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Sable Border Collie: Pictures, Facts, Origin & History

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Sable Border Collie

Border Collies are prized for their working skills, intellect, and loving nature, which makes them amazing family pets. The Sable Border Collie is just one of the varieties, and although rare, it is a beautiful dog. Despite its appearance, the sable pattern is the only feature differentiating it from any other Border Collie.

Understanding the history of any breed is an important part of being the best owner you can be, and in this article, we’ll talk about the Sable Border Collie’s history and share some facts so that you can get to know this spectacular breed a little better.

Height: 18–22 inches
Weight: 30–55 pounds
Lifespan: 12–15 years
Colors: Sable- tan coat with black tips
Suitable for: Active families, country living, working livestock, police work, guide dogs.
Temperament: Athletic, energetic, friendly, outgoing, intelligent, eager to please, loyal

Sable is more of a patterned coat than a color. It is a tan coat with black tips on each hair, giving them a brown and black appearance. The sable color variation is a common coat pattern with many other breeds, but it is rarer in Border Collies.

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Border Collie Breed Characteristics

Sable Border Collie
Image by: Annabell Gsoedl, Shutterstock

The Earliest Records of Sable Border Collies in History

Border Collies originated in the lowland and border counties of Scotland and England, and their origin may date back as far as the 1700s. They were bred as herders to work livestock. In Wales in 1873, the first official sheepdog competition took place, and following additional sheepdog competitions, the International Sheepdog Society was established in 1906.

Local farmers and herders engaged in unofficial competitions out of pride and appreciation for the Border Collie’s work. The Bearded Collie and Scotch Collie are considered the ancestors of the Border Collie, and some breed historians speculate that Spaniels may have also been involved.

Although sable Border Collies are uncommon today, they were popular in the 19th century, as evidenced by the abundance of paintings in the UK that included them.How Sable Border Collies Gained Popularity

Border Collies gained popularity during the 19th century as they became popular among the English upper class. They did not change much over time and still remain relatively unchanged today. Their incredible ability as working and herding dogs is long-lived, and they are still used for working livestock today

They also became popular as family pets because they’re simple to train, highly affectionate, and loyal. Today they are also used for police work, search and rescue missions, and bomb and narcotics detection. Furthermore, this outstanding breed is also an excellent guide dog for the blind.

Formal Recognition of Sable Border Collies

Despite intense debate among breed enthusiasts, the American Kennel Club (AKC) approved the breed for competitions in 1994. Fearing that once the breed started to appear in the show rings, its herding ability would no longer be its primary focus and would become pets instead of working dogs, owners of working Border Collies stood firm against the AKC’s recognition.

The breed standard for the Border Collie Society of America (BCSA) and American Kennel Club (AKC) recognizes all colors of a Border collie, including color mixes, patterns, and markings. The AKC approved the Border Collie in 1955 for classification as a miscellaneous breed. In 1995, the breed received full recognition.

Sable Border Collie
Image by: Annabell Gsoedl, Shutterstock

divider 9Top 4 Unique Facts About Sable Border Collies

1. The Sable Pattern Is Very Rare in Border Collies

Sable Border Collies are a rare breed today because there are so few. The Sable pattern can be seen in various colors but is most common with black.

2. Border Collies Are One of the Most Intelligent Dog Breeds

Border collies are excellent working dogs and perform well in dog shows and competitions. The Intelligence of Dogs by Dr. Stanley Coren claims that Border Collies are the smartest breed of dog in existence due to their 10/10 aptitude for picking up new commands and tricks.

3. Border Collies Originated in Scotland

Border Collies first appeared in the borderlands between Scotland and England. They were initially called “Scotch Sheep Dogs” before adopting the name “Border Collies” since the Scottish word “Collie” is used to describe sheepdogs.

4. Their Tail Position Has a Distinct Purpose

When a Border Collie’s tail hangs between its back legs but is untucked, it means they are in “working mode.” This prevents the tail from getting hurt among the hooves of potentially unruly livestock. Once the herd is gathered and led home, the tail will come up again. The Shepherd’s Lantern is also the name given to the white flare that can be seen at the end of a Border Collie’s tail because it is noticeable in low light.

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Does a Sable Border Collie Make a Good Pet?

Border Collies make great family pets for active families who ideally enjoy country living. This breed is highly active and a keen working dog that will easily become destructive and unhappy without activity or company. The Border Collie is one of the most intelligent dogs, so they learn very quickly and may even outsmart you.

They are natural herders, so they are very protective of their families and make excellent watchdogs. They get along well with other pets if they are introduced properly, and they love children. However, they tend to nip and herd small children, which is something to be mindful of.

Overall, Border Collies make incredible family pets for families who can provide them with the training, exercise, and attention they need.

Sable Border Collie
Image by: Annabell Gsoedl, Shutterstock

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In Conclusion

The Sable Border Collie doesn’t refer to a specific color but a pattern. It is usually a tan coat with black tips but is rare in the Border Collie. Border Collies have been around since the 1700s and were prized for their incredible ability to work livestock. Today, Border Collies remain unchanged as they are still used for herding, as well as in the police force, narcotics detection squads, and as guide dogs for the blind. They have always been amazing companions and are beloved pets for owners who can take care of them. They are among the most intelligent dogs in the world and are champions in dog shows and competitions.

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Featured Image Credit: Eoghan, Shutterstock

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