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Collie rough - breed history


Unfortunately, the Collie's exact origins are shrouded in mystery. Over the years, it has been the subject of much research and speculation. The famous 18th century naturalist Buffoon, held the opinion that the Collie was one of the oldest breeds in the canine family. However, it has never been proven that the Collie was in fact a descendant of the ancient sheepdog. The origin of the word "Collie" is as obscure as the breed itself. Though several new theories have recently been advanced, on the origin of the breed and its name, due to the lack of irrefutable data, nothing can be proven without a doubt. What we do know, is that in the 19th century, the Collie was used extensively as a herding dog and hailed from the highlands of Scotland and Northern England. Some sources claim that the Collie's original ancestors were brought to the British Isles by Roman conquerors in the middle of the first century. One of the most important Collies, a dog named Old Cockie, became recognized in 1868. All show Collies trace back to Old Cockie through his sable and white grandson Charlemagne, whose pedigree shows the only two sables: Maude, his dam, and her sire, Old Cockie. Old Cockie live fourteen years as a cherished and pampered companion of Mr. James Bissell. He was born in the late 1860s, and it is one of the first well-known collies and it is also believed that he introduced the genes for the gorgeous sable colors present in the collie. Old Cockie was the sire of Maude, who was bred to Trefoil to produce a dog named Ch Charlamagne. Born in 1879, Charlamagne became the grandsire to Ch Metchley Wonder, a top winning Collie who was purchased for such a high price that the sale made headlines.



Old Cockie


Ch Metchley Wonder


Trefoil, Honpipe a Hulakin was another famous collies. Three males (all tricolored) from the late 1800s that became the foundation of the collie breed as we know them today. They were bred by S.E. Shirley. Trefoil, who can be traced back in the lines of many purebred collies today, sired Charlemagne who first appeared in the show ring in 1877 and went on to become a champion and make a large impact on the breed as well.

Whatever the origins, by the late 1800's the Collie was firmly implanted in the British Isles as the Herding dog of choice! However the true popularity of the breed came about during the 1860's when Queen Victoria visited the Scottish Highlands and fell in love with the breed. Several.







After the industrial revolution, dog ownership became fashionable, and these early collies were believed to have been crossed with the Borzoi (Russian Wolfhound) to get a more "noble" head, which is today one of the true characteristics of the Rough Collie. Other crosses occurred with the Irish Setter and Labrador Retriever. The Irish Setter cross is the only one that could have genetically resulted in the introduction of the sable colour to the Rough Collie breed.


Collies returned with her to her Balmoral kennels. From that point on Collies became very fashionable. The show Collie as we know it today, was developed by a handful of dedicated English breeders during the late 1880's in the district of Birmingham.