The border collie is not your typical dog breed. Deemed the smartest of all dogs by psychology professor Stanley Coren in his book, "The Intelligence of Dogs," the tough little sheepdogs have data to back up the IQ claims.
The two smartest dogs on record, with the proven ability to understand up to 340 words, are both border collies. One of them, Betsy, appeared on the cover of the March 2008 issue of National Geographic, which documented the brainpower of a number of animals, including another border collie, Rico. The dogs, brought to the attention of scientists by their proud owners, were the subject of research conducted in their own homes by Juliane Kaminski, a cognitive psychologist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany.
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Here is my dog Robbie. I bought him as a Christmas present for my family in the mid 1960's and he became everyone's best friend! He was supposed to be a pure bred but we had no papers. I've forgotten what I paid for him but it probably wasn't much for a kid in high school! Admittedly the smartest dog the Wood family had ever seen, he guarded our home on the imaginery line where the grass was cut next to each of our neighbors. Only certain dogs who were his friends could cross that line. All the others were chased away immediately. He could be very kind though. I remember once when he was having his dinner on our back porch, a young stray tried to join him at his bowl. Instead of growling or pushing him away he picked up the bowl and moved it down the steps to where he could guard it.
They are renowned not only for their intellence but also their memory. When I would return to visit at my parent's after moving away, my mom would tell him I was coming and he would whine & bay until I pulled into the driveway and he could literally jump into my arms as soon as I open the car door. He continued singing my welcome for five minutes or so longer. What a joyous homecoming for the prodigal!