Riley’s dog, Tucker, is a working member of the collie dog family. He looks and acts like a border collie. However, the specific breed name “border collie” was not officially established until 1915, when the term was used to distinguish between this particular kind of collie and the Scottish collie. By whatever name you want to call Tucker, he is a collie-type dog and especially good at herding livestock: sheep, cows, and even ducks.
Collies originated in Scotland, where they have herded sheep for hundreds of years. They spread all over the world and are sometimes called “sheep” dogs. Border collies are highly intelligent and extremely energetic, acrobatic, and athletic. In fact, many say the border collie is the most intelligent of the dog breeds.
Border collies are medium-sized dogs, with a moderate amount of fur (that sheds frequently). They come in almost any arrangement of colors: black and white (the most common and Tucker’s coloring), red/tan/white, black/tan/white, and even one solid color. Their ears can stand up, droop, or be semi-erect, like Tucker’s. Sometimes they have one blue and one brown eye. Tucker’s eyes are both brown.
Border collies need considerable daily physical exercise and mental stimulation. The Circle C ranch gives Tucker plenty of opportunities to run, herd, and work. Running alongside while Riley rides Dakota is sheer joy for Tucker. He is a bundle of energy.
Do border collies make good pets? Yes and no. Due to their working heritage, border collies are very demanding, playful, and energetic. They need space and lots of action, either with humans or other dogs. If not given chances to expend their energy, the border collie will chew holes in walls and furniture. Outside they will dig holes out of boredom. In a household of small children, they will want to herd them, along with any small pets like cats and other dogs. They can’t help it. This was bred into them for hundreds of years. It is what they are as a dog.