Published in the June 15, 1912 issue of Country Life in America.
The fight to save the old-fashioned collie is on. Just where it will lead we cannot say, but it is bound to be interesting. It involves the big question of breeding for intelligence rather than external show points, and that leads toward the controversy between the advocates of bench shows and those who are endeavoring to promote field trials in this country. We hope to have some interesting things to print along these lines before long. Meanwhile, here are a few more letters inspired by Mr. Barnum's communication in our December 15th issue.
To the Editors:
I showed the reproduction of an old-fashioned shepherd dog, which appears in your December 15th number, to a farmer who, ten years ago, owned a remarkably intelligent dog of this breed. His dog's name was Shep, and as I showed the illustration in your paper to the man, he said at once: "Yes, that is the very dog! He's exactly like mine was, except the markings. And that queer drop of the lower lip is just the way my Shep curled his lower lip when he came toward you wagging his tail. We called it 'Shep's smile'."
The farmer said that one day he was plowing, and after coming home he missed the dog. All the next day passed and the dog did not return. On the third day the farmer went in search of him, and in a field he found Shep guarding the coat which the farmer had hung on the fence when plowing, and had entirely forgotten. They had called the dog, who must have heard them, but he refused to leave his master's coat. "It would have been of no use to send the hired man for the coat," said the farmer, " for the dog wouldn't have let him touch it."
"We used to send Shep," said he, "to bring the cows home from the pasture at milking time. One day he failed to return, but barked toward the house from a hill-top field. I went up to see what was the matter and found that one of the cows had a calf down in the hollow and would not be driven by Shep, and that her calf had got under the fence into another field. The dog ran to this spot, which was a thicket, and back again to me, to show me where the calf was, and why he couldn't perform his usual task.
"He used to follow strangers into the house and sit near them and watch their every movement. He guarded the children, and would permit them to maul him about till they got too rough, when he would walk to another part of the room out of their reach. He was the most intelligent dog I ever saw, and had an affectionate nature very different from that of the sharp-nosed collie."
This farmer got this shepherd dog from a fancier in Harrisburg, Pa., about ten years ago. Possibly an advertisement in the papers in that locality might discover some dogs of this breed.
The fine dog in your illustration has something of the look of the Newfoundland or St. Bernard. Could this shepherd dog be the result of a cross between the collie and St. Bernard? It would be a great shame if this breed of dogs should die out.
Well-earned repose--the old-fashioned collie in the old farmhouse kitchen, after a hard day's work with stock
To the Editors:
I have just recovered from a severe illness, and while ill in bed a neighbor sent to me a copy of Country Life in America for December 15, 1911, in which she said there was a life-like picture of my dog. It had a picture of an old-fashioned shepherd dog in it which is such a perfect reproduction of my dog Scott that at least a dozen persons I have shown it to remarked at once it was a picture of my dog. Of course, I held my hand over the explanatory matter under the cut while they looked at it. No more perfect reproduction could be made, and it is safe to say that ninety-nine persons out of a hundred would declare it to be my dog.
I am a lover of the old-fashioned shepherd and have owned one since 1898. The one I own now is six years old, is a perfect type of what you are after, and is the most noble, lovable, faithful animal I ever saw. I bought him of a Hartford milk dealer at a dog show in Hartford, Ct., in January, 1906. The old angel lies on the front piazza of my house now, guarding the place, and he would stay there a week until he saw me go out. I would not have one of those snipe-nose aristocrats on the place, but this shepherd I have now is the perfection of animal friendship.
Frederick Calvin Norton.
To the Editors:
In the Stable and Kennel department of your issue of December 15, 1911, I note an inquiry of Mr. Otis Barnum in regard to the old-fashioned shepherd dog. For the information of Mr. Barnum I will say that there are quite a few of these dogs in this section of North Carolina. They are not quite as tall as the modern type of collie, but stouter and heavier. The best ones are mostly tan undercolor with black tips on the hairs, and with white collar and markings. In disposition they are very affectionate and playful with their masters and the children they know, but they are pretty hard to get acquainted with and will rarely notice a stranger.
A great many people in this section are of Scotch origin and this breed of dogs is supposed to have been originally brought by them from Scotland.
About all these shepherd dogs that I know of are bred and owned by cattlemen who keep them exclusively for use in their business, and I know of no one who makes a business of breeding them for sale, but frequently a good puppy can be picked up from some owner who has more than he has use for.
E. G. Finley.
North Wilkesboro, N. C.
To the Editors:
My dog is a registered Scotch collie, Maxwatton Fanny 2d (114057), sire Laddie Masterpiece (91579), dam Maxwatton Fanny (101135), all pertaining to the old-fashioned type of collie. She would be criticized in a dog show chiefly on the forehead being too full and the eyes being too prominent and the head in general too short.
It can easily be seen that these so-called faults are mostly very good indications of intelligence, the keen eye showing life and energy, the full forehead indicating large brain. Nevertheless, I have seen some good working dogs among the more aristocratic show animals. I got Fanny from my brother when she was two months old, having been whelped October 4, 1906, and she has been around stock ever since. She received her early training in the Shenandoah Valley while I was in the employment of H. B. Sproul, Esq., Staunton, Va., a dealer on a large scale in sheep and cattle; consequently she was at work nearly every day and soon became very popular among the stock men of the valley.
"Me and Bill." The boy-and-dog combination has existed as long as have boys and dogs--and somehow we always think of the dog as being an old-fashioned collie
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