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Dog Breeds: Border Collie—All Work and All Play

A hard-working dog, the Border Collie requires daily exercise, playtime and mental stimulation. Not exactly a laid-back cuddly type, though she does want to please you, keep active and you'll both be happy. A super sensitive companion, the Border Collie responds to vocal commands, whistles and gestures, seeming to anticipate your desires. This is a canine that thrives on praise.

Viking dog

A descendant of Viking dogs used for herding reindeer, the Border Collie is also called a Welsh Sheepdog. On hilly countrysides between Scotland and England, this dog excelled at gathering sheep. His keen skills include an intense stare to mesmerize and control flocks.

A handsome pooch

The Border Collie is medium-sized—ranging from 30 to 45 pounds and standing between 18 to 22 inches tall—with alert eyes and perky ears. Her dense, weather-resistant coat comes in two varieties: short and sleek or long, coarse and feathery. Colors are often black with white on the face, neck, legs and tail or tan with solid black or merle (mottled patches of color). Her eyes are brown or purest blue.

Finding a good match

A Border Collie isn't the best pet choice for people who don't spend much time at home. He can create problems and develop negative behaviors like barking, digging and trying to escape, using his herding instinct to gather children and cats or to chase cars. A fenced-in yard with room to run is ideal. The Border Collie loves canine sports, fetching, catching Frisbees, doing tricks and winning competitions.

Gets along

When properly socialized the Border Collie is affectionate and cooperative. Expose your puppy to different people and places to ensure confidence. It's necessary to show your authority or she may challenge you. These hardy dogs are great guides for the blind or to perform search-and-rescue.