History of Farm Collies

Historic Farm Collie

No one knows when the first collies were imported to America but it was no doubt early in the colonial period. We do know that by the early 1800s they were well established in this country.

By the time the turn of the twentieth century rolled around the collie was ubiquitous on farms, a must-have for almost any farmer. This was the environment that persisted into the early post-war period, many alive today remember fondly the farm collies of their childhood, in a time when nearly every farm had one. But it was not to last, change was around the corner.

As the twentieth century progressed, a slow, imperceptible change was taking place, the farm collies were becoming more scarce, either replaced my specialist breeds like Border Collies or by more fashionable, pedigreed dogs. Around this same time the English Shepherd and the Australian Shepherd were first recognized as distinct breeds.

In the 1980s some people became concerned about the plight of the farm collie. One such person was Erika DuBois who wrote an article Old Scotch Collie in which she talks about the collies that were so common on farms in her native Nova Scotia and her search to find one. This article and others like it ignited the farm collie movement and got people interested in reviving the old farm collie.

More history of farm collies can be read at www.OldTimeFarmShepherd.org.