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A detailed look at Collie History


| Collie History


Collie History :: Few dogs possess the fertile, resourceful brain of the Collie. He can be trained to perform the duties of other breeds. He makes an excellent sporting dog, and can be taught to do the work of the Pointer and the Setter, as well as that of the Water Spaniel and the Retriever. He is clever at hunting, having an excellent nose, is a good vermin-killer, and a most faithful watch, guard, and companion.



An Aid to Farmers, Collie History

It is, however, as an assistant to the flock-master the farmer, the butcher, and the drover that the Collie takes his most appropriate place in every-day life. The shepherd on his daily rounds, travelling over miles of moorland, could not well accomplish his task without his Collie's skilful aid. One such dog, knowing what is expected of him, can do work which would otherwise require the combined efforts of a score of men.


Collie History and Ancestry

Little is known with certainty of the origin of the Collie, but his cunning and his outward appearance would seem to indicate a relationship with the wild dog. Buffon was of opinion that he was the true dog of nature, the stock and model of the whole canine species. He considered the Sheepdog superior in instinct and intelligence to all other breeds, and that, with a character in which education has comparatively little share, he is the only animal born perfectly trained for the service of man.


Varities of Collie Throughout History

One of the most perfect working Collies in Scotland to-day is the old-fashioned black and white type, which is the most popular among the shepherds of Scotland. At the shows this type of dog is invariably at the top of the class. He is considered the most tractable, and is certainly the most agile.


Then there is the Scottish bearded, or Highland Collie, less popular in Collie History but still with the flock-master, a hardy-looking dog in outward style, but soft in temperament, and many of them make better cattle than sheep dogs. This dog and the Old English Sheepdog are much alike in appearance, but that the bearded is a more racy animal, with a head resembling that of the Dandie Dinmont rather than the square head of the Bobtail.


In Collie history the strong-limbed bearded Collie is capable of getting through a good day's work, but is not so steady nor so wise as the old-fashioned black and white, or even the smooth coated variety. He is a favourite with the butcher and drover who have sometimes a herd of troublesome cattle to handle, and he is well suited to rough and rocky ground, active in movement, and as sure-footed as the wild goat.


In recent years the smooth Collie has gained in popularity quite as certainly as his more amply attired relative. Originally in Collie history he was a dog produced by mating the old-fashioned black and white with the Greyhound. But the Greyhound type, which was formerly very marked, can scarcely be discerned to-day.


Detailed Description Of Collie Attributes and Charactertics in Collie History

THE SKULL should be flat, moderately wide between the ears, and gradually tapering towards the eyes. There should only be a slight depression at stop. The width of skull necessarily depends upon combined length of skull and muzzle; and the whole must be considered in connection with the size of the dog. The cheek should not be full or prominent. THE MUZZLE should be of fair length, tapering to the nose, and must not show weakness or be snipy or lippy. Whatever the colour of the dog may be, the nose must be black.

THE TEETH should be of good size, sound and level; very slight unevenness is permissible. THE JAWS--Clean cut and powerful. THE EYES are a very important feature, and give expression to the dog; they should be of medium size, set somewhat obliquely, of almond shape, and of a brown colour except in the case of merles, when the eyes are frequently (one or both) blue and white or china; expression full of intelligence, with a quick alert look when listening.

THE EARS should be small and moderately wide at the base, and placed not too close together but on the top of the skull and not on the side of the head. When in repose they should be usually carried thrown back, but when on the alert brought forward and carried semi-erect, with tips slightly drooping in attitude of listening.

THE NECK should be muscular, powerful and of fair length, and somewhat arched.

THE BODY should be strong, with well sprung ribs, chest deep, fairly broad behind the shoulders, which should be sloped, loins very powerful. The dog should be straight in front.

THE FORE-LEGS should be straight and muscular, neither in nor out at elbows, with a fair amount of bone; the forearm somewhat fleshy, the pasterns showing flexibility without weakness.

THE HIND-LEGS should be muscular at the thighs, clean and sinewy below the hocks, with well bent stifles.

THE FEET should be oval in shape, soles well padded, and the toes arched and close together. The hind feet less arched, the hocks well let down and powerful.

THE BRUSH should be moderately long carried low when the dog is quiet, with a slight upward "swirl" at the end, and may be gaily carried when the dog is excited, but not over the back.

THE COAT should be very dense, the outer coat harsh to the touch, the inner or under coat soft, furry, and very close, so close as almost to hide the skin. The mane and frill should be very abundant, the mask or face smooth, as also the ears at the tips, but they should carry more hair towards the base; the fore-legs well feathered, the hind-legs above the hocks profusely so; but below the hocks fairly smooth, although all heavily coated Collies are liable to grow a slight feathering. Hair on the brush very profuse.

COLOUR in the Collie and in collie history is immaterial.

IN GENERAL CHARACTER he is a lithe active dog, his deep chest showing lung power, his neck strength, his sloping shoulders and well bent hocks indicating speed, and his expression high intelligence. He should be a fair length on the leg, giving him more of a racy than a cloddy appearance. In a few words, a Collie should show endurance, activity, and intelligence, with free and true action. In height dogs should be 22 ins. to 24 ins. at the shoulders, bitches 20 ins. to 22 ins. The weight for dogs is 45 to 65 lbs., bitches 40 to 55 lbs.

In Collie history THE SMOOTH COLLIE only differs from the rough in its coat, which should be hard, dense and quite smooth. THE MAIN FAULTS to be avoided are a domed skull, high peaked occipital bone, heavy, pendulous or pricked ears, weak jaws, snipy muzzle, full staring or light eyes, crooked legs, large, flat or hare feet, curly or soft coat, cow hocks, and brush twisted or carried right over the back, under or overshot mouth.

| End of Collie History Page |

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