


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 5 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York Author

I swear you are hiding out in a corner of my hubpages, just waiting to pounce on my latest hub!! You slay me Sunshine! You're such a GEM! Thanks as always for your comments and support.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

I got you by 3 minutes this time! Haha! Wonderful story about your buddy!! I like his name....I actually have a BFF penpal that lives in Tasmania, Australia!! Maybe one day Foxy and Taz could meet ... one never knows! :)

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    Paula (fpherj48)843 Followers
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    Paula has freelanced for nearly 40 years. She has a passion for her forte of Behavioral Science & continuing education in this field.



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