Shepherd or Collie?

This article was published inCountry Life in America, March 1, 1908.

To The Editor:

I have a fine collie pup and a neighbor of mine recently bought what he calls a pure shepherd dog. We have had a number of discussions in regard to the relative merits of our two breeds of dogs. Can you tell me just what a shepherd dog is, whether a pure strain or a cross between a collie and something else ? E. B. EVERARD.

When the collie was first introduced into America, it was used exclusively for sheep herding. The first specimens that were imported were tricolored (black, tan and white, black predominating). Due to the purpose for which these first collies were used, people who were not familiar with the breed and its name, spoke of them as shepherd dogs.

The name followed the breed throughout America. Beginning with the importation of sable-colored collies, however, the proper name gradually came to be used again. This mistake was purely American, as the breed has always been known as collies in every other part of the world. Occasionally misinformed fanciers still call them shepherd dogs. Every lover of this breed should make it his purpose to use the correct name. No end of confusion has been caused in this and other breeds by the substitution of new names by Americans.

Both pure-bred collies and crossed collies are thus erroneously called shepherd dogs.

The English sheep dog is still another breed --one of the oldest of the British Isles-- which is just becoming popular in this country, although a few good specimens have been used for some time in this country, both for utility and for show. This dog should not be confused with the collie or "shepherd dog." These two breeds are the most extensively used of any for herding. Strangely enough the Scotch collie has reached its highest development in England and the English sheep- dog in Scotland. G. C.


The term collie has been correctly used for the entire breed since the introduction of the sables

The old-fashioned collie, before the development of the modern show type, was often called a "shepherd dog"

Russian sheepdog, first cousin to the English sheepdog, and nothing like the collie or "shepherd"

Champion Brentwood's Country Girl, an old English sheepdog of the type rapidly gaining in popularity

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