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The Border Collie is a working and herding dog breed developed in the Anglo-Scottish border region, for herding livestock, especially sheep. Considered highly intelligent, extremely energetic, acrobatic and athletic, they frequently compete with great success in sheepdog trials and dog sports. They are often cited as the most intelligent of all domestic dogs. Border Collies continue to be employed in their traditional work of herding livestock throughout the world and are kept as pets. Generally, Border Collies are medium-sized dogs with a moderate amount of coat, which is more often thick and prone to shedding. They have a double coat that varies from smooth to rough and is occasionally curled. While black and white is the most commonly seen color pattern of the Border Collie, the breed appears in just about any color and pattern known to occur in dogs. Some of these include black tricolor (black/tan/white), liver and white, and red tricolor (red/tan/white) which have also been seen regularly, and other colours such as blue, lilac, red merle, blue merle, brindle, and Australian red (also known as ee red, blonde, recessive red, or gold) which is seen less frequently. Some border collies may also have single-color coats. Eye color varies from brown to blue, and occasionally eyes of differing color occur; this is usually seen with merles. The ears of the border collie are also variable — some have fully erect ears, some fully dropped ears, and others semi-erect ears (similar to those of the rough collie). Although working border collie handlers sometimes have superstitions about the appearance of their dogs (handlers may avoid mostly white dogs due to the unfounded idea that sheep will not respect a white or almost all white dog), in general, the American Border Collie Association considers a dog's appearance to be irrelevant. Instead, it is considered more useful to identify a working border collie by its attitude and ability. Dogs bred for show are more homogeneous in appearance than working border collies, since to win in conformation showing they must conform closely to breed club standards that are specific on many points of the structure, coat, and color. Kennel clubs specify, for example, that the border collie must have a "keen and intelligent" expression, and that the preferred eye color is dark brown. In deference to the dog's working origin, scars and broken teeth received in the line of duty are not to be counted against a border collie in the show ring. The males' height from withers comes from 48 to 56 centimetres (19 to 22 in), females from 46 to 53 centimetres (18 to 21 in).

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