If you’ve seen sheepdogs in movies, chances are they’re border collies. Hailing from Scotland and England, the breed was developed to help herd sheep and is known for its “herding eye””—the intense stare that keeps sheep from straying, according to DogTime.com.
Breeder James Chong likes them, “Because they’re smart. They’re used in agility competitions and are easy to train.”
Traditionally a herding dog, the border collie is smart and spunky. They are happiest when they have a job to do, even if it’s just being trained, something that potential owners must take into account. “You have to carve out time for it,” Chong explains. “They crave activity, so training is a bonding activity for them… They get bored and sometimes noisy when left in a cage.”
Chong decided to breed border collies because he believed that the breed would do well in agility competitions. “The Philippines is behind in agility,” he explains. “I’m hoping that with the revival of the [Philippine Canine Club, Inc.] (PCCI), we’ll be able to hold our own against other countries.”
Border collies also make great pets, provided that their energy is properly channeled. “They’re smart, affectionate, and [they] love children,” Chong explains. “They’re also fast and are good with games like flyball and frisbee.”
They also make good watchdogs, alerting owners whenever there is a stranger at the door.
Suckers for Training
Chong’s border collies are trained every day. Trainer Dennis Javier says that this include both obedience and obstacle exercises. He adds that though border collies do have an advantage, any dog breed can be trained, “as long as they have the brains, concentration, and drive for it.”
This appeared in Animal Scene magazine’s November 2018 issue.