Keiko is a Border Collie mix (the other half is probably Spaniel). When we originally adopted her, she was “about” 5 years old. It was at a yearly “dog-walk” our local Humane Shelter puts on where they try to showcase adoptable dogs. Keiko was not the first dog we walked – in fact, we were surprised she was not adopted right off the bat. Maybe she was just waiting for the right family. Anyway, over the past six years her Border Collie half has taught me….
1) Border Collies are fast. And, it’s not just “top end” speed, it’s speed in all aspects. She can accelerate like crazy, turn and zig-zag quickly, and stop on a dime. When she plays fetch with other dogs, they never have a chance. The only time the other dogs get a chance to actually catch the ball/frisbee is when Keiko “overruns” the throw.
2) Border Collies are smart. I swear she knows what I’m thinking before I even think it. She’s able to anticipate what I want. I think it’s because they are just so observant of whatever goes on around them (their “steely gaze”). Border Collies, and Border Collie mixes, are the perfect dogs if you want to look like a dog training genius.
3) Border Collies are persistent. Once we start playing (or whatever the activity is), Keiko does not want to stop. She will run herself to death if I don’t intervene on her behalf. Sometimes it takes awhile to settle her down (even at 10+ years of age), although the Spaniel half makes that a bit easier. If you get a Border Collie (or mix) make sure there is a lot of well-planned activity, as well as well-planned rest (and plenty of water available during the summer).
4) Border Collies “eat to live, rather than live to eat.” Keiko could care less about food if there is anything else to do. (Although she does love peanut butter). When Keiko does take the time to eat, she eats her food in small bites rather than wolfing it down like other dogs. However, if a toy (or other distraction) makes it’s appearance, food is forgotten. Entirely.
5) Border Collies do not like loud noises. I think it’s because their sense of hearing is greatly enhanced to help them in their herding activities. Fireworks, loud screaming (children), power tools, lawnmowers all seem to send Keiko to a safe spot (her “den” under our bed).
Anyway, these are just a few things I’ve learned from observing Keiko. I really can’t say if all Border Collies are just like Keiko – especially purebred Borders. If you have a Border Collie, leave a comment and let me know if you’ve experienced the same things as I.
Here’s a video I found of some Border Collies at work and at play.