April 4, 2018
FROM THE ORIGINS TO THE FIRST
Publication Date May 20, 2009
To investigate about the origins of the collie is an hard task.
The different breeds, which now make up the lineage, have likely a
recent common origin, but their roots, between reality and fantasy,
between the press and literature, history and myth, make their way
to the dawn of time.
The hypothesis now commonly accepted is that this breed, as we
know it today, is the result of a selection that took place through
the centuries following the evolution of human civilization, because
this dog has linked his fate to the man in a indissoluble way and it
has adapted its evolution to its needs.
The story we are going to tell is not about one breed, but a
series of breeds of an absolutely extraordinary variety, born and
evolved, and in some cases disappeared, but all committed to build
that "collie family tree” that has monopolized the last two
centuries most of the arts and sciences related to the dog. It is
not pure fantasy. There is a scientific basis for this.
In 2004, it was published a study by Dr. Katrina L. Mealey of
the University of Washington and by the group of dr. Mark W. Neff of
the University of California, concerning the presence of the mutated
gene mdr1-1Δ (for the sensitivity of the collie to ivermectin) in
some breeds that have a reasonable possibility of being related to
the collie. These researchers based their study on a scheme of a
family tree designed by Linda Rorem since 1997. The scheme, that we
show here adapted to our purpose, shows the relationship between the
different breeds of collie and their ancestors. This is of course a
simplification, as other races have contributed, although in a less
determinant way to the evolution of the dog which later became the
collie, but it can be deduced that the different breeds in existence
today, beyond their remotest origins, have as main ancestor, the old
working collie in Great Britain and Ireland in the first half of the
nineteenth century and evolved in these regions by the early Middle
Ages until the dawn of dog shows (c. 1860).
The conclusions, that the work of the American researchers
reached, are as follows:
a mutation, which lies in the genetic of the collie, causes
a sensibility to certain drugs, the most notable one is the
this mutation is not very old, but it is born from 40 to 120
generations (160-480 years) ago in the evolutionary line of the
all the breeds that have this mutation are descendants of a
dog who lived in Britain and Ireland before the
genetic isolation of breeds that originated by the institution
of the Stud Books (c. 1873);
from this common ancestor descended at least nine distinct
breeds, and this is proven by the presence of the mutated gene
the breeds that don’t have the mutated gene (marked by a
green check in the diagram) must have genetically detached in
the era preceding the appearance of the mutation, or they were
in a genetic niche within the genetic drift has selected "by
chance" some individuals free of the mutated gene.
Between nine breeds in which it is found the gene mdr1-1Δ, there
are two of the greyhounds created in the end of the last century in
the United States, the Longhaired Whippet and Silken Windhound,
whose relationship with the collie seemed unexpected. In fact, the
second of the two bredds was achieved only in the last thirty years,
from the first, and this have among its ancestors the Whippet and
Borzoi, both exempt from mutation, but also the Shetland Sheepdog,
where it is instead present.
The origins of those dogs that have contributed to the creation
of collies are very old.
his book "A General History of Quadrupeds" (1790) Thomas Bewick
describes a dog that looks like an ancestor of the collie, quite
similar to another dog described a few years later by the Rev. W.
Bingley in the book "Memoirs of British Quadrupeds" ( 1808). In both
books the collie never mentioned (or colley as it was initially
called since 1840) but their description leaves no doubt: it is the
dog that guarded for centuries the sheep on the Scottish Highlands,
and that for this scope has developed a unique character and mental
development, as well as physical, that has distinguished from most
other herding breeds.
history of the collie is therefore the history of the lands of
Scotland and of the peoples who inhabited this area and, first among
them , there were those that the Greeks called Celts and Romans,
Gauls, and that, starting from the 6th century BC, began to conquer
Between the 3rd and 1st century B.C. the Celts, going back to
Europe from the Iberian peninsula, invaded the British Islands,
taking possession of Brittany, Wales, Cornwall, Ireland and
The history of this people is full of heroic and magical tales,
myths and fantasies, of adventure and love, that the later medieval
legends attributed to King Arthur and Merlin, the Knights of the
They met in their expansion the populations of Indo-European
origin arrived in Europe, perhaps as early as the fourth millennium
B.C. and whose relationship with the sheep dogs began about 1,000
years early, at the time of the "Neolithic Revolution." This was a
period very revolutionary, because it was passed from an economy
based on hunting to agriculture and farming, with radical changes in
human life, from food to way of living, from the relationship with
the environment to that with other men, and it also determined an
evolution in the role of the dog, so around 5000 B.C. can be dated
the birth of the sheepdog in Europe.
The Celts were basically a nation of warriors, but their economy
was based on agriculture and pastoralism, for which the dogs were of
great utility. And probably they were called "collies" the
dogs used for driving cattle, with a word which in the Celtic
language means "useful", or more likely the name of this
dog could come from black-faced sheep, calls "Colleys"
from the Anglo-Saxon word "coal,"
which means "black."
Black was also the original color of the
The importance that the Celts gave to the dog is evidenced by
their myths and their culture. The ancient and legendary hound of
the Celts (probably the ancestor of the current Irish Wolfhound) was
used in hunting to the large ungulates and to defend their flocks
from wolves. When, in 1600, the wolf went extinct on the British
mainland, the dogs used for its hunting ceased to be indispensable
and risked the extinction, but fortunately for centuries the dogs of
the Celts, crossing with dogs already present on the occupied
territories, had taken, on the path of evolution, the road that
would turn by defenders to conductors of the flock.
In 55 B.C. the Romans with Cesar began to expand into Europe.
They advanced bringing with them the livestock and dogs that Marco
Terenzio Varrone has described as large animals, white, black and
brown, selected especially for the defense of the flock: these dogs
resembled likely to today's Bernese Mountain Dogs. In 43 A.D.
the Romans came with the Emperor Claudius in Britain, going up to
the borders of Scotland.
The Romans contributed to improve the breeding of livestock, by
introducing kind of sheep more selected, which gave an impulse to
the wool industry, so vital for the economy. And it is logic to
think that in the years of the Roman occupation, the dogs arrived
following the invaders were profoundly transformed by mixing with
the local dogs of the Celts that in turn had already been influenced
by those of pre-existing populations.
In those lands, the Romans remained until 410 A.D. when finally
withdrew to the continent where they were threatened by the Huns and
Visigoths, leaving the field open to immigration, rather than
invasion, of the Anglo-Saxons. These were a set of various Germanic
tribes coming from Jutland (the Angles and Jutes) and the
north-western Germany (Saxons). The economy of these people was
prosperous, thanks to their trade, and their lords were wealthy and
rich of livestock and land, and they were able to learn from the
local people that technical superiority in agriculture that they had
thanks to the Romans. The economy begins to emerge based on the
medieval castle as the nucleus of aggregation, including all the
constituents of the economy, by the Lords to slaves from the lands
to the livestock and dogs.
In 793 the Vikings began to attack the shores of Britain, first
in the form of pirates, then in a more and more continuous way. The
link between the Viking warriors and their dogs is demonstrated by
the frequency with which these are found in the tombs, buried with
their owners. The Vikings dogs were the spitz evolved over a period
of nearly 5000 years from the arctic wolf to domestic dogs. The
Vikings brought with them some hunting dogs and dogs herd similar to
Icelandic Sheepdog. From these dogs it is supposed that other races
have evolved including the Shetland Sheepdogs. The Viking
occupation lasted until 1066, when Britain was invaded by the
Each invasion brought new types of livestock and dogs, and these
dogs crossed with the local dogs, giving rise to new varieties. The
wool industry was necessary to the economy, for that reason they
were bred, raised and trained dogs that could be useful as
conductors and keepers of flocks. The features required were a thick
and waterproof coat in order to protect them from the harsh weather
conditions, high intelligence, a strong temperament and remarkable
Starting from the year 1000 the growth in the economic,
technical and cultural field had begun in Europe. During those
years, the destruction of large tracts of forests had made available
the vast pastures, which were subsequently split, causing the
fragmentation of property and farms in smaller and smaller units.
The shepherds selected their "useful" dogs depending on
the skills required, ie, the different types of livestock and the
different climatic and environmental conditions.
it has developed from common ancestors, also the two varieties,
long-haired and short-haired, began to separate as a result of the
work done and the places where they held it. The rough collie, the
long-haired variety, worked with the flocks of sheep, while the
smooth collie, short haired, was probably used as a cattledog to
drive cattle. While the former continued to work in the highlands of
Scotland, the latter came down to the valley where the climate was
more humid, but less stiff.
The pastoral life in Britain suffered for centuries profound
changes. These socio-economic changes have certainly changed the
type of work made by the dogs, because it was no longer necessary to
drive the sheep over long distances to the markets. And these
changes in agricultural practices led to the disappearance of many
more breeds or varieties that do not meet the new requirements:
Smithfields, Beards and Shags, Dorset Sheepdogs (or Old Downlands),
Galway Collies (including the famous Trefoil that was a copy),
Highland Collies, Manx sheepdogs, Rutherford North Country Collies,
Welsh Hillman, Grey Collies and Welsh
all varieties of Collie disappeared gradually because they were not
able to adapt to these changes.
The new geographical discoveries promoted, during the 17th and
18th century, the spread of the collie in the world. The sheepdogs
and shepherds are descendants of British collie that accompanied the
early pioneers in America and Australia along with their livestock.
On 6 September 1620, the galleon Mayflower sailed from Plymouth
in England directly in the new world, carrying 115 Pilgrim Fathers.
They were accompanied by livestock and that dogs that then were
emerged. The descendants of these collies gradually scattered all
over the American continent, especially during the "gold rush" of
1840, when the great demand for wool and meat moved large flocks of
sheep from west to California and New Mexico.
In 1788 the Captain James Cook landed at Port Jackson (now
Sydney) in Australia with his cargo of convicts, guards, food,
livestock and dogs (presumably the working collie then used in the
UK) starting the colonization that in the next century would be
extended to the whole continent. The colonist needed a strong dog,
with great strength, able to control and move large herds of
livestock through huge pastures. This necessity caused the selection
of different breeds depending on livestock which they were used and
the areas in which they operated.
The industrial revolution brought about great changes in British
society during the reign of Queen Victoria (1837-1901) and the
socio-economic changes also changed the role of many breeds of dogs,
so much that since then to have a dog became fashion than a
that time the dogs had been selected considering their physical
characteristics and their ability to work, but by that time the
purposes of the selection changed radically. The final blow was
given from the first dog show.
So we arrive to the nineteenth century with the spread of a new
variety of working collie, well adapted to the new opportunities
that the sheep farming expressed. But what marked a revolution,
maybe not positive, in the role of the dog, was in 1860 the start of
dog shows, because they directly influenced the purpose of
selection, which from then the aim was direct to the form rather
than to the function.
At the dawn of the nineteenth century, therefore, lived in Great
Britain, Ireland and Scotland a type of collie, by which it was
selected the current Collie for the expositions, and that has
continued to exist as a farm dog or family dog, at least until 1950.
This type of collie had Scottish characteristics widely varying, but
it was distinguished by a coat not too long, big eyes, the
pronounced stop, and the wider skull, along with great intelligence
and versatility were the indispensable companion to the shepherd, as
it was shown and described in 1790 by Thomas Bewick in the book A
General History of Quadrupeds:
“This useful animal, ever faithful to his charge, reigns at
the head of the flock; where he is better heard, and juore attended
to, than even the voice of the shepherd. Safety, order, and
discipline, are the fruits of his vigilance and activity. In those
large tracts of land which, in many parts of our island, are solely
appropriated to the feeding of Sheep and other cattle, this
sagacious animal is of the utmost importance. Immense flocks may be
seen continually ranging over these extensive wilds, as far as the
eye can reach, seemingly without control : their only guide is the
shepherd, attended by his Dog, the constant companion of his toils :
it receives his commands, and is always prompt to execute them ; it
is the watchful guardian of the flock, prevents them from
straggling, keeps them together, and conducts them from one part of
their pasture to another : it will not suffer any strangers to mix
with them, but carefully keeps off every intruder. In driving a
number of Sheep to any distant part, a well trained Dog never fails
to confine them to the road ; he watches every avenue that leads
from it, where he takes his stand, threatening every delinquent, and
pursues the stragglers, if any should escape, and forces them into
order, without doing them the least injury. If the herdsman be at
any time absent from the flock, he depends upon his Dog to keep them
together ; and as soon as he gives the well-known signal, this
faithful creature conducts them to his master, though at a
Without ever naming it, this article describes very precisely
the spirit and the work of the collie, as well as the shepherds of
the time required it!
SHOW TO THE
BIRTH OF KC
Even the cinofilia, as well as other
subjects related to art, science and
literature, benefited from that historical
period called "Victorian age", which
coincided with the years of the reign of the
great Queen Victoria, from 1837 to 1901. The
rise and the spread of love for nature and
animals encouraged the culture of the dog
and all activities linked to it. So it
began, in the second half of the 19th
century, the first timid attempts to
organize and regulate the dog world by
encouraging the transformation of its role,
remained for centuries confined within an
agricultural society adapting it to the
emerging industrial society. Without that
period, and without demonstrations that
flourished at that time, the dog probably
would not have enjoyed the popularity it
enjoys this day.
In those years were born the first
exhibitions of beauty, that so much had to
have in propagating the new function of the
most faithful friend of man when, later,
that of "worker" began to fail.
These exhibitions, shyly appeared
already in the 40s in the form of improvised
and convivial meetings of enthusiasts,
generally took place at markets and public
places, and usually at fairs in other
animals utilities, attracting gradually more
and more interest, because in them you could
compare amicably and discuss the qualities
of their heroes, spreading the excitement
and pleasure of participation.
called initially, because the dogs were
displayed on benches or platforms as somehow
now is still using do for small breeds.
The flip of side that had to earn over
time more and more value was that as the
show ring conquered more space in the
renovated British company, increased farmers
in the inclination to select only the
physical aspect, neglecting the need to
preserve the instinct for working. The dog
show began to diversify and stand out from
the working dog and so the selection for the
expositions began to deteriorate the very
nature of many working breeds, the problem
has become very serious over time and that
some Kennel Club still seek to put a stop
with appropriate regulations. So it was in
those years that there was a turning point
in the history of the breeds, the time when
the sheepdog ceased to be the companion of
man's work to become an instrument of his
Regarding our breed, the Collie, we
quote what it was written in those years on
the newspaper The English Kennel Gazette It
'amazing how these lines, more than 150
years old are still relevant today:
"Fanciers, locust-like, appear to
have settled on the collie, and have
recently determined that a collie shall have
an enormous head, an enormous coat, and
enormous limbs, and that by these three
'points' shall it stand or fall in the
judging-ring; so they have commenced to
graft on to the breed the jaw of an
alligator, the coat of an Angora goat, and
the clumsy bone of a St. Bernard. A 'cobby'
dog with short neck, straight thick
shoulders, hollow back, and small straight
tail, but graced with a very long snout and
a very heavy jacket, is already common at
our shows, and increases and multiplies. In
the advertising columns of the doggy papers
can be read the exultation of the
'collie-fancier' at his pet's 'immense
bone,' 'enormous coat,' and so on. I
therefore think it high time that the public
be reminded of what a collie was formerly,
and what the Collie Club's recognized
standard says that he ought to be even now.
First of all, the collie is intended for
use, for definite work, and, as soon as we
find ourselves breeding dogs that cannot
gallop, jump, 'rough it,' aye! and think,
too, we may be certain that, whatever we may
have got hold of, it is not a sheep-dog; and
with the disappearance of his workmanlike
attributes vanish also his social virtues
and his beauty. But let us consider a few of
his points — those which are in more
immediate danger of being misunderstood —in
detail. The under-coat, without doubt,
should be very thick and furry, and the
outer coat also should be well developed.
But an excessive length and weight of it can
only be a hindrance to the dog's movements.
The skull should be flat and rather broad,
because brain room is required, a greyhound
skull being manifestly a foolish one. The
collie's muzzle should be fine and tapering,
because, though the dog may be required
occasionally to 'nip' a sheep to make it
move, a severe wound would be calamitous ; a
greyhound-jaw is designed for killing. As to
general shape, the collie should be a
lightly built dog, of medium size,
wonderfully active, wiry in his movements,
free and sweeping in his form, that he may
be able to go at racing pace over rough
ground, and jump any obstacles in his path.
He must have long, oblique shoulders, deep,
narrow chest, loin somewhat arched, a fair
length of leg, with a fair amount of
oval-shaped bone, and perfect balance
everywhere. As he should show no
relationship to the greyhound in skull or
jaw, so, also, should he be free from trace
of setter in ear and tail. The former should
be small and semi-erect, but a prickear is
preferable to one carried on the cheek ; the
latter should be carried low, but should be
long and have the 'upward swirl' at the
What follows will be probably, for most
readers, a boring sequence of dates and
names, although reduced to a minimum,
limiting it only to the data record,
however, it covers a period of fifteen years
from the first dog show officially
recognized as such, to the birth of the
Kennel Club and its rules. The impatient
reader can safely avoid reading it, because
it has interest only to those who cultivate
a passion for meticulous historical
investigations. The persons listed below, in
fact, built the cinofilia and selected the
breed as we see it today, and those dogs,
which were only names largely unknown, are
those from which all of our champions of
today were born.
Newcastle, June 28 and 29 1859
It was the first real dog show of which
remained historically news. It took place in
the Town Hall in Newcastle as part of a
larger exhibition of farm animals. The
organizers were John Shorthose, beer
merchant and breeder of setters, Rochester
and William Pape, arms manufacturer, who
accomplished an idea of Richard Brailsford.
Sixty entries, number somewhat encouraging
for an event in its first edition. Only two
breeds present: 23 pointer, judged by Joseph Jobling of Morpeth, Thomas Robson of
Newcastle and John Henry Walsh of London
(the well-known Stonehenge, publisher of the
newspaper THE FIELD and one of the largest
dog lovers of all time) and 37 setter,
judged by Francis Foulger, gamekeepers of
the Duke of Northumberland, from Richard
Brailsford, warden of the Earl of Derby, and
even by JH Walsh. Strange to say, but all
exhibitors were men, and all the dogs were
male. Two guns beautifully crafted, the
value of 15 and 20 pounds, was offered by
Mr. Pape as awards for the winners. The
winners were between setters, Dandy J.
Jobling, and between pointer an unidentified
"white dog and liver" of R. Brailsford. It
passed unnoticed that some judge was also
exhibitor or seen even among the winners,
but then there are looked after too and
still no one complained, reflecting the fact
that the exhibits had begun auspiciously;
the faults arrived later.
The great success of this first event
led to the promotion of new events in other
cities in the country.
Birmingham, November 1859
The same Richard Brailsford and John
Henry Walsh, with Frederick Burdett, were
the organizers of the first exhibition held
in Birmingham. For the occasion it was
created the Birmingham Dog Show Society. 80
dogs entered divided into 14 classes, but
only hunting dogs. The only dog winner whose
name is unknown was Brougham, a setter of
Birmingham, 3 and 4 December
But 1860 was the year that fans of the
herding dog would be remembered as the
beginning of the expositions, because in
that year, finally, they were also open to
the breeds not only hunting. The exhibition
was held in the Midland Counties Repository
of Birmingham with 267
entries, 5 of which
were Sheepdogs, three of which are shown
only as "Scottish" and two called
"English Shepherds". The winner was
a "pure Scotch bitch" owned by Wakefield W.
Hurley, who was recognized as the first
sheepdog awarded in a beauty exposition.
Leeds, 16, 17 and 18 July 1861:
North of England Exhibition of Sporting and
In the Royal Agricultural Hall, the Jury
was composed of Lord Neville, Sir W. Cooke,
Captain Harrison, Captain Spencer, W. Lort,
E. Smith, J. Parrington, G.F. Solly and G.
Leacroft. In the class "Sheep Dogs" were
rewarded Canty of C. Walker, and Bob of T.
Birmingham, 2, 3 and 4 December
1861: Second Exhibition of Sporting and
It was held in Tennant Street with the
following Judges: C. Wickstead, R. Harper,
S. Mallabey, J. Walker, W. Lort, J. Calver,
P. Hackett, J. Tailby, Major Irvine, Major
Ainslie, Captain Lowndes. In the class of
the Sheepdogs turned first Jehu of J.
Siviter, and the second one was Bob of T.
Manchester, 1861: First
Exhibition of Sporting and Other Dogs
Few information about this show, which
was held in Belle Vue Zoological Gardens. It
only knows that the first three places
respectively posted themselves dogs owned by
J. Martin, J. Siviter and Sadler.
London, 24, 25, 26, 27 and 28
June 1862: North of England Second
Exhibition of Sporting and Other Dogs
The great success of this event, which
registered 803 dogs registered, was probably
due to the fact that from May to November of
that year was held the International
Exhibition, which attracted 28,000
exhibitors from 36 countries, with more than
six million visitors. From the gardens of
the Royal Horticultural Society, the London
suburb of Islington, there was news of
possible winners among the sheepdogs.
Birmingham, 1, 2, 3 and 4
December 1862: Third Exhibition of Sporting
and Other Dogs
It took place in the Old Wharf, with 638
dogs for Judges J.B.O Bayly, G. Beers, J.
Calvert, J. Ferryman, W. Lort Jr., J.
Maiden, Mallabey S., T. Marshall, C. Randell,
Mr. . J. Tailby and Captain Lowndes. Awarded
Shep of R. Scrimminger and Gent of J.
London, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27 and
28 March 1863
A record number of entries for the
Ashburnham Hall, in London's Chelsea: 1,214
well. Judges: H. Brown, J. Willis, F.
Maitland, J. Walker, J. Tailby, J.
Worthington, F. Lowe, J. Lang, E. Poulet, R.
Collins, H. Goater, R. Marshall, Lord
Garvach, Captain Maitland and Captain
Brickman. For the first time it was
scheduled a class for "Scotch Colleys".
Among them turned first Sheppie of J.
Crawshaw, second was Barney of EW Williams.
London, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29 and
30 May 1863: First Great International Dog
A catalog full of 1,678 dogs for this
show held at the Agricultural Hall in
Islington. The judges were Captain P.
Williams, Captain JA Thompson, Major J.
Fletcher, Colonel C.P. Leslie, and Messrs JS
Crawley, J.G. Grimwood, G. Moore, R. Ker,
Randell C., J. Wentworth, R . Marshall, the
Earl of Suffolk, Lord Suffield, Lord Bury.
Expected the class "Scotch Sheep Dogs", but
no prize was awarded to females. Among males
instead winners were Yarron owned by E.
Greaves, followed by Laddie belonging to W.
Birmingham, 30 November and 1, 2
and 3 December 1863: Fourth Annual
570 registered for the Judges Paul
Hackett, J Lang, W. Lort Jr., S. Mallaby, R.
Pearson, J. Tailby, J. Walker, Captain White
and Major Irving. In the class "Sheep Dogs"
Yarrow of E. Greaves first and second Rover
of T. Wootton.
London, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22 and
23 April 1864: Second Exhibition of Sporting
and Other dogs
It was held in the Ashburnham Hall with
933 entries. Judges: Ousley Colonel, Colonel
Scott, Captain Willis, Captain Elliott, and
J. Laing, J. Walker, W. Bruce, C.H. Fitz
William, WF Maitland, W. Smith, W.
Inchcliffe, G. Seaton, E. Pontet , E. Goater,
GB Pike, W. Lort, BB Williams, J. Woodhams
and Lord Garvach. The English and Scots
Sheepdogs were judged together in one class
"Sheepdogs". First Driver W.
Grummit, second Rover of J. Palethorpe and
third Rover of T. Ryley.
London, 27, 28, 29, 30 and 31
May 1864: Second International Dog Show
About 1,047 dogs performed in the
Agricultural Hall. Among the winners of the
Prince of Wales who won two first prizes and
one second prize with three dogs (noblesse
oblige!). In the class "Sheep Dogs" won
Rover of J. Palethorpe, followed by Rocket
of JN Beasley.
Birmingham, 28, 29 and 30
November and 1 December 1864: National
Exhibition of Sporting and Other Dogs
701 subscribers with the following Jury:
C. Tongue, W. Long, S. Mallabey, J. Sykes,
J. Walker, J. Tailby, J. Monsey, Captain
Willis and Major Irving. In Class "Sheep
Dogs" first was Yarrow of E. Greaves,
second Bob of T. Woolston.
Manchester, December 22, 1864:
Fourth Dog Show
In the Zoological Gardens paraded 1,063
dogs. In the class "Sheep Dogs" in the order
Rover of J. Palethorpe and Rover of
London, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 June
1865: Third Great International Dog Show
Saw 1,063 subscribers in the trial of
Messrs T. Pearce, W. Brailsford, J. Walker,
W. Walker, C. Tongue, T. Walton, H. Hanley,
T. Wcotton, J. Tailby, J. Monsey, and
Captain Greville. First Rover of J.
Palethorpe, second Bob of T. Duffty.
Birmingham, 4, 5, 6 and 7
December 1865: Sixth Annual Great Exhibition
of Sporting and Other Dogs
It was held at the Curzon Hall, with as
many as 781 dogs. For the first time even
puppies were admitted to the courts. The
class "Sheep Dogs" was judged by J. Sykes,
W. Lort, from Captain Willis and by Major
Irving, who classified as first place Help
of T. Ashton and second Rover of W. Lamin.
Manchester, 28, 29 and 30
December 1865: Fifth Dog Show
It was held in in the Great Music Hall
and the judges called to examine the class
"Sheep Dogs" were Messrs W. Lort, J. Walker,
and J. Sykes. Rover's first of JW Palethorpe,
followed by a dog whose name remained
unknown owned by J. Handley and Laddie G.
Birmingham, 3, 4, 5 and 6
December 1866: Seventh Dog Show
831 entries. Lort W. and J. Walker also
judged the class "Sheep Dogs". The first two
were Toby of W. Lamin and Gent of J. Siviter.
Manchester, 21, 22 and 24
December 1866: Sixth Dog Show
Only 390 in Great Music Hall. Judges of
the class "Sheep Dogs" were M. and J. Hedley
Monsey. Winners were Laddie of W. Gammon
followed by Shep of Ms. Handley and Laddie
of G. Darwell.
Birmingham, 2, 3, 4 and 5
December 1967: Eighth Annual Great
Exhibition of Sporting and Other Dogs
In Curzon Exhibition Hall the
were 691. Judges: J. Lang, V. Long, S. Mallabey, John Percival, Mathias Smith, J.
Walker and J. Walker. In the class "Sheep
Dogs" Rock of J. Inman was first and second
Toby of H. Henson.
Manchester, 19, 20 and 21
December 1867: Seventh Dog Show
514 dogs to Great Music Hall. Judges of
the class "Sheep Dogs" were J. Rowe and
Monsey. The first three places three dogs
with the same name: Rover. The first belongs
to J.W. Palethorpe, the second to J.
Percival and the third to W. Horsepool.
Birmingham, 30 November and 1, 2
and 3 December 1868: Ninth Dog Show
It registered 806
entries available to Judges C. Collins and
M. Smith. Winners were Toby of H. Henson,
followed by Laddie of Mrs. A.
Manchester, 24, 26 and 28
December 1868: Eighth Dog Show
424 dogs in Great Music Hall. Judges of
the class "Sheep Dogs": J. E. Owen
and Monsey. Reward to Rover of S. Smith
followed by Toby of H. Henson and Jerry of
London, 1, 2 and 3 June 1869:
Messrs Walker and Sykes judged the class
"Sheep Dogs" exhibition at the National Dog
Club. Reward to Rover of Smith, Trusty of
Lord Ker and a dog that did not remain the
name of Mr. White.
Birmingham, 29 and 30 November
and 1 and 2 December 1869: Tenth Dog Show
757 dogs at Curzon Hall for Judges Lord
Garvach and Edgar Hanbury. The winners were
Laddie of L. Bourne and Bob of J. Holmes Jr.
Manchester, 17, 18, 19 and
December 20, 1869: Ninth Dog Show
The Great Music Hall was not awarded a
prize, as second was Laddie of J. Sanderson
and third Shep of J. Robinson.
London, 21, 22, 23 and 24 June
1870: First Grand Exhibition of Sporting and
It was held for the first time at the
Crystal Palace, built in 1851 to host the
World Expo, with 895 dogs present. The class
"Sheep Dogs" included separate awards for
Rough and Smooth Collie. These latter,
however, were not assigned due to lack of
deserving dogs. The prizes for the Rough
Collie went to Rob of J. Ashcroft and Hamish
of P. Gordon.
Birmingham, 28, 29 and November
30 and December 1, 1870: Eleventh Dog Show
It registered 864
entries, of which fourteen sheepdogs judged
by E. Hanbury and the Rev. T. O'Grady. The
first place was reached by Laddie of L.
Bourne, the second Cockie of W. White, and
third Rover of J. Smith. Despite not winning
it is put on display, with a second prize,
one of the best sheep dogs never exposed,
Cockie, a two years fawn collie owned by Mr.
W. White Sherwood Rise, Nottingham. Cockie
was, by all those who were able to admire it
the best collie of his time and certainly
one of the greatest players of all time.
Manchester, 30 and December 31,
1870: Tenth Dog Show
It was held in the Zoological Gardens.
Judges, for the class "Sheep Dogs",
J. and J. Barrow Monsey. First Sampson of J.
Inman, second Tousie of T. Worthington and
third Rover of E. H.
Glasgow, 20, 21 and 22 February
1871: First Scottish National Exhibition of
Sporting and Other Dogs
383 dogs in Burnbank Drill Hall. Judges
Messrs W. Lort, J. Walker, J. Douglas, S.
Handley, T. Ritchie, J. Millar. Watch of Mr.
Thomas turned first, second Keeper of D.
Black and third Tweed of W. McKie.
Edinburgh, 16, 17 and 18 May
1871: First Scottish Metropolitan Exhibition
of Sporting and Fancy Dogs
It was held in the Royal Gymnasium in
the presence of 789 dogs. The jury was
composed of W. Sharpe, G. Blanshard, J.
Steedman, R. Raimes, J. Gibson, J. Aitken,
J. Brown, A. Dawson, W. Ritchie, D.
Paterson, R. Carr, J.A.S.E. Fair, W.H.
Liddell, A. Graham. In the class "Sheep
Dogs" was ranked in the first place Laddie
of J. Summer, second Laddie of J.A. Mather
and the third John of Mr. Dickson.
London, 2, 3, 5 and 6 June 1871:
Second Grand National Exhibition of Sporting
and Other Dogs
At Crystal Palace 828 dogs for the
Judges the Rev. T. Pearce, J. Walker, W.
Lort, Handley, Pool and Monsey. The class
"Sheep Dogs" saw Alf classified as the
first, of H. Lacy, Laddie of Mrs. A.B.
Hamilton and Samson of J. Inman.
Birmingham, 27, 28, 29 and 30
November 1871: Twelfth Dog Show
In Curzon Exhibition Hall 909 dogs were
present. They were asked to judge the class
"Sheep Dogs" Messrs E. Laverack and W. Lort.
Four awards, in the order of
Old Mec belonging
Lacy, Old Cockie of W. White, Malcom
of C.W. Wilson and Bob of J. Holmes Jr.
Manchester, 28, 29 and December
30, 1871: Eleventh Dog Show
It was held in the Zoological Gardens,
with the class "Sheep Dogs" judged by J.
Monsey, E. Owen and Rowe. First turned Mec
of J. Henshall, while Mr. M.H. Lacy placed
two of his dogs, named Toss and Alf, the
second and third place.
Dublin, 18, 19 and 20 January
1872: Grand National Dog Show
The Exhibition Palace 365 dogs judged by
W. Lort and S. Handley. In the class "Sheep
Dogs" at the top Alp of H. Lacy and second
Toss of Mr. Lacy.
Glasgow, 27, 28 and 29 February
1872: Second Annual Scottish Annual
Exhibition of Sporting and Fancy Dogs
It was held at Burnbank Drill Hall.
Judges S.E. Shirley, W. Lort, J. Barrows,
Scott J. and G. Dart called to examine 719
dogs. In the class "Sheepdogs" first was Mac
of Henshall, second Wilson of C.W. Malcom,
third Samson of Shackleton and fourth Laddie
of J. Mather.
Edinburgh, 7, 8 and 9 May 1872:
Second Annual Scottish Metropolitan
Exhibition of Sporting and Fancy Dogs
In the Hall of the Royal Gymnasium 631
dogs paraded in front of the judges SE
Shirley, W. Lort, S. Handley, Somner F. and
J. Nisbet. Winner of the class "Sheep Dogs"
was Mec H. Lacy, second Malcolm of R.B. Lee,
third Bob of J. Ashcroft and fourth Swaup of
London, 4, 5, 6 and 7 June,
1872: Third Grand National Exhibition of
Sporting and Other Dogs
It was held at the Crystal Palace and
well recorded 1044 registrations. Judged the
class "Sheep Dogs" S. Handley and J. Barrow.
At the first place Mac of H. Lacy, the
second Myrtle of Chalke and third Alf of
Nottingham, 2, 3, 4 and 5
October 1872: Grand National Dog Show
It was the expositions of 843 dogs in
the Great Market Place. Judged Messrs
Headley, Fisher and Rev. G. Hodgson for a
class "Sheep Dogs" divided between Rough and
Smooth. Among the Rough Bob of John Holmes
was the first, second Cockie of W. White and
third Ben of W.A. Walker, while among the
Smooth Nett of W.R. Daybell was the first
and the second Jim of J. Harrison.
Birmingham, 2, 3, 4 and 5
December 1872: Thirteenth Dog Show
At Curzon Exhibition Hall judged the
class "Sheep Dogs" Judge E. Hanbury. The
first male was Cockey Boy of White, the
second Jack of Bailey. Among females, not
awarded the first prize, while the second
went to Wolf of Shaw.
Manchester, 26 and 27 December
1872: Twelfth Annual Dog Show
The year ended with a demonstration held
in the Zoological Gardens attended by 518
dogs. Judges of the classes "Not Sporting"
J. Monsey, R. Fulton and C.T. Fisher. The
top three of the class "Sheep Dogs" were
Wallace of Lord, Glen of Fildes and Bobo of
Glasgow, 26, 27 and 28 March
1873: Third Dog Show
600 dogs in Burnbank Drill Hall at the
disposal of the Judges W. Lort, S. Handley,
J. Douglas, J. Millar and J. Duncan. In the
class "Sheep Dogs" was first Shamrock of
S.E. Shirley, second Lofty of W. Wallace,
third Yarrow of V. Gibson-Craig and fourth
Rover of T. Watson. Special prizes were also
awarded to Tweed of S. Anderson and Rock of
year 1873 was an important year for the
cinofilia, because it saw the birth of the
Kennel Club. It was founded on April 4 by
Sewallis Evelyn Shirley (1844-1904) that,
together with twelve gentlemen who wanted to
establish some rules to regulate the dog
shows and working trials that had gained,
over fifteen years, huge popularity among
the public. In 1874 the infant Kennel Club
issued so the first "CODE OF RULES FOR THE
GUIDANCE OF DOG SHOWS". From that moment all
the dog shows and working trials were held
by the same rules, bearing in mind, and this
became a constant in the history of the
Kennel Club, the welfare and health of dogs
together with the correctness of each
Below the ten simple rules to guarantee
CODE OF RULES
For the Guidance of Dog Shows
adopted by the Kennel Club, 1874.
Every person who wishes to exhibit at any
show held under the Kennel Club Rules, must
at the time of entry clearly identify by
name and age (if known) the dog he intends
to exhibit, and the name of the sire and
dam (if known) must be given, unless the dog
has been entered with his name and pedigree
in the Kennel Club Calendar, in which case
it will be sufficient to mention him by his
If the name of a dog which has won a prize
has been changed, it is necessary in
entering the said dog to give his old as
well as his new name every time he is
exhibited, until the change has been duly
registered in the annual number of the
Kennel Calendar; and if his name be changed
again, all his names must be repeated for a
If a dog shall be entered without being
clearly identified as before directed, by
Rules 1 and 2, he shall forfeit any prize
that may have been awarded him, and if the
omission be detected in time, he shall not
be allowed to compete, and shall forfeit all
entrance fees and subscriptions.
The Committee or authorities of any show may
reserve to themselves the right of refusing
any entries that they may think fit to
exclude; and no person who has been proved
to the satisfaction of the committee of the
Kennel Club to have misconducted himself in
any way in connection with dogs, dog shows,
or dog trials, will be allowed to compete at
any show that is held under the Kennel Club
The committee or authorities of every show
where the entry of dogs amounts to 200,
shall take care that a duly appointed
veterinary inspector be in daily attendance.
No dog shall be qualified to compete or
entitled to receive a prize, if awarded, who
is suffering from mange, or any other form
of contagious disease.
No person, except the duly qualified and
appointed veterinary inspector, shall decide
whether a dog is or is not suffering from
mange. The veterinary inspector shall give
his opinion to the secretary or committee of
the show in writing, and shall do so before
the close of the show.
A dog that has been exhibited, or has won a
prize in a class exclusively for puppies
under twelve months old, is not thereby
excluded from being exhibited in a class
where previous prize winners are not allowed
In estimating the number of prizes a dog has
won, with reference to whether it should
compete in a champion class or not, the
number of prizes won shall be calculated up
to the morning of the Show, and not merely
up to the date of entry for the same.
An objection to a dog must be made to
the committee or secretary of the show at
any time within seven days from the first
day of the show; it must be in writing, and
the objector must at the same time lodge a
sum of £1 in the hands of the committee or
secretary, which deposit, shall, if the
objection is proved to be frivolous, be
With these rules the expositions could
continue to spread, attracting the interest
of a growing number of fans. In the
following years many people approached the
dog world and there were many dogs put on
showcase and boosting success of different
few years later, in 1876, was founded on the
other side of the ocean, the Westminster
Kennel Club, which even anticipated the
birth of the American Kennel Club and the
8th of May the following year it held its
first exhibition, The First Annual New
York Bench Show of Dogs, giving its
relentless momentum considerably to the dog
world in the United States.
Since then there was a continuous stream
of dogs from Europe to America, and many
great champions left Europe for the United
States. As for our breed the best English
champions sailed to the New World, filling
the pockets of English breeders of many
dollars. The consequences are visible even
In 1891 Charles Cruft organized at the
Royal Agricultural Hall in Islington, the
first of a series of events of cinofilia
that had to do of the event that since then
bears his name, the most important canine
event in the world;
since 1987, it takes
place over four days of racing well
regulated and since 1991 it has been moved
to the National Exhibition Centre in
Birmingham in order to receive the large
number of exhibitors.
From the first exhibitions supervised by
a few fans, which we have mentioned, the
expositions are events organized and
conducted with great professionalism, and
even with the limitations that accounted for
the working dog, have greatly contributed to
the diffusion and propaganda of the breed
The fifteen years of which we have
briefly traced the history were fundamental
for the future of our dogs. It was a great
job by the first Kennel Club: a few simple
rules that would give law and order in the
events and open doors to fans that were a
lot. These were the years of the
"Renaissance" of the dog that had passed
through a critical period during the social
changes that had occurred and that, if
mismanaged, could have led to its exclusion
from the society of man.
The history of the collie as dog show,
begins in the second half of the 19th
century with the first exhibitions.
In the First Grand National
Exhibition, held in 1863 at the Cremorne
Gardens of Chelsea, in London, there was a
class called "Scotch Collie" and also in
London in the same year, the First Grand
International Dog Show in Islington, still a
class reserved for "Scotch Sheep-Dogs", a
name which was eventually changed to
"Collies" in 1895 in Birmingham. Generally,
however, the dogs were judged without regard
to the breed, or taking it into account in a
concise manner, so the collie did not have
many opportunities to show off. But in the
exposition in London in 1870, at the Crystal
Palace, the dogs were again divided into
breeds and also smooth were judged
separately from rough collie, thus beginning
an independent life that has to be made
official until many years later.
The first champion that we know was a
female named Waite, born in
1867 by Tip out of Waite, breeder Wat Hotson
and owner W. A. Walker, who was the first
collie to win a prize.
What few know, however, is that this female
was a smooth collie as seen by consulting
the KENNEL CLUB CALENDAR AND STUD BOOK, year
1874, Vol. II, where this bitch is given to
n. 4540. A point of great interest is that
Waite was the mother of Scott (Trefoil x
Waite), great-grandfather of Ch.
Christopher, by which it is an ancestor of
all Collie today.
So every line of rough collie
began with a smooth.
Three dogs were able to show off in
these early years of the history of the
Collie, the fathers of the breed: Old Cockie,
Old Mec and Trefoil.
Cockie was born in 1868 and
belonged to Mr. W. White who never wanted to
say how he had it, so its pedigree remained
a mystery. In the KENNEL CLUB STUD BOOK for
the year 1874 we find the number in 2847
under the name "Cockie". It was the first
collie fawn present in a show. Among its
achievements, a second prize in 1870 and in
1871 and a first prize in 1872 and in 1873,
the exposition of Birmingham; a second prize
in 1872 and first in 1873, in the exposition
Charles H. Wheeler (Edgbaston), in his
book ON THE HISTORY OF THE COLLIE, describes
it as: “Old Cockie was a medium-sized
dog, as compared with some of the
giants of the present day, very compactly
built, and sound in legs and feet. His
head was consistent in length, and certainly
true collie in type, ears semi-erect,
coat on body not extra-long but very dense,
being well supplied with a
wet-resisting undercoat, and the habit of
his coat was such that it formed a
distinct mane on the neck and a cape on the
shoulders. In colour he was rich
sable, with white markings, and it is an
absolute fact that, - at the present
time, every collie of the sable colour dates
back to Old Cockie as the introducer of the
Its career was exceptional, as well as
its influence on the breed. At the end of
its career this great champion was first
sold to W.H. Johnson and then to James
Bissell who bought it for £ 10 and lovingly
cared of it until he died in August 1882.
Two years later the birth of Old Cockie,
Old Mec was born in 1870,
which belonged to Harry Lacy. These two dogs
met often in the show, with alternating
victories, but Old Cockie was superior. Old
Mec had a black coat and tan more abundant,
but its expression left a lot to be desired.
In 1871 Old Mec won the exhibition in
Birmingham before Old Cockie and other
fifteen collie. Five years later, in the
same exposition, Judge Rev. T. Pearce, there
were 62 registered collie, 39 males and 23
females. On that occasion Trefoil was
presented for the first time.
Trefoil was born March
19th, 1873 by Twig ex Bess, and
was bred by Sewallis E. Shirley, the
President of the Kennel Club. Its color was
"black and tan with white on chest", it was
well-proportioned, a good character, a good
head and a mantle with spectacular length
but sparse, whose strengths and weaknesses
transmitted equally to its offspring. It
racked up a string of outstanding victories,
but left its mark primarily as procreative.
All our current collie descend from it.
Meanwhile, in 1875, was born
Maude, a female sable and white
owned by James Bissell, who
had many of the
qualities of its father. It was in fact the
daughter of Old Cockie and niece of Old Mec,
its head, though a bit short, was in kind.
was mated to Maude, and on January 4th,
1879 was born the fawn Charlemagne.
For six years this Collie was never
surpassed in any exhibition, presented when
it was eleven years in the exposition of the
Collie Club in 1890 in London, won the Best
in Show. Like its father, this dog had a
long coat, but the head was missing class.
It still managed to become champion, but its
offspring were not very successful and
Charlemagne is remembered today mainly
because, mated to Ch. Madge I, a tricolor
born in September 10th, 1879,
sired on October 10th, 1884, the
tricolor Sefton, a collie
that it would not even be worth mentioning
if it had not had the great merit to give
birth, mated to Minnie, Ch. Metchley Wonder,
a sable born March 2nd, 1886. Its
mother Minnie was a nephew of the white
The Lily, born June 20th,
1881, that had inherited the white factor
and allowed it to introduce this color in
So the white color was not born
in America, but arrived, along with the
collie, from England.
It’s also interesting to underline that
The Lily was Grandma of Minnie, in turn
grandmother of Ch. Christopher, through
which, therefore, The Lily is an ancestor of
all the Collie of today.
So any current line of colored
collie began with a white, even in Europe.
by Charles H. Wheeler (Edgbaston) and later
sold to Mr. A. H. Megson (Birmingham), who paid 530 pounds,
Metchley Wonder amply
repaid its new owner, because between 1887
and 1892 won for 5 times the exposition of
the Kennel Club. This dog was the best
collie of its time, as both show dog as
procreative. Rawdon Lee describes it in
1890, publisher of THE FIELD: “This is a
handsome sable and white dog, of medium
size, probably 55 lb.
or so in weight, and with generally little
fault to be found with him, excepting one
would like to have seen a broader skull that
would have given an appearance of greater
intelligence in the face than Wonder
presents at present; still, his exceedingly
perfect legs and feet, excellent body,
strong and muscular hind quarters, in
combination with other fine attributes,
stamp him as one of the best of his variety
hitherto introduced to the public, and he
promises to even excel such notabilities as
Cockie and Charlemagne in transmitting his
good qualities to his family.”
Wonder was mated to Peggie II, a half-sister
of Sefton born August 17th, 1881,
described as a female sable and white with
an excellent head, good expression and
temperament. From this mating was born April
16th, 1887, Ch.
Christopher, the fawn collie with
the coolest head ever seen. Bought by Tom
Stretch (Ormskirk) for £ 60, was then sold
in the US to Mitchell Harrison (Chestnut
Hill) for 1,000 pounds. Unfortunately the
rest of the body was not measured up to the
head and this Collie, that had been a
winning dog in Europe, showing off mainly as
a procreative, in the new world was a
failure, and this taught American breeders
that even females are important in a mating,
not only males. Even so, however, thanks to
Christopher the collies owe their great
improvement, and he certainly did, for the
breed, more than any dog of his days.
By Ch. Christopher we have three main
bloodlines, going through Stracathro Ralph,
Edgbaston Marvel and Ormskirk Chriss, lines
we will follow one by one and that will lead
us at the dawn of the twentieth century.
Ch. Stracathro Ralph,
was born September 1st, 1888. Son
of Christopher and Stracathro Fancy, it was
owned by Morton Campbell, and won, less than
14 months the first prize at Birmingham and
less than 18 months the prize in Liverpool.
It was a medium sized dog, black and white
sand, quite uniform in its characteristics.
It had a great cloak
of good quality, just
the ears left a lot to be desired.
By Ralph Stracathro ex Apple Blossom the
Camp. Heather Ralph date of birth April 19th
, 1891, a male white sable.
dog, mated with Aughton Bessie, a daughter
of Edgbaston Marvel, gave birth on September
3rd, 1894 the great, sable
Champion Ormskirk Emerald.
Bred by Mr. W.O. Barnes, was later acquired
by Tom Stretch. This dog produced an
incredible number of puppies, all of the
highest quality. Henry E. Packwood
(Billesley) who was President of the English
Collie Club, judged Emerald the biggest
Collie ever existed. Mr. Megson paid Tom
Stretch £ 1,300, plus two others collie, for
the sole Emerald.
April 1st, 1896 was born, by
Ormskirk Emerald and Ormskirk Memoir,
Ormskirk Galopin, whose
mother was also a descendant of Christopher.
This dog belonged to Tom Stretch, and won
many awards in the shows attended. It was a
beautiful color white and sable, with a
powerful structure but well balanced, solid
legs and feet and a mantle sufficiently long
and of excellent quality. Its head was long,
well-balanced, but rather high, and ears
even though a bit big.
The following year, July 5th,
1897, was born Heacham Galopin,
a fawn very carbonate, owned by Mr. G.
Cracknell. This collie was very nice, it had
a coat of the correct length, its eyes were
just a little clear, but the head and ears
were correct. It was a very smart dog and
possessed the true character of the collie.
Galopin was mated with a female, Last Rose,
that boasted of a descent from Christopher
and Metchley Wonder, and December 6th,
1898 was born Ch. Wishaw Clinker.
Owned by the Scottish Robert Tait (Wishaw),
so it was described by Charles Wheeler:
”In color sable and white. A very grand
Collie with many excellent qualities, very
symmetrical in conformation, and sound in
limbs. He carried a profusion of coat of
good quality, and if the head was a little
strong, it was brimful of character, since
the shape was right, the eyes nicely placed
and the ears correctly carried”.
March 30th, 1901, by from
Wisham Clinker ex Old Hall Duchess was born
Ch. Balgreggie Baronet,
bred by Mr. T. Lochart and then sold to Mr
Wilkie and Forrester. It was sable and white
colored, and it had a very good structure,
hair and general appearance, and a head
particularly classic from which stand out
two small ears.
Squire of Tytton was born
April 13th, 1904 by Balgreggie
Baronet and by Helle of Boston, daughter of
Parbold Small about which we will discuss
shortly. Bred by Mr. W.
T. Horry was
owned by William E. Mason (Southport). It
had a beautiful coat color and white sable
and great qualities: a very typical head, a
beautiful expression, ears properly brought,
well-proportioned body and solid legs.
Perhaps its only fault was in the movement
of the back. After having received great
success during English shows, it was
exported in America enriching the kennels
Greystone held by Samuel Untermyer.
Edgbaston Marvel, was born September 1st,
1888 by Christopher out of Sweet Marie. Due
of its heavy ears it was not a show dog and
Tom Stretch, its first owner, sold it to Mr.
W. G. Weager for a
few pounds. But
Charles Wheeler realized its
skills as a procreative and paid to Mr. Weager £ 30 for that dog. After some time he
sold it as usual to Mr. Megson for £ 500.
Charles Wheeler was right, this stud fawn,
which had been displayed only once, had a
decisive influence on the breed.
Edgbaston Marvel ex Tabley Rose, a daughter
of Metchley Wonder, was born February 19th,
1892, Ch. Southport Perfection.
It was a collie sable and white with a
magnificent coat, good structure, with
a head very correct and good ears. Only its
eyes didn’t have the required switching.
Bred by Hugo Ainscough (Parbold), at seven
months it was sold for £ 450 to William
Mason who, at the age of three years, sold
it to Mr. Megson for £ 1,000.
By Southport Perfection ex Wellesbourne
Christabelle, daughter of Christopher, was
born April 11th, 1894
Wellesbourne Councillor. It was a
great sable dog with long coat, with perfect
eyes and mouth, but it did not have a
good show career.
16th, 1895, from Wellesbourne
Councillor out of
Wellesbourne Beauty was born,
Wellesbourne Conqueror. Bred by
William H. Charles (Wellesbourne), it was
purchased by Mr. R. Higson and it won many
awards. A well-built dog, with a long head
clean, beautiful eyes and suitable ears. The
body was well covered with hair, but the
lack of collar made it look pretty feminine.
However the value of Wellesbourne
Conqueror, as a procreative, was shown
mating it with Parbold Pinafore, a bitch
without honor or glory and even without
noble ancestors, because from this mating
was born Ch. Parbold Piccolo,
date of birth April 3rd, 1899.
Owned by Hugo Ainscough, Piccolo was a sable
and white collie, unquestionably male in
general appearance, and of abundance
hair, a shapely body, excellent bone
structure, very small ears, however, brought
to perfection. If you have to find a fault,
it had the nose too deep in height. Its
skills as a breeder was unquestionable and
it produced six champions in England before
emigrating to the New World. For it the
American breeder and judge J. L. Behling
(Bon Ami) paid in 1904, the highest price
ever paid for a dog: 5,000 dollars. But
when, after a long journey, the dog arrived
in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, at noon of day in
October, it was seen only for a few hours,
because, before midnight of the same day, it
disappeared and was never seen again.
Perhaps also it, like Lassie, wanted to go
back and maybe even now it swims along the
shores of its native England!
Piccolo had been mated in England with
Bellfield Beauty, a daughter of Wisham
Clinker and June 24th, 1902 was
born Ch. Anfield Model.
This Collie, bred by Mr. H. Galt, was then
sold to William Mason. It was colored sable
and white, of medium size, with a decent
coat; very small ears, but placed too high
on the head; also the tail was carried too
gaily; but its head was very nice, with
beautiful eyes and good expression.
But probably the son of Piccolo that
most gave to the breed, despite ever earning
a title, was Parbold Pierrot
(1902). Its mother was Irthlingsboro Day
Mated with Parbold Pleasance, by Pierrot
was born September 25th, 1904,
Ch. Parbold Paganini,
considered the best collie existing at that
time. Bred by Hugo Ainscough, it was then
bought by Tom Stretch. It was a big dog
white and sable colored, with very valuable
head, ears and expression.
Ormskirk Chriss was
born April 4th, 1890 and had been
bred by Mr. H. Heaton. Son of Christopher
and Bleachfield Wonder, a daughter of
Metchley Wonder born April 14th,
1888 was subsequently purchased by Tom
Stretch. It was a white sable collie with an
excellent physical structure, a beautiful
head but without stop, good ears and a
discreet coat that was not its strength.
2nd, 1891 was born Ch.
Rufford Ormonde, by Ormskirk Chriss
out of Princess Margaret. Bred by Tom
Stretch, it was sold to Mr. and Mrs. Holme
and Holliday. It was also a sable and white,
and had a very nice appearance with body and
limbs well-built and a beautifully designed
head with suitable ears.
By Rufford Ormonde ex Old Hall Vera was
born August 8th, 1893,
Finsbury Pilot. Bred by Mr. J.
Agnew and bought by Hugo Ainscough, was a
sable and white collie and winner of many
awards. It had its most striking quality in
the mantle and in the very abundant collar.
Its weaknesses were instead a head too
slight and insufficient stature that made it
look very masculine.
Pilot, mated to a female named Miss Purden, grandson of Edgbaston Marvel, gave
birth November 27th, 1895, to Ch.
Rightaway, a tricolor owned
by Robert Tait. It was an impressive collie
, with beautiful ears, a magnificent
structure and a beautiful coat and collar.
Only fault was the head a little bit small.
By Rightaway there are two of its
puppies that we can rightly consider the
fathers of the breed, both of them gave a
significant contribution perpetuating the
quality of their ancestors: Barwell
Masterpiece and Woodmansterne Tartan. Their
mothers were respectively Caermarthen Lass,
a nephew of Edgbaston Marvel, and
Ch. Barwell Masterpiece
was born February 7th, 1897 in
the farm of Robert Tait and was sold to Mr.
J. Powers for £ 200. It was a good tricolor
with large white spots, but the shape of the
head had something strange that marred the
expression . Unfortunately many of its
puppies inherited this defect.
was born instead February 14th,
1898, black and tan and white, owned by the
Rev. Hans F. Hamilton (Woodmansterne). A
beautiful dog, with an impressive
looking, but a too long head and a muzzle
too square, with rather large and dropping
So most of these great champions of the
past came to enrich the Americans kennels
breeders willing to pay more and more to
make a successful champion. Prices paid
became so high that Milo Denlinger in the
book THE COMPLETE COLLIE, thought that
English expositions had become the
smokescreen of farmers overseas. Sold a
winning collie, poked out one even more
beautiful and so on.
In those days the names of the dogs were
often changed and anyone who bought one
often attributed the name of its kennel. So
many British collie saw their name changed
or, at best, modified, when they arrived in
But, these collie contributed to the
improvement and diffusion of the breed in
America. They are the same ancestor of our
So any current lineage of
Americans collie began with an English
collie , exactly as it is for the European
In the last years of the nineteenth
century the communications had a remarkable
development. Europe was covered by a dense
network of railways that facilitated the
movement of goods and raw materials. England
also could enjoy this progress strongly
required by Queen Victoria.
Now it was not forced to buy a dog in
your country, you could move, visiting
exhibitions, even the most distant and deal
directly with the big farmers. Also the
transmission of the information took
advantage and the news on the farmers, the
dogs of the moment and on shows, began
traveling aimlessly around the country
reaching missing points.
This contributed to the spread of a dog
world class, based on the need to select.
The progress made most accessible great
stallions, so that in later years the
puppies of these great champions of the past
were reproduced by multiplying the blood
lines making difficult to follow its
The twentieth century saw the success and
spread of our breed, and saw great breeders
lay the foundations of what is the current
production. But they will talk about it in
the next part.
It is not easy to go back to the
individuals that have marked the path of the
smooth coated variety of the collie, because
for a long time smooth and rough constituted
one only breed (as it is even today in North
America) to whose evolution individuals of
both varieties have contributed.
stated previously, in the first shows dogs
were judged without taking into account
either the breeds or varieties, so the
length of the coat was initially irrelevant
for those collies that had to be shown.
Anyway on the occasion of the exhibition at
Crystal Palace in 1870 there was the class
of "Sheep Dogs" in which the smooth collies
were judged separately from the rough ones.
The same thing happened in Nottingham in
1872, but almost a century had to go by
before the separation of the two varieties
In 1867 a female called Waite (from Tip
and Waite) was born; her breeder was Wat
Hotson. She made history as the first collie
to win a prize, to the great joy of her
proud owner W. A. Walker. In fact, she won
the first prize in both the exhibitions of
Crystal Palace and of Hull. Waite was a
smooth collie, ancestor of all today’s
collies (smooth and rough) as she was the
mother of Scott (Trefoil x Waite), owned by
Mr. Walker and great-great-grandfather of
the champion Christopher.
One of the first individuals to leave a
mark on the smooth collie’s selection was a
tricolour called Guelt, born in 1873 by
Captain ex Nora, in a mixed rough and smooth
litter. He had been bred by D. Craig and
sold to W. W. Thomson (Mitcham), one of the
founders of the Kennel Club and of the
Collie Club. Guelt won many shows during
those years: in Maidstone in 1876, in
Chesterfield and London in 1877 and again
in London and Birmingham in 1878.
Later two females attracted attention: a
dark-eyed blue merle called Fan, born in
1874, and owned by H. Mapplebeck, and later
a tricolour called Yarrow, owned by the same
W. W. Thomson. The presence of females is
predominant among those individuals that
have contributed to improve the smooth
collie, which is the opposite of what
happened to the rough, so we should talk
about dams of the breed rather than about
One of the first successful breeders was
Alexander Hastie (Herdwick), Judge and big
fan of the smooth coated variety. He
produced many individuals of quality:
Herdwick Baron, Herdwick Herdsman, Herdwick
King and Herdwick Eva. Mr. Hastie’s collies
were particularly appreciated for their
typical character and their aptitude for
work. The qualities of Herdwick Eva, greatly
impressed during the exhibition of the
Collie Club in London in 1890: she was sable
coloured, and had a powerful physique, the
distinctive collie expression and a very
good character. However, her ears were a bit
although well-carried, and her coat
was too abundant and soft for a smooth
Even Theodore Marples, director of Our
Dogs, considered by all to be an authority
on dogs, was one of the first admirers of
the smooth collie. Some of his most famous
individuals were Mountaineer, Milkmaid and
the champion Melody, who was the first
smooth collie to get the title of champion
even though she did not have an official
female who definitely had a great influence
on the breed was the champion Heatherfield
Dot, daughter of one of the Metchley
Wonder’s brothers. She was a blue merle with
a magnificent head and a very typical
expression; what a pity she was a bit small.
Henry E. Packwood (Billesley) tried to buy
her for a long time, and when after many
attempts he succeeded, he called her
Billesley Blue Eyes. Later she was sold to
Charles Wheeler, successively to F. Hurst
and finally arrived at the A. H. Megson’s
kennel, thanks to which she finally got to
participate in the championship.
In those same years, the champion
Heatherfield Tip, a sable and white male,
attracted attention. He was born on the
20th of August, 1892 by Jack Shepard ex
Ancrum Peeress and had been bred by W. P.
Phillips. Later he was bought by the usual
A. H. Megson who had him mated with
Heatherfield Dot. From this mating, two
great individuals were born on the 13rd of
September, 1893: a female called Busy Bee
and a male called Ballochmyle Max, who had a
good influence on the breed. Tip was
subsequently mated with Heatherfield Gyp and
produced another great individual, the blue
merle champion Gold Nugget, born in J.
Brown’s kennel on the 4th of March, 1894.
Two very important smooth collies for
the selection of the breed were born on the
16th of October,
1895: the champion Veto and
the tricolour champion Village Girl. Bred by
John Bell, they were son and daughter of Herdwick Smoker ex Busy Bee, both smooth.
The following year, exactly on the 12th
of April 1896, the champion Whitley Lass, a
beautiful blue merle, was born by the
champion Gold Nugget ex Richmond Countess.
She was bred by Mr Burne and then sold to J.
those years, at the end of the century, a
charming lady of the English aristocracy,
Lady Alexander (Ballochmyle), a staunch
supporter of the smooth coated variety of
collie, began to attend the ring of the dog
shows. Lady Alexander, wife of Sir Claud
Alexander, breeder and judge of Skye Terriers, acquired many of the best
individuals of the moment. Besides Veto, the
champion Irthlingborough Village Lass,
Mountain Boy, Ballochmyle Mars, Sedgemere
Peach, Ballochmyle Starlight and others, all
of the highest level, arrived at her kennel.
Mrs Brigham also deserves a prominent
place in the history of the smooth collie.
Mrs Brigham, a peasants’ daughter, had been
brought up to have a love for animals. Her
favourite dogs were bobtails, but she also
exerted her decisive influence on the
breeding of the smooth collie. She bought
her first collie from A. H. Megson. The dog
was called Speculation, and even though he
did not have great qualities, he helped her
to gain experience. Then she secured a good
Yorkshire Girl, and finally one of
Veto’s sons, the champion Rockcliffe Veto, a
blue merle male born on the 26th of February
1897, who had an extraordinary career. From
their mating Mrs. Brigham began producing
good quality individuals such as Yorkshire
Briar, who won a special prize at Crystal
Palace when he was just one year old.
On the 7th of May, 1897 by Herdwick
Herdsman ex Whitfield Daisy the champion
Irthlingboro Village Boy was born. He was a
characteristic type of tricolour bred by Mr.
Robson and was subsequently sold to A.
Dunmore (Irthlingboro), in whose kennel on
the 21st of September, 1898 was born the
champion Irthlingboro Village Lass, a
charming tricolour female, daughter of
Irthlingboro Village Boy ex Village Girl.
Shortly after, on the 28th of June1897,
by Veto ex Whitley Lass, Bakewell Beauty was
born. Bred by J. Hough, and then sold to L.
Smalley, she had inherited many of the good
qualities of Heatherfield Tip, who was her
maternal and paternal great-grandfather.
1900 the tricolour champion Babette of
Moreton began to attract attention. She was
born on the 17th of February, 1900 and was
bred by A. Dunmore and then sold to H. H.
Jones. After his death Babette of Moreton
was moved to Lady Alexander’s kennel. She
was undoubtedly the best bitch of the
century, had great qualities and almost no
defects. At the Collie Club show in 1902 she
won the Challenge Trophy as the best collie
of each variety.
Another fascinating specimen, who also
belonged to Lady Alexander, was the champion
Doon Heiress, a tricolour female born on the
17th of January, 1902, by Ryton Topper ex
Doon May Queen.
May of 1901, Canute Fascination was born by
Ashford Clinker ex Ashford Countess. She was
a female bred by I. Smalley and was later
sold to Frank Wildgoose (Canute). He was a
great specialist in smooth collies. Among
his other dogs that had a positive influence
on the breed we must remember the champion
Barden Venture, a black-and-tan collie who
was not only a winner, but a very good sire
as well. Among his sons and daughters, all
big winners, we should mention the champion
Ormskirk Venice, who was born on the 20th of
March, 1903 ex Ormskirk Bluebelle, and
Scorton Lady Love, who was born on the 22nd
of June, 1901 ex Ladysmith.
Another good individual at the beginning
of this century was the champion Canute
Perfection, born on the 5th of July, 1902 by
Count of Moreton (rough) ex Marston Amy
(smooth) in T. Farish’s kennel. The success
of the union between a smooth and a rough
was confirmed by the birth, on the 8th of
June, 1903, of the champion Eleanor de
Montfort, owned by H. Mumford Smith,
produced by a repetition of that mating.
the early years of the twentieth century,
even Tom Stretch (Ormskirk) let himself be
tempted by smooth collie breeding and
succeeded in producing some collies of great
value such as the champion Ormskirk Venice,
a blue merle female born on the 20th of
March, 1903 by the champion Barden Venture
ex Ormskirk Bluebelle; she was a very nice
individual, who also won the Guinea Trophy
for the best rough or smooth
the exhibition of the Collie Club in 1906.
The show of the Collie Club in 1906
marked the revenge of the smooth on its
charming long-haired cousin, because on that
occasion the finalists were two smooth
collies: the champion Ormskirk Venice, cited
above, and the champion Eastwood Eminent,
who had become champion at only ten months
old. He was a tricolour born on the 11th of
May, 1905 by Sunnybrae Perfection ex Quality
of Dunkirk, bred by R. G. Howson (Eastwood)
who produced other successful smooth
collies: the champion Eastwood Extra,
Eastwood Exact, Stanley Wonder, etc.
during those years the greatest breeder in
the selection of all the smooth collies was
George Watson (Stanley), who bred more
champions than anyone else. His best known
individuals were the champion Stanley
Countess, a tricolour female born on the
18th of June, 1910 by the champion Julien de
Montfort ex Woodbine Fascination; the
champion Stanley Merle, a blue merle male
born on the 4th of April 1913 by King Of The
Blues (rough) ex Stanley Countess (smooth);
and his sister Stanley Ella.
William Stansfield (Laund) fell in love with
the smooth collie he was already a famous
all over the world. He bought one of
the most beautiful smooth collies ever seen
from Mr Whitley, the champion Laund Lynne,
born on the 6th of September, 1917 by Hetman
ex Primley Primula. She was a female blue
merle practically perfect and a champion
whose career was second to none: she won as
many as seventeen CC and even ninety-five
Best in Show.
At the outbreak of the First World War, the
Kennel Club prohibited the breeding of dogs.
The ban lasted three years, and if the
Smooth Collie overcame the ruins of war
without damage, the merit must be given to a
few obstinate and enthusiastic breeders, who
nonetheless remained loyal to the breed.
Little by little everything started again in
the manner in which the new political
geography allowed. New breeders began to
work in favour of the collie, and also the
smooth collie found his followers, who
brought him up to the present day with love
THE GREAT COLLIE SIRES: THE BLUE MERLE
Publication Date January 10, 2017
The first blue merle stud dog which became famous was a stallion with china-like eyes, born in 1873. His name was Scot, he was grey and white with rich tan markings. At n. 6495 of the KENNEL CLUB STUD BOOK of the year 1876 you can read about him and that he belonged to Mr. F. B. Brackenbury, coming from Downham, Norfolk, but we do not know the breeder’s name. Then the colour is described as follows: "Grey, tan and white, china eyes". This dog is called "Scott" in many subsequent texts about the collie, but here we prefer to use the official name of the Kennel Club.
At those times you could find this variety of colour (merle or "mirled", or more precisely "marbled", as it was also subsequently called) more often in the smooth than in the rough collies, among which the sable ones had already become hugely popular. However the work of a few enthusiastic breeders began bearing fruit little by little and in 1880, at an exhibition in Dundee, judge Hugh Dalziel gave the victory to a blue merle collie. Later judge Vero Shaw did the same during an exhibition in Fakenham, Kent, where the palm of victory went to the above-mentioned Scot.
We cannot talk about the collie’s merle colour without mentioning Sir William Arkwright (Scarsdale), who was given the merit of having thoroughly studied and dictated the rules for the breeding of this fascinating variety of collie. With this study and through a scrupulous selection, he managed to get a perfect merle colour, perhaps never again achieved in the history of the breed.
The description that Arkwright furnishes of Scot is concise and fascinating: "A light silvery blue, beautifully clouded with black, white collar, frill, blaze, paws and tags; face and forelegs bordered by bright red, with one china eye".
Enchanted by this collie and after having tried in vain to buy him, William Arkwright made him cover one of his females called Russet, probably black-and-tan, and white.
This mating is the base of all today’s blue merle collies and from it a female was born, Blue Stocking, which in her turn mated to a male called Redbreast, produced a blue female called Blue Rose.
Of course at that time the blue stud dogs were rare, so it was absolutely necessary to resort to inbreeding, so Blue Rose was mated to her grandfather Scot and in April of 1882 two puppies were born, Blue Sky and Blue Thistle, respectively male and female. The male was the best blue of his time, whilst his sister, mated to Donald, a tricolour which was born on the 9th of December, 1878 by Carlyle ex Flirt (a daughter of Old Cockie) was the mother of the famous Blue Ruin, the first female blue merle to win an exhibition beating even collies of other colours. In 1888, in fact, she won the Collie Club's Challenge Trophy, the most important trophy at that time. Another important daughter of Blue Stocking was Blue Belle, mother of Blue Bear, another winner of 1888.
William Arkwright was the pioneer of the blue breeding. According to his theories the best blues are obtained by mating the blue merle with a special tricolour called "black and tan", which is completely lacking in white, now unfortunately disappeared. Arkwright was absolutely against mating the sable and the merle because it would have given, as he said, a merle colour contaminated by a rust colour and would have produced sable and blue-eyed puppies. He was also against mating two merles, but he admitted that the white ones (double merle), born from this coupling, mated to a tricolour, could give merle puppies of exceptional beauty. According to Arkwright, the union of two merle dogs, however, had to be absolutely avoided if there were already three or more merles among the grandparents of the future puppies.
Unfortunately, in the spring of 1890 William Arkwright sold all his collies. He had suffered a serious hunting accident in 1876, moreover he did not have any children and preferred to devote himself to his hunting dogs of which he was a recognized expert. His most important individual, Blue Ruin, was bought for 99 guineas from Panmure Gordon, the first president of the Scottish Kennel Club, who actually acted on behalf of the financier and American breeder John Pierpont Morgan (Cragston). So, in that same year, Blue Ruin left England. It was she who took this colour to the New World. All the American blue collies derive from her. However, she was a loss for English breeding, also because her mother, Blue Thistle, had died after giving birth to her second litter.
After the Arkwright’s withdrawal, another breeder made an effort to continue the work that had been done up to that time. His name was John Andrew Doyle, one of the oldest members of the Kennel Club. Although he was not really a collie expert, he was an esteemed and respected judge, particularly keen on the smooth. He did not often frequent the exposition ring, but he fought until the blue merle could be judged as a separate class.
Even John Powers (Barwell) dealt with the blue merle, despite being already famous for collies of other colours. One of the winners of those years was his Barwell Lass, a dog with a beautiful grey colour, well marked with black.
Thus, the blue merle collie, which had experienced a period of scarce interest from the public after William Arkwright’s retirement, saw a revival of approval from enthusiasts, thanks to other capable breeders.
One of these was Fred Barlow (Yardley). His most important dogs were Yardley Blue Jumbo, born on the 2nd of July, 1906 by Master Merledale ex Yardley Crystal; Yardley Blue Spider born on the 21st of May, 1906 by Master Merledale ex Stoneleigh Lady; Yardley Freda, born on the 15th of October, 1906 by Annandale Knockout ex Annandale Blossom.
C. White also bred the blue variety successfully. In addition to being a big lover of the collie and a pioneer of the blue colour, he was a true gentleman, held in the highest regard by his friends on both sides of the ocean. He had purchased from A. C. Thompson the bitch Blue Fancy with whom he had laid the foundation of his kennel. His most famous blue collies were Blue Princess Alice, born on the 21st of June, 1903 by Royal Amethyst ex Bonny Girl, and Blue Princess Alexandra, born on the 26th of April, 1907 by Blue John ex Bonny Girl, both grandchildren of Ormskirk Emerald.
Even Henry E. Packwood (Billesley) who had been president of the English Collie Club wanted to undertake the breeding of blue merle. His flagship bitch was Billesley Bluey.
In 1907 The English Rough Blue Merle Collie Club was born, which in 1924 converged into the British Collie Club, and whose purpose was the promotion of the breeding and the improvement of the blue merle collie’s variety. F. Barlow was elected president, T. Leckie treasurer and H. G. Hill secretary. The most well-known men of that time constituted the Council: T. Horry, H. J. Jacques, W. E. Mason, S. E. Packwood, A. C. Thompson, C. H. Wheeler, C. White and R. J. Warner. The Club held its first exhibition in January of 1910, at the time as the one in Birmingham. Their winners were, among the females, Billesley Blue Blossom belonging to H.E. Packwood and, among the males, Typewriter, belonging to WL Tippett, who also had the satisfaction of winning another prestigious trophy, the Billesley Bowl, with his Blue Plasmon (Edgbaston Plasmon x Hartshill Stella). It was a big undertaking, because even collies of other colours competed.
William E. Mason, who had had so much success with the sable collies, also became interested in the blue merle in the early twentieth century. One of his most famous blue was Southport Blue Sky, born on the 21st of May, 1906 by Master Merledale ex Stoneleigh Lady. Sold in the US in 1908, he went to enrich William Ellery (Valverde)’s kennels in San Francisco.
In the early years of that century another great member of the old guard, Hugo Ainscough (Parbold) began to dedicate himself to the blue merle. He bought a beautiful female, Parbold Blue Luna, Southport Blue Star and Porchester Grania’s daughter, by Ms Hume-Robertson (Porchester). This female was part of an extraordinary litter born on the 8th of June, 1910 which included Porchester Blue Comet, Porchester Blue Vesta and the champion Porchester Blue Sol as well. The latter had a great influence on the breed.
The winds of war were beginning to sweep Europe, and the roar of cannons thundered closer and closer. Certainly it was not a good time for breeding. We have only to mention a couple of dogs before the clamour of the exhibitions is covered by the rhythmic cadence of the boots of the marching armies.
It was a pity, because at the end of the first decade of the twentieth century, the merle variety had reached the peak of its popularity. HG Hill had produced some of the best blue females ever seen: Azure Belle (Master Merldale x Rona) sold at a price never paid before for a female and Southport Grey Charmer (Master Merldale x Edgbaston Ena, in her turn Squire of Tytton’s daughter).
The number of blue merle collie that in early 1909 crossed the ocean bound for America was higher than any other colours, which gives an idea of the spread in popularity of this variety. However this exodus turned out to be positive, because soon thereafter the World War would have canceled or drastically reduced many of the most important European livestocks. Some of them succeeded in getting through the damages of war unharmed, others were swept away, but at the end of the conflict new breeders took the place of those who had disappeared, and slowly the collie and its wonderful colours came back to life.