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I Herd... The Word Sheep!!... - Border Collie - NZ


Gore, New Zealand

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Please view large, thank you…..The Origin of the Working Border Collie can be traced back to the working dogs used to work sheep in the border areas of Scotland and England in the 18th and 19th centuries. These dogs were said to be rough with stock and difficult to control but their keen herding instinct and the control over the sheep that they displayed were considered useful traits.
The modern day Working Border Collie can be traced back to a dog bred by Adam Telfer, from Northumberland, who in 1894 was successful in breading a dog with a much gentler style of working sheep but keeping the traits considered so useful in his ancestors. This dogs name was “Hemp” or “Old Hemp”
The term Border Collie was first used in 1915 by James Reid, the secretary of the international Sheep Dog Society in the United Kingdom to distinguish the working dog from show dogs which originated from the same working stock.
Working Border Collies, bred to work in the hilly regions around the border of Scotland and England, have the instinct to “gather” sheep to their handler as opposed to other breeds that drive sheep ahead of their handler. Working Border Collies often need to work at great distances from and out of sight of their handler so need to display the ability of being able to work independently.
The Working Border Collie uses a technique called “eye” to work the sheep. “Eye” is displayed by the dog adopting a crouching position and appearing to stare at (or concentrate on) the sheep which intimidates the sheep into moving away from the dog in the direction of his handler.
Today’s Working Border Collies are not that far removed from Old Hemp, they still have all of the characteristics and traits that were valued all those years ago. While they are still used to herd sheep and other livestock, they are also used as therapy dogs, Seeing Eye dogs for the blind and even by police forces in some parts of the world. All their ability, energy and endurance can be traced back to those dogs of the 18th and 19th centauries that were bred so successfully to create the Working Border Collies of today. Information from:
Ace, with his liquid amber eyes and beautiful shiny black & white coat belongs to our son Garrick who has moved to Mossburn to work on a dairy farm. Ace is a year old and was being trained as a show dog. The gentleman who owned him passed, the family were not keen to keep Ace, not sure what their reasons were…Both Garrick and Ace have bonded well and they are destined for a long and loving companionship, both happy doing what they love best, working outdoors with the animals.
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Artwork Comments

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