The Border Collie was developed by the farmers and shepherds of Great Britain to manage and control livestock. The modern Border Collie is the result of three hundred years of breeding for working abilities. Border Collies are intelligent, obedient, eager to please, and easily trained. They have genetic herding abilities, athleticism and tremendous drive.
Border Collies are the most widely employed stockdogs in the world and work sheep, cattle, goats, hogs — even poultry. Because of their trainability and athleticism, they also dominate obedience, agility, and flyball competitions.
Border Collies instinctively go to the heads of livestock and gather them into a workable group. Most Border Collies demonstrate their instinctive desire to work anywhere from eight weeks to one year of age.
While almost all Border Collie pups bred from good working parents will become useful herding dogs, not all Border Collies have been bred for working ability from working blood lines. The safest way to get a good herding dog is to buy a pup registered with a working registry such as the ABCA rather than from a show/sport registry such as the AKC.
There are many excellent Border Collies who earn their keep on ranches and farms, but puppy buyers without agricultural contacts can find their working dog by attending an open sheepdog or cattledog trial.
These trials were designed by farmers interested in testing their dogs’ abilities against the toughest competition, and are open to any dog, any age or sex, any breed, registered or unregistered. They are easy to enter, very difficult to win.
At your first trial you’ll see dogs with different working styles and levels of training. It can be hard to separate the dog’s ability (heritable), training (partly heritable) and its handler’s skill. Go to several trials and watch different dogs on different stock. You can meet handlers, talk to them about their dogs and their breeding. The working Border Collie community is friendly and most handlers will be helpful.
As you are evaluating dogs, pay attention to their personalities. Some dogs are assertive and outgoing; others are not. Some “hard” dogs require more control than “soft” dogs do. A “soft” dog can be turned off or set back by too much discipline. Ask yourself what kind of a dog handler will you be?
As you narrow the prospects, ask the breeders if you can visit the dogs at home. In this more relaxed atmosphere, you’ll learn what you can expect in your puppy, what the breeder is breeding for, and why. While no breeder can guarantee a pup’s working abilities, they can tell you how their pups have performed in the past. They ought to be able to name satisfied puppy customers you could talk to.
If you believe the Border Collie is the right breed for you, check the link below:
If you want to buy a Border Collie, here are some links with information and breeders of the breed: