Border Collies are often characterized by traits that contribute to their original use as a herding dog, including their being very intelligent, obedient, active, energetic, and watchful. As with other working breeds, the pet Border Collie's athleticism and stamina requires physical and mental stimulation in the family environment. Border Collies are usually eager to learn, especially with reward-based training, and enjoy many activities including agility, flyball, and Frisbee that help them bond with their families. However, their herding tendencies can impair this bonding when they attempt to herd children (especially those who run), and other dogs may perceive their stare as threatening. Border Collies may also be reserved or wary around those they don't know which implies some degree of low level fear or concern about strangers, but socialization can minimize the development of fear-based defensive aggression.
The Border Collie can be traced back to the 1700's where they were traditionally used by shepherds in Scotland and England. They were developed for their herding skills and quickly acquired an excellent reputation. The Border Collie has keen herding instincts and their power over sheep has proven to be an asset to shepherds. In 1894, an effort was made by a farmer named Adam Telfer to tone down the breed's mannerisms. Telfer succeeded and today's Border Collies are descendants of Telfer's dogs. The Border Collie was introduced into the United States in the 1880's, where it played a key role in sheep ranching in the western states. The Border Collie was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1995.