Images tagged "scotch-collie"

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  1. There is a book about Bob, by Susan Stellies, “Wonder Dog” The Story of Silverton Bobbie”; also,”Silverton’s Bobbie: His Amazing Journey–The True Story” by Judith Kent. Both books can be found on

    Inside the first book by Susan Stellies, which is geared more toward children, is a picture of Bob in which he looks very much like our Ginny of Gracehaven.

  2. This is a wonderful article!…and a wonderful site! I am impressed. It is great to have someone dissect the whole Collie controversy and lay it out in such a comprehensible manner.

    BTW, our Diego was linebred on Sojourner’s Jacob and therefore has a concentration of these genetics. However, I have (for personal reasons) chosen to go back to the RC to produce what I want in a dog.

    We did have one litter with Diego X a Chesney/ES cross. We have heard good things about these puppies. But have also had very good success going back to the RCs who display the OFFC look and instincts. Personally, this is where we want to see our line go.

    Bravo on your site. I am thrilled!

    Miriam Munson

  3. I should have clarified that Diego was linebred on Sojourner’s Jacob X RC. Jacob X Jenny (RC with OFFC traits) and then Jacob X Lassie (Jenny’s daughter to Jacob). I believe that the Niedrauer’s, Diego’s breeders, were really on to something.

    Also, I have heard that Sojourner’s Jacob has now passed.

    Miriam Munson

  4. Shep says:


    Thanks for the kind words, they couldn’t come from a more respected source as far as I’m concerned. I have admired your dogs for some time.

    I would appreciate it very much if you would give me a link from your site.


  5. Diane says:

    Hi Shep,
    There is a tri RC over my way that I’ve seen work. Really good, natural gathering instinct and lovely temperament. He is for sale.
    I have the contact info for the man carrying on McDuffie’s line. A couple of years ago he was looking for someone to help him with the OTFS project. If you’d like his name and number please contact me privately. BTW, the NKC is still registering OTFS.

  6. Pingback: Defining a Breed: An Apologia of the OTFS | Old Time Farm Shepherd, Celebrating Farm Collies Past & Present

  7. Pingback: What Did Pre-Dog Show Scotch Collies Look Like? | Old Time Farm Shepherd, Celebrating Farm Collies Past & Present

  8. Cindy Dorsten says:

    You have a WONDERFUl Web site! It’s well-done and well-researched. 🙂 As a canine historian with a particular interest in the Collie (aka Scotch Collie, Rough Collie, Smooth Collie, the original Welsh Collie, Colley, Shepherd Dogge (1700-1800s), Ban Dog (1700-1800s), Cur Dog (1700-1800s), and sometimes called the English Sheepdog (particularly the Smooth Collie of the 1800s), you’ve done a remarkable job of researching and collating this information from many different sources. The Border Collie Museum is the only site that rivals your site! The BC Museum actually has articles, information, and photos of COLLIES, not just border collies since the two breeds may have been the SAME breed more than a century ago, and diverged each getting an interjection of additional breeds to allegedly “improve” them, though that can be argued. Hail the great Collie! 🙂

  9. Cindy Dorsten says:

    I wish your site was mine! 🙂

  10. Pingback: Where is the Old English Sheepdog? | Old Time Farm Shepherd, Celebrating Farm Collies Past & Present

  11. Pingback: Where is the Old English Sheepdog? | Old Time Farm Shepherd, Celebrating Farm Collies Past & Present

  12. Pingback: English Shepherds and Scotch Collies in 1861 | Old Time Farm Shepherd, Celebrating Farm Collies Past & Present

  13. Pingback: English Shepherds Are Not Descended From Scotch Collies | Old Time Farm Shepherd, Celebrating Farm Collies Past & Present

  14. Pingback: Where is the Old English Sheepdog? | Old Time Farm Shepherd, Celebrating Farm Collies Past & Present

  15. Pai says:

    That book has some references in it’s introduction to two supposed depictions of the breed from 1771 and 1803. The book says that it was originally a drover’s dog, and much bigger than the ‘modern’ OES.

  16. Bravo! What a way to take the ball and run with it. You have found the missing link that I had yet to uncover, specifically the origin of Noble (other than as a gift) and the significance of the Elliot family in both breeding sheep and dogs.

    The link with Hindhope Jed is an exciting new avenue for me to research, and this begins to tidy up the history quite nicely.

    If future DNA analysis can confirm the Setter crosses, perhaps a repeated outcross would become more palatable to the BC community in the future.

  17. It seems the two accounts mesh when you consider “Mr Elliot has five farms under three Dukes of Northumberland and Roxburgh” and “Noble, given nearly twenty years ago to the Queen by the Duke of Roxburgh.”

    Perhaps it is as simple as the Duke acquiring Noble from Elliot as a gift. When the Queen became enamored with the dog, of course she invited the true origin of the dog to the castle.

  18. Shep says:

    If anything this book reenforces my point, this guy cannot find any good historic evidence for his own dogs existence, he is in fact finding many of the same references I have found which describe the English Sheep-Dog or Drover’s Dog as a collie-like dog similar to today’s English Shepherd. The engraving is great, but it doesn’t label the dog anything, so we could say it was an OES but it could just as easily be a Bearded Collie. He goes on to say the dog depicted in the Sportsman’s Cabinet looks more like a Himalayan sheep dog, Youatt’s Drover’s dog looks more like a collie he says, likewise Stonehenge provides a description more closely allied to a collie, he then quickly moves on to talk about the 1880s when these dogs actually began appearing by the OES name. The Drover Dog is often described as being shorter of hair than the collie.

    “Closely allied to the shepherd’s dog is the cur, or drover’s dog. This useful animal is larger than the shepherd’s dog; the hair is generally shorter, and the tail, even when not cut purposely, often appears as if it had been so.”
    The Penny magazine By Charles Knight – 1841

    “He [the collie] is more hairy, and with a sharper and more fox-like nose than the English sheep-dog, or than the drover’s dog”
    Manual of British Rural Sports – 1856

  19. Shep says:

    Thanks Christopher

    I am becoming more and more interested in the Gordon Setter crosses, the more I research historical sources, the more references I collect from the late 1800s and turn of the century that mention it.

  20. Pingback: Old Time Farm Shepherds, the History and Legacy of the Breed | Old Time Farm Shepherd, Celebrating Farm Collies Past & Present

  21. Pingback: What happened to the farmcollie movement of the 1990s? And where should it be headed. | Old Time Farm Shepherd, Celebrating Farm Collies Past & Present

  22. Pai says:

    Several breeds appeared ‘out of nowhere’ around the late 1800s and were given all kinds of vague ‘ancient histories’, so it’s not far-fetched to think that the OES was one of these (a bearded collie variant, maybe), as well.

  23. MC says:

    Unfortunately, the broad brush used to paint the good and bad guys in this article makes it a weak spot in an otherwise strongly researched website. I really hope that anyone who reads this particular article follows the link to the list archives and tries to read them without bias, because this article reads like it was colored by some of the more extravagant segues in that discussion. For instance, “crossbred” isn’t an insult – it’s a statement of a dog’s heritage. Several of those “ES enthusiasts” who uttered the dreaded m-word are actually working or have worked with direct relatives of Scout’s.

    Perhaps some term definition is in order: a breed relies on genetic consistency through many generations of inbreeding and rigid selection. Not only has it been a mere four generations since Jacob was bred to his cross-bred daughters, there is so much variety in the phenotype of the actual dogs who were linebred on Jacob that people aren’t even aware they’re related until they’re shown the pedigree.

    This isn’t to say that Jacob and Jenny’s get are useless, but they certainly aren’t members of a breed. It’s far more accurate to use the term coined for describing the entire landrace as it exists today – farmcollie. A landrace is marked by genetic variety but shares a common behavioral factor, such as the job the dogs naturally do (another modern-day example is the Altdeutsche Hütehunde landrace in Germany). Any collie-type breed or mix thereof that retains multipurpose farm work abilities is a farmcollie, and the mutts have the added bonus of offering genetic variety in a world run by closed registries. How this statement is an insult is beyond me.

  24. Shep says:

    After rereading my post several times I fail to see this “broad bush”, all I did was mention that it was offensive for certain people to call Scout a crossbred dog, implying that he was not worthy of rescuing intact, I then went on to describe in detail why I believe that Scout was in fact of a breed. The only “broad brush” I can see is the way I summarized the farmcollie list discussion, but that discussion was not the subject of this post, it was the impetus for this post. As for being offended by some on the list, that was my personal reaction to the fact that these seemed to be suggesting that Scout’s genetic material was not worth saving since he was not a part of a breed as they saw it.

    a breed relies on genetic consistency through many generations of inbreeding and rigid selection

    Balderdash! There are a number of definitions for “breed” and perhaps that is at issue here as much as the definition of “farm collie”, “scotch collie” or OTFS.

    Here is the definition I like to use. Wikipedia: A breed is a group of domestic animals with a homogeneous appearance, behavior, and other characteristics that distinguish it from other animals of the same species. When bred together, animals of the same breed pass on these uniform traits to their offspring, and this ability—known as “breeding true”—is a definitive requirement for a breed. The offspring produced as a result of breeding animals of one breed with other animals of another breed are known as crossbreeds or mixed breeds.

    By this definition what you call a breed is subjective based on what appearance and behavior you are looking for and how much variance is allowed for. It is my assertion, and I make it throughout this website, that Scout, Sojourner’s Jacob, etc. all fall within the range that was considered the Scotch Collie breed in the early 20th century and therefore can be considered of that breed. Some, however make the assertion that unless you have an organized breed club and a written standard or “generations of inbreeding and rigid selection” that your breed does not exist. This is nonsense, breeds of dogs have existed for millennia before any breed club was ever formed. If you want to say that the Scotch Collies of yesterday were more of a landrace, I can agree with that, but they were certainly considered a breed 100 years ago, and English Shepherds are considered a breed today and they have a great deal of diversity too.

    As for these “ES enthusiasts” who have worked with direct relatives of Scout’s, most of them are working on assimilating the remaining OTFS into the ES gene-pool, Resistance is futile.

    If there were an OTFS or Old Scotch Collie breed club, Scout could have been registered given the range of looks that we see 100 years ago. Furthermore that range in appearance and behavior in the few OTFS dogs living today is no greater than that found in the ES breed with its great diversity of types from the Stodghill B&T to the more Scotch looking dogs, yet nobody questions their breed status. How is it that the ES people can breed in OTFS dogs and get a “purebred” ES, while others cross an OTFS with a RC and get a “cross-breed”? It is this double standard, this breed elitism that most offends me.

    I would sure like to see some evidence of your statement about Jacob’s progeny, all of them I have seen have looked very similar.

  25. Pingback: History of the English Shepherd in America | Old Time Farm Shepherd, Celebrating Farm Collies Past & Present

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  27. I’m a proponent of separating record keeping from dogma. Many lessons can be learned from the Border Collie registries in this regard. (1) Published Stud Books are better than unpublished books.

    Ths ISDS publishes their books. Even though they themselves haven’t joined the digital revolution, one devoted BC person scanned them all in, recreated the database, and ran BRILLIANT and informative analysis on them.

    (2) Unpublished stud books are stupid. The information about many American Border Collies is essentially lost as at least two of the more popular registries shut down without transferring their books and a hurricane wiped out a database.

    (3) The registries with agendas to push charge the most money and provide the least information.

    (4) There are some similar efforts to what you’re doing. Perhaps you can get ideas from them: (Join to use)

  28. Shep says:

    Thanks Christopher, great information.

    Another nice online registry is the English Shepherd Club registry at (another one you will need to register for)

    I’m probably a bit biased, but mine is light-years ahead of most of these other online registries. However I am taking a bit different approach than these, they all require changes to be sent in and added by the database administrator while I plan on using more of a Wikipedia type of approach of user edited content. I’m not entirely sure how well this will work, but I think if I can make it work it will be very low maintenance and help keep costs down to nothing.

  29. burl ford says:

    HI I have english shepherds or farm collies. My male is out of the Dunrovin’s Old shep lines and chesney’s farm collies. My females are from the butcher lines here in Oklahoma. I would be glad to share pictures with anyone who wants to see them.

  30. Shep says:

    Thanks for the comment Mr. Ford.

    I can vouch for the quality of Burl’s dogs, I have a dog that I bought from him and she is fantastic. His Buddy is one in a million, as close to McDuffie’s “Old Bobtail Line” as any living dog.

  31. burl ford says:

    I have a son of Rebel. He is out of Sheryl Chesney’s LIlly and Rebel I have raised several litters from him. He is a golden sable color and shows the scotch collie quite a bit .

  32. burl ford says:

    I would like to send a picture of my male Buddy to this site if someone can give me the email address.

  33. Shep says:

    The email address for anyone wishing to contact the owner of this site is

  34. Cindy D. says:

    During the past year, I came across a historic resource with woodcut that clearly showed a Smooth Collie, but referred to him as an English Sheepdog! If I can pull it back up, I will relay it to you. Pe5rhaps it was a misnomer, but we know that the Collie was once referred to as the Scotch Collie, Scotch Colley, and Scotch Shepherd. So, the revalation that Smooths were sometimes called English Sheepdogs was a surprise.

  35. Shep says:


    That’s news to me too. I would love to see that illustration, if you can get it, email it to and I will post it here.


  36. Gretta Miles says:

    How wonderful to get to see that footage! My collie is old now and I so hate the thought of him being nothing but memories like the author and his dogs. But I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to have such a special dog.

  37. Steven Elliott says:

    Thanks to my dear friends Gretta and Rich for sending this site to me. And also to Sue and Tom Boice for giving us the twin treasures of Terhune and English Shepherds. Both changed our lives immeasurably. My daughter and I are in debt to you all.

  38. Arlene says:

    I grew up with these Collies, worked by a second generation dairy farmer – my mom, whose dogs descended from her father’s bitch, brought to Canada in the early 1900s. She called our dogs Scotch Collies, and that was because they were soft enough to work the milking cows without causing unwanted tension. They were incredible family dogs and I have since not met a purebred specimen of any breed to match. If I had a vote it would be “Working Scotch Colley”.

  39. abused pets says:

    Good afternoon, This is a excellent blog, but I was wondering how do I suscribe to the RSS feed?

  40. Shep says:


    Thanks for adding your personal story and for the comment.

  41. Shep says:

    Thank you, just click the RSS icon on the right side of the navigation bar at the top of each page, or go to

  42. Paul says:

    Thanks for your thorough research. We adopted an ES from the pound. He was labeled as an Australian Shepherd, but clearly was not. Your work has helped us understand our dog a lot better.

    I like Scotch Collie or Working Scotch Collie. I believe that the folks of Scotland might like Scots Collie.

  43. Shep says:


    Thanks for your comment. I would love to see pictures of your dog.


  44. Cindy D. says:

    Queen Victoria most definitely had Rough and Smooth Collies (then called Scotch Collies, English Sheepdogs — not to be confused with Old English Sheepdogs, Colleys, Collies, and so on). She registered them in the USA, and had them exhibited there as Collies (see early AKC Studbooks and show records). Early on, some dogs such as Sharp and Noble hardly looked like either Collie or Border Collie, but could have been representatives of either with a dash of Flat-coat or Gordon since there since the Collie was used to help develop BOTH OF THOSE TWO BREEDS. Some interbreeding went on in the early years with poor records management, and I would imagine some of the dogs may have found their way back into the Collie family. As an all-breed historian, over the years the more I research the more I am convinced that the Collie started to diverge in the mid-1800s into what is now the Collie (Rough and Smooth), and the Border Collie. Many articles of the very very late 1800s and early to mid-1900s spoke of the many changes (both good and bad) that came over the Collie with a lot of criticism by those who wanted the breed to remain the famously splendid working dog and farm and family helpmate of the more moderate type of conformation. Some lines are getting better… But, now I find it interesting to see that the Border Collie is NOW going through the same “growing oains” as the Collie did a century ago!! With the show Border Collie being bred and exhibited in Australia and New Zealand since the early- to mid-1900s, and in England since the 1970s we see the breed quickly transforming into quite a beautiful dog with a calmer even laidback temperament/disposition!! They hardly look like what we used to recognize as Border Collies. Several grand dames of Border Collies several years ago noted that infusions of Rough Collies (crossback) were made off of the record. Makes since as how could there be such a major, startling transformation!

  45. Cindy D. says:

    Meant to also mention that a numbwer of paintings were commissioned by the Queen and the Royals depictuing the royal pets to include COLLIES, my friend. So, while Noble and Sharp had the sporting dog look, there were a number of other COLLIES maintained at Sandringham.

  46. As an owner of one of the Niedrauer’s Jacob/Jenny offspring, I find MC’s comments somewhat offensive. There is more consistency in the appearance of these dogs than the broad scope of appearances I have seen in registered “purebred” ES. And how can a dog who comes from Jacob be registered as “purebred” ES when they are no more “purebred” than my Diego? It’s all politics, pure and simple.

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  49. Cindy,

    Please provide *primary sources* for any of the outlandish claims you are making.

    * Find me a photo of the Queen with a “Rough” or “Smooth” Collie. Heck, find me one of a Scotch Collie.

    * Then, find me her personal writing where she says how much she is in love with said dog.

    I’ve already done this with her Border Collie types.

    * The dogs she wrote about as personal favorites are not of the Rough/Smooth Collie type at all.

    * All the dogs I listed are perfectly identifiable as Border Collies in type. We can also source them to the very region and to an established breeder of what became known as the Border Collie.

    * Find me her writings where she talks lovingly about a dog that you can identify as one of your flavor of collies.

    * SHE registered them in the USA then? Now why would she do this? Can you even find her personal dogs registered in the UK? Unverifiable claims by other breeders don’t count. Certainly not breeders in the USA.

    * If this was official, there must be documentation. Please find it and show it to us.

    * Please provide kennel records of Sharp or Noble being shown in Conformation contemporaneously with the Queen.

    * Please find me pedigrees with names and dates that match the dogs the Queen writes about.

    * Besides looking perfecly like Border Collies, Sharp and Noble CLEARLY don’t resemble the Scotch Collies of their day, which already had a pointy face long before Czar Nicholas II sent Queen Victoria a single Borzoi.

    * Flat-Coat, Gordon Setter WHAT? Again, provide a shred of evidence.

    * You claim you’ve done extensive research, you should have primary sources at your finger tips. Kennel Club breed histories aren’t primary sources.

    * Several Grand Dames, Several years ago… again, please be specific and provide documentation. There isn’t any genetic evidence of this, let alone the physical appearance of it. Show BCs are polar opposites in type to Show Collies.

    * The great number of paintings? Again, please provide one that is Victorian and not Edwardian. I’ve seen EDWARDIAN paintings of Edward’s family with sable collies.

    * That the Royal Kennels eventually had Scotch Collies isn’t in question. What is in question is their relationship with Victoria.

    * King Edward VII is not Queen Victoria. Sandringham is not Victoria’s kennel, it was established by Edward.

    * Show Collie folks have been distorting the record, using Queen Victoria’s name to pump up their flavor. The facts don’t support this.

    Again, please illuminate the record with some primary sources.


    Christopher Landauer
    BorderWars blog

  50. Shep says:


    Look at the research I have done on this site related to the origins of the English Shepherd, the Scotch Collie didn’t have to diverge into RC and BC as the English Shepherd was always different from the Scotch and it stands to reason that the shepherd dogs of the border region were a natural blend of these 2 types. I have to agree with Christopher, in my research I have not seen any evidence of this mid-nineteenth century divergence so often talked about in Collie history.

    It is my opinion that the RC lovers cling tenaciously to the Queen Victoria myth because it gives their dogs prestige, while the RC haters cling to this myth because it supports the story that she bred in Borzoi and thereby ruined the breed. As breed historians we ought to discard all preconceived notions and look at the facts with an open mind.


  51. Bert Howard says:

    Please send me your email address so I can send some of my research on Scotch Collies and Shepherd’s Dogs of the border region England/Scotland – thank you – Bert Howard, Australia

  52. Shep says:

    For anyone wanting to contact me my email address is

  53. Dianne taimsalu says:

    amusing to see that his tail is carried over his back when controlling his excitement – certainly not something admired by modern judges.

  54. Shep says:

    It’s interesting to me that so many of the ideas as to what a proper collie ought to look like are merely subjective decisions based on the whims and fancy of the day.

    The “gay tail” for example. The collie has herding spitz in it’s ancestry, it is only natural for spitz type dogs to carry their tails over their backs, especially when they are excited or on alert. Yet for over 100 years breeders have been working against that characteristic which has no real value for or against the dog except that somebody long ago decided that they didn’t like that.

    How about the collie’s blaze? A rough collie with a blaze on its face is a rare thing today, yet 100 years ago it was fairly common. Why is this the case? Because somebody, for some entirely subjective reason decided that it was not a good thing and therefore breeders have been eliminating that feature from the breed.

  55. Pingback: "Old Scotch Collie" by Erika DuBois | Old Time Farm Shepherd, Celebrating Farm Collies Past & Present

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  60. Courtney says:

    Shep: I do find it strange that there are so few collies with a blaze nowadays. The famous Lassie has a blaze, and he was responsible for a surge in the collie’s popularity. It seems Hollywood fashion statements do not hold sway in the show ring…

  61. Pingback: Online Scotch Collie Registry Launched Today! | Old Time Farm Shepherd .org

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  63. akluis says:

    I too suspect that the British Isles in the early 1800s to early 1900s most likely had many “land-races” of collie or shepherd dog, and these many landraces could probably be lumped together in master-categories of Border, Scotch, and English…or maybe put it as ‘slight and strong-eyed sheep dog type (border collie)’ ‘slightly heavier more loose-eyed sheep dog type (scotch)’ and ‘heavier, loose-eyed, nipper, sheep and cattle (english)”

    after all, this same chunk of land has given us how many variations of the terrier?

    I’d also have the ‘smooth and rough’ line branch off to the right not the left, and have a dotted arrow coming in with the Borzoi crossings that went on for a fancier head.

    also in your “before 410” box I’d have a lot more arrows to make it clear of all the intermixing.

  64. Shep says:

    Thanks for the good feedback, I will make some of these changes soon. However I personally have my reservations about the Borzoi cross. In all my research I have seen no actual evidence of such a cross, at least not on a wide enough scale that it effected the whole breed, I am planning a post on this website on the subject but haven’t gotten around to it yet. If you know of any good sources on this subject please point me in the right direction, I am open minded. You may find this post interesting

  65. Linda Rorem says:

    Re: collie family tree. You’re right that my version was meant to show relationships, however, by no means was it intended to indicate that originally there was only one type of shepherd’s dog in Britain. I am familiar with the sources cited and others. There were great variations of shepherd dog type between regions and within regions, as well as commonalities within regions and across regions, e.g., shaggy-faced types occurred in England, Scotland and Wales, blue merles occurred in England, Scotland and Wales, etc., while at times a particular type was more common in a particular area and became associated with that area. (Then, throughout the 19th century, the Scottish collies became particularly influential, going into Wales and further south in England, mixing with the dogs there; further mixing occurred in the farm dogs of the U.S.; and the term “collie” for a working sheepdog became widespread and often used interchangeably with “shepherd’s dog” or “shepherd”.) Two factors are indicated by the single line shown at the top of the chart. One is no more than simplification on a chart, as noted on the chart itself. The other is that the modern breeds did not come down in clean, separate lines from earlier types. I suppose I could make an addition to the note at the top to clarify this, because I certainly do not believe or mean to imply that originally there was “only one type of shepherd’s dog.”

    Good luck with the old Scotch collie. That is the type I like best, although due to circumstances I haven’t been in a position to follow up in any concrete way.

  66. jan says:

    I think this is a huge improvement on most other online registries out there, the English Shepherd Club’s does not even have an online form, just pdf files that you can print out

    What ESC registry are you referring to? The ESC registry has no PDF files at all, is fully searchable online for any dogs or owners, and quite detailed. I suggest you actually check it out:

  67. Shep says:

    This was not intended as a put-down for the ESC registry, I am a registered member there and have used it extensively, it is one of the finest in existence. The statement “a huge improvement on most other online registries” was not directed at the ESC registry, “most” is not the same as “all”, I do consider the ESC registry the touchstone. The PDF files I was referring to are those required for adding a dog to the registry, I admit I was less than clear about this, my registry has online forms for adding dogs which I think is one improvement I have over the ESC.

    I might point out that this is not intended to compete with the English Shepherd registry in any way, this is intended primarily for dogs like Scout that cannot be registered elsewhere.

  68. Shep says:


    Thanks for the comment. My intention was not to cast aspersions on your chart, simply to clarify a matter that was a particular pet peeve of mine. I feel like a lot of people talk as though the diversity we see in collie-type dogs today was a result of breeding in the past 150 years, and your chart could certainly give one that impression, while it is my contention that most of that diversity has come down to us from the regional varieties of herding dogs and I wanted to create my own chart showing the influence of those regional varieties.

  69. jan says:

    A couple thoughts… I’m glad your size range only goes up to 65 pounds since all the early records suggest the original collies were pretty small. Selection for show and over here in the states where there were larger predators made larger dogs more common but in Watson’s The Dog Book and other places it’s obvious the early collies were large Sheltie size.

    Why no black and tans. Again, that is probably the most common of the early collie color. Sable was quite rare. Merle was also common. But both in working and early show lines the B&T was very prominant.

    Temperament – the original collies were quite sharp and generally unfriendly to people who weren’t their people. Treacherous was a word fairly often applied. Not that I’m advocating selection for this trait, mind you, but it is the historical temperament.

  70. Linda Rorem says:

    I’ve added a note to mine that I hope will help clarify it. As you point out, the diversity has been there all along. Different perspectives bring out different nuances and contribute to providing a more complete picture.

    (p.s. that photo of Dunrovin Ole Shep is one of my favorites)

  71. Shep says:


    Thanks for the feedback.

    You are right, collies today are much larger than in previous times, but so are humans, much of this can no doubt be attributed to better nutrition.

    I don’t think black and tan was intentionally left out, it would no doubt be covered by the phrase “any combination thereof is acceptable”. But good luck finding one of these.

    It is my belief that “treacherous” was nothing more than a negative stereotype that the breed had, and not an actual breed characteristic. As evidence I submit the wealth of stories about the scotch collie on this website, no evidence of a treacherous nature is found here. Some breeds in our day suffer with negative stereotyping, Rottweilers for example. However, being unfriendly to people not their people is certainly acceptable and quite common, I believe the phrase “reserved with strangers” would allow for a certain amount of that sort of behavior. I for one prefer my dogs to be unfriendly to strangers until I tell them it is okay.

  72. Jill says:

    What a wonderful site you have! I’ve so enjoyed exploring both the site and the origins of the modern collie breeds. I have a few comments on the draft, since you asked. I had shelties for 25 years, and despite the horrible overbreeding and poor breeding of these dogs, they are absolutely stellar when you obtain them from an ethical, responsible breeder. Re Temperment: A good sheltie is NOT yappy, excitable, nervous or genetically shy, and these are completely in opposition to the breed standard. Although many shelties are not good with children, the larger ones seem to be less skittish around toddlers. One of the nicest sheltie characteristics is that they’ll work or play as long as you will and can be trained to do almost anything around a farm including varmint hunting, but are happy to lie around and veg when not busy. They especially like piles of laundry… 😉 Re Head Type: Shelties are supposed to have a head shaped like “a blunt wedge” either longer or more triangular, with a small but definite stop that looks much like the old scotch collie photos. I have seen exactly the head type you’re looking for in a few oversize shelties; modern rough collies were crossed into at least one sheltie line as recently as the 1960s, plus shelties do not breed true for size in the desired size range of 13-16 inches at the shoulder. If you are yourself establishing a bloodline and not just a registry, you might consider including some sheltie crosses should you come across a larger (16″ and up) dog that fits your mental picture. As for a foxy look, English shelties (and collies too?) have a much foxier look than those from North America. I would caution against having too “sharp” a muzzle – this can lead to undershot lower jaws which can cause health problems. You can have a sharpish muzzle and still have good underjaw. Re Gait: On many of the Farm Collie sites, it seems like a LOT of the dogs, whether English Shepherds or other, have very straight rear angulation. Dogs with a primary gait of the trot, like collies and most other shepherds, need some angulation in the rear so that they don’t tire as easily. You might consider stipulating some angulation, even if you don’t want to get too specific about it. The sheltie standard actually states what angles the bones should have in relation to each other for both front and rear conformation, but I don’t know that that level of detail is necessary. If a dog can work all day long, that’s the test. Re Eye shape: Personally, I find that a round eye is not nearly so expressive or pretty as an almond shaped eye. That’s just my preference, though. Re Color: Would you consider adding white as a color? Color-headed whites have no genetic defects and this is an established collie color (it’s also in shelties but due to politics in the ASSA a few decades back, they cannot be shown in conformation.) There are no genetic problems associated with color-headed whites. Your description above would imply that sable merles would be allowed, which is fine, but be aware that these are difficult to detect as adults; if bred to another merle, either sable or blue, then double merle pups can result and usually have vision, hearing or other serious health problems. I only mention this because it isn’t mentioned anywhere that I could find on your site. Like Jan, I also vote to have black and tan allowed! OK, I will stop now since I’m sure you’re tired of reading this!!

  73. shari telek says:

    How wonderful to see these vintage collies. I have owned collies for 45 years and can see my collies in them. This is beautiful. 5 stars indeed.

  74. Pingback: Part 2 of 900 Mile Pilgrimage to Meet Godfather of the OTFS | Old Time Farm Shepherd .org

  75. Pingback: My 900 Mile Pilgrimage to Meet the Godfather of the OTFS | Old Time Farm Shepherd .org

  76. Pingback: Part 2 of 900 Mile Pilgrimage to Meet Godfather of the OTFS | Old Time Farm Shepherd .org

  77. Diva1Gina says:

    Thanks for posting this! I loved all of his books when I was growing up, but haven’t been able to find them all to collect. Of course, having a collie when I was a child may have some small influence on my love of the breed.

  78. Catherine says:

    Don’t forget the Polish Lowland Sheepdog. Supposed to be in the mix for the Bearded Collie. I have a Beardie. There is also the Smithfield which are old fashioned Beardie types and are only in Australia (evidently).

  79. Shep says:

    I think this is more likely the source of the Old English Sheepdog. If I had to speculate I would say that with the advent of dog shows it was found that the English Shepherd did not perform well so their shaggy coated cousins were brought in from the continent and cross bred to create a more interesting looking dog. But this is just speculation based on the fact that this dog does not appear anywhere pre-1870s.

  80. Pingback: Wandering Willie | Old Time Farm Shepherd .org

  81. Pingback: The Collie Spectrum: Understanding the Scotch Landrace | Old Time Farm Shepherd .org

  82. Elaine says:

    The dog pictured has very small eyes. In my experience these eyes do not see well.

  83. Shep says:

    He actually has very nice eyes, in this picture the wind is blowing in his face which makes him appear to have small eyes.

  84. Pingback: Old-Time Scotch Collie Puppies, registered OTFS | Little Boy Blue Farm

  85. This SO COOL. I had no idea that Burpee, of Burpee Seed Fame, was also a breeder of old-fashioned Scotch Collies. I love the engravings. I can’t believe that more people aren’t more interested in these glimpses of history! Thanks for posting.

  86. Randy Simmons says:

    A local museum had a display on dogs, with the preserved pelt of a “collie” from the 1940’s that had saved a farmer’s son from drowning (or so goes the story). There was a picture or two of what it had looked like when it was alive and met your breed standard exactly. It did not look like an English Shepherd, Australian Shepherd, Border Collie, Rough Collie, Sheltie, etc. It would not belong to any modern breed if it was alive today but it met your standard exactly. My dad tells of a time when dogs that met your description were very common in his part of the country (although they were blockier) and none belonged to any “breed.” My dad said they “were just dogs.” It is this type of dog that attracts me to the farm collie list and your website, not just discussion of registered or unregistered English Shepherds (or Australian Shepherds, or Rough Collies, etc.). It makes me sad to see the old time farm dogs become absorbed or appropriated for contemporary registered breeds.

  87. Shep says:


    Thanks for the input, all good information.

    BTW, I happen to know about a good litter expected in a week or so that would be a perfect match for someone as enthusiastic about the breed as you. ; )

  88. MC says:

    Some of us need our farmcollies BECAUSE we play at being farmers. 🙂 I’d have lost my ducks and sheep to the neighbors (bobcats, raccoons and coyotes) by now if it weren’t for the dogs. I’m not home enough, and both types of livestock are rather dumb about staying in safe areas. There’s still a niche!!

  89. Shep says:

    I agree with you, but still, if you had lost your ducks and sheep it probably wouldn’t have effected your bottom line all that much. Most of us are not dependent on the land for our very existence like our ancestors were so without shep we might lose our stock, but not our livelihood. So in this sense they are not needed, at least to the same degree.

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  91. Pam Sapienza says:

    Thanks Trinette. I loved these pictures, thanks for sharing. The old ones are gems. Pam

  92. Pingback: Doc, the Leopard Cur used in outcrossing to Farm Shepherds | Old Time Farm Shepherd .org

  93. retrieverman says:

    I had no idea that leopard curs could have long hair.

    That means their coloration is more likely due to collie-types than the proto-Beauceron as is often claim.

    Harlequin Beauceron are merles.

  94. Steven says:

    Go Andy! Go Andy! It’s your birthday! Go Andy!

  95. Shep says:

    You’re funny Steve, I think I’m going to like you.

  96. Jess says:

    People get all het up when you mess with their world view. For every person that attacks, there are several more that are watching and learning. Keep on keeping on, Andy.

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  98. Steven says:

    Poor ol’ Willie.

  99. Wow, what an excellent find. It’ll take me a while to process all the great info, but some first impressions come to mind. (1) The roughness of the terrain. (2) The lightness of the dogs. They looks to be sable or very light tri colors. I think only one of them has black on him. (3) That last dog is very familiar. I’ve seen him/her in another photo, I’ll have to look it up. That’s a real distinctive head, sort of like a Beardie/Collie cross.

  100. Shep says:

    Thanks Christopher, I actually stumbled upon this while doing research for that Border Collie article I have been telling you about and just had to put it right up.

    I think all the action shots are the same dog, I’ll have to look up the captions on those photos, I should have added them from the start but I was lazy. If it is the dog in the story then he is described as “gray”, could that perhaps mean merle? He doesn’t look merle to me but in those black and white photos it may be hard to tell.

  101. I found the similar looking dog to the last photo. Herdsman’s Tommy ISDS 16

    It’s not really a look you see too much in the BC breed any more.

  102. Linda Rorem says:

    A. Radclyffe Dugmore’s photographs were used to illustrate some editions of Bob, Son of Battle. The photo on page 80 of the 1898 edition appears to be the same dog as the one in the photo above captioned “The gray dog at home.” Several of the other photos above are also in the book. I recall reading somewhere that he went on two trips to the region to take the photos.

  103. Shep says:

    These pictures are awesome, stories about sheep-dog trials from this age are not unusual but rarely are they so well illustrated. I can just imagine Mr. Dugmore navigating this rough terrain with one of those big cameras they used in those days, without any telephoto lenses, trying to get these good action shots without getting in the way. I know he must have really worked his tail off to get the shots he did.

    I will have to do some research to see if I can find any more of his sheep-dog pictures.

  104. Pingback: Northumbrian Collies | Old Time Farm Shepherd .org

  105. Pingback: Northumbrian Collies | Old Time Farm Shepherd .org

  106. The Northumbrian distinction survived in the breed long enough for Shela Grew to write about it in the founding dogs in her book “Key Dogs from the Border Collie Family,” published in the early 1980s.

    I assume with an eye toward conformation, she classified four different types: The Northumbrian Type, The Wiston Cap Type, The Nap Type, and the Herdman’s Tommy Type.

    The four example photo pages from Grew’s book are presented here:

    Following the types through pedigrees might be a bit more difficult. For example, three of the four documented lines that lead back to Old Hemp (Northumbrian) lead through Herdman’s Tommy (nothing like Hemp in conformation).

    Worth noting is the efforts of John Herries McCulloch to document the origins of the breed. While he fixated on James Hogg (who is rather biased toward all things Scotland) as the main source of his information, he found an interesting take on the source of the “eye” and “creeping” in the breed.

  107. Shep says:

    I would definitely drop James Hogg and his dogs into the Northumbrian group too, he was from Ettrick, 16 miles from where the Elliotts lived in Hindhope. The Nap type may also have the same geographic origin since I would say it’s looks are most like the Smooth Collies described by Rawdon Briggs Lee and in the illustration. The Herdman’s Tommy type looks to me the most like some of the old Scotch Collies found in this country 100 years ago.

  108. Shep says:

    Oh, I should also mention that I found some more information on Queen Victoria and Thomas Elliott and added that to the Queen Victoria post, also I found a website with a photograph of Wandering Willie – stuffed and added the link to that post.

    Related to the four types of Border Collies and the most recent post on your blog, people always want to put things in neat, easily delineated categories, it’s human nature. Nature however often makes that difficult and isn’t always so easily pigeonholed. This is why certain physical characteristics are bred out of certain breeds (merle English Shepherds, sable Australian Shepherds, etc). If you look at the results of the agricultural shows from this area during the late 1800s you see categories were provided for rough and smooth dogs but I think that these were not treated as separate breeds by the farmers, merely as separate groups for showing. Obviously then the native sheep-dogs of Northumbria came in a range of coat types, and no doubt a range of other characteristics as well.

  109. Oh, taxidermy, will I ever understand you? Despite falling in the uncanny valley for me, I do have to say that Willie looks 100x better than “Barry” the stuffed St. Bernard.

  110. Shep says:

    My favorite taxidermy story, (there are so many, Trigger, the really bad wildlife in the Grand Canyon at Disneyland, the little stuffed ground squirrels and frogs in whimsical poses in Mexican souvenir shops) is Ezra Meeker. When he got back to Washington from his round trip tour of the Oregon Trail he had his oxen slaughtered and mounted, the last time I was there you could still see them on display in the historical museum in Tacoma.

  111. On a side note, I see in that undated photo of “Shepherds’ Dogs” the name J. Turnbull, of our key local Hindhope. That’s a popular last name in Border Collie history, and that family (assuming relation) is still making contributions to the breed. In 1984, a P.J. Turnbull registered a working Beardie on Merit with the ISDS (# 130312). The name is “Turnbull’s Blue” (which is also a name given to a chemical dye) and the dog has sustained progeny in both the Beardie gene pool and the Border Collie gene pool.

  112. Shep says:

    The date for the image is 1871. In some of the agriculture shows J. Turnbull is listed as winning with a dog named “Hemp”, long before “Old Hemp” was born. There is a family connection between the Elliotts and the Turnbulls.

    Taken from British Hunts and Huntsmen.
    “The name of Elliot is probably the most notable among Cheviot sheep breeders as it is certainly the oldest. The Elliots of Hindhope have for generations achieved fame by their sheep… His father took a leading part in coursing and it will be remembered won the Scottish National with his greyhound Meg Merrilees whilst his mother’s sister Miss Turnbull of Ridleys, brought up King Death the Waterloo Cup winner. Mr Elliot himself is well known for his breed of collies.”

  113. Here’s some more fun connections.

    Richard Fortune was a gentleman who imported dogs to Australia in the 1930s.

    You can see one of his ancestors bred a dog for a Turnbull ancestor which are both in the pedigree of the most popular sire, Cap 3036.

  114. retrieverman says:

    Golden retrievers also have roots in that region. The 1st Baron Tweedmouth, Dudley Marjoribanks, was from the Scottish side of the River Tweed. One of the breeds in the Guisachan was called Tweed water spaniel, although it was more like a gold or red curly-coated retriever. It was common the coasts of Northumberland and the Scottish Borders. Marjoribanks represented Berwick-Upon-Tweed in parliament. Berwick, the northermost town in England, and fought over many times by the kingdoms of Scotland and England.

  115. Shep says:

    Searching online for Turnbull, Elliott and Hindhope tuns up all kinds of results, apparently these 2 families lived in that area and were involved in sheep farming for generations. maybe this sort of thing is not so unusual in the old-world, but my family and everybody I know doesn’t seem to stay in the same place for more than one generation, let alone in the same line of work.

    By the way, it is less than 10 miles over the hills from Hindhope to Redesdale where Adam Telfer, breeder of Old Hemp, came from.

  116. Shep says:

    retrieverman – the diversity of regional dog types in the UK in the nineteenth century in mind-boggling. The same probably goes for everything else in those days, regional dialects, regional field crops, regional livestock breeds, regional cooking…

    My next research goal is the Cumberland Sheep-dog, another regional breed that was absorbed into the Border Collie.

  117. Lisa Cowan says:

    This is a dream come true for me. I have been collecting Terhune books since age 9 (1960). I owned a wonderful collie, Torry, for 8 wonderful years. They are the smartest dogs. The video is beyond words! 5,000 stars.

  118. jan says:

    I love your site but usually don’t find the time to comment. But I’ve been meaning to comment somewhere, sometime about your exclusion of the color “black & tan” from a true collie color. This blog entry of yours brings up the one of my bits of evidence for the historic existence of black and tan collie.

    Yeah, yeah, I know Stodghill took the whole B&T color and ran with it (and ran roughshod over it too) but that doesn’t mean that the color wasn’t part of the highland spectrum. Many early show collies were B&T (a sample is here: but like merle it was considered too common. Merle survived this show world snobbery but B&T didn’t.

    In general I love your research but you often show the same bias the early collie fanciers did – a sable coat, perky ears, and a pretty face and “it’s a collie!” . If Dunrovin Shep had been all white or all black or black and tan you wouldn’t give him the time of day…

  119. Shep says:

    Hi Jan

    You might be right about DOS, I do personally favor sable and white, I just think it’s prettier, but there’s no accounting for taste. Yet Sojourner’s Jacob gets his share of good press and he was tri-color. There is certainly plenty of evidence that black and tan was not only an original collie color, but probably the most common color back in the day. We had a conversation in my family just in the past week about black and tan, why it has disappeared and how it could be brought back.

    Check out these 2 dogs

    The first one is a half-sibling of DOS and the second is a dog I photographed at Strunk’s house in September. So I would say there is still hope for B&T even outside the ES breed.

  120. Shep says:

    On second thought, the second dog above is probably a dark shaded sable, but the first one looks black and tan to me, or am I wrong?

  121. retrieverman says:

    Ansdell painting two Gordon-type setters in “The Gamekeeper.”

    One of these was a reddish yellow and looks very much like a golden retriever:

  122. Pingback: New Pictures of Dunrovin’s Ole Shep Found | Old Time Farm Shepherd .org

  123. Hey Linda, thanks for all the work restoring lost knowledge and memorabilia from these heritage breeds. You too Shep. This stuff is great.

  124. Jo says:

    I have enjoyed these photos and your site immensely. I haven’t seen dogs like these since I was a child (long time ago). The first my father brought home as a pup on the day I was born, and he called it a shepherd’s collie. After viewing your site I am pretty convinced she was a scotch collie. The second was brought to me by his breeder and identified to me as an English shepherd. That was over 40 years ago and I have never heard that name since, until I saw it mentioned here. Several years ago I asked my father if he could tell me anything about the dogs but all he could tell me was that they were “old time collies”.

  125. Shep says:

    Thanks Jo. All the various names for this breed have added to the confusion over the years and ultimately contributed to their near extinction. Shepherd’s collie, old-time collie and scotch collie would all refer to the same dogs, English Shepherds are sometimes of Scotch Collie extraction and sometimes not. It’s all quite confusing.

    Glad you are enjoying the site.


  126. Silverton Bobbie says:

    Read the story of Silverton Bobbie, a farm collie and a remarkable story.

  127. retrieverman says:


    I found something interesting for a blog post. I’ve found another possible ancestor of the English shepherd.

    If you could send me an e-mail at retrieverman1(at) yahoo (dot) com, I’ll flesh it out for you.

    It’s not what I would have expected, but it just hit me last night.

  128. Pingback: The shepherd’s mastiff « Retrieverman's Weblog

  129. Rebeca says:

    Thank you for sharing the pictures! Very helpful.

  130. Linda Rorem says:

    A couple of additional silent movie collies are Jean the Vitagraph Dog and Nell Shipman’s Laddie. There is a DVD available with one of Jean’s movies (“A Tin Type Romance”), and one with Laddie (a double feature, “Something New” and “A Bear, A Boy and a Dog”).

  131. Pingback: Old Scotch Collie Club Suggested in 1892 | Old-Time Scotch Collie Association

  132. Kyt says:

    What a lovely website. I can’t wait to have time to peruse the whole thing. Wonderful information.


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  134. Sandra Williams says:

    As always, a great job. Well done.
    I believe that the Breed Standard working draft that you have begun here is excellent and represents the breed, the wonderful old stories as well as the new accounts I have heard.
    If I were to make one suggestion, and I could not have much to add to your draft, it would be perhaps a little more on the temperment, as I agree that this quality is one of the key characteristics of this wonderful old breed. Loyalty, faithfullness and devotion should perhaps be words to include, as these words speak to me of the Scotch Collie’s wonderful character in historical accounts as well as newer anecdotal accounts and descriptions of Scotch Collies today.
    I agree with Jan that Shelties are a wonderful breed and I myself lost my beloved Sheltie a year and a half ago, but I am not sure that some of the character of the Sheltie, in breeding them, would fit as well with some of the key characteristics of the Scotch Collie, although there are undeniably many characteristics of the Sheltie (intelligence, working ability, loyalty) that would fit well. The Sheltie, however, tends to be more of a ‘sharp-eyed herding dog’ by instinct, and are more forward and strong eyed, as well as generally more likely to bark while working and running, whereas one of the highly held characteristics of the Scotch Collie, and one of the characteristics that most differentiated it from other working/herding dogs, was that they were soft-eyed, calm and quiet workers, as quoted here from ‘The Farmer’s Dog’ by John Holmes:
    “They were all easy-going, level headed dogs, useful but not flashy workers, and quite willing to lie about the place when there was nothing better to do. Personally I think it is a great pity that this type has been practically exterminated by the increasing popularity of ‘strong-eyed’ dogs”.
    Thank you for the opportunity to all share our views and opinions in defining the breed standard for this incredible, wonderful dog.

  135. Miss Debs says:

    I realize I’m coming to this discussion a few months late, but I have to give props for this entire post and the response. I don’t know the history regarding this particular subject, but I share much a of the same feelings as Shep. In my year of belonging to the AWFA list group, I came to many of the same conclusions that he has. I’m quite excited to find that I’m not alone in my opinion that those who post to it are mainly involved in breeding ES and have pretty much hijacked it for their own purposes.

    “It’s far more accurate to use the term coined for describing the entire landrace as it exists today – farmcollie”

    Did I miss the memo?

  136. Miss Debs says:

    I think it also might look like there is a because artists of the era seem to prefer painting the sable dogs. I’ve also been collecting old images of these dogs, and in the paintings it seems to be a clearly preferred coloring, at least in my eyes.

    I thought I’d also add that Andsell’s “Highland Keepers Daughter”
    has a lovely image of a collie that looks near identical to our foundation bitch “Jenny”. I found the image so iconic I even chose it as part of my business logo for my pet care business. The highlander’s collie stands on a hill in the background, overlooking the daughter feeding the all-important hunting dogs a hot meal. I adore his stylized depictions of everyday life in the Scottish Highlands of the time.

  137. Steven says:

    Good article Andy. I’ve been out of the blogging-loop for awhile, but I still have my eye on one of your pups when we get moved out. The clock is ticking, and we should make our landing next summer.

    Thanks again.


  138. Sue says:

    Unbelievable video. I grew up across the lake from Sunnybank and visited there often with my dogs. I’ll treasure this video.

  139. Sandra Williams says:

    Great article! Very well done. Congratulations on getting published in ‘Countryside… articles like this, in magazines and farm journals, are exactly what the Scotch Collie needs to increase awareness and bring back the breed in popularity and numbers… like the good ole’ days : )
    Keep up the great work…
    …For the Scotch!

  140. Ginny Ypma says:

    I recently asked my Dad what breed our old dog Spike was, Dad said he was just called a shepherd. Spike was a black,tan and white dog and was very well behaved around us four children as well as being a good sheep dog. we had him in the late 50’s and early 60’s. He was 13 when he died of a heart attack. I think he was either the scotch collie or maybe the english shepherd.

  141. Miss Debs says:

    Thank you Andy for all your efforts to increase awareness about the loss of true collie dogs in America. This was so informative and certainly well researched. Thanks.

  142. Darlene Kerr says:

    I love these old flicks..would love to see Laddie and with Jean:>)

  143. Jane says:

    Thanks for this “eye-opener”. We took so much for granted. Enjoyed your article very much.

  144. Walking through our local market in the south of France, I noticed a rough collie and went up to speak to the owner (we have smooths). The dog was the good old-fashioned type of rough with noble head and not over-coated. I asked the owner where he had managed to find a real old-fashioned Lassie and he said he had had to really search to find such a dog, but had finally found one in a non-registered litter planned by a private person – not an official breeder. There are a few of these dogs around, but like the old time Scotch Collie, they are fast disappearing

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  146. Vivian Flynt says:

    Great article, Andy. It’s wonderful to see somebody who recognizes how unique the Old Scotch Collie’s landrace distinction is & what needs to be done to preserve it. I too disagree with the claims that OSCs are extinct & haven’t been purebred for many, many generations. IMO, that’s disrespectful to the farmers who’ve worked so hard to keep them going. In the mid-1990s, my friend Erika duBois told me that OSCs were all over Nova Scotia where she & her DH lived & farmed. MOF, she said they were all over Canada, adding “Just drive down any country lane & that’s the dog you’ll see.” I have photos of OSCs sent to me by a friend of Ericka’s, a German lady who lived on Martha’s Vineyard. She got her dogs in Scotland & the photos include pics of their Scottish OSC ancestors. If I ever find them, I’ll send them to you.

  147. Thanks for this article, Andy. I hear from so many people who run the gamut. It is bewildering, in fact, what people’s ideas are. However, when you are trying to preserve something that is rare, the problem is in finding something to breed them to or else run into the same inbreeding problems that got modern breeds in trouble. You have to start somewhere. We have to choose from what we can find, to work with. Of course if we could go back in time and find Scotch Collies of the temperament and type that we want, I’d do it! But I think some of us have made a good stab at preserving health, looks, intelligence, and, I like to think, a certain indefinable charm that is the hallmark of the Scotch Collie.

  148. Shep says:

    Thanks for the good feedback Vivian and Jessica.

    On the subject of the “indefinable charm”, I think Guy Ormston said it best.

    A true working Scotch Collie has a distinctive character or quality which surrounds it like an aura. This spirit could be likened to the majesty of a lion, the pride of a great thoroughbred stallion, the confidence of a Winston Churchill. All good Scotch Collies possess this ambiance.

  149. Vivian Flynt says:

    I just heard thru the grapevine that Erika duBois has passed on. She was a wonderful person who loved her Old Scotch Collies with a passion & exemplified the saying, “A life well lived.” I bet Erika had quite the welcoming committee at Rainbow Bridge.

  150. Miss Debs says:

    Great Article! We can add another breed to the list of dogs from verifiable Old-Time Scotch Collie origins. Here in northern California, the McNab has been a mainstay dog for many California farmers and because of the isolation of the many of the farming communities in this area these dogs have stayed pretty true to it’s own ancestry. is a great place to start learning about them.

    There are still small communities of farm collies pocketed throughout the west among farming families. We have a challenge locating them because the homesteading type farmers don’t associate with the “hoity toity” dog breeder types, and their dogs come from their personal family lines. They don’t care about getting onto the internet. Their dogs are usually considered “mixes” of Aussies/ES/BC etc, by those who come across them…when in fact it’s these farm collie dogs who are likely from the same lineage as those breeds.

    There are so many breeds where dogs were pulled from the original collie dogs of America. These ‘breeds’ all shared the same ancestors until someone started pulling a few to create some particular club a hundred years ago…some only fifty years ago! The collie dogs that didn’t fit into the particular breed club’s chosen “standard” were simply not registered with that breed registry they didn’t just disappear . Many dog lines are out there that WERE eligible for registry but failed to register or simply refused to pay for registry before they CLOSED it.

    Another unfortunate piece is that, here in northern CA, dogs who do not fit into the breed’s standards are being neutered and spayed out of existence, when previously they were simply given away. Our own Jenny was very close to being spayed until we discovered what was happening with traditional farm collies. When we started seeing paintings from the 1800’s of dogs identical to her we realized that there was something wrong. Where did the dogs like Jenny go?. We have so many people who tell us she is a “Border Collie Mix” ! ACK…no she is from old farm dogs that existed long before the BC Breed existed…but’s it’s just so hard to explain to those who only believe tripe produced by the AKC.

  151. Jess says:

    Excellent article even if you’re not into Collies!

  152. If you still have the 2011 calendar listed above, I would like to order me.

    Beverly Chiodo

  153. Shep says:

    Beverly, yes, if you follow this link you will come to a page with a PayPal button that you can use to order.

  154. Natalie Hoskins says:

    Brilliantly done…thanks so much for writing this!

  155. Sandra says:

    Very well written and referenced and very true.
    Here, in Canada, I have heard breeders say that the Old-Time Scotch Collie breed cannot survive due to it’s small remaining gene pool and the inbreeding that is going on in efforts to preserve the breed.
    Aside from the very obvious irony in this statement coming from purebred breeders (!) it is unfortunate that some breeders’ incestuous or close family breeding is giving the Scotch a bad reputation… and even more unfortunate if this type of breeding creates an unhealthy, weakened ‘purebred’ Scotch Collie by limiting genetic diversity. That would be the complete opposite of that which was the true Old Time Scotch Collie landrace breed.
    Thanks again Andy!

  156. Dave says:

    Not only that, the Scotch Collies were used to form the foundation of the modern Cardigan Corgis!

  157. Dave says:

    Perhaps, I have been a bit rash in the last comment. However, thank you for publishing this. It is a great aid to resolving what kind of dogs my ancestors could had used when they moved to the Prairies from Russia.

  158. Pingback: Collie Puppies have arrived! (image-heavy) - Page 5

  159. Debi says:

    Could someone please explain to me a bit about the difference between an Old Time Farm Collie and an English Shepherd?? I had always assumed they were very similar, and just about interchangeable in reference. I would like to share life with a dog similar to what my mother’s family had on the farm in the early 1900’s, and am attempting to euducate myself as much as possible on these two types of dogs. Thank you so much for any and all help. God bless.

  160. Debi says:

    I guess I asked my question too soon! Did alot more digging into your site and found more articles on English Shepherd compared to the Old Time Farm Collie. Thank you for such a great and informative site!

  161. It’s amazing to me how swift and radical the morphology of the show collie diverged from the working dog. That article is from 1915… it could have been written yesterday.

  162. Shep says:

    Quite swift, this article [] was written less than 20 years after collies first began being bred for dog shows and already the old fashioned, intelligent collie was in danger of disappearing.

  163. Linda Rorem says:

    There’s more about Jetty at

  164. Shep says:

    Thanks Linda. I remembered reading about Jetty before but I couldn’t remember where it was.

  165. Lynn D. Hughes says:

    Where can one purchase a purebred Scotish Shepherd?

  166. Shep says:

    Be careful with that word “purebred” Lynn, the old fashioned Scottish Shepherd has always been a landrace breed. If you want a “purebred” Scottish Shepherd then look for an AKC registered Rough Collie, if you want a landrace Scottish Shepherd then you might want to look at the Old Time Scotch Collie Association

    More about the difference between purebred and landrace can be read in the article Landrace vs. Purebred Scotch Collies

  167. Dave says:

    The same farm collies were used to hunt cougars on Vancouver Island before Coonhounds were imported in the 1920s and 1930s.

  168. Wayne McMillan says:

    This is an intriguing discussion and one worth having. Cross breeding across strains and types must have occurred as well as importations of all sorts of working dogs from Belgium, Spain, Southern Germany and France from the late 1600’s to the late 1800’s as agricultural/commercial/ industrial development took off and different breeds of sheep entered the country. There could have been no one distinct pure breed of working sheepdog/ collie among practical farmers.

  169. Wayne McMillan says:

    Was the short-haired Northumbrian collie descended from the North Country Kildonan clean bred Rutherford strain of sheepdogs made famous by the shepherd Gideon Rutherford from Kildonan Sutherland Scotland? His son John Rutherford imported 2 dogs from this strain in 1868 to Australia. Notice in the breeding of Turnbull’s Cap 3036 a dog named Laddie bred by a W Rutherford from Hexham. Was W Rutherford a descendant of Gideon Rutherford and Laddie a descendant of the original short-haired prick eared dogs imported to Australia up to World War 1? If this is the case then the Kelpie and the Border Collie must share a common heritage.

  170. Shep says:

    I have a really great old picture of hunters posing with a huge bear they killed and their hunting dogs, which were collies. Unfortunately the copy I have is a scan of a Xerox copy and it’s pretty poor quality.

  171. Shep says:

    I have never heard of the “Rutherford strain” but would be interested in learning more.

    It is my opinion that the Northumbrian type was the native herding type of the border region, most likely the same or similar to the type made famous by James Hogg (1770 – 1835) who hailed from Ettrick, Scotland in the border region. More about James Hogg

  172. Shep says:


    It is interesting to me that in early sources you can find references to continental European shepherd dogs of all types (German, French, Spanish, etc) yet very few of these landraces survived intact. No doubt in American farm shepherds the blood of all of these types have accumulated.

  173. Linda Culver says:

    I am looking for a print of a female child dressed in white standing in a corner with her face towards the viewer with a collie standing nearby. Can you help me find it?

  174. Shep says:

    Linda, I believe the print you are looking for is this one by Charles Burton Barber called Special Pleader

  175. I love finds like these, it’s always interesting and informative to see what once was and compare it to what is now. I would take any of the dogs pictured here over the current show ring monsters.

  176. Nikki G says:

    Great photos of beautiful dogs.

  177. Wayne McMillan says:

    In the mid 1800’s in Australia, when sheep, dogs and pioneers are discussed, there is one family that stands out above the rest and that is the Rutherford’s. The family can The Kildonan clean bred line of collies can be traced back to Gideon Rutherford a shepherd who was born in Sept 1778 in Showman, Roxburghshire, Scotland and died about 1869 in Kildonan, Sutherland Scotland. He was the fourth child of Andrew Rutherford and Christian Stevenson of Showman, Roxburghshire, Scotland. (From Parish records Roxburghshire: Brian & Dianne Dixon, J. Gregory Barron and Chris & Sheila Hale ) Gideon Rutherford’s outstanding line of Collies originally bought to Australia by his son John in 1864, were one of the most successful and influential line of sheepdogs ever introduced. His strain of collies had such a legendary reputation that they were still being imported to Australia over 40 years later. It is also certain that the early Kelpie sheepdog strains had Rutherford bloodlines in their breeding.

    It is believed that Gideon created his line of collies from a mixture of the best lines available from the shepherds of the Border regions of England and Scotland and the North West Highlands of Scotland. Whether Gideon’s father Andrew had started the line is unknown, but Gideon has been given the recognition by his family for their creation. (See “Highland Sheepdogs for South Australia”, The South Australian Register, Tuesday 6 September, 1910 p.5) Gideon was living and working in the Northumberland area in the early 1800’s, but moved back to Sutherland about 1806, just before the advent of the introduction of the Cheviot sheep breed to the region. The birth of his oldest child Elizabeth, born in 1805 at Bird hope, Craig, Northumberland in England, verifies that he had been working and living in Northumberland The Rutherford’s were one of a number of well known border shepherd families of the early 1800’s.

    Whilst working at ‘Wonwondah’ station in Victoria Australia in 1864 John Rutherford the third youngest son of Gideon, imported the first “Rutherford Kildonan” line of collies to Australia. John had asked his older brother Richard a shepherd who was running the family farm at Kildonan in Scotland, to send to him two dogs a boy and a girl. The dogs were named “Clyde and “Lassie.” Richard was John’s older brother born in 1811, who died in 1897 at age 87. (See Inverness Courier Tuesday, March 7, 1899 )

    “In 1864 the late Mr Rutherford, Kildonan, sent out to his brother Mr John Rutherford, Yarrawonga, Upper Murray, a pair of collies “Clyde” and “Lassie” which proved to be noted workers in the Colonies.” (See “Collie Dogs for Australia”, The Northern Times 26 Oct 1907)
    These two dogs from that line of collies were to become famous in rural Victoria and across other Australian states by farmers and stockmen for the next 50 years. They must have been quick moving workers as the merino sheep of those days were smaller, faster and flightier than the sheep of today. Here is an account of how great a dog “Clyde” was at working sheep: – “While riding cross country one morning from Yarrawonga, Mr Rutherford came across his friend Sir Samuel Wilson with a mob of 5000 newly weaned lambs, with his men and dogs absolutely failed to get the lambs through the gate of the paddock. After some consultation, Mr Rutherford agreed to give them a trial with “Clyde” on condition that all the other dogs should be called up. In less than half an hour the lambs were through the gate and safely mustered in another paddock. Sir Samuel Wilson rode up and offered £100 for “Clyde” which was declined. Later £500 was offered for him, but was not accepted.” (See “Collie Dogs for Australia”, The Northern Times 26 Oct 1907.)

    Four years later John was competing at the first sheepdog trial in Australia at the Wangaratta Cattle Show on 5 September 1868 with “Clyde” and was made an offer of £300, for which he refused. (The Register, Tuesday 6 Sept, 1910.) These offers would have been world record prices at the time for a sheepdog.

    Imports of Kildonan Rutherford Collies to Australia in the early 20 Century

    *Gerald S Kempe the renowned Australian Kelpie breeder started importing dogs from the Rutherford’s around 1890, 22 years after the original importation by John Rutherford in 1868. There is evidence to suggest that his earliest importation could have been made around 1890. The dog Saxon II after being trained by Kempe eventually went to Mr Frank C Bishop of “Apalkaldree”, Normanville, South Australia. A 1907 “Northern Times” article cites Bishop as having a dog called Saxon II, which had been bred or obtained from Kempe from the Kildonan Rutherford strain. Saxon II was bred from Saxon I, who was either a direct descendant of the original 1868 importation or was from a later importation by Kempe.
    “Mr F C Bishop of Apalkaldree, Normanville, writes: – Here is an account of a fine bit of work by a sheep dog: – Saxon II had 24 hours with sheep ‘on his own’. We went to Buluturudda, which is a paddock about six miles from the station, to tail lambs, and I sent him after some rough sheep in the scrub, and lost the run of him, as I picked up seven scrubbers and had to stick to them. He stuck to his. Next day he had a mob of about 100 sheep down below the station house at the gate, lying quite contented with them! They had the ground all trodden down, and black looking, so he must have had them there early in the evening. This collie distinguished himself last summer by keeping eight wild sheep during a heat wave for 24 hours 20 minutes, and although nearly famished by thirst refused to leave them until his master found them. Saxon II was bred and broken by Mr Gerald Kempe, at Kildonan, Morgan, and is of the Rutherford Strain of Scotch Gatherers from Sutherlandshire.” (See “Collie Dogs for Australia”, The Northern Times 26 Oct 1907.)
    The second record that I can clearly verify of importations of Rutherford dogs after 1868 is the 1894 importation by Gerald S Kempe for his employer Stephen S Ralli who had a Shropshire sheep stud near Balaklava South Australia called “Werocota”. The two dogs were “Glen” and “Bess” and “Glen” was a direct descendant of the original “Clyde”. Richard Rutherford was a shepherd in Kildonan Scotland, and the older brother of John who came to Australia in the 1850’s. It was Richard who sent dogs over to Australia on the request of Kempe until he died in 1899. You get the distinct impression form reading old records, that the old original Gideon and his two sons Richard and John were the ones who had the most talent in breeding sheep and dogs and were experts at handling them.
    “In 1894 the late Mr Rutherford, Kildonan, again sent out to Mr S S Ralli, “Werocata”, two dogs “Glen” and “Bess”. The former, a descendant of “Clyde”, proved a very fine worker in Australia. On one occasion at a field trial he was put in a wheat sack to prevent him seeing the way the sheep would go. When they were out of sight he was let loose, and yarded three wild sheep within twenty minutes. The two dogs now going out are still strains of “Clyde” and “Lassie”.” (See “Collie Dogs for Australia”, The Northern Times 26 Oct 1907.)
    The third importation by Kempe was in 1907:-“Mr Rutherford, Kildonan House, is sending to Mr Gerald S Kempe, Morgan, South Australia, a pair of collie dogs. Mr Kempe has one of the oldest kennels of pedigree workers in the Colonies which he names “The Kildonan Clean Bred Collies”. (See “Collie Dogs for Australia”, The Northern Times 26 Oct 1907.) Gerard S Kempe again imported two dogs in 1910 on behalf of John Collins and Son in Lucernedale, Mt. Bryan South Australia. This was either Kempe’s third or fourth set of imports in 20 years.
    “The collies under notice are described by Mr John Rutherford of Kildonan House Sutherlandshire (their breeder), as the best pair he has put together for export. This is the third pair from this celebrated kennel of working sheep dogs Mr Kempe has secured for this state during the past 20 years. The Rutherford sheepdogs have a remarkable history. The great grandfather of the present owner (Mr Gideon Rutherford) first put them together from the Sutherlandshire shepherds 150 years ago, and have been line bred by the family ever since. ” (The Register, South Australia, Tuesday 6 Sept 1910, p.5)
    The John Rutherford of Kildonan House, Scotland in 1910 mentioned by Gerard S Kempe, was the son of Richard Rutherford and a nephew of the John Rutherford who was famous in Victoria, Australia. He wasn’t a great grandson of the original Gideon, but his grandson.
    This is verified by an article on Richard Brown Rutherford, the son of John Rutherford. Richard Brown Rutherford immigrated to Perth Australia on 8 April 1909. He in fact was one of the great grandsons of Gideon the original founder of the “Kildonan Rutherford” line of collies.
    “After finishing his education, Mr Rutherford entered the law offices of Mr Macaulay, Golspie. His experience there will stand him in good stead in after life. Later, he went to London to the office of Messers John Taylor & Sons, but the change from country to city life proved injurious to his health. He returned home, and since then he has been assisting his father, Mr John Rutherford (in the management of Kildonan Farm), whose Cheviot sheep are so widely known.” (The Northern Times April 8 909)
    If there were further imports of Rutherford collies after 1910, then there are few records to verify this activity. As World War I approached it’s quite possible imports were curtailed or stopped completely. It is fairly certain that the Rutherford line of collie imports up to 1910 were bred back into Kelpie bloodlines by Gerald S Kempe and other kelpie breeders. Also it would be foolish to assume that as modern Border collie lines came into Australia and New Zealand, that they also were not crossed with mixtures of the Rutherford line of collies by practical Australian farmers and stockmen.
    The next most interesting question is, did this fantastic working strain of collies just die out, or did they continue to flourish back in Scotland? Also did any of this line of collies filter into the breeding of the modern Border Collie in the UK? It seems only further careful historical research will tell us the answer.
    *(Gerald S Kempe was an Englishman born in 1850 in the Rectory of Wexham, Bucks, England and arrived in Australia in July 1870 and worked on or managed many properties from 1881 onwards in the Darling to Lower Murray and the Coorong regions in Victoria, NSW and South Australia. He eventually settled in South Australia in 1903 and bought ‘Kapinka’ station near Port Lincoln and then moved to ‘Kildonan’, Morgan South Australia. He was an avid breeder and fan of the Kelpie. He died on 8 January 1917.)

  178. Your comment about the term cú is correct, and the stem is actually the same in many Indo-European languages. This assumption that “Collie” derives from the word cú is highly likely even to me, as a linguist. Many agricultural terms in Indo-European and later European languages begins with C/K/G depending on the language family. CAnis,KYnos,KOira,Cú,Cí are all forms denoting dog, and canis has of course developed into hound according to vowel and consonant shifts. (As cornu – horn and cord – heart). Collie/Colly,culley etc. are all the same word, only varieties and based on local pronounciations. It most probobly means “dog” and the suffix is generating the same intention as in -ie e.g. doggie, laddie, colleen etc, where -lle and -ie denotes something common, little and dear to us. Cull dogs were useful, they served as farmdogs in general and in particular they could cull sheep and cattle on a distance from the hearder. /cull/ in the original ethymological meaning of this ancient word in Gaelic and later also as a term used in English but with perhaps slighly widened meaning. The word Collie served well as a brandname when the refinement of the breeds started and the various type definitions of the “Cullys” begun. 🙂

  179. Shep says:

    Thank you for the comment, very interesting.

  180. Shep says:

    Great comment Wayne, in fact, more of an article in its own right than a comment.

  181. My wife and I owned Scout from a puppy. My ex-wife Kate took him west after our divorce. Along with a female. I understand that he went to another family and then snapped at their daughter ( after she touched a sore ) and went to the pound then back to Kate. HE ISN”T a mutt. He was a working farm collie dog on my farm. I’m currently looking for his replacement . Please contact me at the attached address.

  182. Valerie Plaisted-Harman says:

    I am very interested in the scotch collie breed, as I had one as a little girl some 55 years ago and later in the late 60’s and early 70’s. The one in later years was blue and red varigated color. He was a beautiful dog but was protecting his domain and was hurt in a dog fight and we lost him. They were both good family dogs and I have never found another to compare. I found an article in the June 11 issue of Country side magazine and I decided to do some investigating on this old time dog, being brought back to life for those of us that remember them as being real good dogs.
    I would like to know where and when a litter will be born and the price. I would like to have a female if possible. I would appreciate a reply to be able to plan on obtaining a pup. Also, I live on a 13 acre hobby farm and have chickens and sheep.
    Thank you

  183. Lyn says:

    Lad: A Dog and every other Terhune collie book I could find led to my getting a collie of my own when I was 12. Biscuit was my dearest friend for nearly 12 years. I’ve had other dogs since, almost all rescue mixes, but now want to get another collie. Seeing the footage of The Master, The Mistress and Boy with their collies leads me to hope that I can contact a breeder with direct descendants of the Sunnybank dogs, especially, Lad. Thank you for sharing these and stirring the embers!

  184. Robin says:

    I’ve been looking for a dog that’s similar to a rough hair (Lassie) collie, only with a shorter nose which used to be known as a Queen Elizabeth Collie. As of 1964 I had one. However, seem to have problems locating any information on such a breed.

    Any information (especially breeder of such) would be appreciated.

    Thanks in advance.

  185. Shep says:


    I have never heard of a Queen Elizabeth Collie, maybe some of our readers have. Was this in the US?

  186. Deb Carsey says:

    I wonder if your thinking of the Queen Victoria collie? Her dog was an Old Scotch Collie

  187. Pingback: Complete Dog 1921: The Collie

  188. Jim McGowan says:


    I just love the Old Time Farm Shepherd. We have had no fewer than 4 Rough Collies and 1 Rottweiler, all of whom died much too early in their lives in spite of great care, treatment and feeding. I would like to know where breeders are of the Ol Time Farm Shepherd. I live in Calgary, Alberta Canada and I would be amazed if there are any breeders near me. But I would be willing to travel.

    Appreciate your help and thank you very much,

    Jim McGowan

  189. JA says:

    Shep – The Gravatar image displayed with your signature reminds me of a print that I have searched in vain to find. (The art work is of a colley standing in front of a young calf in the snow, with its head held up as though howling to alert the herder of the find.)

    I have looked everywhere for a copy of the print and wondered if perhaps you might share the name of the artist and title of the original work so I might find a copy.

  190. Shep says:

    JA – The interesting thing about the print you refer to, is nobody is exactly sure who painted it. A great source of information about this famous painting called “Found” is at

  191. Thanks for all the work you do on the past of the collie Andy – I will post this onto the Club des amis du Colley – French collie club. I think they may be interested to see where their dogs have come from!!!

  192. Andy, if you find anything of this kind on the smooth collie during your research, I would be oh so grateful to hear about it.

  193. Sorry Andy – I should have asked – is this the British magazine Country Life, or is there an American version?

  194. Shep says:

    Yes, this is a British Magazine, there was an American magazine at the same time called “Country Life in America” I don’t know if they were affiliated.

    I will keep my eyes peeled for info on smooths. In all my research here on the collie, references to smooths are quite rare. Have you tried doing a search for “smooth” here?

    Have you seen A history and description of the collie or sheep dog in his British varieties By Rawdon Briggs Lee with a chapter on Smooths?

  195. CindyD says:

    The Smooth Collie was at onetime sometimes referred to as the English Sheepdog or Smooth Sheepdog. I have prints of the images and early references. Originally, I pulled this up several years back while doing research on Google Books which is, BTW, a VERY handy and useful tool for those doing research. My library runneth over!

  196. CindyD says:

    The English Shepherd appears to be just another name given to our Collie during the late 1800s and into the 1900s. Collies have had so many different names… Sometimes, one is given the impression that the Brits and the Scots were in competition to claim him as their own! I even had people here in the USA up trough the 1970s sometimes call my dogs English Collies! It’s still generally accepted that he is a Scotsmans dog. However, Iris Combe in her excellent book, British Dogs, Their Origin and development, gives strong credence to their origin in Ireland! If we look fiurther back than that, it is still frequently held that the origin of the breed may hail further back to the Roman times with ancestors coming with the troops across Europe and into the British Isles. That may account for so many breeds who descend, in whole or in part, to the Collie which is approximately 200 breeds!

  197. CindyD says:

    I consider the Collie as a landrace. He has been modifed throughout the years according to the whims of those who would breed him. However, that does not change the fact that he is still a landrace.

    Research demonstrates that the Collie was called the Scotch Collie even in the 1800s, though it is held that the breed originated further back. He was still called the Scotch Collie during the 1900s. I don’t know why the “clubs” quit calling him a Scotch Collie, and started differentiating by coat by calling them Rough Collies and Smooth Collies. he is STILL the Scotch Collie.

  198. Karen Tewart Bellwether Collies (Retired) says:

    This collie-o-meter (color fan) is a well-intentioned failure. The dogs are all of poor breed type and do not illustrate the chronological history of the development of proper collie breed type. The author would be well served to obtain the 6 volumes of the CCA Library of Champions. These thick volumes are pictorial atlases of the develoment of the breed. From the old-time Farm Collie type to the correct examples of today’s modern collie. One does not study mediocrity in order to define excellence. Great breeders aren’t created by judging by defect. It is a knowledge of the nuances of the breed, obtained by a study of the history and origins of the breed …plus an understanding of proper breed type which allows the great breeder to evaluate correct collie type.
    Best Regards,
    Karen Tewart

  199. Shep says:


    How incredibly pompous and arrogant of you to assume that modern show collies represent “proper collie breed type”. As a graphic designer I understand that taste is subjective, many people prefer the old fashioned looking collie of years ago, yet I would not be so bold as to call that look “proper”, merely my preference. Furthermore, this chart was not intended to represent “the chronological history of the development of proper collie breed type”, instead it illustrates the range of looks in the collie family as it exists today, there is nothing chronological about it. As for “a study of the history and origins of the breed” you have but to browse the contents of this website.

    If you are looking for a website that talks about how wonderful the modern AKC collie is or how much improved they are over the collie of 100 years ago, you are in the wrong place, move along. If you are looking for a website that celebrates collies with old fashioned looks and the brains that collies had 100 years ago, you are in the right place, welcome.

  200. Nancy Weaver says:

    I am in favor of the older type collie. I am not in favor of the sheep like look of the show collies today. They are bred for beauty and not workability.

  201. Vivian Flynt says:

    What I find interesting — the smoking gun, if you will — is that Tom Stodghill differentiated between the two breeds eventho he was producing litters from both. And from all indications, he was NOT crossbreeding them. Back in the 1940s the breed the United Kennel Club called “Scotch Collies” was called “Rough Collies” by the American Kennel Club. I agree that Tom’s Scotch Collies most probably had heavier coats with pronounced bibs. Alas, only one Scotch Collie kennel ran a picture ad in UKC’s “Bloodlines” magazine during this time period & it showed a modern (improved) Collie with a wedge-shaped head.

  202. Nancy Weaver says:

    I love the old collie, the one that looked like a collie and not a glorified sheep. I bred collies for 30 years but the dog they are breeding now is not capable of doing the job they were bred for. oh, they make an attempt , but , alas, they are not the same. The coats are so wooly every tiny bit of dirt etc is stuck in it. One dog that I have rehomed is more of an old time collie and her half brother is more of the show collie. Give me the old time collie anytime.

  203. If only they still looked like that, what regal animals. Not in a refined and pretentious sense, but in a sagacious manner. They are alive in the eyes instead of being the dead faced wedge headed monsters that are all the fashion now. Wouldn’t you like to get to know any of the dogs here?

  204. CindyD says:

    Many still do! 🙂

  205. CindyD says:

    Leave it to the human race to try and take a great thing, and make it better. So many different people allegedly trying to produce their minds-eye version of a written standard. I, too, prefer a moderate type Collie, but it’s getting harder and harder to get one. So, I satisfy myself with dogs that have rock solid temperaments/dispositions, and the superb uncanny intelligence and sensibility that only the Collie has. They read us so well, so very much in tune with us. Mannerly, and clownish with a rip roarin’ sense of humour. I tnhink we’ve gotten too big now. I love my big boys, but a higher center of gravity makes it a little harder for him to make those super sharp turns, dips, rock backs and speed demon starts. They’re still super fast and turn on a dime, but I think I would give in size several inches at least to regain what I’m seeing of the agility of our Smlooth Collie brethren overseas (such as Skip & Odie in Czech).

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  207. Would love to be able to post the finishing sentences from that article together with a few of the photographs. Would that be all right and I not be in violation of some copyright&intellectual property statutes that I know nothing about?
    And you know, some of the Welsh sheepdogs, the Cy Cymreig, look just like this…

  208. It is nice to find your blog. I am heartily in favor of landrace dogs and now blog, providing knowledge of landrace Chihuahuas- which average about 10 pounds and are tough as nails.

    I come from farmers and ranchers, but have played at keeping vestiges of this life style alive in my own life. I keep thinking we need to remember and live out pieces of the self-sufficient lifestyle. It is not only shepherd dogs, I was raised with useful horses- cowponies – and kept horses as an adult even though they had no purpose but as a hobby. This is true of most horses today too. I see keeping horses as a way to hang onto a shred and memory of where we came from. It is a trust for the people who can afford to keep horses, but they have to be “re-purposed”- their old jobs are no longer needed…!.

  209. Shep says:

    Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment Kate, it’s nice to see someone else caring for landrace dog breeds. I see you are in Tucson, that’s where I’m from.

  210. Beth Redfern says:

    The collie-o-meter is a really cool idea! Like Karen though, I do have to suggest that if this is to represent the spectrum, in this form (probably a prototype with revisions later) the spectrum is not complete.

    As a graphic artist you know that a spectrum implies example of all the possibilities arranged in order like the colours in a rainbow where when visible light is separated into its various frequencies, they appear same order depending on their individual frequencies. A spectrum of the various collie heads then should also be in order. If the meter is just a few chosen images supporting a particular point of view then perhaps it should be not called a spectrum.

    The rough collie heads starting from the right are
    1. very poor head-very faulty, not desired nor seen in the ring now for some time
    2. British or European collie, separated from long time British type (Ladpark,Beulah etc) and winging on a very different path than most of the rest of the Collie world
    3. much like # 1, a bit better but certainly not desirable nor seen in the main-stream show dog
    4. again probably British or European
    5. as above, very atypical of roughs outside of a few places in Europe unless it is supposed to be a sheltie
    6. a little better than most on your spectrum, but way too wedgey in profile-not seen in the ring now
    7. ditto #1

    You and I certainly have every right to enjoy our dogs. We do best however by building on the strengths of our respective versions of the Collie and touting those strengths rather than trying to tear others down. Let’s get together and put out a more accurate meter. Let’s show the “spectrum” as it is. I’d sure like to use this idea on rough collie historical photos as well! What a great tool for learning!

    May I add that my rough collies, bench champions of old English and top North American lines, can and do complete successfully in arena trials on sheep and ducks (I don’t do cattle) and they have a number of CKC (Canada) titles. They also assist us with our sheep and are excellent stock dogs.

    All the best in the New Year,

    Beth Redfern

  211. Shep says:


    This was not intended to “tear down” any dogs, all dogs of the collie family have good attributes and I have many friends who own and breed AKC collies. When I created this tool I was trying to find good pictures I could use without causing copyright trouble (which I have had in the past), so I relied heavily on the collies I could find on Wikimedia Commons and other copyright free sources. If you would like to collect some good pictures to finish off the right side of the spectrum I would consider amending the chart. However, I feel as though you have a very breed-centric attitude that may limit your ability to be subjective in this endeavor. Your statements like “seen in the ring”, touting the bench show champions in your dog’s pedigree and dismissing British or European collies seem to imply that those collies found in American show rings are the only ones that should matter or at any rate the only ones that should be represented here. I am looking at the big picture here, the entire collie family, British, American, Brazilian, of working lines, show lines or just pet lines. You should come down from your ivory tower and realize that what you consider a collie, more specifically the AKC Rough Collie, is just one small branch on the large tree that is the greater collie family.


  212. Beth Redfern says:

    Ivory tower, good gracious!!! Looked it up on wickopedia since I thought that regular dictionaries are probably passe.

    My dogs ARE of basic British background, my Ch Ravensglen Lovely, UD (Canadian titles) was of totally British import breeding by Longfellow of Ladypark Eng.Imp) ex Ravensglen Rosalind (Eng.Imp.) she of Ladypark breeding too! She was bred to Ch.HMS LIneal, CD (Can. titles) and he was by Lineal of ladypark (Eng,Imp) ex Loomis Hill Beulah Bell by a Bellhaven ex a St. Adrian bitch. British, certainly. Actually the same as the Brazilian dogs.

    I went to Brandwyne based American dogs when my British source was not available. Actually, I imported one of the last of the Ladyparks in the early 70’s. At that same time, I encouraged a local couple to use Mrs.Bates’ Eng.Ch. Bririch Gold Emblem with their wonderful Canadian bred bitch. I whelped the litter, graded the puppies and finished Ch. Duster of Trelane, CD who came to live with me for most of his life along with several other Bririch based dogs. Uk dogs, yeah I know them. Edition, as I said, a different direction. The dogs from Brazil and NA went one way, they went another. Would I own an Edition kid, sure! Some make my skin crawl with pleasure.

    The Nordic countries have excellent potential-I watch them closely. There are collies there I would have in a heartbeat. The same holds for Australia. Lots of lateral thinking there.

    The thing is, we need to know that certainly in rough collies, the gene pool is big, big BIG. If you include your ideas and your group’s vision, well it is really big. I am operating within the accepted parameters of the accepted “stud dog registries” but that is a human construct. I think we need to look at the whole picture, not cut each other off and fling insults back and forth.

    Two weeks ago I went to Duluth Minn. to pick up two wonderful smoothies and continue the adventure into the Collie experience. Let’s drop the crap and address what really matters.

    Of course, what really matters is what we decide. Tolerance, performance, and genetic viability or taunts and exclusivity.

    Happy New Year,


  213. Shep says:


    This is not the place to brag on your champion bloodlines since most readers of this blog could care less. You really need to look beyond the world of pedigreed show collies to see the big picture I am talking about, not just look at show collies from other parts of the world. For example, when I mentioned Brazilian collies I was referring to the Ovelheiro Gaucho, not the show collies of Brazil you mentioned.

    Now I am going to take your advice and “drop the crap and address what really matters”. The theme of this website is the old fashioned Scotch Collie, any further comments from you that stray from this theme, and are not constructive towards the goal of reviving this rare branch, or should I say trunk, of the collie family tree, will be unceremoniously deleted.


  214. Laura Osanitch says:

    Karen, I don’t know you but you strike me as one of those folks blindsided by the AKC show world. Bench shows as they stand in America have a short, aristocracy hobby-based history in the grand scheme of dogdom. However much some show folks consider themselves history buffs, they often seem to dismiss old dogs as inferior in type. But all I see is a group that cares more for the # of inches on top of the head from ear to ear, than what’s INSIDE that head. And an AKC herding title does not guarantee any dog can go work a real mob of hundreds to thousands for hours on end, and do anything other than get lost. The AKC world has low standards for intelligence and skill in an effort to “golf clap” their constituency into feeling good about their dogs. You want the best herders? Prove they can herd and keep the genes variable.

  215. Laura Osanitch says:

    To moderator and all, perhaps my last comment was fairy unnecessary, given that others have written such fair minded responses. Most sorry. I’ve just run into too many show folks who feel they are the only folks with “real” dogs whether they have seen anything other than a show ring or not. I am humbled by the bigger hearts of those here.

  216. Vivian Flynt says:

    This unpleasantness with show collie fanciers brings to mind chapter 10 of Iris Combe’s 1987 book “Herding Dogs: Their Origins and Development in Britain.” Ch. 10 is about the Scotch or Highland Collie, & Combe tells about Scottish shepherds horrible experiences at early dog shows (c. 1860). According to Combe, the shepherds became so incensed at the dissing of their purpose-bred pastoral breeds that “avoidance of the whole show scene in general became an obsession, which has continued through generations of farming families to this day.” She goes on to say, “[the shepherds] left their good-looking aristocrats to the show fraternity and returned to their native hills and hirsels to continue breeding working dogs.” This Scot-Irish descendant can vouch that hatred of conformation showing & its myopic emphasis on non-work related traits continues even to this day. So calling our beloved English shepherd dogs examples of “poor breeding” & “mediocrity” hardly wins any brownie points with us.

  217. Kim Luceno says:

    Hi, I am looking for Ericka Du Bois and if she is still breeding the Old Time Scotch Collie? If so, can she contact me please!

  218. Kim Luceno says:

    So sorry to hear…

  219. Vivian Flynt says:

    I’m sorry to say this, Kim, but Ericka passed away last year.

  220. Although not a dog expert by ANY stretch of the imagination, I can see both sides, here since I raise fancy show dairy goats (that I worked long & hard on & “bred up” from junkcrap) . . . & good-workin’ farmdogs (some of whom COULD actually excel in the conformation ring). Breeding for what’s desirable in the show ring really IS quite different than breeding for what’s desirable in the home milking parlor – that hardy, efficient, easy-keeping, good-mama, good-milkin’ goat. . . .or for that crazy-smart, scarily-intuitive, good-workin’ stockdog. Everyone needs to just get a grip & get over their various prejudices – show-ring only people AND working dog only people – & APPRECIATE this for what it is – a VERY nice, well thought-out & informative depiction of what Andy’s managed to put together, thus far, on the evolution of these canines we ALL love & appreciate & enjoy.

  221. Jana says:

    The last “question” on your list just breaks my heart.

  222. Mary B says:

    I like this spectrum idea a lot. It gives me a good side by side look at the differing dogs as I’m trying to figure out what my dog is. Thank you for this web site.

    I have a 21 month smooth collie that I acquired as a rescue. I think she must be one of the old lines as she does not look like the modern AKC collie. My vet said of her that she is too friendly, too sweet and too pretty to be the AKC version and she is what a collie should be. She looks and acts very much like a collie but she has a little stop on her forehead, her head is wedge shaped and she has larger almond eyes than the AKC collies. Her ears fold down a lot more than the AKC collies do as well but they fold forward. She never holds her head down like I see the AKC collies do, rather always holding it up. She is big at 73 pounds with long legs and a slim build. Very athletic dog. Her coat is wonderful and self-cleaning. The dirt just falls off of her. She has a dense undercoat and stiff guard hairs on top about 1-2″ long.

    She is very smart and a fast learner. She shows a lot of persistence when she wants to do something. She doesn’t have stock to herd, just a couple of uncooperative cats. She usually loves other dogs, is very gentle with children, adores the fetch games and doing her tricks. She is also very patient and waits when I need her to. She loves being outside, no matter what the weather is. She caught a rabbit and a mouse so she has the hunting instincts intact.

    She looks so much like some of the old collies. All I know of her origins is that she came from a breeder, probably one in West Virginia or western VA state. Her first family gave her the basics but no training or interaction and thought having a big fenced yard was all she needed. I have been unsuccessful in figuring out who the breeder might be but wonder if it is someone who has been breeding farm collies for pets and farm dogs without any intent of showing them. I am really enjoying my girl as she grows up. I think she just might become the best dog I’ve ever had.

  223. Kerry says:

    As a child, I was familiar with 2 types of Collies (pronounced Coal-y, not Call-y). There was the English Collie (shorter nose, different coat) and the Scotch Collie (with the long nose and long coat). The English version were usually working farm dogs, whereas the Scots were considered the ‘snobs’. I no longer hear reference to English Collies.

  224. Kate says:

    Regarding the last “question,” with all due respect I don’t think anyone hates their own dog, ever, even if it is a show collie! They might hate their collie’s health issues, or they might feel troubled when dealing with their collie’s temperament issues, but I have never heard anyone say they hate their collie! People don’t typically hate their own pets. It really just doesn’t happen!! 🙂

  225. Shep says:

    I don’t make this stuff up, someone really did type that into Google and land on my site. I would not presume to second guess them, it may have been a couple of kids messing around or maybe someone really did hate their collie, we can only speculate. I have had dogs I hated, or, maybe hate is too strong a word, I have had dogs I didn’t really care for. I was really just using the question as a vehicle to help me make my point about the condition some purebred collies are in. There was no offense intended to purebred collies, their owners or anybody else.

  226. Deb Carsey says:

    Mary B. Did you consider sending a some pics to Andy of your girl for the spectrum? I became acquainted with this site while doing my own personal research into the history of the Collie Dog. It’s a favorite and passionate topic for me and I can never get enough. Finally finding a group of individuals who have come to much the same conclusions I have on my own has been so wonderful.

  227. Jana says:

    No offense taken, but a lot of the farm collie/farm shepherd/OTFS people are positively venemous in their collie hate! To listen to them, you’d think that each and every dog registered by the AKC was some sort of pointy-nosed, no-eyed, brainless freak that will be a useless burden until it dies at an early age.

  228. Don Bright says:

    Thank you, thank you, for the video of mr. Terhune. He and his books played a big part in my life when I was a kid. I had never seen a picture of him or the mrs. but he looks just like I imagined him so many yrars ago. Im 77 years old now and have had many a wonderful dog in the interim. I now have a border collie and he my best friend. Thanks again you made my day

  229. Jenny says:

    I love Scotch Collie. I will love to have me one, do you have any Scotch Collie puppies for sale

  230. Deb Carsey says:

    Jana: I agree with you to some extent. At the same time you’ll find far more AKC Collie folk who simply dismiss any collies that don’t fit within the breed club’s as less valuable of a dog on every level. I am constantly seeing our own dogs denigrated by those who speak as an authority of what a ‘real’ collie is. There is a lot of frustration dealing with such attitudes when you sit at the polar opposite. For example, I’ve seen a website that smugly proclaims the old Scotch collie is extinct. There is no evidence for such a statement, and in fact, mounds to prove otherwise. I don’t remember which one it was but I spent awhile on the site to figure out how that person came to such a conclusion but to nope.

    We are all passionate about our own ideas of the perfect dog no matter the breed. Those involved in creating a sea change must be extremely so. It’s such passion which drives the efforts needed. What I’m trying to say is that the folks involved in starting a revolution are always on the far end of the spectrum of being passionate about their topic. Often when you want to get your point across to the people in the back of the room, you do tend to get a little bit soap-boxy. Mainly because you feel like you have to justify yourself to those who it turns out aren’t listening. When I first began my journey in my research I often felt apologetic and gave far to much credit to those who are equally passionate on their ‘well bred’ dogs

    The AKC breed clubs promote a specific image of what they consider the ideal dog by allowing dogs with such extreme characteristics to be chosen for their show champions, and by promoting that image themselves. This is not just the Collie club, but all the AKC breed clubs. One would think that the BC’s are strictly black and white for example since every image promoted by the BC Club is such. Just do a Google Image search for BC’s and you’ll see what I mean. Yet don’t they have the most diversity of appearance than any other breed club?

    What your hearing is people ranting about the “pointy-nosed, no-eyed, brainless freak that will be a useless burden until it dies at an early age.” Dogs who might be AKC registered and don’t fall into that parameter are not included in the rant. The anger is focused on the fact that those dogs are not valued by the breed club.

    Yes Virginia, there really are people who hate their dogs. Unfortunately they are also people you don’t want as a friend…

  231. Sam. says:

    What are the requirements for owning an Old-Time Scotch Collie?

    How much exercise?
    Are they good with other dogs and cats?
    Is there anything I should be aware of (aggression, destructive etc)?
    What health problems do they get?
    How easy to train?
    Do they make good watchdogs?
    How likely are they to run away?
    What are the good points?
    What type of home?
    What type of owner?
    How big do they get?
    What is their average life span?
    What colors do they come in?

    Sorry for all the questions, but I wanted to know more about this breed and possibly owning one someday. I am writing an article about Old Scotch Collies.
    Thanks in advance.

    By the way, there are several Old Scotch Collies around here in rescue shelters in Long Island. I may have had one that was a mix. Three of our neighbors had them. The shelters call them “farm collies” or “farm shepherds” usually…

  232. Shep says:

    1. As medium size working dogs, the Scotch Collie will need a decent amount of exercise. I would suggest at least a moderately sized yard.
    2. They are great with all animals in your family, animals not in your family may be seen as outsiders and not welcomed.
    3. Depends on the line, they are quite diverse, mine are quite sensitive and must be treated sensitively. In most situations they are not destructive and should never be aggressive, strangers may be treated with suspicion.
    4. Some have had hip problems but most don’t, some can have CEA or MDR1 drug sensitivity.
    5. Very easy to train and quite smart
    6. Some lines do and others do not, know the breeding stock you are buying from.
    7. Unfixed males may wander, generally they are not wanderers.
    8. Many, read this site or the FAQ above.
    9. Many types, the more attention they get from their owners the better they will respond. So being left alone all day may not be the best situation.
    10. Sensitive owners who are not inclined to yell or be harsh. People who spend time with their animals, inside dogs will perform better because of more bonding time.
    11. Generally no larger than 65 or 70 pounds for males, some lines get larger.
    12. Many live in excess of 15 years, they are hearty and healthy dogs.
    13. Many colors. sable and white, tri-color, blue merle, black and white, black and tan, milk sable, and collie colors.

  233. Darlene Kerr says:

    I think it is a shame that so much focus has been put on the collie head.I am of course referring to SHOW collies. What bothers me the most is the eyes. the standard states MEDIUM size almond shape..and some how that has been twisted around so that when a dog with a medium size almond shaped eye shows up in the ring..they are ignored and when the judge is questioned you get the response that the eye is too big. I breed collies for BOTH show and obedience/performance. I really get a bit rankled when I hear people say the collie is stupid..that the brains have been bred out through the end of the nose. This is simply NOT true. in nearly 50 years of raising collies I have NEVER had a stupid collie. what does really bother me though is taht temperament is no longer mentioned in the standard other then under general character. I have seen too may collies lately that have questionable temperaments..too soft, sound sensitive..this irks me more then anything else. To the person who says they hate their collie..I feel sorry for you but I feel sorrier for the dog!! have obviously not had good experience with your collie where as I on the other hand would have NO OTHER BREED!! Just try to keep in mind there are people who truly love this breed and will put soundness, health, and temperament ahead of HEADS!!

  234. Jana Wilson says:

    Hi, I have a son of Carter’s Rusty I can provide a photo of. His name is Wilson’s Checkers and he is 11 1/2 b/w male. We have a daughter of him (Checkers) and grandson/granddaughter of his as well.

  235. Shep says:

    Hi Jana

    If you don’t mind sharing your picture here please send it to Are you aware that another grandson of Ole Shep currently has pups in Virginia?


  236. Shep says:

    To Cindy D.

    I have grown tired of your confrontational, know-it-all attitude. I don’t have a problem with anyone disagreeing with me here as long as it is approached with an open mind and a respectful attitude. You comments often seem to come off as though you have all the answers and are coming here to straighten me out. If you want to fight on this subject, might I suggest BorderWars, Christopher there seems to thrive on this sort of confrontation, my site on the other hand, is more of a place for polite conversation and respectful disagreement.

  237. CindyD says:

    This is one of my absolute favorite images! 🙂 BTW You do a very nice job on your web site, Andy!

  238. Cheryl Draeger says:

    You learn something new every day.
    I thought this old version of a collie was extinct. It’s interesting to see where my collie came from.

  239. Debbie Falk says:

    I recently found the actual pictures of the Sunnybank collies on line and it was like a childhood dream come to life! I still have all the books and reread them every few years.
    Watching the video and actually SEEING the Master and his collies is like a book of my childhood memories springing to life!!!!!!!

    I have always had German Shepherd Dogs-but-who knows-A collie could be next!

  240. Jana Wilson says:

    Yes, Checkers sired a litter recently and those pups are due May 2nd in NY. This may be Checkers’s last litter. We have had some wonderful offspring from this wonderful boy!

  241. RC Gilbert says:

    I had the priviledge to hav a grandfather who had a farm in Maryland. As a child I visited often. He had a dog named “sheep” who indeed was an old time scotch shepherd as he called it. He was probably 50-55 lbs. He had tipped ears like a modern collie but that was it. His head was definitely NOT a modern collie head. Actually his head shape was exactly like the head of my Border Collie. He had a white neck collar and was other wise a modern Collie color. His coat length was closer to the smooth collie than the rough. Exactly in between.

    I have looked and looked and can’t find exactly what I am looking for. Several photos were close. My Border Collie is 12 so this is a preliminary investigation. If I could find
    another like him that would be great. He is very mellow which is perfect for me at my age.


    RC Gilbert

  242. Bobby Irwin says:

    Mr. McDuffie, I am very interested in this breed of dogs. Would you please email me or feel free to call me at 540-335-6068. Thank You. Bobby Irwin

  243. Wayne McMillan says:

    I feel that in the UK there were different types of shepherd dogs used from a mixture of older types of dogs depending on the type of sheep or cattle being herded. Those Spitz breeds from Scandinavia and Finland must have had some impact. Look at the Karelian Bear Dog from Finland, the Lapponian Herder, the Tiger (Blue Merle) in Germany, the Icelandic Sheepdog, to name just a few,they have been around for many, many years and still are being bred. These dogs have had an influence on the breeding of UK pastoral dogs interbred with local indigenous Celtic stock to create different strains and types of dogs. You can still see their influence today in Collie type breeds. However with the advent of the Old Hemp strain of sheepdogs, many other types of shepherd dogs were made obsolete.

  244. Theresa Dooley says:

    I had Mikhail for 18 years. He was the rock of our family. I still miss him so much. Intelligence, eagerness to please and above LOYALTY were unbelievable. Anything introduced, (animal, child etc.) was nurtured and cared for by him. No other breed of dog like it

  245. Laura Osanitch says:

    Hey! I post on Border Wars as “UrbanCollieChick.”

    I was just curious if you think this might be an Old Scotch Collie or something similar.

    He’s in an upcoming movie called Darling Companion.

  246. Melissa says:

    “There should be a distinction made between the English sheep dog; German shepherd and the Scotch Colley. But if all are exhibited in our shows as Scotch Colley”

  247. Cheryl Draeger says:

    I love the paintings and sketches!!!

  248. I seem to remember reading that the blaze was banished from one year to the next when a judge only gave CCs to dogs without blazes – I wish my memory were better, but I seem to remember it was in the fifties. Now, one tends to think that a collie with a blaze will not do well in the show ring, which ought to be ridiculous

  249. Here we go : “Miss Grey of the LADYPARK’s dominated the stud scene with that incredibly successful stud dog CH LOCHINVAR OF LADYPARK, who many of today’s breeders say was the greatest Rough Collie of all time. I would argue that as he had a prominent blaze he would not be shown today and indeed would not have had any success at all once this decade had passed in to 1960’s, as it was then that blazes were much frowned upon and any collie with a blaze was just walked past in the ring by the judges. How quickly fashion can dictate what can win in the show-ring. It still happens today, with the demand by many judges for a Rough Collie to have a Border Collie head with the exaggerated stop that seems to be de-rigueur today. Hopefully it is just a passing fad by few of the less successful exhibitors trying to put their influence onto the Standard.” quoted from:

  250. Do you have any information as to who Stonehenge was?

  251. He has used the same models for his dogs several times – the colours are interesting – there is one which is almost black with very pale tan on its nose, another which is white and a third which is sable with no white markings

  252. danielle says:

    i wish someone would post Grey Dawn and
    lochinvar luck

  253. danielle says:

    Believe it or not, there is hope from the show-collie world: Wicani Kennels has dedicated itself to reducing the inbreeding coefficient (as well as eliminating CEA and MDRN1 sensitivity) of UK collies by outcrossing with american and canadian dogs. Her bloodline is truly a work of art…..the classic ’20s collie is coming back

  254. Sandra Cantrell says:

    How would a person be able to become a breeder of the OT farm dog. From pictures and descriptions that is the kind of dog I had as a kid almost fifty years ago. Would love to have a dog like that again. Thanks for any info.

  255. Viv Billingham Parkes says:

    A pot of gold. Exceedingly important history of the Border collies forebears.Laddie is undoubtedly a beardie, beardie cross.Much more quality has been bred into the dogs since then, ie a low tail carriage, eye & style. Showing dogs became very popular in Victorian times and there is no doubt in my mind various crosses were introduced and much close breeding took place. I believe The Scotch collie to be a show dog with Russian Borzoi in it’s breeding, now known as a Rough collie.

  256. Viv Billingham Parkes says:

    A Gem of a web-site. What a find for enthusiast & historian alike.

  257. Elizabeth Hoefs says:

    I am a teenager who has never had or even seen an Old Scotch Collie but I would like to own a Scotch Collie someday.

  258. Hello!

    Today I have finished reading all articles on this website. Well, good luck for you in bringing back these Old Timers. They`re very interesting and amazing dogs. I`m very sorry that they almost extinct. I wish you a lot of luck, strength and everything else you need to rebirth this noble breed. I`m looking forward for next articles I could read and learn new things:)


  259. Michael Harrell,sr says:

    what happen to ole Doc. Mcduffie bred several farm shepherd females to Ole Doc.I purchase a pup off of Ole Doc and little bit .this male pup was a carbon copy of Ole Doc.I used him for hunting squirrel and coon. He also made an excellent watch dog and champion also.He would not let any one touch him but me.He was killed by a pack male dogs,while he trying to protect a female hound that was in heat on our property.I have been trying get another pup off this bloodline for several years.Mr struck, may have the last ones left.As you may have heard Ole Doc was throwback to the the ole time shepherd that was bred into Leopard curs years ago. My phone # 252-337-5363.

  260. Michael Harrell,sr says:

    What about Ole Doc ? I don’t see him in none the above pictures of Mr strunk’s dogs.Ole Doc was throwback{to the ole original farm shepherds] from two leopard curs bred together by a hunter in Georgia.Mr Mcduffie purchased hlm and bred him to several his farm shepherd females.I purchased a male pup out of one of the litters. He was off Ole Doc and Little Bit .He is dead now and i like to buy another one, if anyone still have any of this bloodline.Please call me at 252-337-5363.

  261. Pingback: Unintended Consequences, or, Why I Won’t Just Shut Up «

  262. Kay Spencer says:

    Interesting article . . . but much of the information on the Australian Shepherd was really off.
    Just to start at the top and work down:
    1. Tails: Aussies most commonly are born with full tails which are docked at birth. Natural bobs of all lengths also occur.
    2. The head is described as “domed skull, distinct stop, short muzzle.” This sounds like a description of a popular show type which does not conform to the Standard. Aussies should have, and virtually all working type Aussies do have fairly flat skulls, the stop being noticeable but moderate, and a moderate muzzle that is neither short nor snipey.
    3. Ears are described as only “low, semi-prick, set forward”. This is perhaps a show Aussie look, but working Aussies have a wide range of ear sets. They don’t have full dropped ears, and prick ears are frowned upon, but other than that, they are set every which way.
    4. Color: Aussies can be black or red, with or without merling, with or without white markings, with or without tan markings. The only color listed that is disallowed is sable. Black and tan is not uncommon in working Aussies, which often have little white.
    5. Working Aussies have a range of temperaments. They can certainly be very mellow dogs when there is nothing to do.
    6. Working style. Here, the description is one of a dog with pretty much no working instinct at all, just excitability. The person writing this must have only seen show Aussies with no instinct work livestock. I have never seen a working-bred Aussie work stock in this manner. In fact they work very much like English Shepherds, although they are usually more intense and focused than ES. They are generally quiet, although they may ‘force bark’ to move cattle (this bark is usually followed with a grip). “Bouncing” is a sign of a dog that lacks confidence and is hoping to spook the stock into running away. Not a stockdog move.

    I have never seen an “old time farm shepherd” so I can’t speak to what they are like at all, but I’ve seen lots and lots of working-bred Aussies. This article does them a disservice.

    Kay Spencer

  263. Shep says:


    No disservice intended, as you are unfamiliar with Farm Shepherds, so I am not very familiar with Aussies. All the Aussie info in this chart comes directly from the National English Shepherd Rescue’s website at

    I am open to revising this chart with your assistance.

  264. Kay Spencer says:

    I never would forego an opportunity to educate the public about working type Aussies!

    Just as show Collies are a branch from the original working collies of Britain, which retained some superficial appearance traits but ultimately lost a lot of the working ability, intelligence, and overall usefulness of its ancestors, the show type Aussie has split from the original working type as well. This process began almost as soon as the first registries for Aussies began operations, in the 1950’s. They can be registered in the same registry (ASCA, which is not an AKC affiliate but a separate organization), and called the same name, but at this point, they are recognizably two different breeds (if you know Aussies anyway). Waters are muddied because there is a strong faction within ASCA that breeds the old type and show type together, with the goal of healing the split.

    The English Shepherd, Aussie, and other farm collies, are all from the same original broad gene pool, the Aussie being a western North American version and the ES being an midwest/east coast version. Working Aussies are still mainly known in the West . At this point, working-type Aussies make up less than 15% of all Aussies. They can be hard to find.

    I would say that the main differences between ES (with which I am familiar mostly through my friend Mary Peaslee) and working Aussies is one of degree — the Aussie tends to have a little shorter coat, be a bit more aggressive/serious about guardian duties, and is usually specifically bred to be a cow dog. That being what there is to work out here.

    But when all is said and done they are all just collies.

    Kay Spencer

  265. After reading the article “dunrovin’s ole shep and otfs legacy” I proceeded to check it out on the NKC website but did not find the breed listed. I emailed the registry for an explanation this morning. I then found this posting. Was there ever a response from the NKC to this letter?

  266. Shep says:

    No, I have the receipt from the registered letter I sent them too, but no response at all. It is obvious they want to maintain the status quo, getting paid by OTFS owners and breeders to register their dogs while not making trouble with certain ES breeders.

    As an interesting side note, Chandler Strunk signed paperwork for me to be an OTFS breed inspector which I submitted to the NKC and that too was ignored. So as far as I’m concerned that was the answer to my letter, they refuse to recognize the OTFS and they want nothing to do with me.

  267. Deb Carsey says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with you Kay on every point They really are all just collies aren’t they?
    Working Aussies make up 15% of the gene pool? Wow! If that’s accurate, I’m guessing you can blame the closed stud book? Owners of the working type are far less likely to register their dogs so I’m sure that is how that happened. When the AKC gets involved, it’s bad news for any breed as far as I’m concerned.

    In my mind a breed club’s mission should be to protect and preserve an existing breed, however the breeders stated goals are always to “improve” the breed. Seems bass-akwards to me. If a dog is worth organizing a breed club, shouldn’t that be evidence in itself that the breed doesn’t need improving?

    When it comes to Aussie’s I agree as well. The first time I saw an Aussie from show dog lines I had no idea what breed it was. It was enormous, pure fluff, had a stop that was severe, tiny little eyes and was very heavy boned. I honestly think that the current show dog is so completely different, as to suggest that it never existed at the time the breed club was created and is pure fiction. (I don’t even want to get into the “Mini” and “Toy” Aussies who are so often cross-bred with toy dogs that it’s clearly visible in looks/personality.) In the 1970’s my home town was filled with Aussies. Every other truck just about had a couple of them in the bed. We had a lot of horse owners who used them to work with horses and dairy cattle. It was quite surprising when I went looking for an Aussie of my own to find that the breed I knew was apparently extinct. It took a lot of research to find that in America, the original Aussie lines are still out there.

    In my own research I also came to notice that there are quite a few varieties of collie-dogs which repeat within breeds. The OTSC, BC, ES and AS (among others) even NSDTR’s often are have appearances so close to another breed as to be double registered. In addition I do see many of the original qualities and lineage which the AKC used in the creation of their breed, sometimes appear within working BC’s. When you take a good hard look at the early descriptions and paintings of highlander’s collies it’s obvious that these dogs still exist, except they’ve been abandoned by breed club protection and have continued to breed true for hundreds of years.

  268. K. Marshall says:

    Thank you for sharing these images of Albert Payson Terhune! I do have one correction: The film is not a home movie, but rather raw footage from a professional newsreel taken by the Movietone company circa 1923. The original is stored in the Newsfilm Library of the University of South Carolina. Lad is not featured in this clip, but you can catch a quick glimpse of Wolf near the beginning. The other dogs include Gray Dawn and Bobby, as well as the champions Sigurdson and Explorer.

  269. Charles L. Matheson says:

    I had a very good Scotch Collie 35 to 40 years ago (named Laddie). He was very smart and geat around my children. When I moved my famil to cCookeville ennessee 40 years ago, I had to give him a a veryloving family who lived on a farm outside of the city where he could “just be himself”. I am now retired (almost 167 years now) and would love to have anoth Laddie. I would like to know where and what price for a good Laddie (Brown and White). Please advise.

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  271. Hello Shep,having read your article and the responses – I am feeling confused (and disappointed). I follow your site regularly as you know, and am aware of the research that is behind what you write. I have the two Herdwick dogs down as early smooth collies in my photo album in Smooth Collies EU. If these two are Border Collies, where do you situate the origin of the Smooth Collie which is often thought to come from the North of England border counties? Though this provenance is expanded by Packwood’s saying that they were picked up for the show ring in England and Ireland. One very famous smooth collie (Heatherfield Dot) was found on a farm near my birthplace in the Midlands of England. (Packwood page 59). Roy Baker, collie judge and breeder, is writing about the smooth collie, variety or breed. I am waiting impatiently to see which side he comes down on.

  272. I found this in Stella Clark’s book, Smooth Collies, Rough and Smooth

    One of the earliest Smooth Collie fanciers was a Mr Hastie of the Herdwick prefix. He lived in Newcastle and did much to support the breed in it’s early days. The first male Champion was Ch. Guelt. He was born in 1873. To us he would have been a tricolour but was described as Black, Tan and White, sired by Captain ex Nora. Collienet Stella Clark

  273. Oh – sorry – “Collies, Rough and Smooth”

  274. Shep says:

    Hi Dianne

    I think if we go all the way back to the roots of the various collie breeds there was a great deal of crossover. In my own study of the early descriptions of these dogs, the smooth coat gene seems to have originated in the same geographic area as the border collie, while I have never heard of a highland collie with a smooth coat. That being said there must be a great deal of crossover in the roots of both of these breeds, and that isn’t a bad thing.

  275. B J Clack says:

    love seeing the old pics and reading your info. I too had an old time collie , from a farm 61 years ago, my first collie named Sally. red rust collie, beautiful coat white collar and bent over tips above a little upright perky ear. sorry can’t find another one just the two smoothies I enjoy today. That same collie manner is there deep below those trusting and loving eyes . I just love collies and feel oh so sorry for the one who wrote ” they hate their collie’!!!!!!!! more so for the collie than the person………….

  276. The image of the dog right at the top tagged as an English Sheepdog looks more like the type that developed to become the Old English Sheepdog. (the show type is horrific to my taste). It is all very confusing. One book I read claimed that the real English Sheepdog was the smooth collie which was pipped to being named such by the OES being given this name in the early days of showing. I grew up in the Midlands of England and the collie you name as the English collie would have been called a Welsh collie. Oh it is all so confusing.

  277. Cathe' says:

    Thank you so much for the May/June 2011 article on the Scotch Collie.
    In August of 2012, I picked up my Scotch Collie puppy. She is amazing, and I am so thankful to have read your article in Countryside magazine.

  278. Lindsey Rollo says:

    One of my rescues seems to be an old time Scotch Collie. He was listed as a rough haired collie/german shepherd by the shelter but based on his features, his temperament and his history (from a farm long established by Scottish settlers). I’d like to get his DNA tested someday but I suppose only Collie would be found. One thing is for sure, he has the very best personality and I would love another hundred of these dogs. So beautifully laid back yet ready to go to work anytime. Very dedicated and absolutely adorable with one ear up and one ear partially down. As cute as they get. What a great breed. I hope they make a return……I’d sure love many more of these dogs.

  279. bonjour a tout le monde ,je suis très touchant dans l histoire de chien qui attendait le train,qui s appelait shep,depuis l enfant que j avais a peine a l age 6 ans pour lire plusieurs fois et maintenant j ai vu un film dans hatchi et je me reviens comme avant dans ce livre ! ça m aide beaucoup pour moi ! Shep est un coeur univers avec le maitre .
    c est tres important de l histoire pour les handicaper et les enfants qui n ont pas les parents.fort benton montana est vraiment magnifique et magique !!! george

  280. Shep says:

    You are welcome to your opinion, but I beg to differ. Compare that some image with the illustration of a modern ES in the UKC breed standard as I do in this post
    Separated at birth? I think so.

  281. UrbanCollieChick says:

    I love your work! Your people are some of my biggest dog-loving heroes! As to the Jack being a landrace, I hope the JRTCA and some devoted farmers are keeping true to that notion, because the AKC sure isn’t helping things; esp now that they took the short legged variety in 2013.

  282. ruth newsome says:

    I love the old collies – my collies are close to the old ones.

  283. Just been looking at one of Ansdell’s paintings, A View of the Grampians, which is on your site. The two collies there don’t look any rougher than the two above. I am continuing my research and have found a reference to smooth collies breeding true to smooth in Durham county

  284. Linda Christopherson says:

    I have over the years felt affection for this breed but circumstancially never thought I’d have a chance to own one. What a marvelous story of caring for a wonderful breed of dog. It is apparent you care very much for these lovely animals. Thanks for your efforts.

  285. Shirley says:

    Having been involved with ES for years, I find the comments / artical about Mr. Stodghil interesting. As I understood years ago an ES– ONLY–came in blk/tan, according to Mr. S. And on a side note–most of the working “collies” or farm dogs were very localized, so there was a great deal of difference within ‘Breeds”(variety) or lineage (locale) because of the isolation. Today we see quite a variety within family lines etc, because the old timers did not pick apart ear carriage,color, even markings etc–the wanted a good working “collie” albeit an ES, WC, OTSC, AS, etc, and bred “Shep to “Belle” and got a litter of pups with the good working abilities of both parents. When travel became commonplace it was easier to go farther afield to get a different bloodline–and again–the looks were not that important then, not untill the shows became the vogue. I agree there is a fine line between this group of breeds–they have their obvious differences but the similarities are there.
    This is a very interesting site–I just happened to stumble on it– and had to comment–keep up the good work.

  286. Since writing the above, My Luke was mated with Fudjaï Gold of Connemara’s Highlands and a puppy was born like the sable with no markings

  287. Thanks for this fascinating article. Iris Combe, in her book, “Herding Dogs, their Origins and Development in Britain”, talks about the role of the Borzoi in the breeding of collies. She says that it was hoped by crossing Borzois which had been sent by the Russian Czar (as presents to the royal family) and collies in the royal kennels in Britain, to improve the stamina of the Borzoi. It was intended to take these collie/Borzoi crosses back to Russia to improve the stock there. But events at the time made it impossible to follow the progress of these dogs. Beautiful puppies were produced as a result of these crosses and many were given away and some exhibited. These “collies” became known as the Borzoi type. We still get heads of this type in modern show collies

  288. Lyle Johnson says:

    I grew up in eastern Utah and most of the ranches used the old collies, Ours was named Jip our neighbors dog was Bob. I wondered what happened to them as I haven’t seen the type in some time.
    I live in Montana on a ranch and would love to acquire some good collies. Would love to hear from anyone that has good collies and knows the breed.
    I’m also a Sculptor and this motivate me to do some old time collie sculptures.

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  290. Dawn Linder says:

    I’m searching for a picture of 4 children playing with a collie with a couple of puppies. I used to have a picture of it which I got from an Amish auction 20 years ago. Since I got divorced, I can’t find the picture anymore. It had a pastel soft colors and era of the late 1800’s or early 1900’s.

  291. Greg Northcutt says:

    I would love to see the landrace reinstituted in roughly the same manner and for the same reasons it initially developed. Show dog breeds have been intentionally developed to achieve an appearance standard. Scotch Collies (and their off-shoots) developed as a result of their owners needs for a talented farm hand. Appearance was secondary, if relevant at all. As a farmer, I understand the need and motivation to develop a helpful farmhand. The written history of the Scotch Collie landrace, and my observation of the best current examples of the breed, have these working characteristics:

    1. Loose-eyed herding ability, motivated by a tempered prey instinct in conjunction with a keen recognition of and subservience to its master. The best examples of the Scotch Collie work in a “head-up/tail-up”, calm, confident, courageous manner with an acquired understanding of the objective of the work. They do not work to detailed instructions of from a “handler” but instead glean the master’s objectives and assist as a partner. Their “tasks” develop naturally over time as they learn the traditions and rythms of their farm. They also have an innate desire to maintain order, prompting them to guard gates and return stock to their normal pastures and guard gaps until the master arrives to repair it. Though they are not aggressive and strong-eyed in the classic sense, they will not hesitate to bite head or heel when needed to accomplish the work.
    2. Hunting abilities of Scotch Collies are reminiscent of most common squirrel dogs. They will use nose and eye to track and follow squirrels, racoons, opossum, and rabbits. and will bark to mark the site of prey. With practice and encouragement, a good Scotch Collie will develop into a fine hunting dog.
    3. A Scotch Collie is wary of strangers but immediately will trust the reassurance of its master and become friendly to visitors. This trait may initially appear as insecurity; but matures as valiant protection of farm, home and family. These dogs quickly adopt a domain and a family, and are absolutely loyal to their own. As a result, they will chase and kill vermin, snakes, coyotes, stray dogs and such in order to protect cattle, sheep, chickens, ducks, and children. Add to this loyalty an instinctual understanding of human families, and you get “Timmy fell in the well” stories. Scotch Collies are sensitive to the weakness and fear of small children and will adjust their behavior to reassure the young members of their family.
    4. A calm and level temperament is somewhat unique to Scotch Collies as opposed to other dedicated working breeds. The majority of their time is spent lying “on the porch” and wandering around the farm. They are not irrationally excitable, though they will rise to the occasion when courage and/or aggression is needed to protect the farm or move stock. Their herding behavior is not particularly efficient (as in a strong-eyed breed like the border collie) but their work is performed in a calm and puposeful manner, though it may involve occasional barking and frenetic movement.

    I would like to see these traits as the primary objectives of the Scotch Collie reestablishment effort, while paying due respect to genetic history as much as possible. If a somewhat standard appearance results from breeding for these behavioral traits, so be it. But the farmers and shepherds who originally developed the Scotch Collie landrace were simply breeding the most useful farm dogs to the most useful farm dogs. That is why the appearance of these dogs varied widely, though there were similarities stemming from the physical traits of the best (most useful) farm dogs.

    I realize that I probably represent a very small minority of dog owners/breeders who are relatively unconcerned about appearance; but ultimately concerned about talent and temperament. However, it would seem that the landrace Scotch Collie can only be resurrected if we focus on the traits that led to their existence in the first instance.

    These are my thughts and motivations for my involvement in this reestablishment effort. I certainly hope that my approach is not offensive to anyone. That is no part of my purpose. But I would like to see the Scotch Collie registry pay homage to the historical reality of the landrace. That may be very difficulty in light of the devolution of the “family farm”. But it would be wonderful to see the Scotch Collie play the phoenix and rise from the ashes of obscurity to once again find its place on hobby farms, ranches, rural homesteads and family farms. I realize that these dogs also make wonderful pets; but their ancestors were first great working dogs.

    I greatly appreciate the Herculean effort that has gone into establishing this website, the OTSCA, and the related sites and organizations. Thank you all so much for your efforts to resurrect this most admirable dog. I certainly hope that I can make some small contribution to the effort.

  292. Dianne says:

    Iris Coombe, in her book, Herding Dogs, page 176′ says she spoke to the kennelman at Balmoral. He told her that collies were used ti improve Borzois, not the other way round. But that the collie/borzoi mixes that were left in the UK were an improvement on the working collies that had been used for the mix.

  293. Jane Robertson says:

    When I was growing up in England we had a lovely collie cross from a rescue home. She seems similar to a OTFS. I have been asking any dog owners with similar dogs what their dogs are and they have all said ‘ collie cross’ until one day someone said a Welsh collie. This got me started on some internet research and I came across both Welsh collies and English shepherds and now OTFS. Could you tell me are Welsh collies and English shepherds very similar? Do they have any differences? What about OTFS?

  294. Sam. says:

    Hi, great article! Very informative, well researched and I like the old photos/illustrations. I’m often doing research on Scotch Collies and the history of the collie family. We have a Scotch Rough Collie. I shared your post on my Facebook pages: Muku Pet Art and Collie Club of Long Island ^_^

  295. Kathy Bittorf says:

    This spectrum is outstanding if the reader has a grip on the Evolution of AKC Collies today. One must first understand and accept the actual history of the American Collie. The breed’s development began long before the AKC came into the picture.

    I note specific traits such as ears and eye shape plus pigmentation patterning which have apparently been deleted from current gene pool of show collies. Thank you for the memories.

  296. Mark DeChambeau says:

    Love this website. Love this dog.
    I am moving to a ten-acre place in TX and I want one; or two eventually.
    I had a border collie/alsatian cross who was my constant companion for 15 years. I agree that the border collie has over-specialized and do not wish to put up with their manic energy or penchant to harass if bored. I will really need a companion/herder/varmint dog to help me with the dairy goats I intend to raise.
    Thanks for all of the information and stories! What really intrigues me is that personality and intelligence are the important traits rather than physical characteristics. Please do not succumb to the tendency to very narrowly define physical conformity.
    Again, thanks!

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  298. Judy says:

    I love a good old farm dog of any breeding….it’s the mind I love:)) Interesting about the bob-tailed gene in the letter. I have had Bouviers born with short tails from long tailed parents, however I’m not sure short (not needing to be docked) is the same as a bob-tail. Enjoy!!

  299. Jim Bergin says:

    Thanks. My class (Dogs in Literature) just read Lassie Come Home. Great information!

  300. billy ray freeman says:

    I have been looking for an old time farm shepard for along time with no luck,i had em as a boy here in the Ozarks of Arkansas, if anyone knows where one is let me know 479-857-1856

  301. Elise Rowe says:

    Like many people, a dog in my childhood became the dog to which I have compared every other dog I have known since then. I have searched for a dog like him for awhile, and Scotch Collies, all things considered, are the closest thing to him I have found, followed by English Shepherds.

    So here is my question–I currently have a dog that adopted us (border collie mix), and currently do not have the space for another. I do not have the resources to breed these dogs, but I am asking if there is anything else you folks need to have done that I could do. I can write letters or articles, and I can be very persistent. I can contribute monetarily (although my pocket is not all that deep) to the welfare of this breed. May I offer you some assistance?

  302. Jane myers says:

    I am starting the search for a mate for my Lassie/ Heritage Romana. Probably fall of 2014. I want to linebreed into her old Allison lines. Suggestions anyone? I’m in mid missouri and can drive a state or two. Jane myers

  303. R Raspberry says:

    I am looking for a male outcross totally outside of Ole Shep but somehow within our inner farm family.

    Please contact me privately at
    Corvallis, Oregon

  304. UrbanCollieChick says:

    I missed out on the footage. Is there a legal way to view it?

  305. teri says:

    I have been looking for these dogs for years and know one new what I was talking about. I grew up with rough collie/ australian shepherd mix dogs and I am not sure if these would be considered scotch or farm collies but they are great on the farm. Please let me know if anyone knows of any puppies aval.

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  307. cc says:

    I was just wondering if someone could write an article with some of the more practical considerations for people considering the breed, for beginners. I mean, the history is really interesting, and the breed standard rough draft includes a lot of it, but maybe an article which also includes things like shedding and exercise requirements and the like? Thanks.

  308. helene says:

    I’m so glad to find this site. My roommate has a gorgeous, wonderful dog named Wu and never knew what breed he was until I found this. She said he was a rescue from Arizona in an area called Strawberry Mountain and that there were many strays and pets fitting his general description and that they were known by the locals as “Strawberry Mountain dogs.”

  309. Judy says:


  310. Judy says:

    The first photo look to be outstanding, strong dogs. Beautiful!

  311. Judy says:

    I would guess yes to that:)

  312. Ron Wilkinson says:

    I’m posting on reply because I don’t think I have had a Farm Collie. I have had two BCs and a B.C. x Aus. S. and I just rescued a Queensland x B.C.
    My first dog was the B.C. x A.S., she was a beautiful full feathered tail merle. She was a one person dog and was friendly with strangers except when in my truck or behind a fence. She was born in 1970 before they really screwed up A.S.’s as far as I know.

    I guess my question is why there is so much confirmation talk on this site? I can see the performance or personality traits as important and the physical traits needed to accomplish the task but other than marketing a “cute” or physically typical dog I don’t understand the importance of confirmation. IOW that goes back to AKC standards of breeding a dog.
    I’ve been going through the links and I see an approach based on style.
    My B.C.’s were rescues of a smooth coat cattle dog and a rough coated sheep dog. Both might have been failures or just “overstock.”
    I confess I do like the look of all these dogs including your Farm dogs. They are a handful in some respects but I have gotten used to them. Even though I like certain kinds of mutts and bird dogs I’d take a herding dog every time.
    This is a very nice site.

  313. Donna Kaye Cook says:

    I Have always had collies. My husband died 11 yrs, ago and I had to give my tri-color to my daughter. I really want a collie that looks like Lassie. When my son was little he didn’t sleep very well. I would get him up and rock him, my dog Misty would set there and talk to me like she wanted to help. I loved her so much and she was stolen. Please let me know when you have a litter. 937-592-0757. Bellefontaine, OH.

  314. Staci says:

    I am in love with Brush Creek Magee. Who has dogs/pups in her lineage?

  315. Elise Rowe says:

    I like this spectrum quite a bit! I am no expert on collies, so this helps me grasp something of the diversity that has developed over the years, as well as an appreciation of the differences Thank you.

  316. Elise Rowe says:

    Thought-provoking questions! I personally think the answer lies in the spectrum approach because it fits more in the long-term history and future of the dogs. Delineating by breed is, in my opinion, more of a short-term approach to genetics, and can create more issues than it resolves.

  317. alice grette says:

    We have had several dogs that were called farm shepherds. they are hard to find! I love them, I have a 14 year old female and when she goes, I would like another. Always looking!

  318. Lila says:

    Are Shetland Sheepdogs related to these collies at all?

  319. david garbacz says:

    i have a line of dogs descendant from ol sheep and currently have pups. this is my 6th generation and I love them dearly.

  320. Sam. says:

    I love the Scottish Collie, but I must say, I really like the old fashioned look more. I have one from show lines, but has many “faults” by their standards (as if I give a hoot). His chest is big, big boned, swirled tail which he carries over his back like a husky when excited, pricked ears, larger eyes, his face looks “old fashioned” (not long and pointy like a spear) and his color is piebald marked. Yet, he can herd, has wonderful temperament and very biddable – infact, he’s the easiest trained dog I have ever had. Not show quality but I don’t care, I love him. I’m getting another old fashioned collie soon to work some livestock, can’t wait!

  321. Ron fehring says:

    Hi Mr. Ward, I am looking to find a puppy of scotch collie and English shepard, I have had that fine dog on my family farm my whole life and cannot find 1 anymore it is a shame that we have allowed this to happen. the small family farm is slowly disappearing and that is so wrong. My farm is in se wi., it is a 165 acres and have steers and chickens, it has ben in family name for 157 yrs.. I miss my farm collie friend and helper, and would love to do my part to bring him back. Can you help me, Thank you, Ron

  322. Carolyn Townsend says:

    am looking for scotch collie pup. Rough is fine.

  323. Diane says:

    The UKC registered “Scotch Collies” beginning in 1914. It would be interesting to read the first standard and see how it compares to the present OTFS.

  324. Lantz Shapiro says:

    I have a picture that somebody posted in a Facebook group that you might be interested in. I got permission from the person who posted it to pass it on to websites like this. It’s a nice picture of an early Collie/English Shepherd lying at the feet of three ladies having their picture taken at a bus station. Please let me know how I can get a copy of it to you and thanks for your dedication to the historic collie breed. I’ve had an English Shepherd and a modern type of Collie. Both were wonderful dogs. Take care, Lantz Shapiro

  325. Roger Grant says:

    Looking for old time scotch collie pup, or old time farm shepherd, or treeing farm shepherd.

    Any help at all in would be very much appreciated.

    Thank you,

    Roger Grant

  326. Hello. I have been breeding collies for over ten years, buying selling, trying to find just what I want in a collie. Age has caught up with me so I am cutting down to one pair. I am keeping a female of my breeding and am in the processes of purchasing a male whose dam is from the old time collie. The former owner said the sire and the dam were very smart and could handle her goats as well as guard her property. I belong to some show collie clubs and have learned a lot about the show breed. I remember some old time collies, although I never got to have one. My husband of many years, now passed away, was not interested in the collie breed so this is why I have come onto it late. All my collies have the herding instinct but I have nothing for them to do although I live on a farm. I still am interested in collies that are intelligent and willing to work.

  327. Malia Akiona says:

    Aloha from Hawaii,

    I have 2 rough Collies that are 4yrs old…one boy and one girl..

    I have just added two six week old kittens to our family..

    My girl dog just looks at them and my boy dog just barks…

    I know this takes time but if there is any information you could pass my way, I would greatly appreciate it…

    Thank you!!

  328. Joe Brooks says:

    The picture of Dunrovin ‘s Rover, looks a lot like my old Shep, he grew up with me. When i went in the army old shep, was lost. He would work cows, with my dad, until dad yelled at him, then he would go back to the house. A big old black dog, with a gang of dogs, got old shep down and killed him. The black dog belonged to a neighbor, dad asked me if i killed that dog? I said i tried, i put lead in him, shep was my buddy, we hunted, fished, together, went every where, i went.

  329. Joe Brooks says:

    UKC, started registering Lepoard Curs, last year, except they changed the name to Lepoard Hound. Starting in 2015, they are going to register, cross bred coon hounds, a walker, crossed with a black&tan, if it’s black&tan, it will be registered that way. They will be able to hunt them, in ukc hunts, and raise puppys, registered that way.

  330. Jazherah MacMornna says:

    My Collie, also named Gypsy, adopted 3 orphaned kittens well over 40 years ago. She still had 2 pups at the time and plenty of milk. Even after all this time, their antics still make me laugh.

  331. Nona Gleim says:

    I have always loved collies – rough, scotch, border. My great uncles had farms where there was always a collie of some sort. I am interested in getting another collie. No pedigree is necessary. I just want one or two to cuddle up with, throw a tennis ball to, and go for long walk. I know that lots of folks don’t want the runt of the litter but they would be welcome. Also, I am partial to the “lassies” of the breed.

  332. Cindy Green says:

    Hi, I put my name on the waiting list. I am looking for a male and female pup. I would like to raise this beautiful breed to preserve them. I have a working sheep and pastured pig farm. I have had collies before and I absolutely love them!!! I look forward to hearing from anyone that has a litter and of course more than one person as I want to breed them. I live in MN but arrangements can be made!!! Thank you!!

  333. Kerrie Kerns says:

    I have been blessed with not one-but two beautiful old-time Scotch Collies! They are absolutely wonderful companions for me, living alone in the country. I contacted the local collie club and sent them photos. They did not even know what a Scotch Collie was! So thank you so much for a comprehensive web page on this delightful breed. My only regret was that I had both fixed, since I don’t have the nerve for breeding. Mine came from different shelters a few months apart, severely neglected and in bad shape. I have had them for about 4 months now and they are gorgeous-with the BEST personalities. I will stay in touch via social media and do what I can to help save the breed.

  334. Sandra Wright says:

    I am so happyto have found all this info on these wonderful dogs.I start saving today to purchase one.I have a small farm and this is the kind of dog I want.I didnt know there were any left.The first dog I ever knew was a farm collie and according to my mom he was a great dog.She said he was a good babysitter too kept me in the yard when i tried to wander.Great dogs

  335. The film has been put on line again by the University of South Carolina.

  336. Dan says:

    Interesting read. I have a English Shepherd and a Rough Collie from show lines. I see a big difference in their temperament. My ES is very stubborn, restless, destructive, over sensitive, very mouthy biting hard when paying and not very smart. My RC is confident, rests by my feet inside and active outdoors, never made a single mistake even as a puppy, extremely biddable, not destructive and very gentle when playing. My Rough Collie from AKC dog show lines is smart, fearless and proud unlike my skittish and thick-headed English Shepherd from a working farm… So much goes for English Shepherds being a so-called better breed than show Collies. My Rough Collie boy is the so perfect it’s amazing. My English Shepherd is a real pain in the butt, but I still love my dumb butt-head boy! lol They can’t all be geniuses, right?

  337. Jeannette Lindvig says:

    Jane Myers, please don’t linebreed any animal. Linebreeding emphasizes the bad, unhealthy characteristics. There is a reason women don’t marry our brothers or fathers! Plus, genetic diversity is important in restoring a breed that has so little genetic material left. It is line breeding that has ruined most of the major dog breeds out there, and riddled them with cancers, hip problems, vision anomalies, etc. Line breeding should be illegal. ( Linebreeding led the royal families of Europe to have problems with hemophilia – a textbook case!)

  338. connie krammes says:

    I have a farm collie who came from a farm. Though he is obviously a collie, People always say his nose is too pointy, or his ears are supposed to tip (they are erect) and his coat is not show quality. but he is the sweetest and best natured dog you will every meet. and… very smart. 26″ at the shoulder and 62 pounds just as you describe. He is a therapy dog at a retirement home where the residents ‘remember lassie” who was also not a fluffy coated collie that is popular today. These are the greatest dogs. Thanks for helping me understand his special origins and how he is a true breed.

  339. Julie says:

    Such an interesting article. We saw a stuffed specimen of a scotch collie in the Natural History museum in Tring in the Uk, it looked exactly like our 9 year old rescue “collie cross” who in her notes was apparently from Scotland. She has all the attributes you mention and is exactly as you describe the “land race” She has a Wonderful temperament, but loves to chase rabbits and squirrels!

  340. Imparting G. Queller. DVM says:

    I read “Lad a dog” at the age of 8. I loved the story, and now live quite close to the section of New Jersey where “The Place” was, before it was plowed under to become part of a highway. Due in large part Mr. February’s books led me to become a veterinarian.

  341. Marjorie White. says:

    Thank you so much for your article. I grew up with Scottish Collies in New Brunswick. Have looked for them for years. Just knew these coolies I have seen were not them. had no idea what they were until I read your piece. They were our right hand on the farm. Can they be purchased here in the USA? If so how can I get one? Thank you so vary much.

  342. Twiddlebug Jan says:

    First time at this site, my first dog Buster I now realize was an old time Scotch Collie! If we ever get some land*, I will work to breed them. They are too great a dog to lose.

    * I am located in a city which only allows 2 dogs per property; unfortunately, my son’s dog is here until he moves out.

  343. Molly Sebastian says:

    Hi Andy,
    This is a wonderful and inspiring article. It reminds me of the wonderful farm collies I knew growing up in rural Ontario. I now have two Collies, one a female Old Scotch Collie from Gracehaven in Washington State, the other a young male Rough Collie of an older type and from herding stock. I am so enthused about the qualities of these dogs and want to help in the effort to save this heritage breed.
    I wish you well in all your worthwhile efforts to save this marvellous breed. Let me know how I can help.

  344. Molly Sebastian says:

    I found this to be a fascinating article especially the parts about working style and type of herder as I have found this to be very true. I had a small working Scotch Collie type dog in the mid 1970’s and early 80’s. We had up to 100 head of sheep at the time, and she was a natural. Without any training she joined us in the tasks of moving and putting this large flock into the pens and barn for shearing, weaning, marketing, or whenever required. She found lost new few-day old calves for us and lay down with them licking them gently on the nose, barking an alert to call us and then waiting for help to arrive to get the wee ones back to our cow foster mom. She went everywhere with whoever was the youngest of the children at the time. She walked sedately by the toddler’s side, a small hand on her shoulder for comfort. You never needed to worry as no one could bother that child.
    Now 30 some odd years later, I have another Scotch Collie who is now two. She is not the same in appearance, but very beautiful just the same and shows many of the same character traits. I have high hopes for her and hope to breed her to help with maintaing this splendid breed which has come so close to bring lost.
    Thanks for the excellent article it is so truthful a description of the breed.

  345. Talitha Anderson says:

    I just love this. I feel a bit silly for getting emotional about this subject, but I’ve become SO frustrated over the years trying to find a collie that had the same basic temperament as the collies I grew up with! I perused rough collie after rough collie after rough collie, all to no avail. I phoned and visited breeders, joined collie clubs, and attended dog shows and collie agility events, but the temperaments were for the most part, just wrong. I saw collies that were afraid of their own shadow, aggressive and snappy, hyperactive to the point of being confined to a kennel for their own safety, and all or most with a complete inability to bond with their owners much less any desire to please them.
    I kept asking, “What happened to this wonderful breed?” I would hear, “Nothing. This is the way collies are supposed to be.” or “I don’t see any difference in these collies and I’ve owned, bred and raised collies for 45 years.” Etc. Etc. Etc, until I thought it must be me and I just remembered wrong and collies weren’t the breed I thought they were.
    Then one day surfing the web I came across an ad for Old-Time Scotch Collie pups. The description of these dogs, their temperament, character etc. was exactly what I was looking for and had been looking for, for twenty years!!! I was over the moon and began to read everything about these amazing dogs that I could get my hands on! One day soon I will be a breeder of this breed. Thanks you so much for all you do and have done to preserve this breed and to get the word out about them! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

  346. Jessica says:

    I do love this information from people who seem to rally know what they’re talking about. However, I am having trouble researching where “Colly”, pronounced Coh-lee, came from, as that was the name the Scotch Collie originally went by.

  347. Loong says:

    Turbo will bring such joy to your lives! What a cutie! When our puppy arrived tetrihen years ago, I was given the book The Art of Raising A Puppy by the Monks of New Skete! It is a very helpful and practical book!

  348. I was born in 1941 and grew up with an Old Time Scotch Collie, our Queen of Sheba. I was six years old, recuperating from a case of the mumps. One sunny afternoon my father carried me out to the car and told me we were just going for a ride. Well, to make a long story short, he stopped the car in front of a big, white farmhouse, (This was in Farmington, CT.), got out as the door to the house opened and a girl with long, dark braids came out carrying a puppy, our Sheba. She was crying, but put her in my arms as I jumped out giving me a big smile, and saying she knew I would love and take good care of this very special, beautiful puppy. I grew up with my Sheba and have many wonderful memories of my adventures with her.

    Some years later, when I was grown and able to keep a dog properly, I went back to this farm, hoping I would be able to locate a puppy like my Sheba, but, of course, the farm was gone and the lovely rolling pastures covered with development houses. I was never able to locate a breeder with the integrity to cherish these old lines.

    I am 75 years old and live on 200 acres in southern Vermont. I have a lovely Golden Retriever and two cats, horses gone. How I would love a Scotch collie again. But that is probably just a dream.

    Thank you for this article and for bringing back cherished memories. I hope these dogs will not disappear from the face of the earth.

  349. clio says:

    OMG I was looking at this for a project and my dog looks exactly like the last picture, what type is that last pic because we got her as a rescue and they literally look identical!

  350. Well written, and some serious questions you have raised. I will take some time, think carefully, and read this again before answering or asking anything.

    I would like to know what the Scotch Collie original Breed standard is…was it only based on looks, or did working ability play a part in what they were selecting for? Are their any old books that give this information?

  351. Shep says:

    These dogs originated in rural Scotland centuries ago, there was no breed standard then, people kept and bred the dogs that did the work they wanted them to do and culled the dogs that didn’t. Breed standards weren’t invented until the late 1800s when they started to appear in dog shows. Still, to operate as a breed today and to differentiate yourself from other breeds you need some sort of standard to work with.

    The article above was originally written in May, 2010 and we have made progress since then. Later that year we organized the Old-Time Scotch Collie Association, we now have a written standard that emphasizes intelligence and we have a database to track pedigrees and registrations. I feel that we are continuing McDuffie’s project where he left off and we are making progress.

  352. Louis Koch says:

    Our family is in the process of relocating to Perth, Scotland and will be taking ownership of several thousand acres, containing mixed livestock of sheep and horses. Family consists of 4 adults and 7 children, all coming from a ranch/ farming background. This breed would seem very suitable for our needs of a four legged extension of our family for guard, herding , and companionnship.

    Are you aware of any breeders of Scottish Collies in that area of the UK?

    Thanks for yout time.

  353. Dawn Pecora says:

    Jeannette Lindvig, you are confusing “inbreeding” with line breeding.

  354. melissa roehrs says:

    My sister and I are each looking for a scotch collie puppy. We live in Illinois. Are there any breeders within driving distance? We heard of a breeder in Wisconsin, but I haven’t been able to find any information. We would so appreciate your help. We both recently lost our dogs to old age/cancer. We so…miss our dogs. Thank you!!

  355. The bond between man and dog is one of the only (ever lasting love stories) Simple yet so powerful, and pure. In the dictionary beside the word loyal –there should be a picture of a DOG. We as humans should learn the meaning of true LOVE, from our unjudgemental,devoted to the end dogs.

  356. Debbie says:

    I am near Toronto ontario and have been looking for two years for an english shepherd / farm collie type dog I really like the fuller eyes, blocky head and relaxed ears of these shepherd / collies. I have read that they are great all purpose farm dogs for large and small animals and learn who and what is supposed to be on your property and where. I hope I can find a tricolour but that is secondary to finding a good sound dog.

  357. Barbi Bryers says:

    Many years ago I owned a farm collie that I adopted from a farming family in Upper Michigan, near Newberry. I did not know at the time that it was a Scotch Collie and it was a few years later when I finally found out that Fats Bibbalewski (Bib) was a special breed. She was the most marvelous dog I ever owned. I have been trying to find another one for the past several years, until a friend suggested I get on the internet. I am now retired and have had several Border and Rough coats during my working years, all good dogs,even great, but definitely not a Scotch. I am looking forward to learning more about this breed and hoping to own one, or two, again soon. Thanks for your great article and thank you for the work you are doing to bring this breed back.

  358. Barbi Bryers says:

    I once owned a “farm collie”, that I loved very much. Bib was gentle with all children she came in contact with, enjoyed playing with other dogs, and her best animal buddy was our cat. She only barked when she was uncomfortable with someone, or if she felt that the kids might be in trouble. She was extremely obedient, never caused a mess, always stayed with the kids when outside and knew to come get me if one of them was hurt(I got a terrible scare once when she came to get me and I found the boys playing in an old, rickety, abandoned house that they had been warned about staying away from). She seemed to be able to “think” about a situation and figured out what to do about it. She definitely had the herding instinct as she would gather up all the toys left out, along with her own toys, bring them to her favorite corner in the living room and then lay down in front of them “guarding” them until the boys got home from school when she would check her “herd” over and then go play with the kids. Yes, she did shed, but not significantly and I loved brushing her gorgeous coat so she was brushed at least once a week, but could go longer if necessary. Any dog coat should be brushed regularly; to lower the shedding amount and because many of them seem to enjoy it. She was super easy to train and obeyed commands willingly. So many great things about her and though it has been many, many years since she passed away, I still miss her terribly. I have had many other breeds over the years, including Rough coats(show collies) which are also wonderful dogs, but I’d give my eyeteeth to has another “farm collie”.

  359. Pamela Ruddy says:

    My husband was doing some genealogy research into the Irish side of his family, and came across the dog licenses for some of his relatives in the 1860s. We deciphered the breed as being “Scotch” but (not have heard of the Scotch or landrace collies, we were confused as to why so many of the people on this small Irish island had scottish terriers, which seemed too specific a breed to be right. A bit more searching we came across the mention of a Scotch collie which made a lot more sense, and we found your website. So thank you.

    What may be of interest to you is that my husband has a rather vivid memory of his Great Uncle’s dog ‘stealing’ his biscuit as a small child when they were visiting. This dog was similar to a rough collie, and was used as a working dog.

    Perhaps if these lines of farm collies survived to 40 years ago, they might still be around? His family are from Claire Island in County Mayo, Ireland, but he hasn’t been since he was a boy. Tthe dog license records from the surrounding area are also full of “Scotch” dogs.

  360. Mary-Sue Haliburton says:

    Is anyone in your advocacy group aware of a Beatrice Potter painting of her own dog, an old-type collie? Clearly it had a broader skull and “stop” with a long elegant muzzle. (not the convex profile and narrow skull imported from borzoi). This painting might pique interest among those who appreciate the pastoral/herding dog in general.

    This painting is on page 184 of a book “Beatrice Potter’s Art” by Anne Stevenson Hobbs, fully illustrated in colour throughout. Pub. by The Penguin Group, 1989.
    ISBN 0 7232 3598 8

    Perhaps by giving credits and a link to the publisher your group might be allowed to show this particular painting, which is a ‘from life’ sketch in watercolour, on your site.

  361. Nikki says:

    What if we’re all wrong and the border collie is what was kept in the house and the Scott collie was the one that alerts while doing nothing about it?

  362. In my book, Origins of the Australian Kelpie, I touch on the true history of amongst others, the Border Collie and Smithfield strains. Alex McLeod from Australia was first to name the first Border Collie and I included his reason for calling them Border collies. Today, his definition of a Border collie would certainly eliminate many collies that use the name.
    For those people not familiar my name (Bill Robertson) Along with my wife Kerry, we spent over 12 years researching the collie types that contributed to the Australian Kelpie. We started our research in north of Scotland and visited most of the sites and properties where the collies that contributed to Kelpie came from in the 1870s. Naturally, these locations included the property, “Hindhope” where the first true Border collie (Hindhope Jed) originated from. I can confirm the collies at Hindhope have no relationship to the original collies used by Thomas Elliot way back in 1872. Her Majesty, Queen Victoria had a snarly so-called collie named “Sharp”, he looked more like a Labrador than a collie. The two collies she received from Thomas Elliot were indeed of good collie type, particularly her favorite collie Noble. His image and details are included in my book on the Origins of the Australian Kelpie. Currently, I am completing the History of the Collies which should be complete in the next few months. My I hope this enlightens your readers as to how the wonderful Border collie began. The Elliot family are included in the bibliography at the back of my book.

  363. Teresa says:

    You are right about that, the modern day ‘Old English sheepdog’ was started in the 19th Century, primarily as a show dog, rather than a working breed. However, its name was based on an actual historical breed of herding dog, also called the ‘Old Welsh Grey Sheepdog’. I do not know if the Old Welsh Grey Sheepdog was used in the formation of the English Shepherd. However, another now existent herder/drover called the ‘Smithfield Sheepdog’, was reported to have been taken to the U.S and bred with collies to create the English Shepard. Most likely these dogs would have looked something like the modern day Welsh Sheepdog, and would have been similar in temperament.