This breed has been known in Britain for more than four centuries. The sheepherder never worried much about appear- pearance or conformation of his dogs his concern was to have an intelligent animal who could handle sheep. The Border usually is black, although sometimes gray or blue merle.
He has white around the neck, chest, face, feet, and tail tip. The coat may be wavy, slightly curly, and of varying length. It is very dense and especially heavy on the neck, where the mane is abundant. The forelegs are shorter than the hind legs, so the dog’s stance looks as if he was bracing himself to hold back his flock.
Another hallmark is the bold and alert head carriage, indicating that he means business. His head is the old-fashioned Collie type, shorter and more blunt in muzzle and broader in skull than the modern Collie.
Height: 19-21 inches (48-53 cm); weight: 30-50 pounds (14-23 kg).
Then there was the grande dame who turned up her nose at a trappy little wirehaired fox terrier at $100, but fifteen minutes later fell for the very same dog, hook, line and lorgnette, when he set her back $400. The breeder simply spent the fifteen minutes giving milady the oneI’msavingformyself yarn, while his kennel man gave the dog an expert onceover with stripping comb, scissors and wire brush, with a deft dusting of white chalk as a finisher.
Brought out for the second time, the appearance of the terrier was so changed that milady never suspected a thing, and when she heard the price went into raptures. She simply had to have that wonderful fourhundreddollar puppy! Exceptional cases? Of course. But the country is full of people who like to pay big prices for dogs (or any other kind of livestock) and judge their quality by the size of the check. You can’t blame dog dealers for answering the door when Opportunity knocks with that kind of money in his fist.
While we’re on this general subject, there’s a popular misconception that deserves a line or two the blueribbon complex. Breeders and dealers know all about it and often persuade a naive customer to buy a certain pup on the ground that its sire or dam or both won a blue ribbon or two at the shows. It’s probably unnecessary to tell you such sales talk is often pure poppycock. All that’s necessary to win a blue ribbon is to own a purebred dog, enter him in small shows and keep trying.
Sooner or later the dog will be lucky enough to be the only entry in one of the socalled “regular” classes (Puppy, Novice, Limit, AmericanBred and Open) and there’s your blue ribbon. Ask your dealer to show you the purple, blueandwhite or purpleandgold ribbon or rosette his dog has won in the classes named Winners, Best of Winners and Best of Breed. This is not saying all blue ribbons are jokes. A blue at one of the big shows may mean more than a purple at Podunk.