Our Scotch Collie Rover – 1884

We keep a dog, and love him too. He is a Scotch Colley of royal mien, as seen from his portrait. He answers quickly to the name of “Rover,” and has no end of admirers. The Scotch Highlands are the home of Rover’s ancestors, where the Colley breed is found in its best estate. Here in thigrassy valleys, and on the rocky table-lands this dog renders the labors of the shepherd profitable and easy. The pure-blooded Scotch Colley Is a mediumeized dog with a clean, foxy face, half-pricked ears, bright eyes, and a shrewd expression. He has no superiors in canine intelligence. The coat is long and silky, and in color varies greatly ; black and tan with a white collar, legs and belly is not infrequently seen. The fore legs are feathered, and the hind ones are short-haired below the hocks. The shoulders are deep, back rather short, and the tail long, gracefully curled up at the end and heavily feathered. The constant and intimate association with the gentle milkmaids of their native island, has molded the character of the far-famed peace-loving Jersey cow. In like manner the Gaelic shepherds have most thoroughly developed the desirable qualities of the genuine Scotch Colley. “Rover” is a living monument of the molding power of man as exercised in the development of a shepherd dog. He is not a dog for idle tricks ; though fully able to learn them, he prefers to render more important service. His supreme delight is to reign at the head of a flock. There his language and movements are better understood than those of his master. He guards and guides with great prudence and judgment, and only uses harsh means when peace and order demand them. His good disposition quickly gains him the confidence of the flock In his charge. The Colley resents changes of ownership, but is most faithful to a time-tested and beloved master. Wherever sheep are kept, the Colley is useful. The good services he will render are without number, and many of them prove the possession of a high order of intellect. The achievements in herding wild sheep at the prize competitions are simply wonderful. We do not know the full extent of ” Rover’s ” abilities, but it is certain that he is an important fixture of a farm that is well regulated in one particular at least—the possession of a faithful, thoughtful, labor-saving, peace-loving, affectionate, and handsome Scotch Colley dog.

Excerpted from American Agriculturalist, October 1884

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