THE BORDER COLLIE 

 

   

Where did the Border Collie came from?

For centuries dogs were used to help the shepherd herding his cattle/sheep.

The Border Collie originated in Northumberland on the Scottish/English border.

The biggest passion of the most border collie’s is herding a flock of sheep. But also Agility ,fly-ball ,obedience , breiten - sport you ‘l find top dogs. Also in guide dogs ,hunting ,sled dog racing ,military and protection, and showing rings you find this wonderfull dog.

 "When he hath found the [sheep], he keepeth sure and fast silence, he stayt his steps and will proceed no further and with a close, covert, watching eye, layeth his belly to the ground." Caius. ". . . the dog is apt to break point if the [sheep] runs off, loop out in front, and restablish point farther on."  If you have seen working Border Collies, you may recognize these descriptions of 'eye'; you may or may not recognize that the word " sheep". The concept of the "purebred" dog, the Dog Show, didn't originate until the nineteenth century. Before that time, people bred dogs for their own purposes. If the pups were dual purpose dogs who could both hunt and herd, so much the better.

Dogs were neither spayed nor neutered, and probably many ran loose. Breeds were therefore mixed according to the dogs' choice as well as that of their owners. Even after the formation of the ISDS (International Sheep Dog Society) and the stud book for Border Collies, dogs were still admitted if they could prove working ability. Quality of working dogs has always been more important than "genetic purity." We don't have records of all the dogs that went into the formation of the modern Border Collie, but we can draw some conclusions from genetic traits that are still in the breed.

In the Middle Ages, a type of spaniel was bred, the ancestor of some of our modern spaniels, that would naturally crouch when it located game. Hunters had no very accurate weapons for shooting small birds at a distance; they would throw a net over the crouching dog and the birds together. This "instinct" to crouch is probably the origin of the Border Collie crouch. Ever look at the color pattern on a Springer Spaniel? It is still present in the Border Collie, too.

Later on, the setter or pointer was developed, with the behavior. The hunting instinct of the primitive dog was inhibited, the dog would stop, stay back, and point to its prey instead of attacking it. There is little doubt that this is the origin of "eye" in the Border Collie. The strong-eyed dog that refuses to get up and move its sheep is no different from the bird dog that is "staunch on point." In the hunting dog it is an asset; in the sheepdog it goes too far. It is the same response. The original cross of birddog/sheepdog may have been accidental, it may have been a search for the multi-purpose dog. Whatever the reason, this behavior, added to the sheepdog, made a better working dog--one that was more effective and easier on the sheep than the old style that probably moved sheep by barking and biting.

We know that the Gordon Setter was created when the Duke of Gordon bred his good setting dog to his shepherd's good herding bitch in the early 1700's. Why would he have done this? History tells that the herding bitch was already an excellent hunting dog; the shepherd refused to sell, so the Duke's only recourse was to breed, and to be satisfied with the pups.

In a similar way, the greyhound and whippet were crossed with the collie. If the greyhound was faster than the sheepdog, she was bred to the sheepdog, and the pups were faster sheepdogs than the parent. They might also be smarter and have more stamina than the greyhound. (This was still going on when Glyn Jones' father was raising and training Border Collies in Wales.) These mixed dogs were called lurchers, and many of them and their descendants ended up registered as Border Collies. One of the common ear types in modern Border Collies clearly comes from the greyhound or whippet.

Even within the ISDS registry we can identify additions of Bearded Collies to the breed. The most famous is S.E. Batty's Maddie, bred by the great W.B. Telfer, and carrying the ISDS registry number 8! She is the great great great grandmother of Wilson's Cap (3036) the great wartime dog who appears in so many of our modern pedigrees.

People who are unfamiliar with Border Collies often look at my two mismatched samples and say "well, they really aren't a breed, are they?" I usually, indignantly, point out that they are one of the oldest breeds, in terms of purposeful selection of breeding stock over the generations. But, in a sense, the Border Collie is not a breed, not if the definition of a breed is "a group of interbred dogs that all look alike." Not even if the definition is "a group of dogs selected for genetic purity." The Border Collie is a breed in which selection has been for behavior, performance, utility to the stock farmer and shepherd. It retains the visual characteristics of all its many ancestors, and every puppy that is born is a delightful surprise, an individual who may look like his mother and/or his father, or like no dog anyone has ever seen before.   

A lovely film abouth herding border collies.Click her.

 

 

 

Films on you tube abouth how it's done by problem behaivior....for example:

Not  every dog likes to be cuttled, just have a look and learn the body langues of a dog.

Conditionairing of not wanted behaivior.

 

 

 

The Border Collie and the Show Ring

            Many trials, including the very first one in 1873, also had a "type" competition after the dogs ran the course.  The "type" competition was, essentially, what we call today a dog show.  There the dogs were evaluated on physical structure to determine which was best suited to perform the job of sheepherding.  The farmers and shepherds who participated in the first trials and type competitions were, above all else, stockmen.  (Women did not get involved in sheepdog trialing until much later.)  As stockmen, they were comfortable with the idea of evaluating an animal's physical structure against a standard based upon the animal's purpose: whether that purpose was wool production, meat for marketing or working stock.

            Border Collies were shown in the conformation ring in New Zealand and Australia for many years before they were finally recognized in Great Britain (1976) and the United States (1995).

 

To have a Border Collies watch also these video's !

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1aSsWb4G-GI&feature=player_embedded#at=578 part 1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikDXWtT-uG8&NR=1 part 2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yc40M3nPDaw&feature=related part 3

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-lPK1IfOeo&feature=related part 4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dH-4BmMYniY&feature=related part 5

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FWzPaLDrQGQ&feature=related part 6

 

 

EARLY BRITISH SHEEPDOGS

 

The British working Colleys of the 1700's and 1800's came from the mixing of Roman and Viking dogs and later Polish Lowland dogs, and in some strains also African dogs. As you would expect they evolved into something very different. They evolved into dogs that were needed by the farmers in Britain. At one time almost every county or shire had their own separate strain of sheepdog (or Colley).

What people tend to forget is that there were many different strains of sheepdogs in Britain. They were all called Collies or actually 'Working Colleys' as it was spelt in that period.

Because the population in Britain was no where near as mobile as today some of these early strains were well set in small areas of Great Britain for many generations. One of the best known was the Rutherford Strain .

The Rutherford strain goes back hundreds of years in the highlands of Scotland and had nothing to do with the formation of the Border Collie breed. Some of the Rutherford family migrated to Australia and bred sheepdogs here as well.

Many of these strains (or breeds) of sheepdogs have since ceased to exist such as the Harlequin Collie, Welsh Grey Collie, the Bob-Tailed Collie, Rutherford North Country Collies, the English Handy dog, Dorset Sheepdog, (Scotch Collie), Ban Dog, The Highland Collie, Welsh Hillman, (Fox Collies) etc. Today we still have Collie Roughs (The Lassie dog), Bearded Collies, Shetland Sheepdogs, Smithfields, Shetland Sheepdogs, Old English sheepdogs, etc.

A strain that became famous were used by the shepherds working on the estates of the Duke of Bedsford. They were known as the 'Woburn pack' and formed from foundation stock bought by the shepherds from the highlands and lowlands of Scotland.

The Highland Collie is said to have remained quite pure in it's type until Queen Victoria took an interest in the breed and made them popular. They were a heavy coated dog, strongly built. He worked aggressive Highland cattle and mountain sheep. It has been reported that Highland Collies had double dew claws on their back legs. Even today little are born with claws on their back legs.I had it in one little of my Rough collies.

 

 

 

THE SUSSEX SHEEPDOG

 

The Welsh Hillman was similar to working dogs in North Africa and it has been reported that they originally came from that country. They were a similar dog to one used by the early Phoenicians and were probably bought to Britain by the Romans with flocks of sheep from North Africa.

The Welsh Greys were known to be especially good at working large mobs of feral goats. There was also the Dorset Sheepdog, this was a strong dog that is said to have had a faithful nature to their owner. They were one of the few breeds strong enough to handle the headstrong Portland sheep which were so aggressive they often attacked and butted the dog.

 

There was also the Smithfield. These dogs used to drove stock to the London Markets, to a place called Smooth Field. In 1860 the area was redeveloped and renamed the Smithfield Meat Market. I believe another strain of these dogs were called 'Ban dogs'. They are said to have been badly treated by their owners and often left to roam at the markets.

The Smithfield is still used in Australia but mainly in Victoria and Tasmania. The Smithfield is a bob-tailed dog and mabey the original ones were only black and white coloured. In fact the book, Dogs of Australia, stated that they were black with a white ring around the neck and extending down the front of the dog. They had long hair, big hanging ears and a cumbersome gait.

In 1862, the very first Dog show was held in Australia. this was in Hobart, Tasmania. It is interesting to note that one Smithfield Colley and one Black & tan Colley were shown here.

 

THE DORSET SHEEPDOG

Also known as the Old Downland Sheepdog

 

Another strain of British Working Collie was called Laudies. These dogs were used by the the shepherds on the estates of the Lord of Lonsdale. There was also the Irish Sheepdog which resembled the old Scotch Collie. These dogs were similar in size and type to the modern Border Collie and were black and white but had a coat more like a Bearded Collie.

There were also the Black & Tan Collies of Galway. There was reported to be strains of these dogs on the Isle of man and they were called 'Holding Dogs'. The Black & Tan Collie is thought to have been bought to Wales and North scotland by the Vikings and there are similar dogs in Norway called 'Moo Dogs', which are used for working Moose and cattle. These strains became concentrated in Ross and Cromarty and British writers have reported that this strain is in the Kelpie.

The Lundehund was also bought to Britain by the Vikings. They think the Pembroke Corgi may decend from them. The Lundehund was used mainly for hunting and digging out the Puffin bird.

There were also the Glenwheny Collies. These were blue and white dogs and found mainly in the County of Antrim. They had blue eyes but their body was not mottled like the Blue Merles.

There were also the Stumpy Tailed Collies of Ireland. It is thought they came originally from Spain in the the 1st century A.D. They were reported as being exceptional good workers and the short tails were natural and not docked. The end of the short tail had a white tip.

There was even an exceptional working strain formed in the USA from British Working Collies in the 1800's called the McNab. These were from a British strain Alexander McNab referred to as 'Fox Collies' from the Grampian Hills of Scotland. They had erect ears, light build and the occasional occurrence of red colour. Short coats were favoured in the Californian conditions.

In an article by Lulu McNab written in 1894 she said they had worked on the property in Mendocino for more than 25 years which would mean they had to be there by the 1860's when Alexander McNab first settled in the region. Lulu McNab referred to the dogs as Scotch collies and only later did they become known as McNabs.

Some other American breeds such as the English Shepherd and the Australian Shepherd were also thought to be developed from British Working Collies. (Yes, both these breeds, despite the names are solely American breeds and not found in England or Australia.)

 

Northumbrian Type

     Almost all present-day Border Collies can trace their pedigrees back to a dog known as Old Hemp.  Hemp was born in 1894, bred and owned by Adam Telfer, who lived in the Northumbrian region of England.  Hemp was a cross between a very strong-eyed, black bitch with a reticent temperament and a black and white tri-colored dog with loose eye and a good natured, outgoing temperament.  Hemp was a powerful, keen worker who sired over 200 puppies.  Physically, Hemp was the epitome of the Northumbrian type:  medium-sized with a rough coat and very little white trim.

 

 

Wiston Cap Type

    This type developed from J.M. Wilson’s dog, Cap, through Jock Richardson’s outstanding trial and stud dog, Wiston Cap.  Also rough coated, these dogs tend to be larger, with big, blocky heads and much more white trim – collars, chests, forelegs, etc.  They typically have tremendous natural outruns and biddable natures.

 

Nap Type

    Of the four types of Border Collies, the Nap Type is the only smooth coated one.  The name comes from a dog called Whitehope Nap.  These dogs are strong, fast and powerful.  Their coat is short, but has an undercoat to act as insulation from cold or heat. Many have longer legs and shorter bodies, making their outline more square than the other types.  Because of their short coats, speed, and power, many Americans used them to work cattle on large ranches in the Southwest.

 

Herdman’s Tommy Type

    The last type is named after a Hemp grandson, Herdman’s Tommy.  Three of the four main breeding lines to Hemp go back through Tommy.  Physically, Tommy was a medium-sized dog with a lot of bone.  His rough coat was black and white with tan markings.  This type is known for their good nature, power and strong-headedness.

 

 

Another article on the web i found interesthing was this one.

 

THE WELSH SHEEPDOG
by Linda Rorem (this article originally appeared in the
American Herding Breed Association newsletter)

As John Holmes comments in The Farmer's Dog, "There are several other types of Collie quite distinct from the Border Collie in that they are 'loose- eyed' workers." Dogs of this type were found all over Britain; taken to America by settlers, they became the basis for such American farm dogs as the English Shepherd and Australian Shepherd. Although collies are most often associated with Scotland, one of these strains was developed in Wales. The Welsh Sheepdog, also referred to as Welsh Collie, is believe to have become established in the 19th century when working collies from Scotland were blended with the old native Welsh breeds such as the Black and Tan Sheepdog, the sable or blue-merle Hillman, and the shaggy Old Welsh Grey. The Welsh Sheepdog that resulted remained as a close-working, upright, loose-eyed dog, at about the same period of time that the strong-eyed Border Collie was being developed from trial-winning strains of working collie. Eventually, in Wales as in other areas of Britain the loose-eyed dog was nearly ousted by the stylish "eye" dog, but articles recently appearing in British publications reveal an interest in preserving the earlier type of Welsh farm collie. Photos accompanying the articles show dogs similar in appearance to other breeds of old working collie ancestry. Colors are black, black and white, black and tan, tricolor, red, sable, and blue merle. Ears are small and folded forward. Coats may be rough or smooth.

In "The Return of the Welsh Sheepdog," Farmers Weekly, March 1997, by Tessa Gates, Welsh farmer John Davies, who has over 1,000 sheep and also raised Welsh Black cattle, gives some background on the breed and talks about the drovers who took stock from Wales to London in the 19th century. "The Welsh sheepdog is good with cattle as well as sheep, and in those days 700 cattle would be taken to London by just a few men and the dogs. One dog would run in front, leading and clearing the way with the others dogs driving from behind. The dogs would keep the stock together overnight and act as guards against robbers . . . The drovers' dogs had hard pads, they were strong and vocal, with the stamina to work all day and a bark that kept the animals moving. Welsh sheepdogs work with their tails held high and bark and drive the sheep out, and they will keep going even in a hot summer. They are fast and use their brains. A Border collie listens to commands, a Welsh sheepdog works independently. I had three or four Border collies some years ago and although they were good for trial work, I can't get my sheep in with them. When you have a large number of sheep the ones in front don't know the Border collie is there . . ." Over the years, interest in trialing, furthered by eventual television coverage, had helped bring the Border Collie to predominance in Wales. Many of he remaining Welsh Sheepdogs were mated to Border Collies. Mr. Davies became concerned when he had difficulty finding Welsh Sheepdog mates for his own dogs. As a result, he began making more inquiries and called a meeting of people interested in the breed. "Over 60 farmers came and we received 100 telephone calls all from people saying they would like to see the breed come back." He also was able to find unrelated dogs to mate with his own. He found interest not only in Wales, but in the Lake District and Devon in England.

As a result, the Cymdeithas Cwn Cymreig (Welsh Sheepdog Society) has been formed. Further information is given in ""The Welsh Dog -- A Part of the Nation's Heritage", by Aza Pinney, in Working Sheepdog News:

"The most significant decision that was taken was that the initial register of dogs would be made up only of those dogs which could work satisfactorily in front of the Breed's Inspection Panel. 44 dogs were put forward than night, and since then a number more have been notified . . .

"In work the Welsh Dogs are divided into two types by a mixture of instinctive preference and training; there are those dogs who will head the sheep and there are those that will follow or drive them. How the latter dogs work reveals the ability and origins of the Welsh Dog as a drover's dog whereas the heading dogs had a different job to do. The fencing of the common grounds and hills is quite recent, and the heading dogs could keep their charges in a flock and under control in open ground. They would stop them from getting mixed up with others and, just as importantly, they would be used to protect crops grown in open fields and even save the vegetables and flowers in unfenced gardens from the predations of the ever hungry grazing sheep. No doubt the dogs had also a guarding role and would drive off both human and animal predators. Whichever task it does every Welsh Dog must be able and willing to bark.

"Eye and style will not feature in the Inspection Panel's criteria. What will be seen will be dogs that are plain in their work and that will hold both their heads and their tails up. What will impress the Panel will be the power to move a large number of sheep, face up to stubborn rams and be unafraid of cattle; a valued characteristic is the ability of the dogs to think for themselves yet at the same time to have a willingness to listen. It is an intelligent breed and is adaptable to different tasks but it has enough sprit and sense of independence to resist training in isolation -- that is why almost all breaking in is done 'on the job.' . . .

"If the members of the new Society can build upon their initial and shared enthusiasm the Welsh Dog will survive not as a museum piece but as part of the nation's heritage with as much relevance to today's flockmasters and shepherds as it had to their forebears."

Contact information:
Welsh Sheepdog Society
Mr. Cledwyn Fychan (pronounced Vagh)
Secretary
Pen-Arth
Pennant
Llannon
Credigion SY23 5JP
Wales, UK
Tel. 01144 545 570 066
 

 

     The character of the border collie.  

The character of a Border Collie shows some remarkable points .He/she should be neither nervous nor aggressive ,but keen ,alert , responsive and intelligent. A Border Collie is an ideal family pet.  But it needs some exhausting walk/work during the day.

 

The border collie is a very active dog.

That's what you need to remain before you buying a border collie. Border Collies are excelent in sheephearding but you can do alternatives as: agility,  flyball, obedience, doggydancing, breitensport, frisbeen, etc. 

 


Overview of the usual commands;

Lie down

That ‘LL do

On your feet

 Come by

Away

Steady

Push

 


Are you Border Collie material?

How much are you at home? Does your job require you to travel with any frequency? What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Are there facilities close to your home for exercising your border collie? You do not have to sacrifice you social life, abandon your spouse, or give up other interests to own a border collie, but you will have to make adjustments. If you live alone and travel as a regular part of your job, consider another breed. If you would rather spend time at a sports bar, a concert, or an athletic event than working your border collie, do yourself a favor and buy a stuffed dog.

A Border Collie is not a good choice for somebody who has never owned a dog before.
However life is never so straight forward and Border Collies can make good pets in the right home, indeed most of the border collies go to non working [sheep trial/farm ]homes.
They are a working breed with strong working instincts, chasing and nipping being the main problems, making them unsuitable for the novice dog owner. If you know what you are doing and are prepared to put in the effort to train the mind and body they do make greath companions !!!  

 

 

Are they easy to train, because they very intelligence?

  People think that Border Collies are "easy" to train. This is because they are misled by watching One Man And His Dog , see agility sports or films like Babe. The former are working dogs trained by professional handlers and the latter is a Hollywood fantasy. Defining "most intelligent" is a highly subjective thing, and depends on what traits (such as trainability, reasoning ability, independent thinking, fitness for a particular task, etc.) you consider to be signs of intelligence. Still, by most standards Border Collies are very intelligent dogs. They are highly trainable and have good reasoning abilities. It's not unusual for them to learn a new command in just a few minutes with only a few repetitions. But their intelligence can also be a problem: many times they quickly learn things that the owner didn't intend for them to learn, and would prefer they didn't know! Their intelligence is one of the reasons that they tend to get bored (and into trouble) easily. But then, it's also one of the reasons they can excel in obedience training and competition. However, Border Collies do not train themselves. All dogs need owners who are willing to commit the time to obedience training if the dogs are to become good companions, and the Border Collie is by no means an exception.  

 

Are they good with children?

  If properly socialised the Border Collie is affectionate and loving. When properly socialized and well-supervised with children, some Border Collies can be fine. Those individuals often seem to know how boisterous or how gentle they need to be with different children. But Border Collies must be supervised around children to make sure neither hurts the other inadvertently.
But the quick unpredictable movement of children, can cause a Border Collie to nip with excitement since his senses are easily stimulated. Providing care is taken and proper supervision is given, your children and a Border Collie can become great friends.
No dog should ever be left unsupervised with small children.

   

 

Do Border Collies have health problems?

  Generally the Border Collie is a healthy animal and they have few heath problems.

The hipscore in Holland  is a must to make sure that the parents are hip-scored and free of hip disseas. [I test my stockdogs at  14/15 month] 

We my breed only with :

Hipscore A - or  B FCI scale


However there are also  eye complaints to be aware of; 

Collie Eye Anomaly (c.e.a.) ,Progressive Retinal Atrophy (p.r.a.) and Caterac .  

Eye testing is in Holland a rule to do from prox. with 18-up to .. years].

 And after that every year one time untill 4 years.

 

In the past I did test the puppy's before they go to another home.[7 weeks] on CEA.

Untill this spring where all my dogs went tested Normal on there DNA CEA tests.

 

They are all free.

We also tested on TNS-CL-MDR.1 they where also free/ Normal.

 

"Do not take too much notice of people who say that it does not matter what a sheepdog looks like as long as it works - there has never been a first-class dog yet which did not look good, and always remember that, if your dog or bitch is used for breeding at some time in the future, you will want both looks and brains."


--H. Glyn Jones, A Way of Life: Sheepdog Training, Handling and Trialling