The Border Collie is a herding dog breed descended from landrace Collies, a type of dog found widely in the British Islands. It is often acclaimed as the world’s most intelligent dog. Besides its intelligence, it’s also acknowledged for its obedience, agility, and energetic temperament.
The Border Collie breed was originally developed in the Anglo-Scotish border region, hence the ‘border’ epithet. ‘Collie’ is thought to be derived from an old Celtic word meaning ‘useful’.
Cohabiting with a Border Collie
I have happened in the past to cohabit with a Border Collie, named Ninia, for a long winter period in a wooden hut in a Norwegian forest. Among several other dogs we had there, she was by far my favorite one.
She would never omit to greet me merrily every morning, when I was showing up in the frosty living room, wrapped in a thick blanket. And she would always come and coil herself near me to keep me company while I’d be busy with starting the fire. She would also always come out with me to play, every time I’d be busy with shoveling the snow in the yard.
She would then run up and down the yard like crazy, chasing and jumping to catch in the air each and every shovelful of snow, which I deliberately hurled to opposite directions, for hours in the row, without ever missing a single one.
There is a special feeling I have developed for these dogs ever since.
Border Collies in action in the Irish Meadows
In a recent trip to the Wicklow Mountains region in Ireland, we happened to pay a visit to a local shepherd and dog trainer who demonstrated for us the amazing abilities of his two Border Collies. It was incredible how the dogs listened and instantly responded to the man’s whistling and verbal commands; and with what a skill they led the sheep flock into their paddock. You may watch them in action in the video below.
The man further gave out a good deal of information regarding the dogs and the sheep industry in Ireland. He explained how the puppies are trained slowly through repetition and are ready to get to work by the age of 1-1.5 years; how the sheep run away from them instinctively because they take them for predators; and such things. On the sheep raising, he commented that nowadays they only sell the meat and the milk, and they do not even bother to shear them at all anymore, as synthetic fabrics and the Chinese industrialization have rendered the wool trade unprofitable.