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info@CollieRescue.org

Collie Rescue of
Greater Illinois, Inc.
PO Box 4169
Lisle, Illinois 60532
(630) 415-1206
 
 

History of the Collie

The Collie is believed to have originated in the hilly border countries of Scotland and Ireland. Farmers and shepherds needed a reliable, intelligent dog to guard the flock and be a companion to the family. Although Collies today are known for their beauty, these first Collies were valued for their working ability and intelligence, and were a far cry from the show Collies of today.

What did early Collies look like?

Early Collies were small, between 25 and 40 pounds, and came in a wide assortment of colors and markings. The rough Collie's glory, its beautiful flowing coat, was probably an adaptation to the harsh climate in which it lived.

1860: Collies in the show ring

Since the appearance of the first Collie in the show ring in England in 1860, the Collie's appearance has undergone many changes. They have doubled in size, the coat has become thicker and colors standardized, heads leaner and lighter and the eye is darker. Despite these changes in appearance, the Collie retains the charming personality, working ability, intelligence and devotion that endeared them to the Scottish farmers of old.

Collies today

Collies have proven themselves to be a very adaptable and versatile breed. Collies today are seen in the conformation ring, obedience ring and in herding events. Many Collies have even lived up to the high standards set by Lassie, performing feats of heroism and bravery.