Border collies are one of my most favorite breeds of dogs. They're beautiful, loving, spirited and have a great work ethic - qualities I admire in dogs as well as people. However, what I like about the breed the most is their intelligence. They are truly the Einsteins of the canine universe. National Geographic thinks so too and put a border collie on the cover of this month's issue.
You can read the article here. Betsy's accomplishments are described on pages 4-5 of the article. She could probably go on "Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader?" and make a decent showing.
Even though Chloe is a BC mix, she is very smart. She not only recognizes numerous words and phrases, but she also understands a lot of non-verbal signals. I've taught her to do 13 different tricks, all of which she learned in about 3-5 trials. I'm sure she could have learned more, but my imagination ran out of ideas. I can ask her to "show me Daddy" and she'll take me straight to Mr. C, or over to a window or door if he's outside. As much as I love dear little Abbie, it's not for her brain. She has a high IQ for bunny hunting and picking up scent-trails and finding the coziest spot in a room, but is just not the brightest light in the chandelier, if you know what I mean.
There is more of an intellectual connection with Chloe, in addition to our emotional bond. So I wasn't surprised to read that some BC's have the receptive language capacity of a 2-year old.
All of this brings me to an update on the lovely and talented Bonnie, one of the BC puppies we fostered last year.
Her parents invited us over this afternoon to visit and hang out. She remembered us right away and we had a little love fest right out in the driveway. After we went inside, she would go from person to person, sharing the love and little nibbles and licks. She is just adorable and very well loved and spoiled.
Not only that, but she is proving to be very smart as well. This couple has had 3 other herding dogs, including a BC, and they think she may be the smartest yet. She can do several tricks, including saying her grace on the footstool before getting her dinner.
Now, when she's hungry, she'll get into her "praying" position on the stool. She is also good at finding the treats that they hide around the house for her to find. She is learning agility commands really quickly and will probably end up in competition. They taught her to go out and bring in the paper in less than 1 week. She learned to ring some bells on the kitchen door when she wants to go out just by seeing another dog do it once. Forgive me if I'm bragging, but I am the proud foster mom to be sure.
As always, it's so good to see our sweet babies settled into wonderful homes where they are truly part of the family. We've put out word that we're ready for some more fosters - hopefully soon.