10 Things You Didn't Know About black collie

Uncovered: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Black Collies

The Border Collie is one of the most intelligent and hardworking dogs, originating from the border region of Scotland and England. They are known for their exceptional intelligence and love for work. Here are 10 fascinating facts about Black Collies:

Extremely Smart Dogs

Border Collies are renowned for their exceptional intelligence. Considered one of the smartest dog breeds, they have a remarkable capacity for learning words and commands. They thrive when given mental stimulation and tasks to accomplish.

Name Origin

The name “Border Collie” originated from the breed’s development in the border region of Scotland and England. The term “collie” refers to sheepdogs in Scotland. These dogs flourished in the border area and were named accordingly.

Champion Herders

Border Collies were primarily bred to excel at herding sheep. Their strength, stamina, intelligence, and work ethic make them exceptional herders. They are known for using “the eye” technique of intense staring to intimidate and control the flock. Border Collies have a rich history in sheepdog trials, showcasing their exceptional herding abilities guided only by hand signals and whistles.

Beloved by Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria developed a fondness for Border Collies in the early 1860s and became an active enthusiast of the breed. Her love for Border Collies contributed to their separation from the modern Collie breed during that time.

Inspiring Scottish Poetry

The famous Scottish poet Robert Burns owned a Border Collie named Luath, whose tragic death inspired one of Burns’ best poems, “The Twa Dogs.” Luath’s special bond with the poet showcases the deep connection between humans and Border Collies.

Key Takeaways:

  • Black Collies are exceptionally intelligent and thrive on mental stimulation.
  • The name “Border Collie” originates from their development in the border region of Scotland and England.
  • Border Collies are renowned for their exceptional herding abilities and were bred specifically for this purpose.
  • Queen Victoria’s love for Border Collies contributed to their distinction as a separate breed.
  • A Border Collie named Luath inspired a famous poem by Scottish poet Robert Burns.

Extremely Smart Dogs

When it comes to intelligence, Black Collies are in a league of their own. These dogs are considered one of the smartest breeds, known for their exceptional problem-solving abilities and quick learning. Their intelligence is not only reflected in their obedience training but also in their capacity to understand and respond to various commands and words.

Black Collies thrive on mental stimulation and tasks that challenge their intellect. Whether it’s learning new tricks, solving puzzles, or participating in advanced training exercises, these dogs excel in any intellectually stimulating activity they encounter. Their sharp minds and eagerness to learn make them a joy to train for owners who appreciate working with highly intelligent animals.

It’s no wonder that Black Collies are frequently utilized in various working roles, including search and rescue, therapy work, and competitive obedience. Their ability to quickly process information and make decisions in high-pressure situations makes them invaluable assets in these fields. If you’re looking for a dog that can keep up with your cleverness and provide a stimulating mental challenge, a Black Collie might be the perfect match for you.

Name Origin

The name “Border Collie” has its origins in the breed’s development in the border region of Scotland and England. The term “collie” specifically refers to sheepdogs in Scotland. These intelligent and hardworking dogs flourished in the border area, where they were primarily bred for their exceptional herding abilities.

Border Collies gained their name due to their geographical connection to the border region and their role as skilled sheepdogs. The term “border” refers to the border between Scotland and England, while “collie” is a Scottish word for sheepdogs. Over time, the name “Border Collie” became synonymous with these hardworking and versatile herding dogs.

Today, the name “Border Collie” is recognized worldwide and is associated with a breed known for its intelligence, agility, and work ethic. It serves as a testament to the breed’s origins and the crucial role they played in herding livestock along the border between Scotland and England.


The Border Collie’s exceptional herding abilities set them apart as champion herders. Bred for their strength, stamina, intelligence, and work ethic, these dogs excel in directing and controlling flocks of sheep. With their keen senses and unwavering focus, Border Collies employ a unique technique known as “the eye” to intimidate and manage the flock. Their intense stare and precise movements command obedience from the sheep, showcasing the breed’s innate herding instinct.

Sheepdog trials have played a significant role in showcasing the Border Collie’s remarkable herding prowess. These trials test the dogs’ ability to navigate through complex obstacles, respond to hand signals and whistles, and exhibit precise control over the flock. The trials serve as a testament to the Border Collie’s intelligence, agility, and natural talent for herding. Many Border Collies have achieved great success in these competitive events, solidifying their reputation as expert herders.

Whether working on a farm or participating in sheepdog trials, Border Collies are revered for their unwavering dedication and work ethic. Their strong desire to fulfill their herding duties and their ability to adapt to different situations make them invaluable partners in the world of herding. Border Collies exemplify the epitome of a dedicated and skilled herding dog, continuing to amaze and impress with their exceptional abilities.

Beloved by Queen Victoria

Border Collies have captivated the hearts of many dog enthusiasts throughout history, including the beloved Queen Victoria. In the early 1860s, Queen Victoria developed a fondness for the breed and became an active enthusiast. Her love for Border Collies even played a role in their separation from the modern Collie breed during that time.

As a royal figure, Queen Victoria’s admiration for Border Collies helped to popularize and elevate their status. Her fondness for these intelligent and hardworking dogs showcased their remarkable qualities to a wider audience. Queen Victoria’s influence contributed to the growing recognition of Border Collies as exceptional companions and working dogs.

“I have found, through many years of living in Scotland, that Border Collies possess an abundance of intelligence, loyalty, and charm. They truly are royal dogs in their own right.”
– Queen Victoria

To this day, Border Collie enthusiasts continue to appreciate and admire the breed for their special connection with Queen Victoria. Her love for these remarkable dogs has left a lasting legacy, solidifying their place as one of the most cherished and respected breeds in the dog world.

Inspiring Scottish Poetry

The famous Scottish poet Robert Burns is renowned for his heartfelt and evocative verses. But did you know that he was also inspired by a faithful Border Collie? Burns owned a black and white Border Collie named Luath, who played a significant role in the poet’s life and work.

Luath’s tragic death served as the inspiration for one of Burns’ most beloved poems, “The Twa Dogs.” This poignant piece explores the bond between humans and dogs, capturing the deep connection and loyalty that exists between the two species.

“O ye wha are sae guid yoursel,
Sae pious and sae holy,
Ye’ve nought to do but mark and tell
Your neibours’ fauts and folly!
Whase life is like a weel-gaun mill,
Supplied wi’ store o’ water;
The heaped happer’s ebbing still,
An’ still the clap plays clatter!”

Famous Dogs in Literature:

  • Rover from “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” by Mark Twain
  • Buck from “The Call of the Wild” by Jack London
  • Marley from “Marley & Me” by John Grogan
  • Toto from “The Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum

These literary canines have captured the hearts of readers worldwide, showcasing the enduring presence of dogs in literature and their ability to touch our souls.

Record-Breaking Achievements

Border Collies have not only captured our hearts with their intelligence and work ethic but have also shattered records and achieved astounding feats. These remarkable dogs continue to showcase their exceptional abilities and leave us in awe.

One Border Collie named Chaser holds the title of the world’s most intelligent dog. This incredible canine has an astonishing vocabulary of over 1,000 object names and can distinguish between different categories of objects. Chaser’s ability to comprehend and remember words has amazed researchers and dog enthusiasts alike.

“Chaser’s capacity to learn and understand words is truly remarkable. She has pushed the boundaries of what we thought dogs were capable of, proving that their intelligence knows no bounds.”

– Dr. John Pilley, Chaser’s trainer and researcher-

But it’s not just intelligence that sets Border Collies apart. They also excel in physical abilities and have earned impressive records. Jumpy, a talented Border Collie, holds the Guinness World Record for dog skateboarding. With his remarkable balance and precision, Jumpy has wowed audiences around the world.

Border Collies have even amazed us with their skill in unique disciplines. From dog balancing to window rolling, these dogs have demonstrated their versatility and adaptability in various challenges. Their intelligence, agility, and strong work ethic make them exceptional candidates for breaking records and achieving incredible feats.

Border Collie Achievements:

  • Chaser, the world’s most intelligent dog with a vocabulary of over 1,000 object names
  • Jumpy, the Guinness World Record holder for dog skateboarding
  • Records in dog balancing and window rolling

Talented Actors

Border Collies have not only captured the hearts of dog lovers but have also made a splash in the world of movies and television. These incredibly intelligent and trainable dogs have showcased their skills on the big screen, leaving a lasting impression on audiences.

One of the most famous Border Collie actors is Babe, who stole the show in the hit film “Babe” released in 1995. Babe’s incredible performances and ability to communicate with humans made him a beloved character and showcased the breed’s versatility.

In addition, Border Collies have made appearances in other films such as “Animal Farm” and “Snow Dogs,” always impressing with their intelligence and natural on-screen presence. They have also graced television series like “Mad About You,” where their talents and charm captivated audiences.

Border Collies in Movies: Famous Border Collie Actors

  • Babe (1995) – This heartwarming film tells the story of an orphaned piglet who dreams of becoming a sheepdog. Babe’s journey and his special bond with a Border Collie named Fly captivated audiences worldwide.
  • Animal Farm (1999) – In this adaptation of George Orwell’s classic novel, a Border Collie named Jess plays the role of Bluebell. Jess’s portrayal of this loyal and intelligent character adds depth to the film’s thought-provoking storyline.
  • Snow Dogs (2002) – In this adventure comedy, a Border Collie named Demon joins forces with a group of sled dogs to help a man discover his roots in Alaska. Demon’s agility and cleverness shine throughout the film.
  • Mad About You (1992-1999) – This beloved television series features a Border Collie named Murray who becomes a central part of the protagonist’s lives. Murray’s intelligence and mischievous antics provide comedic relief and heartwarming moments throughout the show.

Border Collies’ ability to learn quickly, follow commands, and adapt to different roles make them natural performers in the entertainment industry. Their presence on the screen continues to delight audiences and showcase the breed’s remarkable talents.

Skilled Search and Rescue Dogs

Border Collies are not only adept at herding but also excel in search and rescue work. Their intelligence, agility, and determination make them valuable assets in rescue operations. These canine heroes have proven time and again their ability to locate missing individuals and save lives.

Border Collies are highly trained to navigate various terrains and environments, making them well-suited for search and rescue missions. Their keen senses enable them to track scents and locate individuals who may be trapped or in distress. With their exceptional problem-solving skills and unwavering focus, Border Collies can quickly assess situations and provide assistance when every minute counts.

When deployed in search and rescue operations, Border Collies work closely with their handlers and other trained professionals to cover large areas efficiently. They are skilled at following commands and can effectively communicate with their human counterparts. This collaboration between the dogs and their handlers is crucial in maximizing search efforts and ensuring successful outcomes.

Canine Heroes: Saving Lives and Providing Hope

Border Collies in search and rescue roles have been instrumental in numerous rescues worldwide. Their dedication and unwavering commitment to their work have earned them the title of “canine heroes.” From locating missing hikers in treacherous mountain ranges to finding survivors in collapsed buildings, these remarkable dogs have touched countless lives.

Border Collies have a unique combination of intelligence, agility, and unwavering determination that sets them apart as exceptional search and rescue dogs. Their ability to navigate challenging environments and their unwavering loyalty make them invaluable assets in saving lives. They truly exemplify the heroic qualities that we admire and depend on in these critical situations.

  • Search and Rescue Training: Border Collies undergo rigorous training programs specifically designed for search and rescue work. They are taught to identify scents, follow trails, and detect human presence even in the most difficult conditions.
  • Swift and Efficient: Border Collies’ natural athleticism allows them to cover large areas quickly and agilely. Their speed and agility enable them to reach remote locations where human responders may have difficulty accessing.
  • Unwavering Focus: Border Collies have an exceptional ability to maintain focus, even in high-stress and chaotic situations. Their intense concentration and determination enable them to continue working tirelessly until their mission is accomplished.
  • Community Support: The presence of Border Collies in search and rescue units fosters a sense of reassurance and hope within communities. These dogs serve as beacons of hope, instilling confidence in individuals and families during times of crisis.

Thanks to their extraordinary skills and unwavering dedication, Border Collies play a crucial role in search and rescue operations. Their tireless efforts and heroic acts have undoubtedly saved lives and provided solace to those in need.

Unconventional Careers as “Goose Masters”

Border Collies are known for their intelligence, agility, and herding instincts, making them well-suited for a range of jobs. One unique role that these dogs excel in is that of “goose masters.” These specially trained Border Collies are employed to control geese populations and keep them away from properties.

Goose masters like Bee, a Border Collie at the University of North Florida, utilize their herding instincts to effectively manage geese. These dogs are trained to use a combination of commands, body language, and controlled movements to deter geese from occupying certain areas, such as parks, golf courses, and campuses.

“Border Collies have a natural ability to herd and control the movement of animals. Their intelligence and agility allow them to navigate and adapt to various situations, making them highly effective in managing geese populations.” – University of North Florida spokesperson

By using Border Collies as goose masters, property owners and managers can avoid the use of harmful chemicals or potentially aggressive methods of goose control. These dogs offer a humane and environmentally friendly solution, utilizing their natural instincts and intelligence to create a harmonious balance between humans and wildlife.

Benefits of Border Collie Goose Masters:

  • Humane and gentle method of goose control
  • Environmentally friendly alternative to chemicals
  • Effective at managing geese populations
  • Utilizes Border Collies’ natural herding instincts
  • Reduces the need for aggressive or harmful deterrents

Celebrity Owners

Border Collies have not only captured the hearts of dog lovers but also the attention of many celebrities. These intelligent and strikingly beautiful dogs have been favored by individuals from various walks of life, including Hollywood stars and sports icons.

Among the famous Border Collie owners is the legendary actor James Dean. Known for his rebellious image and iconic roles, Dean found companionship in these loyal and intelligent dogs. Other notable names in the entertainment industry, such as Anna Paquin, Bon Jovi, Ethan Hawke, and James Franco, have also been captivated by the charm of Border Collies.

Even in the world of sports, Border Collies have found their way into the lives of athletes. Professional golfer Tiger Woods is among the celebrity owners who appreciate the breed’s intelligence and companionship. These celebrities’ choice to have Border Collies as their furry companions speaks volumes about the breed’s unique appeal.

Collie Breed Overview

The Collie is an elegant and versatile breed of dog that was originally bred for herding livestock. Known for their intelligence and loyalty, Collies make excellent family pets and therapy dogs. They come in two main varieties: rough collies with a long, flowing coat, and smooth collies with a shorter coat.

Collies have a gentle temperament and are known for their playful and friendly nature. They are sociable dogs that get along well with children and other pets, making them a popular choice for families. With their almond-shaped eyes and intelligent expression, Collies have a striking and captivating appearance.

When it comes to care and grooming, Collies require regular brushing to maintain their coat, with more frequent brushing during shedding periods. They should also be provided with regular exercise, a nutritious diet, and plenty of mental stimulation to keep them happy and healthy. While Collies are generally healthy dogs, they can be prone to certain hereditary conditions, so regular vet check-ups are important.

Physical Appearance and Temperament

Collies are medium-sized dogs known for their elegant physique and gentle temperament. Males typically weigh between 60-75 pounds, while females range from 50-65 pounds. With their slender, wedge-shaped face and almond-shaped eyes, Collies have an intelligent expression that beautifully complements their overall appearance.

One of the defining characteristics of Collies is their beautiful coat, which comes in various colors and patterns. They can have a rough coat, featuring long, flowing fur, or a smooth coat with a shorter length. The coat requires regular grooming to keep it in pristine condition, including brushing once or twice a week. During shedding periods, Collies may experience more significant hair loss, necessitating more frequent brushing.

When it comes to temperament, Collies are known for their gentle and friendly nature. They are incredibly sociable dogs and make wonderful companions for families and other pets. Collies thrive on love and attention and are highly adaptable to different environments. With their playful and loyal disposition, they quickly form deep bonds with their human families.

Care and Grooming

Collies require regular grooming to keep their coat looking its best. Brushing your Collie once or twice a week will help prevent matting and keep their fur free from tangles. Use a slicker brush or a pin brush to gently remove any loose hairs and distribute oils throughout the coat. Pay extra attention to the neck, chest, and hindquarters, as these areas tend to mat more easily.

When it comes to bathing, Collies don’t need frequent baths unless they get dirty or smelly. Aim for bathing your Collie every 6 to 8 weeks to keep their coat clean and fresh. Use a gentle dog shampoo and conditioner formulated for long-haired breeds. Be sure to thoroughly rinse out all the shampoo to prevent skin irritation.

As for grooming their nails, it’s essential to keep them trimmed regularly. Long nails can be uncomfortable for your Collie and may even cause them pain while walking. If you’re not confident in trimming their nails yourself, it’s best to seek the help of a professional groomer or veterinarian.

Lastly, Collies are known for their beautiful, flowing coats, but they do shed seasonally. During shedding periods, more frequent brushing may be necessary to remove loose hairs and prevent excessive shedding around your home. Additionally, providing your Collie with a healthy diet and regular exercise will help maintain their overall coat health and minimize shedding.

Common Health Issues and Lifespan

While Collies are generally healthy dogs, there are some common health problems that they may be prone to. These include hip dysplasia, which is a condition where the hip joint doesn’t develop properly and can cause discomfort and mobility issues. Another condition is epilepsy, a neurological disorder that can cause seizures.

Collie eye anomaly is a hereditary eye condition that affects the retina and can lead to vision impairment or blindness. It’s important for Collie owners to have their dogs regularly checked by a veterinarian to monitor their eye health. Progressive retinal atrophy is another eye condition that can gradually cause vision loss in Collies.

Despite these potential health issues, with proper care and attention, Collies can live a long and happy life. It’s crucial to provide them with regular vet check-ups, a nutritious diet, and plenty of exercise and mental stimulation. By taking these proactive steps, Collies can have an average lifespan of 10 to 14 years, and some may even live longer.


Are Border Collies really the smartest dog breed?

Yes, Border Collies are considered one of the smartest dog breeds, known for their exceptional intelligence and capacity for learning commands and words.

Why are they called Border Collies?

The name “Border Collie” originated from the breed’s development in the border region of Scotland and England. The term “collie” refers to sheepdogs in Scotland.

What were Border Collies originally bred for?

Border Collies were primarily bred for herding sheep. They excel in this role due to their strength, stamina, intelligence, and work ethic.

Did Queen Victoria have a fondness for Border Collies?

Yes, Queen Victoria developed a fondness for Border Collies in the early 1860s and became an active enthusiast of the breed.

Did a Border Collie inspire a famous Scottish poet?

Yes, the Border Collie named Luath owned by Scottish poet Robert Burns inspired one of his best poems, “The Twa Dogs.”

Have Border Collies achieved any extraordinary records?

Yes, Border Collies have achieved extraordinary records in various areas, including being recognized as the world’s most intelligent dog and holding Guinness World Records for skateboarding and other feats.

Do Border Collies appear in movies and TV shows?

Yes, Border Collies have made appearances in various films and TV shows, showcasing their intelligence and trainability as on-screen performers.

Can Border Collies be used in search and rescue work?

Yes, Border Collies excel in search and rescue work due to their intelligence, agility, and determination. They have been instrumental in saving lives in various rescue operations.

Are Border Collies used for any unique roles?

Yes, Border Collies are often trained as “goose masters” to keep geese away from properties. They use their herding instincts and intelligence to effectively manage geese populations.

Do any celebrities own Border Collies?

Yes, numerous celebrities, including James Dean, Anna Paquin, Bon Jovi, and Tiger Woods, have owned Border Collies.

What is the difference between rough collies and smooth collies?

Rough collies have a long, flowing coat, while smooth collies have a shorter coat.

What is the temperament of collies?

Collies have a gentle temperament, known for their loyalty and playfulness. They make excellent family pets and therapy dogs.

How much do collies weigh?

Male collies typically weigh between 60-75 pounds, while females weigh between 50-65 pounds.

What grooming needs do collies have?

Collies require regular grooming, including brushing once or twice a week. Their long fur may shed seasonally, requiring more frequent brushing during shedding periods.

Are collies prone to any health issues?

Collies can be prone to certain hereditary conditions such as hip dysplasia, epilepsy, collie eye anomaly, and progressive retinal atrophy. Regular vet check-ups and a healthy lifestyle can help ensure their well-being.

What is the average lifespan of a collie?

Collies have an average lifespan of 10-14 years, with some living even longer with proper care and attention.

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