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The Book of Ole Shep - Tales of Our English Shepherds

They Are Not the Same

This article was originally published in Dog World magazine of April 1952

It is high time that correct and clear distinction be made between the border collie, the English shepherd and the farmer’s collie

A page from Dog World of April 1952
A page from Dog World of April 1952

Could you please give me the following information? Why do you have your English Shepherds and border collies advertised in the same ad column? Are they the same kind of dog? And is the border collie sometimes short-tailed? Are the short-tailed shepherd and the border collie the same dog? Please write the answers to the questions back to me. --- Charles Gross, Box 22 Grafton, Nebr.

ANSWER – This reader is very much in order, for it is high time that correct and clear distinction be made among several dogs in this group.

The group includes the border collie, the English shepherd and the farmer’s collie.

The BORDER COLLIE is true to type, usually is black with white markings, varies in size from 30 to 40 lbs., and is registered by the North American Sheepdog Society, Wooster, OH.

The ENGLISH SHEPHERD is limited to black with tan markings, and within the last few years has come into great popularity. It is registered by the English Shepherd Club of America, Quinlan, TX.

Thus far, this club has closed the books to dogs of other color or markings. Frankly, the Editor of Dog World would like to see this breed called American shepherd, for it is far more American than English.

The FARMER’S COLLIE is a term applied vaguely to a large number of dogs of collie background and usually of wide skull, rather heavy muzzle, and not as high as the collie proper. It was this type of dog which proved to be satisfactory in the K-9 Corps of World War II.

A dog of this type could never win a prize in the show ring as a collie. It is distinctly an American derivation.

The American Kennel Club does not recognize and of these three groups.

A standard for the border collie and also a standard for the English shepherd will be published in the June Standards issue of Dog World.

P.S. – None of these breeds has a bob tail or short tail by nature. Occasionally a dog will be born with a bob or short tail and this is particularly true with an entirely different breed—the Old English Sheepdog, which is seldom used for work in the field.

From Dog World April, 1952