The border collie breed originated in Northumberland along the borders of Scotland and England, descending from working dogs that the Vikings used to herd their reindeer. The American Kennel Club first recognized the border collie as a distinct breed in 1995 but most border collie breeds can trace their lineage back to one sire, "Old Hemp" who lived in 1894. There is evidence that at that time hunters sported birds with nets rather than guns that the role of "pointer" breeds was different. Instead of flushing out the prey, the dogs would circle around and "herd" the birds towards the hunters. It is very likely that ancestors of border collies were used in this role as well and that may have been where modern day border collies inherited part of their excellent special and herding skills.
Border collies are medium sized dog with a body slightly longer than it is tall. There are two types of coat, a short sleek coat (smooth coat) or a longer, coarse coat. Coloring includes black and white, tricolor, red and white, black and gray, yellow, yellow and white, sable, and all black. Those with longer coats should also possess a slight mane and a tail brush. The coat is dense and does well in colder, wetter weather as one would assume from their origins. Border collies are bred primarily for their ability to work and as such confirmation differs between different specimens of the breed; these are working dogs first and foremost, not show dogs.
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