My Friend the Collie

Many tributes to the dog have been written and uttered by better known lovers of canines than myself, but no more ardent admirer of the Collie, or students of their breeding, gets more pleasure out of it to the square inch than I; but I shall not try to write a history of this noble animal, or a treatise on his breeding; my intentions are to tell of him as a friend and companion.
The rough-coated Scotch Collie is one of the most popular dogs among canine fanciers and breeders in England or America. The columns of any dog journal bristle with the business announcements of breeders. Suburban, urban and country folks are learning of the true value and usefulness of this splendid animal. He is a friend and trusty servant anywhere. Many lovers of Collies have begun the work of rearing and breeding them because of the great demand for these dogs. Mr. Samuel Uttermeyer has spent nearly $25,000 during the last three years in building up a choice kennel of Collies. Most of his importations have come from England and Scotland, where the cream of the breed flourish. I cite this as an instance to verify my assertion about the Collie’s popularity.
Breeding Collies and producing good ones is a business, as is the producing of good horses or other live stock. Good prices are realized for twelve weeks’ old puppies, brood matrons and young stud dogs. Puppies range in price from fifteen dollars up; brood bitches and grown dogs bring twenty-five dollars, for the generally good specimen, up to two and three hundred for the best class of them.
The finest point about a Collie is his head and expression, as breeders call it. A dog with an elegant coat and general Collie form, but without a good head, is not worth much, according to collie fanciers. The head is moderately wide and skull flat, with a clean cut mouth and rather lengthy over all. Ears want to be carried low, and when the dog is on the lookout they want to be elevated well up, yet the tips should tip over even and gracefully. General Collie conformation, as shown in the picture of Champion Balgreggie Hope, is necessary to the perfectly finished Collie. In coat he must be very heavy and long. The frill about his neck must be long and beautiful. Collies are either golden sable and white or tri-color, i.e., black, with white and tan markings on frill, breast, legs, head and ears. The sable and white Collies are the most popular in this country, as well as in their native land, because of their extreme beauty. The white markings to be valuable must be a full, wide collar, white tip of tail, blaze in the face, white markings on legs, frill and breast. The more perfect these markings, other qualities being good in proportion, the more valuable the animal.
I have been impressed greatly, during my few years’ experience with Collies, with their extreme intelligence. Having kept and bred Fox Terriers and Bostons previously, makes me love the Collie the more. Nothing that has come to my notice concerning either the Fox Terrier or the Bostons has been disadvantageous to them. There is an indescribable something that fascinates one to a Collie above all others. He loves to obey. It has been bred into them so long that it is a fixed characteristic. He can so attach himself to you that nothing would ever let you part from him. Imagine a dog with intelligence enough to bring your boots, close or open a door, always bring in the morning paper and love an out-door walk with master or mistress. Newspaper incidents of a dog’s smartness pale beside the daily duties of a faithful Collie. Any breeder or dog fancier loves his Collie best—the warm corner in the heart is reserved for him! Why ? Because he reciprocates. He will not stand a cuffing nor a kick—a sharp word of rebuke is more than enough to correct him. It may be this tenderness of heart that makes him so affectionate. The time to get a Collie is when he is eight months’ old. If he is much older it takes too long to win him. An old Collie pines for old friends as a rule. Recently the writer had occasion to purchase a half interest in a dog four and one-half years old. He had two masters in England before he was nine months old. Inside of six months more he has two masters in this country and then was sold to a western breeder, from whom I purchased an interest. He hardly knew who his master was and he was so friendly with all that one day I thus lost him. He was gone for about a week, and I was advertising far and wide for him. Then a newspaper man learned my story and gave me a half- column, scare-head story, which unearthed him ten miles from home. The finder telephoned me about him, quoting the newspaper description verbatim. I thought he had a dog like mine—in fact, from his being so positive, I began to doubt. Only sixty clues had been run to earth fruitlessly during the previous week. The idea of talking to the Collie over the telephone finally came to me, and the finder placed the receiver to his ear, after getting him up on a chair. Here is the conversation between the Collie and myself:
“Bob,” I said, “do you know me?”
No answer, but the gentleman who had him. says, “You ought to see the look on his face.”
“Bob, old man, where are you. Don’t you know me? Come, speak up!”
A low, lingering whine and half a bark was the answer. I knew it was Bob.
When he was brought home that afternoon the finder said he was very restless and uneasy from the time he heard me till he was brought into my office. His trip was such a hard one and he was so tired, that it cured him of further escapades. I’ve had no trouble since. This only goes to show that Collies should be taken for companions when young. They are never in doubt then about the location of home.
The Collie is essentially an outdoor dog. He does not care too much for indoor pampering. In the winter my companion lies under my writing table in the library during the evenings. Outside this he likes outdoors. He always sleeps with other dogs in the kennels or stable at night. I rise early and take them all for a run every agreeable morning. When a man likes a tramp through the woods or across country, he can take no better companion than one or two alert Collies. I generally take them all, but if I were cramped into smaller quarters I should have one or two anyhow.
A few words on general care: In all favorable weather wash the dog once a month, and in summer once each week. Feed him twice daily of cooked food. Do not keep him too fat. Good muscular condition and a smart, alert Collie are not the result of too much feed. Once a week give a half teaspoonful of powdered sulphur in a pan with some milk. It keeps his blood in fine condition. Use a medicated animal soap when washing him. Disinfect the kennel with crude carbolic acid once a month. In fall and winter, when washing is out of the question, owing to the unfavorable weather, dust him through all his dense coat with a tobacco dust powder. It is a fine method of keeping his skin clean and insects off after contact with other dogs. Have him clipped in summer if convenient, and let him go on the vacation with you. He will love the water and it will be a sin to leave him home.
“Once owner of a Collie, always an owner,” is an old but true saying. No circumstances will prevent the keeping uf a Collie after they have once won you. We know the truth of this in a dozen instances. They are the pride of every one who possesses them and will always be first in the heart of a strong man or woman who is fond of the dumb but true.

balgreggieMany tributes to the dog have been written and uttered by better known lovers of canines than myself, but no more ardent admirer of the Collie, or students of their breeding, gets more pleasure out of it to the square inch than I; but I shall not try to write a history of this noble animal, or a treatise on his breeding; my intentions are to tell of him as a friend and companion.

The rough-coated Scotch Collie is one of the most popular dogs among canine fanciers and breeders in England or America. The columns of any dog journal bristle with the business announcements of breeders. Suburban, urban and country folks are learning of the true value and usefulness of this splendid animal. He is a friend and trusty servant anywhere. Many lovers of Collies have begun the work of rearing and breeding them because of the great demand for these dogs. Mr. Samuel Uttermeyer has spent nearly $25,000 during the last three years in building up a choice kennel of Collies. Most of his importations have come from England and Scotland, where the cream of the breed flourish. I cite this as an instance to verify my assertion about the Collie’s popularity.

scarisbrick_starBreeding Collies and producing good ones is a business, as is the producing of good horses or other live stock. Good prices are realized for twelve weeks’ old puppies, brood matrons and young stud dogs. Puppies range in price from fifteen dollars up; brood bitches and grown dogs bring twenty-five dollars, for the generally good specimen, up to two and three hundred for the best class of them.

The finest point about a Collie is his head and expression, as breeders call it. A dog with an elegant coat and general Collie form, but without a good head, is not worth much, according to collie fanciers. The head is moderately wide and skull flat, with a clean cut mouth and rather lengthy over all. Ears want to be carried low, and when the dog is on the lookout they want to be elevated well up, yet the tips should tip over even and gracefully. General Collie conformation, as shown in the picture of Champion Balgreggie Hope, is necessary to the perfectly finished Collie. In coat he must be very heavy and long. The frill about his neck must be long and beautiful. Collies are either golden sable and white or tri-color, i.e., black, with white and tan markings on frill, breast, legs, head and ears. The sable and white Collies are the most popular in this country, as well as in their native land, because of their extreme beauty. The white markings to be valuable must be a full, wide collar, white tip of tail, blaze in the face, white markings on legs, frill and breast. The more perfect these markings, other qualities being good in proportion, the more valuable the animal.

I have been impressed greatly, during my few years’ experience with Collies, with their extreme intelligence. Having kept and bred Fox Terriers and Bostons previously, makes me love the Collie the more. Nothing that has come to my notice concerning either the Fox Terrier or the Bostons has been disadvantageous to them. There is an indescribable something that fascinates one to a Collie above all others. He loves to obey. It has been bred into them so long that it is a fixed characteristic. He can so attach himself to you that nothing would ever let you part from him. Imagine a dog with intelligence enough to bring your boots, close or open a door, always bring in the morning paper and love an out-door walk with master or mistress. Newspaper incidents of a dog’s smartness pale beside the daily duties of a faithful Collie. Any breeder or dog fancier loves his Collie best—the warm corner in the heart is reserved for him! Why ? Because he reciprocates. He will not stand a cuffing nor a kick—a sharp word of rebuke is more than enough to correct him. It may be this tenderness of heart that makes him so affectionate. The time to get a Collie is when he is eight months’ old. If he is much older it takes too long to win him. An old Collie pines for old friends as a rule. Recently the writer had occasion to purchase a half interest in a dog four and one-half years old. He had two masters in England before he was nine months old. Inside of six months more he has two masters in this country and then was sold to a western breeder, from whom I purchased an interest. He hardly knew who his master was and he was so friendly with all that one day I thus lost him. He was gone for about a week, and I was advertising far and wide for him. Then a newspaper man learned my story and gave me a half- column, scare-head story, which unearthed him ten miles from home. The finder telephoned me about him, quoting the newspaper description verbatim. I thought he had a dog like mine—in fact, from his being so positive, I began to doubt. Only sixty clues had been run to earth fruitlessly during the previous week. The idea of talking to the Collie over the telephone finally came to me, and the finder placed the receiver to his ear, after getting him up on a chair. Here is the conversation between the Collie and myself:

“Bob,” I said, “do you know me?”

No answer, but the gentleman who had him. says, “You ought to see the look on his face.”

“Bob, old man, where are you. Don’t you know me? Come, speak up!”

A low, lingering whine and half a bark was the answer. I knew it was Bob.

When he was brought home that afternoon the finder said he was very restless and uneasy from the time he heard me till he was brought into my office. His trip was such a hard one and he was so tired, that it cured him of further escapades. I’ve had no trouble since. This only goes to show that Collies should be taken for companions when young. They are never in doubt then about the location of home.

The Collie is essentially an outdoor dog. He does not care too much for indoor pampering. In the winter my companion lies under my writing table in the library during the evenings. Outside this he likes outdoors. He always sleeps with other dogs in the kennels or stable at night. I rise early and take them all for a run every agreeable morning. When a man likes a tramp through the woods or across country, he can take no better companion than one or two alert Collies. I generally take them all, but if I were cramped into smaller quarters I should have one or two anyhow.

right_sortA few words on general care: In all favorable weather wash the dog once a month, and in summer once each week. Feed him twice daily of cooked food. Do not keep him too fat. Good muscular condition and a smart, alert Collie are not the result of too much feed. Once a week give a half teaspoonful of powdered sulphur in a pan with some milk. It keeps his blood in fine condition. Use a medicated animal soap when washing him. Disinfect the kennel with crude carbolic acid once a month. In fall and winter, when washing is out of the question, owing to the unfavorable weather, dust him through all his dense coat with a tobacco dust powder. It is a fine method of keeping his skin clean and insects off after contact with other dogs. Have him clipped in summer if convenient, and let him go on the vacation with you. He will love the water and it will be a sin to leave him home.

“Once owner of a Collie, always an owner,” is an old but true saying. No circumstances will prevent the keeping uf a Collie after they have once won you. We know the truth of this in a dozen instances. They are the pride of every one who possesses them and will always be first in the heart of a strong man or woman who is fond of the dumb but true.

excerpted from: Recreation
by George O. Shields, American Canoe Association, League of American Sportsmen
1905

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