In a message dated 97-07-03 05:11:35 EDT, [log in to unmask] (g. bisco)
<< Tracy's elizabethan collar is really distinct and stiffly stands
out from her body coat. I think generally she would be considered
"deficient in coat, but this is a coat feature I really want to
preserve, and it is illustrated in the old drawings, such as the 1843
Shepherd's Dog or Colley at the bottom of the website main page.
This distinct ruff seems to have been selected for prior to breeding for
show. I suppose it must have been considered as useful as it is handsome
(perhaps the idea that it makes it harder for the wolves to tear out the
Just getting back from vacation & read your post. This is an interesting
thought and I love the description "Elizabethan collar!" But you know even
on my non-Victorian (and non-modern show quality, as well) collie, his white
hair is a completely different texture from the blonde (sable) hair. The
white hair is coarser and the sable hair, finer and silkier. Probably this
is what accounts for the fact that the ruff hair tangles less easily and
therefore did not also require cutting.
This is an enlightening thought, since I was hoping to get a white collie for
my next dog. Maybe his/her entire coat would be comprised of this coarser
quality hair (except for colored body spots) and would be less prone to
matting?! Actually I seem to remember my last collie (a tri) developed an
equal amount of tangling on his ruff as on the rest of his coat, so probably
my theory doesn't hold water! (My first collie, another tri, never was put
to the test, because I kept him so well groomed that he never developed
tangles or mats!! Those were the days!!)
Also we care for my sister's elderly pinto (along with my own 29 yr old grade
morgan mare) and her horse has two distinctly different hair types. The
white hair is longer and coarser and sheds out at a different rate than the
finer, softer, and shorter sorrel hairs.
I didn't realize that you also owned Cap. He is a lovely dog. Does the
quality of his white hair differ from the pigmented hair on him, even tho he
does not possess a distinctly separate collar?
Also, the subject of shaving or clipping one's collies for summer came up on
the "regular" collie list (I swear, I didn't introduce the topic! Someone
else brought it up.) And I was astounded at the large quantity of collie
owners (pet AND show, even breeders) who clip their collies (particularly
their older collies)' coats to make them more comfortable!
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