If J. Richard McDuffie is the father of the Old Time Farm Shepherd, then Chandler Strunk would have to be its godfather. I traveled nearly 900 miles in the past 2 days to meet Mr. Strunk, the heir to Richard McDuffie’s Old Time Farm Shepherd efforts, to get the full story about McDuffie’s work with this breed and to hopefully get my female bred. It was great to meet Mr. Strunk’s eight beautiful Old Time Farm Shepherd dogs ranging in color from tri-color to sable and white and even blue-merle, there’s even one with a natural bob-tail.
I was able to get lots of my questions answered today, and he does have pictures of some of Ole Shep’s litter-mates. My scanner was malfunctioning so I wasn’t able to get his pictures scanned today, but the problem has been resolved and will go back tomorrow and scan his photos.
According to Mr. Strunk, when McDuffie was searching for these dogs it was David Carr, a breeder of some renown among Mountain Cur circles, who told Mr. McDuffie of the existence of this line of farm shepherds. The family that had kept this line alive for many years was named Allison and they lived in the small community of Brush Creek, Tennessee. The widow who sold the last of the “Old Bobtail Line” to Richard McDuffie in early 1994 always regretted getting rid of them, years later Mr. Strunk had the idea to give her one of the dogs but when he asked about it he was told that the old woman had died recently.
It seems Mr. Strunk acquired the dogs bit by bit over the years. Ole Rover had been sold to someone in Georgia and came to Strunk’s later in life. Some dogs he acquired in a Leopard Cur/OTFS trade with Richard McDuffie, others he purchased from different individuals. The two females McDuffie used to breed to Ole Shep, Sassy and Moline, ended up at Stunk’s too and produced some litters for him. I can say for sure that of the last litter of the Old Bobtail Line, Mr. Strunk owned Little Bit and Rover as well as a son of Ole Shep named Tank, furthermore he owned their half sister Maggie the other half of whose breeding is a mystery but she looks shepherd to me. I will post all the pictures of these dogs I can get tomorrow.
There is a vast gulf between the farm collie enthusiasts and the treeing shepherd enthusiasts, this is obvious in the fact that the bloodline from the two groups rarely cross even though we are working with the same line of dogs. J. Richard McDuffie was a hunting dog person, so is Chandler Strunk, and although I group myself in the farm collie world, I can relate to the hunters too because long before I got involved with farm collies I used to raise and hunt English Coonhounds. Mr. Strunk has bred a lot of litters over the years and sold them to hunters all over the country, yet very few, if any have made it into the farm collie gene-pool.
I would characterize these dogs as very true to the archetype of the old Scotch Collie. A bit smaller then my Shasta and probably a bit smaller then the average farm collie. Above are pictures of three dogs I took today, I will post more pictures and information tomorrow.
See part 2 of my conversations with Chandler Strunk at https://www.oldtimefarmshepherd.org/2010/09/21/second-day-with-chandler-strunk/