Border Collies are one of the best known and most widely used sheep herding dogs. Their ability to learn new commands extremely quickly, to work well even when out of the site of their owners and the fact that their great intelligence comes in a very agile and strong body makes them perfect working dogs.
Their ancestors were Landrace Collies of the British Isles. It is presumed that the modern Border Collie originated on the fields of English and Scottish border. The word “collie” is a Scottish word that stands for a sheep herding dog.
The breed first gained recognition and became separate from Scotch Sheep Dogs in the minds of the people when in 1860 Queen Victoria saw one and was left enchanted. Most of the present day Border Collies can be traced to single ancestor named Old Hemp. This dog that lived from 1893 to 1902 was an excellent sheep herding dog and was used as stud quite often, as people wanted a dog that would share his remarkable qualities.
These dogs were introduced to New Zealand in the late 1890’s and to Australia in the early 1900’s. Both of these countries are known for great flocks of sheep and Border Collie was just the thing they needed. It is estimated that a skilled and trained Border Collie can replace 3 to 5 men when it comes to sheep herding. This made them extremely valuable and sought after.
They were fully recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1995 and have since gone on to win a great number of conformation shows, as well as different events such as agility, fly ball or sheep herding events. They are just as popular as pets as they are as working dogs and they have managed to make a lot of owners very proud and satisfied.