The Border Collie is a dog breed developed in the Anglo-Scottish border region for use on farms to assist with the herding of livestock. Their intelligence has been observed as having an intuitive quality that goes well beyond basic instinct. Such sensitivity calls for an environment that engages their higher faculties; otherwise, they can become distressed. With this accounted for, they are excellent companion animals. In January 2011, a border collie was reported to have learned 1022 words, and acts consequently to human citation of those words.
Typically extremely energetic, acrobatic, and athletic, they frequently compete with great success in dog sports, in addition to their success in sheepdog trials, and are often cited as the most intelligent of all dogs.
HistoryEditThe Border Collie is descended from droving dog breeds. The name for the breed came from its probable place of origin along the Scottish English borders. Mention of the "Collie" or "Colley" type first appeared toward the end of the 19th century, although the word "collie" indeed is older than this and has its origin in Lowland Scots dialects. Many of the best Border Collies today can be traced back to a dog known as Old Hemp.
In 1915, James Reid, Secretary of the International Sheep Dog Society in the United Kingdom first used the term "Border Collie" to distinguish those dogs registered by the ISDS from the Kennel Club's "Collie", which originally came from the same working stock but had developed a different, standardised appearance following its introduction to the show ring in 1860.
In the late 1890s James Lilico (1861?–1945) of Christchurch, New Zealand, imported a number of working dogs from the United Kingdom. These included Hindhope Jed, a black, tan and white bitch born in Hindhope, Scotland in 1895, as well as Maudie, Moss of Ancrum, Ness and Old Bob.
It is unclear whether Hindhope Jed was a descendant of Old Hemp. Born two years after him, she is mentioned in a "British Hunts and Huntsmen" article concerning a Mr John Elliot of Jedburgh:
Mr Elliot himself is well known for his breed of Collies. His father supplied Noble to the late Queen Victoria and it was from our subject that the McLeod got Hindhope Jed, now the champion of New Zealand and Australia.
At the time of her departure to New Zealand, Hindhope Jed was already in pup to Captain, another of the then new "Border" strain. Hindhope Jed had won three trials in her native Scotland, and was considered to be the "best bitch to cross the equator".
In 1901 the King and Mcleod stud, created by Charles Beechworth King (b. 1855, Murrumbidgee, NSW), his brother and Alec McLeod at Canonbar, near Nyngan (north-west of Sydney), brought Hindhope Jed to Australia, where she enjoyed considerable success at sheep dog trials.