The Border Collie

Many people don’t know that Albert Einstein did not come-up with the theory of relativity. Close friends and relatives of ol’ Al are fully aware that his 4-year old border collie – Fritz – was the driving force behind E=MC2. Additionally, Fritz just happened to be “hanging around” when Clarence Birdseye developed quick-frozen food in 1924.

Coincidence? We think not.

The point is, if you’re looking for the blast-off, no-holds barred, red hot, anti- crapola smartest dog in the universe you need not go any further than the border collie. If there was an I.Q. scale for pups, the BC would break the machine. They’re so smart that once you train them to fetch you a beer, before they take one step, they’ll turn to you and say “Would you like a Bock or an IPA this time?”

They’re that smart.

Where’d You Learn That?

It’s been going on for centuries. Breeders have had one goal in mind – create an animal with superior herding ability. There are offshoots and unintended consequences which occur when that’s your focus. You end up with a dog that has:

  • An extremely high drive
  • Incredible powers of instinct and anticipation
  • A “never give-up” attitude
  • Tons of energy
  • A brain structure that is unmatched in other canines


Not really. Although the border collie and the sheepdog belong to the same bowling league. Trace a sheepdog’s history and you’ll find mention of the creature as the Romans invaded Britain a few years after they killed Christ. The Romans, not the sheepdogs – although the animals were first bred to be guard dogs.

Roll-up the sidewalks to the 19th century when – rumor has it – Queen Victoria first recognized the modern-day collies at Balmoral Castle in the Highlands of Scotland. Just one look and the next thing you know, the ol’ girl had dubbed them royal dogs. Around the same time dog shows were all the rage. Because of these genius beasts, border collies began snatching-up one blue ribbon or gold badge after another. Praise the more enlightened humans when they realized they could truly mess things up if they turned the pup into a schizophrenic – one that was pretty for dog shows and also great working dogs.

Rather than mind-meld the breed, an organic shift occurred among the breeding class. Some border collies we’re made to work, others were grown to show-off at ritzy affairs. Case solved. Confusion averted.

A Cautionary Note

This heart-warming breed needs a best friend throughout their lifespan of up to (and sometimes more than) 15-years. Do not expect a doggie couch potato when you own a border collie. They’re happy when they’re working. And don’t expect them to be satisfied with a home office. Border collies need a lot of space, something to do.

If you’re country folk, a farmer, rancher or someone with wide-open spaces, the two of you will get along fine. But you don’t have to be rural to go with a border collie. Those who live an active lifestyle, love to jog, bike and gets out around a lot, border collies make fine exercise mates.

The only matter to consider when you have a border collie is if you like to watch “Jeopardy” with your buddies. Be forewarned, no matter what category a contestant pulls from the big board, the damned dog is always going to have the answer before you.

And they will frame it in the form of a question.

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