A Border Collie is a hard-working breed of dog which originated in the border country of England and Scotland. They are noted for being affectionate with friends and reserved with strangers. Border collies are highly intelligent dogs, although they have a tendency towards neurotic behavior if not given enough to do.
The collies take direction by voice and whistle at long distances when herding sheep. Their great energy and herding instinct has also been employed driving birds off of airport runways. Border collie competitions may involve actual herding or simulated tasks.
Red and white Border Collie playing a favorite gameBorder Collies come in all colors, most commonly black and white or black, white and brown (a tricolour).
As is the case with many breeds of dogs that are still used for their original purposes, breed standards vary depending on whether the registry is more interested in a dog who performs his job superbly or a dog whose appearance meets an ideal standard. It is possible for a dog to do both, but his options for competition in dog shows might be limited depending on his ancestry and on the opinions of the various kennel clubs or breed clubs involved.
For example, in the UK, there are two separate registries for Border Collies. International Sheep Dog Society and other similar organisations encourage breeding for herding ability, whereas the Kennel Club (UK) encourages breeding for a certain appearance.
Border Collies are extremely energetic and require a lot of attention. They are better off in a household that can provide them with plenty of exercise and a job to do.
Because of their working background, Border Collies excel at several dog sports. They dominate the higher jump heights at dog agility competitions, so much so that in England the Border Collies compete against only other Border Collies while all other breeds compete together.