For centuries dogs were used to help the shepherd herd his cattle. In the country of origin of the Border Collie, Great Britain, large flocks of sheep are kept all over the country. About a century ago, in the hilly landscape on the border between Scotland and England, a type of dog was developed that is known today as the Border Collie. It's a fast, manoeuvrable, energetic, fast reacting and handy dog that is capable of working all day long wíth the sheep and fór his shepherd in all weathers and on any terrain.
During the years some similarity in appearance has developed. The real Border Collie -- in my opinion however -- is not determined by his looks, but by what's inside his head. His ability to herd cattle, the way he herds and his will to work actually determine that he is a Border Collie.
The diversity in exterior between Border Collies is rather large. All kinds of coats between smooth-coat and quite long exist. The colours of a Border vary also very much. The black and white Border, with a white blaze, broad white collar, white front legs, white socks behind and a white end of the tail is the most common. You regularly see this colour with tan marks on head and legs. Merle colours (blue as well as the rare red), chocolate white, sable white, red white, blue white and in all colours the mottled effect (a freckled pattern) can also be found. According to the breed standard any colour is allowed, as long as white does not dominate. Luckily there are people that can't resist a white faced Border (white head or half white head).
Apart from this working type, the last few years more and more attention is given to a show type, that has to follow the breed standard closely. The (by me preferred) pricked ears (upright ears) are not appreciated in the show ring. A short hair Border will not get high marks in a show either.
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