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FARMCOLLIE  July 1997

FARMCOLLIE July 1997

Subject:

Re: Owd Bob

From:

"Carole L. Presberg" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Farm Collie Breed Conservancy and Restoration <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 22 Jul 1997 10:30:54 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (61 lines)

> one of my favorite collie drawings from one of my
>favorite collie books (Bob son of Battle) and modified it three times in an
>attempt to make it look more like each of the three breeds

Jan--not to belittle your efforts, which I think are valiant and
commendable, but you did ask what we all thought of the pictures you are
putting up of The Three Breeds. The picture you are starting with is a
great illustration of a collie, but, it isn't Owd Bob. Owd Bob is supposed
to be a Welsh Grey, which was a bearded breed, similar to, but not the same
as, the old Highland collie, or the bearded collie (which was once just a
coat type of the collie). I have 7 different editions of Bob, Son of
Battle, and each one has different illustration. The one I like best is a
1926 edition published by Doubleday, Page & Company, New York, which has
*photographs*. Working and viewed from the back or far away, you can't tell
that Bob is anything but a working collie; but, a photograph opposite page
82, labeled "The gray Knight", shows Bob sitting on the stone steps of his
house, and here you can indeed see that this is a bearded dog.

Similarly, the picture you are starting with, is not representative of a
Border Collie. The reason Border Collies don't work upright is their body
structure (or rather, their body structure dictates the way they work).
Their front end is slightly lower than or at least level with their hind
end. So even when they are standing upright, they don't stand quite THAT
upright. They are also a long dog, not close coupled. Their ears, even when
pricked, are not on top of their head but slightly to the sides. And the
muzzle would be shorter and less square.

Having said all that, I can't help but wonder how you are going to
represent breeds such as ours with only one illustration slightly altered.
The Border Collie comes in a variety of sizes, body types, etc. In my
household alone, my four BCs represent four different body types, sizes,
color patterns, working ability and temperament, etc. From reading the
breed standard and seeing the photos on the ES website, I would guess that
the ES is similar in it's variations. And I know the AS is too. When we
begin to see less variation in types, we can think "show dogs". It might
make it easier to distinguish the three breeds, but it takes away all the
interest as far as I'm concerned.

The dog you used for your "base" would have been a collie of one particular
type. I have an edition of Bob that has the same illustrations that yours
does, and I would say that type of collie was probably the type used to
breed the show collie from, an old fashioned collie similar to Gina Bisco's
Tracy, who I had the pleasure of meeting last Friday. The difficulty I see
in having "breeds" as opposed to "types" is that it begins to narrow the
types available to the gene pool and excludes certain types altogether
because they don't fall into the breed definition. So now we have the BC,
which not only looks different from the ES and the AS, but WORKS
differently as well. It doesn't take into account the fact that there is
variety in both looks and working styles in all three breeds. By trying to
define them, you begin to narrow them even further.

Further, I wonder if it really makes a difference when you get in a rescue
dog whether it is an ES, a BC, or an AS. The point is, without registration
papers, we'll never know anyway. And we must place them according to their
temperament no matter what breed they are. If it has working ability of any
sort, we have just another individual criterion to go on when matching a
particular dog up with a potential owner.

Carole Presberg
[log in to unmask]

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