Country/Date of Origin: Great Britain/1500s
An ancient breed of herding dog, the Scotch Collie shares a common heritage with the Border Collie. In the 1860s the Scotch Collie caught the eye of people interested in the beauty of the rough variety and bred it to increase body size and the thickness of the coat. Coincidentally, there was an increased popularity of the larger, slower English sheep (better wool) over the nimble, cunning Highland sheep. Now the bigger, slower Collie could compete for the shepherd's favor and it began to find its way back into the fields.
With the patronage of Queen Victoria, the Collie became the vogue in the 1880's. And American royalty in the form of J.P. Morgan championed the breed across the Atlantic as well. In 1885 Collies were admitted into the American Kennel Club and great specimens were fetching more than the average man earned in ten years.
There are two varieties of the Collie. Everything that can be said about the rough coated Collie can be said about the smooth variety except for coat. It has been a Cinderella to its more glamorous rough sibling except where it counts - in working situations. The Smooth Collie has shone as a military dog in the two World Wars, as a guide for the blind and as a search and rescue dog.