The Scotch Collie evolved as a landrace breed of dog that originates mainly from pastoral regions of England, Scotland and Wales. It is likely that they were descended from a variety ancient herding dogs dating back to the Rome occupation. Earliest references are spelled as "cooley", "coaly" and "colley" dogs, and there are varying opinions as to why they were called such.
A diligent review of dogs depicted as "Scotch Collie" leading up to 1900 reveals the nature of a landrace breed. The variety of types includes a broad spectrum, both in British Isles and across the western world. Images drawn by a vast array of artists seldom depict them identical. To a novice one might think the artists were wrong in their interpretation or that images weredrawn poorly however such is not the case. All landrace breeds of animals share a certain appearance, but never with the modern concept of "breeds". The modern understanding of dog breeds is based on the eugenics programs promoted by the kennel clubs. Collie dogs were the poor man's dog, the shepherd, the drover, the farmer and the highlander. All men who carried the stewardship of their animals proudly. Their dogs, had to be hardy enough to survive on very little and require little special handling. They had to naturally choose to be by their owner's side and think on their feet.
They had a different approach to their animals than the typical aristocratic breeder. Their dogs were a vital part of his survival, and were critical to the success in his work. The collie dog became the way it was because it was bred solely for purpose. The pedigree seldom went past 3 generations. Their appearance merely reflected that. Until the kennel clubs began they were never bred for appearance. These men couldn't afford to take a chance on investing years on a dog. Pups were only kept from proven dogs. Breeding a dog before being proven was too expensive. Modern AKC breeders will start a female at 6 months or 1 year. This creates a breeding style that circumvents the ability to have a dog proven in health and service. Landrace dogs become naturally hardy because their appearance means nothing to their survival, rather what they can provide, how easy they are to keep, and healthy they remain. This is called Function over Form and was how all dog breeds originated before owning a dog became a status symbol.
The AKC chose the name of Scotch Collie for their initial breed club. They chose from the existing population of landrace collie dogs then created an arbitrary breed standard that they chose to breed for. This standard was not a description of a typical Scotch Collie but was and is in fact, the breeders idea of what their ideal should be. These standards have changed constantly over the first hundred years of the kennel club. Eventually the AKC dropped the "Scotch" and chose to call them Rough/Smooth collies in an attempt to differentiate their dogs from the "common" Scotch Collie. The United Kennel Clubbased out of Kalamazoo, Michigan, had also once called the original Collie, albeit now more often found in his modernized physical state, the "Scotch Collie," while the white Collies were once called the "Columbian Collie" to differentiate them from their other colored brethren.
During more recent years, small new clubs have been started to champion the physical type of "collie" that they liked. Some have sometimes deleted animslsgbst appeared to be of tbeie family without regard to ancestry in hopes of attaining h their goal of creating or recreating what they
Colliedescendants include several breeds such as Border Collies, English Shepherds, Australian Shepherds, and Shetland Sheepdogs. All descend from dogs pulled from the Collie with inclusion of other breeds or types. While many branches of the Scotch Collie were pulled from the landrace, the original landrace dog began to suffer from a lack of stewardship but luckily has still survived on rural farms and ranches across the world.
During the Victorian and Edwardian era the name "scotch collie" was often used to describe all types of Collie dogs of Scotch, American, Australian, English, Irish, and Welsh ancestry.
The Scotch Collie is now simply called the Collie. Whether called Scotch Collie or Collie, he is one and the same breed!
The modern Collie has changed physically, as most breeds eventually do, in an effort by enthusiasts to further evolve or enhance the breed. In selecting a dog, whether for companion and protector for the family and children, as a working dog, show dog, or performance/sports dog, seek out those who have the type of dog you're interested in.
In reaction to the issues in eugenics breeding there is a backlash across the board in many AKC breeds. As there is a large grassroots push toward bringing back the genetic diversity in varying amounts. This includes the Collie dog. Quality healthy pups of collies that were previously not used for breeding simply because they didn't fit into a certain look are now beginning to be considered as part of the general landrace breed. There are several grassroots organizations that are now starting to document the pedigrees of dogs based not pedigree amddaappearance
Books such as Bob, Son of Battleand Lassie Come Homewere written about the Collie. Eric Knight owned "Tootsie" a purebred Scotch Collie which bears no resemblance to the dog chosen to play Lassie in the movies and TV shows.
The Scotch Collie is the ancestor of a multitude of modern dog breeds such as the Shetland Sheepdog, Australian Shepherd, English Shepherd, Border Collie, Gordon Setter, Australian Kelpie, Australian Cattle Dog, Golden Retriever, German Shepherd Dog, Nova Scotia Duck Tolling RetrieverOvelheiro GauchoSee Collie for other types of Collie and related dog types.