Bred for hill conditions, the Border Collie is outstanding when it comes to working sheep. Able to perform a variety of tasks, he is born with instinct to "gather" the sheep to the shepherd, a trait that makes him most useful on the hill. A Border Collie's ability to control sheep is measured by the "eye" (the amount of concentration on sheep that the dog shows). Because they must often work far from their handlers, Border Collies must be intelligent and independent.
Border Collies can be taught to herd a variety of livestock. Many will naturally herd anything that moves; Ducks, Chickens, Sheep, Cattle, Bicycles, Motorcycles, Cats, Cars and Children. For this reason, Suburban and City dwelling Border Collie owners must be especially mindfull.
Natural versatility makes them excel in fields other than herding and sheepdog trials. Today you will see Border Collies winning Obedience, Agility, Flyball and Frisbee matches for their city and suburban owners.
Introduction to New Zealand and Australia
In the late 1890s James Lilico (1861?–1945) of Christchurch, New Zealand, imported a number of working dogs from the United Kingdom. These included Hindhope Jed, a black, tan and white bitch born in Hindhope, Scotland in 1895, as well as Maudie, Moss of Ancrum, Ness and Old Bob.
It is unclear whether Hindhope Jed was a descendant of Old Hemp. Born two years after him, she is mentioned in a "British Hunts and Huntsmen" article concerning a Mr John Elliot of Jedburgh:
Mr Elliot himself is well known for his breed of collies. His father supplied Noble to the late Queen Victoria and it was from our subject that the McLeod got Hindhope Jed, now the champion of New Zealand and Australia.
At the time of her departure to New Zealand, Hindhope Jed was already in pup to Captain, another of the then new "Border" strain. Hindhope Jed had won three trials in her native Scotland, and was considered to be the "best bitch to cross the equator."
In 1901 the King and Mcleod stud, created by Charles Beechworth King (b. 1855, Murrumbidgee, NSW), his brother and Alec McLeod at Canonbar, near Nyngan (north-west of Sydney), brought Hindhope Jed to Australia, where she enjoyed considerable success at sheep dog trials.