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Border Collie
Standard - History - Today

Sheepdogs are selected for breeding according to their working ability. A herding breed differs from other herding breeds in its working style. The working stlye is formed by the farmers demands. These demands are called by the terrain, circumstances and duties. The border collie originates from the Scottish border country from the time when Great Britains wealth was based on the wool before the industrial revolution.

Todays border collie was formed about 100 years ago but the history of his anchestors extends back centuries. During the times these dogs were called many ways like „working collie”, „old fashioned collie”, „farm collie” or „English collie”. First James Reid, the secretary of International Sheep Dog Society (ISDS) called them „border collie” in 1915.

James Hogg, a shepherd and poet living at the borderlands wrote:
„Without the shepherd’s dog, the whole of the open mountainous land in Scotland would not be worth a sixpence. It would require more hands to manage a stock of sheep, gather them from the hills, force them into houses and folds, and drive them to markets, than the profits of the whole stock were capable of maintaining."”Border collie breeders at this time didn’t care about pedigree. They bred the dogs with the best working abilities. Their aim was to keep and develop these abilities. They were very proud of their dogs abilities and later on this led to local and than official herding trials. The first official herding trial took place in Wales in 1873.Crude climate and rough terrain of the borderline countries demanded persistant, constant and brave dogs. Under these circumstances smaller, faster and quick turning dogs were proven best. White marks (around the neck, on chest, on feets and on the end of the tail) made them seen better.

The border collies duty was to gather the sheep to the shepherd. In Scotland the sheep spent the great part of the year scattered on the pastures up on the mountains. The dog must have been able to run around the whole flock, gather them and fetch them to the shepherd.

These dogs had to work in great distance independently without the commands or help of their owners. They had to be able to solve different situations which demanded separate thinking and creativity. To border collies unique working style belongs its intent look and low moving.

The border collie with its specific working style and wonderful intelligence became the best herding dog of the world.