This section is from the book "All About Dogs - A Book For Doggy People", by Charles Henry Lane. Also available from Amazon: All About Dogs: A Book For Doggy People.
The Rough-coated Collie is a very beautiful and interesting breed, of a highly nervous temperament, very intelligent, and capable of much training for the performance of his natural work with the flocks. Those who have seen him, at the Sheepdog trials, which are frequently held in various parts of the country, but more particularly in Wales, can testify to the patience, care, judgment and discretion, shown by many of the competitors, who, in these cases, have usually three strange sheep to conduct a long distance, over a course marked out by flags on small posts stuck in the ground at intervals, and put them into a small pen, usually made of three hurdles, at the end of the course, no one being allowed to accompany the dogs during the trial, but merely to give directions from a distance, by voice or gestures. I am inclined to think the Scotch Collie is, at the present time, nearly the most popular breed of dog in the United Kingdom, and a really first class specimen, good in head, ears, eyes, shape, size, coat, colour and brush, is very valuable.
Rough-Collie "LOCHEL" H.R.H. PRINCESS OF WALES .OWNER.
This is another breed favoured in high places, Her Majesty The Queen, the Princess of Wales (one of whose specimens illustrates this variety), the Countess of Warwick, and many more distinguished persons too numerous to particularize, being amongst those who have extended their patronage to this favourite breed of dog. The points to be desired in this breed, are as follows: - Long head, skull not too wide or round, obliquely set eyes, dark and expressive, small ears, set rather far back and high, raised semi-erect, technically known as half-pricked, when excited, with points slightly forward and hanging down; frame sinewy, active and well knit; deep but wide in chest; straight forelegs, feathered at back, with well bent hocks, strong compact feet; dense undercoat of warm, woolly hair, with coat of hard hair over, intensely full over the shoulders, neck and chest, tail carried in a graceful curve and not over back, profusely feathered on lower side, colours usually shades of black, sable grey, blue and red, with or without white; size from forty-five to sixty-five for dogs, and for bitches something less.
The general appearance of a strong, active and very intelligent dog, eager and ready to obey his master's orders.
I must not omit to mention the Smooth Collie, another variety. I have long bred and kept it. It also is distinguished for its great activity. I remember, in particular, one merle bitch of this breed I had who would run up a rough stone wall ten feet high, like a cat, and jump down the other side, and I have frequently seen her take a run and go over the large wooden doors leading into my stable yard: she was a marvel, but I have had many others, who have surprised me by their athletic performances. Some of the most intelligent work of any breed of sheep dog has been done by Smooth Collies. A black and light brown bitch, of what I may call Bloodhound colour, which I had some years since (her portrait illustrates this variety), had again and again beaten all competitors and taken gold and silver medals at Sheep Dog trials in England and Wales, and was superior in intelligence to most "two-legged animals" of any variety. If in charge of a flock of sheep, on a narrow road, or lane, and they got jammed, she would either jump the wall or hedge, at side, and run down to head them, or run over their backs to the front, and drive them back to clear the course, and she knew what was said to her almost before it was uttered.
The appearance of this breed is much like that of the Rough, or Scotch Collie, except that the coat is short and sleek, ears pricked and without feathering on them or the legs; and the tail, with only a slight fringe of hair on its lower side. The favoured colours are merle (which is a sort of mottled grey, black and blue), black and white, tricolour, and what I have before mentioned as Bloodhound colour, being black on the back, and light tan-coloured brown all the rest of the body, and it is considered an advantage, rather than otherwise, for one or both of the eyes to be "wall," or china, coloured. Having used them for work, as companions, guards, and as house pets, I can speak very highly of Smooth Collies, which, I think, are more kept in the north of England and in Wales, particularly the South, than in any other parts of the country, but I also think that if they were more known, they would be more kept, as they have many advantages in their favour, and, like other short-coated breeds, their change of coat is hardly perceptible, whereas we know how very unsightly is any long-coated breed of dog when "out of coat." The points of this breed are the same as in the Rough-coated variety, except in coat.
SMOOTH COLLIE CH."LADY NELLIE"C.H.LANE owner.