- Pets and Animals»
- Dogs & Dog Breeds»
- Dog Breeds
5 Amazing Border Collies
Border collies are pretty amazing.
Known for their sheep-herding abilities, more and more people are finding border collies to not only be the perfect pet, they are such intelligent dogs and many of them have shown some extraordinary abilities.
From border collies that can round up children, to picking up litter, to dancing, their specialties seem to know no bounds.
Having had the privilege of owning a border collie, in many cases those dogs actually want to do something useful.
Sitting around sleeping all day simply isn't in their nature. They are highly active and inquisitive dogs, and really no-one should home one if they are not prepared to exercise it as much as possible every day.
Yet border collies can live in cities too, as they very quickly learn how to avoid traffic, and cross roads only when it is safe to do so.
They are very easy to train, as they are eager to please and have the intelligence to pick up what is meant by a command very quickly.
Here are 5 amazing border collies that stand out from the crowd because of the wonderful things they have learned to do.
Meg, the garbage collecting dog
Meg is a pretty amazing border collie with a talent for street cleaning.
An early morning walk in the local park is an exciting time for Meg. Let off her lead, she zooms around, picking up discarded tin cans and paper wrappings, and depositing them securely in the public litter bins provided.
In just a few minutes, she can completely clear up the whole area, giving the Council refuse collectors little to do when they turn up later.
Owner Ken Pople, 69, first got Meg from a rescue centre when she was 10 months old. At the time she was a problem dog from a broken home, but with some love and guidance from Mr Pople she soon learned obedience.
It is unknown how she developed her cleaning skills, but if all dogs could learn that, the streets would be a lot tidier today.
Chaser, the dog who can understand a huge vocabulary
Chaser the border collie has learned more than an amazing 1000 words.
Owner, retired psychology professor John Pilley, has spent the last 3 years 'training' Chaser to identify toys and stuffed dolls by a name.
Now, with all those dolls piled high in another room, Chaser can be told to go and fetch a specific one, and he gets it right every time.
He has even featured on ABC news where the host of PBS visited Chaser at home, bringing with him a new doll.
Chaser was shown it and told its name, before the doll was hidden under the pile of dolls in the other room, and Chaser was told to go fetch.
Of course, being the amazing border collie that he is, he brought the new doll back in with him.
Thanks to dogs like Chaser, scientists can now gain a greater understanding of dogs' ability to learn language.
Kate and Gin on Britain's Got Talent video
Learn how to train dogs - Kate and Gin, the book
Gin the Amazing Dancing Dog
In 2008, Gin appeared with her owner Kate on Britian's Got Talent and if you look at the video-clip here, it was a joy to watch.
Two best friends having fun, the dog totally absorbed in concentrating on her beloved owner while they performed an amazing dancing act together.
Who even knew border collies could dance? Gin certainly can, and this goes to show yet another aspect of what the clever border collie is capable of doing in the right hands.
In later interviews, Kate, then 16, told reporters that Gin was actually very difficult to train, and it took many hours both before and after school to teach Gin how to dance.
While Gin is now possibly the best-behaved and more obedient dog in the world now, it wasn't always like that.
Kate describes taking Gin along to dog-training classes and being asked to leave because Gin refused to behave.
Kate has even brought a book out on how to train dogs like Gin.
In her book, she explains in simple terms what it means to own a dog, the responsibilities that go with it, and what to expect, as well as describing the methods she used to train Gin to dance.
Ozzy, the border collie cross who has perfected a balancing act
Puppies for Dummies at Amazon
Ozzy balancing on chain fence, the video that went viral
Ozzy, who has perfect balance
Ozzy is an extraordinary border collie-kelpie cross belonging to Nick Johnson from Norwich in the UK.
First time dog owner, Nick prepared himself for the worst, not feeling sure how hard puppies are to train. He bought and studied a book called Puppies for Dummies before he bought Ozzy as a pup from a farm in Wales.
He also took the pup on a 6 week training course, but he confesses his fears were ungrounded as Ozzy was very easy to house-train.
After becoming a fan of dog-whisperer Cesar Millan, Nick was keen to find out what his dog was capable of.
From learning to sit and give a paw, he soon advanced to waving at his owner on his hind legs.
From then, it was a simple step to teach him how to fetch things, and Ozzy started learning a vocabulary.
Now, at home he fetches the newspaper from the letter box and takes it through to his master in one piece, he fetches the phone with someone rings, he fetches his master's slippers or shoes, and can distinguishes between different pairs of different colors, fetching the ones he is asked to bring.
When out and about, Ozzy likes jumping up high and it was from this habit that his owner somehow taught him to do his balancing acts.
In one, Ozzy balances on a chain fence, and a passerby caught it on his mobile phone and uploaded the video to YouTube where it became an instant hit.
Since then, Ozzy and Nick have found fame, if not fortune.
Stella, the untrained Medical Detection Dog who has saved her owner's life
Stella, the black and white border collie-Jack Russell cross has TWICE saved her diabetic owner's life.
Acting just like a trained Medical Detection dog, untrained Stella has somehow managed to figure out when her owner, 41 year old Tracey Poole is at risk of entering a diabetic coma.
Twice inside a year, 8 year old Stella has nudged her owner awake during the night when Tracey was sleeping, and on awakening Tracey herself has realised she is suffering the warning symptoms of an approaching diabetic coma, and been able to ward them off by drinking some glucose.
Insulin-dependant Tracey has an unstable diabetes and is prone to dangerous hypoglycaemic attacks where her blood sugar falls too low.
Somehow or other her clever little dog Stella has learned the warning signs and managed to waken her owner and avert a potential crisis.
What type of dog do you have (or would like to have)?
Border collies are super-intelligent
It has been difficult to choose just 5 amazing border collies for this article, as there are many more.
Coming top of the canine intelligence league, border collies are really super animals to have around. They are relatively easy to train, and keen to learn.
I would not choose any other type of dog over border collies, given a choice.
While all dogs are wonderful, this breed tops the lot.