Did you know that the Border Collie is considered to be one of the most intelligent breeds in the dog world? If you want to improve your knowledge of this hard-working herding dog, we’ve rounded up a few fun facts about Border Collies!
Border Collie Colors
A Border Collie’s coat can come in a wide range of colors which are recognized by the American Kennel Club:
- blue merle
- red merle
- sable merle
- saddleback sable
- white and black
- white and blue
- white and blue merle
- white and red
- white and red merle
- white ticked
Border Collie Facts
The Border Collie was originally known as the Scotch Sheep Dog.
The name Border Collie was derived from the border region between Scotland and England, where the breed originated.
While it’s been said that a picture paints a thousand words, in 2021 a statue was erected that celebrates a dog who learned over 1,000 words! Created by sculptor Betsy Scott, a bronze likeness of a Border Collie named Chaser greets visitors of Morgan Square in Spartanburg, South Carolina. (For more information regarding this remarkable dog, read the book Chaser: Unlocking The Genius of The Dog Who Knows 1,000 Words.)
In 2021 two talented tail-waggers named Wish and Halo earned an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records for a pair of pooches performing the most tricks (28!) in 60 seconds! Wish’s aptitude earned the Border Collie a second spot in the record books by achieving the fastest 5-meter crawl by a canine, which was accomplished in 2.175 seconds.
Dog lovers were jumping for joy when a Border Collie mix named Geronimo jumped into the Guinness Book of World Records in 2018 for the most double Dutch rope skipping by a dog in one minute.
One of the quirkiest of the Guinness world records is held by a Border Collie named Striker, who conquered the task of opening a car door window in just 11.34 seconds– the fastest time ever for a dog.
Adam Telfer and Old Hemp Memorial, on the day of unveiling. Photo: Kreuzschnabel via Wikipedia; (CC BY-SA 3.0)
A dog named Old Hemp is considered the four-legged father of the Border Collie. Born the son of Meg (a black sheepdog) and Roy (a tri-colored sheepdog) in late 1893, his quiet composure while herding sheep was passed down to his progeny. Since 2015, a memorial to Old Hemp and his owner Adam Tefler has stood in West Woodburn, Northumberland in England.
Did you know that a Border Collie can steer the direction of sheep by intensely staring at the flock?
As of 2020, the Border Collie ranked 32nd on the annual American Kennel Club list of the most popular dog breeds.
Long live the Border Collie! The average life span of a member of this breed runs between 12 and 15 years.
There are several organizations in the United States that celebrate the breed, including Border Collie Society of America (BCSOA), American Border Collie Society Association and Border Collie Club USA (BCCUSA) .
Border Collies in the Movies
Babe — Actress and animal advocate Miriam Margoles provided the voice of Fly, a maternal Border Collie who teaches a piglet to herd sheep in this 1995 family-friendly flick, while actor Hugo Weaving spoke for the character of Fly’s mate, a Border Collie called Rex.
Snow Dogs — Although most of the dogs in this 2002 Disney movie were Siberian Huskies, the dog known as Nana was a Border Collie.
Border Collies on The Small Screen
Little House on The Prairie — A Border Collie called Jeffrey portrayed Bandit, the stray who came to stay at the Ingalls household after the passing of Laura’s canine companion, Jack.
Mad About You — Once a shelter dog, a Collie mix called Maui found stardom when he was cast as the Buchman’s barking buddy in the long-running sitcom.
Famous Pet Parents of Border Collies
Robert Burns — Scottish poet Robert Burns took pen to paper in order to immortalize his beloved Border Collie Luath in his poem “The Twa Dogs,” and over the years several sculptors have chiseled a place in history for his canine companion. Depictions of Burns with Luath ( ‘swift’ in Gaelic) can be seen in Boston, Massachusetts, Ballarat, Australia and in Dumfries, Scotland, where an image in Carrera marble by sculptor Amelia Robertson Hill greets the worshippers of Greyfriers Church.
Crown Prince Frederik and Princess Mary of Denmark — When the heir apparent to the Danish throne and Mary Donaldson began their new life together as husband and wife in 2004, the couple did so with a new canine companion, a Border Collie they dubbed Ziggy. Presented to the pair in celebration of their wedding, the royals enjoyed Ziggy’s companionship for 12 years. Today another Border Collie named Grace promenades through the halls of Grasten Palace.
James Dean — Not only has the three films he starred in preserved his place in pop culture through the years, so did a series of black and white photos taken by photographer Dennis Stock. Capturing the actor’s farewell visit to his hometown of Fairmount, Indiana, Stock’s camera shutter froze in time the bond between the future cinema icon and his Border Collie, Tuck.
Michael Keaton — During his days as Batman, the actor was a pet parent to a Border Collie dubbed Dusty.
Queen Victoria — A sovereign who knew that dogs rule, over the course of her reign the beloved British queen had many canine companions, including a Border Collie named Sharp. Immortalized in artwork and even a photograph alongside his favorite human, his bronze likeness also graces the top of his memorial on the grounds of Windsor Castle.
Ed Speelers — A proud pet parent of a Border Collie named Frank, the actor who starred as Jimmy the footman in Downton Abbey once took part in the London Marathon to help the UK charity Pets As Therapy make strides toward a better tomorrow for people in distress through the friendship of a therapy animal.
Tiger Woods — The golfing great welcomed a Border Collie/Springer spaniel named Bugs into his heart and home during Christmas of 2015.
Adopting a Border Collie
If you want to welcome a Border Collie or Border Collie mix into your heart and home, look for a breed rescue in your area, as well as area animal rescues and shelters.
You can search for adoptable Border Collies online at: