The undisputed brainiacs of the dog world, Border Collies are born overachievers. They do best with owners who also think a fun day begins before dawn and is spent in a contest to show who’s smartest and fastest. The dogs usually win.
Border Collies were bred to perform precision herding of flocks of sheep, a task requiring the ability to think fast, obey directions from afar, predict a sheep’s next move, and to do so all day long. To do this they need to be smart, biddable, active, tireless, and surprisingly independent. They love to learn and perform all sorts of difficult tasks, and need challenges every day to be fulfilled. This is not a breed that will be happy just lounging around. Note, however, that show-bred lines tend to be more mellow than working-bred lines.