Reading over the analytics report for my website over the last 6 months I noticed that a lot of people come here looking for answers to specific questions. So I have decided to answer a few of these questions here. The following are actual questions people have asked search engines and been brought to this site for answers.
What is a Scottish Shepherd?
This question often results from someone researching Call of the Wild by Jack London, Buck was a Saint Bernard / Scotch Shepherd mix. A Scotch Shepherd is the same thing as a Scotch Collie, in olden days the names were used interchangeably.
What are English Shepherds called in England?
Today English Shepherds in England are called English Shepherds, back in the days when they were quite common in England and not so well known in America, they were just known as Shepherd’s Dogs or occasionally the English Shepherd’s Dog. For more info on this subject see the post The English Shepherd’s True Origins – England.
Are Farm Collies the same as English Shepherds?
The term farm collie is generally not used to define a breed of dog but a broad type of dog. The English Shepherd is a breed that falls within that type along with several other breeds, crosses thereof and a few mongrels as well. See the post Farm Collie Definition for more info on this subject.
Why does John Wayne have collies for dogs in his movies?
Well this is certainly an interesting question! I don’t know of a specific reason, not being a film historian, but I would suspect it is because his films were trying to be historically accurate. During the period of the 1800s, the time period in which most John Wayne movies are set, the Scotch Collie was a very common dog in rural areas. Take a look at a few photos from that time period and notice how often Collies appear around old ranches and farms.
Are Scotch Collies and Old Time Farm Shepherds the same thing?
This is a common question. The Scotch Collie is the original Collie shepherd’s dog landrace from Scotland , as such it covers a wide range of looks. Some of these dogs became known as “farm shepherds” in rural America during the 19th and early 20th century. Richard McDuffie found some of the last pure “farm shepherd” dogs and began registering them with the NKC as Old-Time Farm Shepherds. So while the OTFS is a type of Scotch Collie (even Mr. McDuffie saw it this way), not all Scotch Collies can rightly be called OTFS.
Where can I find OTFS puppies?
Good luck with that! The OTFS, as a breed had a very small genetic footprint to start with when McDuffie started registering them in the 1990s, today they have dwindled away to almost nothing. I personally bred a litter of registered OTFS last year and have another planned for next year, but as far as I know I am currently the only breeder of these dogs.
Where are Old Time Farm Shepherd breeders?
Good question, I wish I had an answer for you. I have talked to many people who had OTFS dogs they bought from McDuffie and Strunk and they all had glowing praise for their dogs but none of them bred their dogs. Today the OTFS breed is all but extinct. I organized an OTFS picnic in Tennessee last summer to try to get in touch with other owners or breeders, but the only people who showed up were people interested in buying puppies, no current owners. The OTFS Yahoo group is dead and has been for years, I worry that the breed itself may follow soon.
What’s the difference between Scotch Collie and modern?
Short answer: 150 years of breed evolution. The modern Collie and the Old-Time Scotch Collie came from the same source but almost as soon as people began breeding show Collies, others began complaining about their change in looks and loss of intelligence. The difference today in looks and behavior is marked. Read more on this subject at Landrace vs. Purebred Scotch Collies.
Are Rough Collies descendants of wolves?
Yes, but then again so are all domestic dogs. Although it used to be said that the Collie was closer to the wolf than other breeds, modern genetic research has proven that Collies are no closer to wolves than most other breeds.
Can collies be hunting dogs?
That depends, most modern Collie dogs have no hunting instinct whatsoever. Some lines of Old-Time Scotch Collie have a lot of hunting instinct, some are even bred specifically for hunting! My Collie Rainier is a hunting and treeing machine.
How did we get the landrace Collie?
The landrace Collie evolved over a long time and a broad area of Great Britain. Long before the upper-class got their hands on the Collie and began breeding them for looks, it was a working dog of great intelligence kept by the rural poor. It is these smart, hard working, landrace Collies that this site is dedicated to preserving. More info at Improved Off The Face Of The Earth and The Collie Spectrum: Understanding the Scotch Landrace.
I hate my Collie.
I am sorry to hear this, but I am not terribly surprised. The modern Collie is the result of 150 years of bad breeding decisions, decisions often based on looks alone, it is prone to have temperament and health problems. You may be glad to know that not all Collies are like this, a small group of people are currently working at reviving the old fashioned type of Collie, see the results of their efforts at the Old-Time Scotch Collie breed database.