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The Collie Dog.

The Collie dog makes an excellent sporting dog and can be trained to do the work
of the Pointer and the Setter, as well as that of the Water Spaniel and the Ret
riever. He can be trained to carry out the work of other breeds as well. It is
smart at hunting, having an excellent nose, is a first-rate vermin-killer, and a
most loyal guard dog and companion.
Little is known with certainty of the source of the Collie, but his craftiness a
nd his outward appearance would appear to indicate a relationship with the wild
dog. Buffon was of opinion that it was the true dog of nature, the stock and mod
el for the whole canine species.
He considered the Sheepdog superior in instinct and intellect to all other breed
s, and that, with a character which other breeds do not share. It is the only cr
eature that is born completely qualified for the assistance of man.
At the shows this type of dog is invariably at the top of the group. He is thoug
ht to be the most obedient, and is certainly one of the most lively. The second
most popular breed of this type is the smooth-coated variety, which is a hard-w
orking, useful dog, well adapted for hill work and normally very fleet of foot.
He is not so sweet in temper as the black and white, and is slow to make friends
. There is not a more graceful and physically beautiful dog to be seen than the
show Collie of the present period. Produced from the old working animal, it is
now almost a separate breed.
The skull should be flat, fairly wide between the ears, and gradually narrowing
towards the eyes. There should only be a small depression at the bottom. The wid
th of skull necessarily depends upon the combined length of skull and muzzle; an
d the whole must be measured in relationship with the size of the animal. The ch
eeks should not be full or outstanding.
The muzzle ought to be of a fair length, tapering to the nose, and must not show
weakness. Whatever the colour of the dog, the nose must be black. The teeth sho
uld be of a good size, sound and level; very slight irregularity is allowed.
The mouth should be clean-cut and powerful. The eyes are a very important featur
e, giving expression to the dog; they should be of medium size, set a little obl
iquely, of almond shape and brown colour except in the case of merles, when the
eyes are frequently (one or both) blue and white or china; expressing high intel
ligence, with a bright, alert appearance when they are listening.
The ears should be and moderately wide at the base, located not too close toget
her but on the top of the skull and not on the elevation of the head. When in re
pose they should be borne thrown back, but when on the alert brought forward and
carried semi-erect, with tips somewhat sagging in the attitude of listening.
The neck should be muscular, powerful, of reasonable length, and a little arched
. The body should be strong, with well sprung ribs, deep chest, fairly broad be
hind the shoulders, which should be sloped, loins very sturdy..
The fore legs should be straight and strong, leaning neither in nor out at the e
lbows, with a fair amount of bone; the forearm rather plump, the pasterns showin
g suppleness without frailty. The hind-legs should be muscular at the thighs, cl
ean and sinewy below the hocks, with well-bent stifles. The feet should be oval
in shape, soles well padded, and the toes vaulted and close together.
Its general character is to be a lithe, active dog, his deep chest showing lung
power, his neck strength, his sloping shoulders and well bent hocks representing
speed, and his expression of high intelligence. He should be a fair length in t
he leg, giving him more of a racy than a plodding appearance.
In short, a Collie should show endurance, activity, and intelligence, with free
and deliberate actions. In height dogs should be 22 ins. to 24 ins. at the shoul
ders, bitches 20 ins. to 22 ins. The weight for dogs is 45 to 65 lbs., bitches 4
0 to 55 lbs. The smooth collie only differs from the rough in its coat, which sh
ould be hard, thick and quite smooth.
Owen Jones, the writer of this article, writes on a number of topics, but is now
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