The History of the Border Collie lies in the working collies used by shepherds in the Border counties of Scotland and England in the 18th and 19th Centuries. These were often powerful dogs, difficult to control and rough with stock.
The Border Collie, Australian Shepherd, English Shepherd, Kelpie and McNab are all cousins, descended from working collies possessing traits that particular breeders found desirable for their purposes.
The keen herding instinct and great power over sheep that working collies possessed were such useful assets that it was worth trying to find a milder-natured type to cross with them. A Northumbrian farmer, Adam Telfer, succeeded in finding the right blend of types in 1894. The Border Collie of today is descended from Telfer's dog, "Old Hemp". Not only various temperaments, but a variety of working styles and skills, were combined in Hemp to produce the Border Collie.
Many of the best Border Collies today can be traced back to a dog known as Old Hemp.
In 1915, James Reid, Secretary of the International Sheep Dog Society in the United Kingdom first used the term "Border Collie" to distinguish those dogs registered by the ISDS from the Kennel Club's "Collie," which originally came from the same working stock but had developed a different, standardized appearance following its introduction to the show ring in 1860.
Old Hemp, a tri-colour dog, was born September 1893 and died May 1901. He was bred by Adam Telfer from Roy, a black and tan dog, and Meg, a black-coated, strong-eyed dog. Hemp was a quiet, powerful dog that sheep responded to easily. Many shepherds used him for stud and Hemp's working style became the border collie style.
Wiston Cap (b. 28 Sep. 1963) is the dog that the International Sheep Dog Society (ISDS) badge portrays in the characteristic Border Collie herding pose. He was a popular stud dog in the history of the breed, and his bloodline can be seen in most bloodlines of the modern day collie. Bred by W. S. Hetherington and trained and handled by John Richardson, Cap was a biddable and good-natured dog. His bloodlines all trace back to the early registered dogs of the stud book, and to J. M. Wilson's Cap, whose name appears occurs sixteen times within seven generations in his pedigree. Wiston Cap sired three Supreme Champions and is grand-sire of three others, one of whom was E. W. Edwards' Bill, who won the championship twice.