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any theories have been put forward about the origins of the Collie as a breed. But, it will remain a mystery whether the typical sheepdog from the early 1800s, after cross breeding with Greyhounds, as well as Gordon- and Irish Setters, led to the Collie.

Even the origin of the name of the breed is based on supposition. The original name Colley could derive from the Anglo-Saxon word col, meaning black, which was possibly the original colour of the breed. It is also likely that the name derives from the black-faced sheep, called colleys, that the Collie used to herd.

The Collie herded sheep in the Scottish Highlands, sometimes without the shepherd's guidance. In order to cope with this task, the dog needed to be able to act on his own initiative, a fact which causes the Collie to differ in mentality from other breeds. The Collie does not serve blindly - he loves his family, but there are moments when, due to his personality, his own initiative shines through.

In 1871, Old Mec, a black and tan dog and Old Cockie, a sable and white dog, made their appearance during the Birmingham show. All show collies can be traced back to their ancestor Old Cockie.

Already after 4 generations, Metchley Wonder resembled more the type we know today, staying practically unchanged over the decades.

Towards the beginning of the 1900s, the Collie was bred as a working dog and a show dog. As shepherds continued contributing towards the breeding of Collies, these two elements were fortunately not separated.

Queen Victoria was so struck by the working Collie's capabilities when she watched the royal shepherds and their dogs doing their work, that she decided to keep Collies herself. From then on the Collie grew in popularity. Breeders decided to buy up the best species from the farmers and created a breed that started its triumph around the world.

It is well known that Scottish sheepdogs were used as war- and rescue dogs. The Collie was very popular as a military rescue dog and messenger. During the war, the British used Collies world-wide in military service, which triggered off the strong competition with the German Shepherd dog. For patriotic reasons, only dogs of German origin were used for military and police-force purposes in Germany, resulting in the fact that the GS took over the Collie's place as the working dog. At this period it became the aim of Collie breeders and Breed clubs, to focus more on appearance and beauty in order to create show dogs, which made the Collie gain enormously in popularity again. Those who know the breed will understand why the rough Collie, especially, became a fashionable dog in the following years. Its appearance has changed considerably over the last years. It is almost unthinkable that today's Collies, with their abundant coats, would be able to herd sheep.

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