Border Collies are herding and working dogs that are perhaps one of the main breeds that have stayed the closest to its roots because they are still used today just as they were bred to do centuries ago. They originated in the United Kingdom from native herding dogs where they now tend to livestock on farms all over the world. The exact origin of the name Collie is uncertain, but it has been traced back to the 1650s and is thought to come from the English word coaly meaning "coal-black," possibly referring to the black-faced sheep that shepherd dogs in the area were known for herding or the black and white coloring of some individuals in the breed. In the early 1900s, these hard-working dogs were known as Shepherd's Dogs, but it wasn't until 1915 that the name Border Collie was introduced to distinguish from other herding Collies such as the Smooth-coated Collie and Rough-coated Collie. The Border Collie breed has been popular on television by appearing in movies such as Babe, Bingo, and Down and Out in Beverly Hills.
The Border Collie is particularly well-suited to work on challenging terrain for relatively long periods of time. Although graceful-looking dogs, they are always on alert and ready to follow a given command. Their long double coats, medium-length rough or shorter smooth, are close-fitting, dense, and all-weather to be able to work in any sort of condition, rain or shine, and comes in a various array of colors, most commonly being black and white. Their oval-shaped eyes give them the "herding look" they are known for, an imposing gaze. They have medium-sized ears that are carried erect or semi-erect and a well-proportioned muzzle with a nose that matches the primary color of the coat. The breed's tail is a moderate length and can be raised if excited but does not curl over the back.
These beautiful herding dogs are considered to be one of the most intelligent breeds in the world and are considered to be fairly easy to train if obedience and socialization are started at an early age. They excel in many dog sports such as agility, obedience, and frisbee, and due to their gentle nature, are also commonly seen in therapy and service dog positions. Even though they are agile and athletic by nature, Border Collies still require challenging activities to satisfy their activeness. Due to their high energy needs, they may not be the best choice for apartments or places where no yard is accessible and may become destructive when bored if they do not have a regular job to do. As long as these dogs have an active family who loves to go for walks or runs, they can adapt to most living situations. Border Collies tend to do better with older children due to their tendency to herd objects and other people by nipping at their heels, however, they generally get along well with other pets. Widely known for being very affectionate and loving towards their owners, they will also guard them against strangers and unwanted guests. Commonly displaying loyalty and affection, a well-trained and well-exercised Border Collie can be one of the best companions any family could ask for; remember, an active Border Collie is a happy Border Collie.