What Makes Border Collies So Special?

Feb 14, 2023

There are a lot of good dog breeds out there, but the border collie is exceptionally wonderful. They are smart, affectionate, playful, highly adaptable, and much more. This breed of dog makes a great pet as well as an efficient worker – which is why we love having them on our Go Geese Go team. Here’s a closer look at what makes border collies so special.

A History of Herding

Have you ever seen a border collie try to herd other animals or even people? These dogs are excellent herders, and that’s intentional. The border collie breed is a mix between Viking spitzes and Roman breeds of dog, both of which were used to herd livestock. The new breed was developed at the border of Scotland and England, thus the name “border collie.” This dog made it possible for people to manage large flocks of sheep and livestock. Even today, you can find border collies helping out on farms by herding livestock, or visiting residential and commercial properties to chase away geese. Other herding dog breeds that are popular today include the Australian shepherd, kerry blue terrier, Pembroke Welsh corgi, and more.

About the Breed

The border collie is a medium-sized dog in the collie breed that typically weighs between 30 and 55 pounds and has a life expectancy of 12-15 years. A male border collie is typically 12 to 22 inches tall, and a female border collie is typically 18 to 21 inches tall. This breed generally has good health, though potential health conditions include hip dysplasia, deafness, and collie eye anomaly, among others. The border is highly territorial and loves its home, so your pet may alert you to visitors by barking. This dog breed has two types of coats: a smooth, coarse coat of a shorter length, and a rough, feathered coat of a medium length. This dog is known for being intelligent, energetic, and a skilled herder, making it an excellent working dog and a great pet for active families.

How do Border Collies Compare to Other Dog Breeds?

Different breeds of dog have different traits, including varying levels of energy, playfulness, need for mental stimulation, and more. Compared to other breeds, border collies are on the high end of the spectrum for playfulness, adaptability, trainability, energy, and need for mental stimulation. The border collie breed is also very affectionate with family and is open to meeting strangers.

How does the border collie differ from the standard collie dog? While these two dog breeds look similar, they do have differences. Border collies have more energy and need more exercise than standard collies. While training either breed of dog is easy, the collie border breed is slightly more difficult to train than the standard breed.

What Makes Border Collie Dogs So Special?

The border collie breed has lots of great characteristics that make it a lovable pet as well as an excellent working dog. Border collie dogs are energetic, athletic, and agile, so they can easily perform physical tasks or keep up with an active family. They also make a great sheepdog and are helpful at herding sheep and other livestock. They’re also intelligent, eager to please, and like learning new things, so dog training is pretty simple, even as a puppy. There are lots of reasons to love the border collie breed.


Border collies are incredibly intelligent – this dog breed is considered one of the most intelligent dog breeds there is! Dog training is relatively easy, as the border breed of collie can learn a large number of commands and learn a new command quickly. You can teach them basic commands as a puppy at just a few months old. They’re also good at obeying known commands at the first ask. These dogs love to work and put their knowledge of words and commands to good use through activities like herding and sports.


From puppy to adult, the border is a high-energy and athletic breed that needs lots of exercise. This makes them the perfect working dog or an ideal pet for a family that can offer lots of play time. Someone with a more sedentary lifestyle may want to choose a less energetic dog, such as a basset hound. Border collies need room to run outside and activities that are mentally and physically engaging. This dog often enjoys herding, agility training, and a variety of dog sports.

Herding might include working on a farm and herding sheep or other livestock. It might be visiting residential or commercial properties to herd geese away, or participating in competitive herding events. Pet owners and dog handlers might consider agility training, which allows them to work with their dog as the dog moves through an obstacle course. Dog sports that your border dog might enjoy include dock jumping, flyball, flying disc, and lots of playing fetch.


The border breed of collie was originally bred to herd sheep, a skill the dog still uses today. This dog breed is a popular choice for people living or working on farms and ranches who want help herding sheep and other livestock. Border collies have a “herding eye,” an intense stare that intimidates the livestock and helps the dogs herd more effectively. The border is also energetic, stealthy, a fast runner, and great at taking commands from handlers who use hand signals or whistles. If you have a border as a pet, the dog may even try to herd family members and visitors.


Dog training is relatively easy when working with a border collie. This dog is smart, eager to please, and highly trainable, especially if you start working with them as a puppy. They can learn basic commands at just a few months old. Obedience training is also a great option, as this will not only help your dog behave better but also provide the mental stimulation that this breed of dog craves.

The Perfect Jobs for a Border Collie Dog

Thanks to their intelligence, energy, trainability, and desire to herd, border collies make great working dogs. They find work fun and thrive when they have tasks that are mentally stimulating and offer the chance to get some exercise. There are many jobs that this dog can do, from working out in the country to in the city.

Herding Sheep

As previously mentioned, the border collie is a sheepdog and an excellent herder. Their desire to herd combined with their strong work ethic and love for staying active makes the border an excellent assistant on farms and ranches. The dog helps the farmer or shepherd manage the flock of sheep by gathering the sheep and bringing them to the shepherd, or herding the sheep into pens or out towards pastures. The dog can also work with other livestock like poultry, cattle, goats, and more.

Chasing Geese Off Your Property

The border breed’s herding skills can also be put to use chasing geese off of residential and commercial properties. Geese pose a health and safety risk to people nearby, and the birds’ loud honking quickly becomes irritating. Getting rid of geese can create a healthier, safer, calmer environment for tenants and guests. Using border collies to chase the geese away is one of the most effective and humane goose removal methods. The dog never touches or hurts the geese. Instead, the dog stalks and chases the geese until the birds decide to find somewhere else to live.

Search and Rescue

Search and rescue dogs work with rescue teams, first responders, and law enforcement to find and save people, especially during crises like natural disasters and in other difficult conditions. To be a search and rescue dog, the dog must be intelligent, a hard worker, and up for a challenge. The border dog breed has these traits, making them great search and rescue dogs.


The border breed is responsive to dog training and good with commands, making them a great choice for acting in movies and TV shows. Remember the movie “Babe,” about a pig who learns to herd sheep? There are several border collie dogs cast in the movie!

How the Border Collie Uses Its “Herding Eye”


The “herding eye” is a trait that makes the border collie and other herding breeds extraordinary. The dog uses this intense stare to intimidate sheep, geese, or whatever they’re herding and to control the actions of the other animals. When crouched down and staring, the dog looks like a predator, making the livestock uncomfortable and causing them to move away. Working dogs can use this stare in combination with body movements to control which direction the other animals move.

Record-Setting Animals

Thanks to their intelligence and athletic ability, many border collie dogs have set world records for a variety of tasks. Halo and Wish set a world record in 2021 for most tricks completed in one minute by two dogs. Chaser was called the smartest dog in the world. She had the largest tested memory of any animal and knew more than 1,000 words. Neo set a record for the fastest 10 hoop/tyre slalom by a dog and earned the nickname “parkour collie” because of his exceptional agility skills.

Geese are No Problem for the Border Collie

While this sheepdog is skilled at herding livestock and maneuvering agility courses, we admire them especially for their ability to move geese off of a property. The dog never hurts the geese or even touches them. Instead, the dog uses its herding eye to herd the geese and make them believe they are being stalked by a predator. The geese eventually decide to find somewhere “safer” to live. The border will also jump into water to chase away geese who try to avoid the dog by swimming in a pond or lake.

Need to Get Rid of Geese?

If geese on your property are making a mess and being a nuisance, border collies can help get them to leave your property. At Go Geese Go, our border collie team is experienced at visiting commercial and residential properties and chasing geese away. We visit twice per day to make the geese believe your yard is inhabited by a predator. No geese are harmed and we don’t haul birds away from your property. Instead, the geese decide your yard has unsafe living conditions and move elsewhere. This is an effective and humane way to get rid of geese on your property.

About our Border Collie Team

Each of our highly trained border collies makes an excellent worker and pet. They also have their own unique personalities. Some are eager to herd the geese to make their handler happy, and others like to cross the job off their to-do list so they can do more interesting activities. At the end of the workday, we always aim to make each dog feel confident in their herding abilities. The dog can feel a lack of confidence when they’re unable to herd the geese to their handler because the birds fly away. Back home, the dog gets to herd goats to restore their confidence.

Highly Trained and Excited to Work

We get our dogs from one of the best dog training professionals in the US. Each dog goes through obedience training and then about two years of herding training before they join our team. They learn the universal herding voice commands, including commands for lying down and moving left or right. Our dogs love getting to work, where they can act on their natural desire to herd, get some exercise, and have fun.

Contact Go Geese Go

There are lots of characteristics that make border collies so unique and lovable. The dog makes a great pet as well as a great worker, and their intelligence is impressive. Want to benefit from their passion for herding? We can bring our dogs to your property to help get rid of your goose population. Contact Go Geese Go to learn more about our goose removal services.