You know you’re more than just a Herding Group dog, when you get your own star at the Hollywood Walk of Fame. While most of that comes from one of the most important movies and lovable characters in American movie history, there are some historic nuggets of the Collie to celebrate.
First, tracing the Collie is a bit of a murky task. According to the breed’s club, the Collie derives from the highlands of Scotland. For centuries, the breed was a devout and faithful sheepdog.
It was the 1800’s, when others began to take notice, especially the English royal class. In 1860, Queen Victoria took one look at the Collie and fell in love. It was love at first sight that would develop this dependable herding dog into a elegant show dog. From the exhibitions at a Birmingham, England dog show and on, the breed’s development would never look back.
After working as a herding dog, a drover and guard, the roles of this breed began changing quickly. So didn’t their recognition. In fact, exports into America would help the breed gain recognition with the American Kennel Club in 1885. The Collie went from the provincial hills of Scotland, made a stop in England and finally arriving on American soil in under a century.
Shortly after, Americans began romanticizing with the breed thanks to some of the legendary stories going around.
For starters, the story about Bobby, a Collie and pet of a family, who grew apart accidentally on a family vacation. According to the legend, which made national acclaim, the dog made a 3,000 mile journey from Indiana to Oregon just to find his family. This would serve as inspiration and would help generate the imagination about this breed. Obviously, the dog was intelligent and quite capable of surviving alone.
Couple that with the paperback novels, short stories, movies and famous banker, J.P. Morgan’s extravagant purchase of a champion Collie, then it’s quite easy to see the fever Americans had of this breed at one point.
In 1887, the Collie Club of America would become the second club to ever joint the American Kennel Club.
The breed’s popularity has been consistent from the 20th century and on. Today, and around the world, the Collie is one of the most sought after dogs on the market. According to the American Kennel Club, this breed ranks 37th most popular out of 192 dogs in their rankings. A step better than their relative, the Border Collie.