Video of Albert Payson Terhune & Collies

Albert Payson Terhune (1872 – 1942) was a lover of collies who lived at a critical time in Collie history. A time when the show Collie was rapidly changing into a new type of dog. He lamented the change in the breed that he saw but at the same time the AKC and their elite group of dog fanciers exerted tremendous sway in those days and Terhune could not help being swept up in their activities of dog shows and conformation breeding.

Wolf most decidedly was not a show dog. Handsome and wise and fearless he was. But none of those things count in a dog show.

 Albert Payson Terhune

Terhune wrote his first book about Collies, Lad, A Dog in 1919 and went on to write over 25 more each featuring dog prominently and many focusing on his prize winning Collies.

His was the collie heritage—the stark need for comradeship coupled with the unconscious craving to be owned by man and to give his devotion to man, his god.

Albert Payson Terhune

Terhune is widely loved among Collie fanciers and from a century ago his arguments for the original Scotch Collie, a smarter and more able Collie still rings true and inspires some to examine old fashioned Collies. And yet despite Terhune’s love of old fashioned Collies, the Collie Health Foundation denied the Old-Time Scotch Collie Association’s request for a booth at their annual “Gathering at Sunnybank” (Terhune’s home) in 2017 because our Collies are not AKC registered.

You can learn about the differences between the old fashioned “Scotch Collie” and the modern “Rough Collie” by reading our article “Scotch Collie vs. Rough Collie.”

The following rare video of Terhune and his Collies was filmed at his home, Sunnybank, New Jersey in 1925.

Copyright University of South Carolina.

If you are interested in reading Albert Payson Terhune’s books many of them are available online because they are out of copyright. Follow this link to find how to access a few of them.

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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

  6. 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!

  7. 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

  8. 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!

  9. 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.

  10. I received my first Terhune book for my birthday when I was 8. After reading a number of them I decided I would get a collie. Then I saw shelties perform and decided that they were more practical size wise. When I was in New Jersey I took one of my shelties with me when I visited the Terhune park. I let her run on the lawn where the collies had been. It was a marvelous experience.

  11. Are there any videos of Lad? He died in 1916, I believe, and these films are nine years after that. I have seen only one picture of Lad. Thanks for these videos, collies sure look different!

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