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Misc editing notes up to June 2007[edit]

"Tricolors are mostly black and white with sable markings."

Excuse me, but the brown markings on tri dogs are not sable. They are tan. The word 'sable' means that the dog is tan with black-tipped hairs. The tan markings do not have black tips.

Be bold. Edits from knowledgeable sources are encouraged. Elf | Talk 02:26, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

The article states that blue eyed sable merles are a disqualification in the akc showring. This is not true. While brown eyes are preferable, blue eyes are not a disqualification. In fact, there was a blue eyed sable merle smooth champion male being shown in the southern states in the 90's.

As regards to merging it with the other article, I think they're pretty much the same, so just put it all together-as one, under collie. Collies is just abnormal, since not many people would think that way. (I sure wouldn't). P.S. Watch Charlie goes to Candy Mountain on youtube.

Why on earth did someone take the time to edit my addition to this article by changing the spelling of "programs" to "programmes" (American to British English)? If this person has the intention to make those type of "corrections" throughout Wikipedia, I wish him the best of luck. HansLechner 19:32, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

Other collie breeds[edit]

I wonder if there is a need for a more general article about collies – this one is almost entirely about rough/smooth collies. Although others are mentioned briefly, the text tends to assume that the rough/smooth collie is "the" collie ("the breed is..." etc). As a keeper of two working collies (a Welsh Collie and a Kelpie), I do have to admit a certain bias here...

My feeling is that there are many collies and collie-type breeds which would benefit from a more general article, and the existing article would be better, with very few amendments, as a "Scotch Collie" article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Richard New Forest (talkcontribs) 15:28, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

Apologies for failing to sign... Richard New Forest 15:41, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

I've now moved the rough/smooth collie info to a new Scotch Collie page (there are already good Rough Collie and Smooth Collie pages too), and I've included some more general information about collie types here, including a summary of breeds and types.--Richard New Forest 14:20, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

Origin of breed[edit]

I'm not at all sure about the statement "originating primarily in Scotland". While this may apply to some types such as the rough/smooth collie, I'm sure it does not to some others.

My understanding is that collies were (and are) found as landrace farm dogs throughout the British Isles, particularly in the upland north and west, but not mainly or exclusively in Scotland.

Is there a source for the Scottish origin claim?

Richard New Forest 15:44, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

Good edit by Skybluepete, answering my query as far as rough (and presumably smooth?) collies go. Is there similar evidence for other types of collie? If not, perhaps the first sentence of the article could be amended. Richard New Forest 19:35, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

Collie unsuitable as pets...[edit]

User just deleted the sentence beginning "Collies are unsuitable as pets...", saying it's "patently false". However, it is widely accepted for working types – some breed societies even require their members to refuse to sell puppies as pets. I have had two working collies myself (Welsh Sheepdogs) which most certainly could not have been pets (of course I can't include that as it's original research). Having said that, it probably does not apply to all types, nor to all individuals.

I wonder if user was thinking of pet types? The paragraph specifically applies to working collies.

For the moment I have reinstated the sentence, but edited it to make it less dogmatic.--Richard New Forest 08:20, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

I've added some references for the unsuitability of working dogs as pets. The sources were so strongly worded that I've re-edited the sentence to return it to near its original form – however I've related it more clearly to working strains.--Richard New Forest 14:11, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

I am user (sorry I was not logged in last night.) I deleted the sentence because it was not clear that the article references only working dogs. While the words "working collies" and "working strains" are included in the temperament section, the article goes on to list famous pet collies such as Lassie. I think that the inclusion of "Famous Collies" and the wording in all other sections leads the reader to believe that the article refers to pets. In addition, because the AKC and other groups refer to pet collies as part of the "working group" few readers will assume that the temperament description only refers to dogs bred for work.

If the article is meant to be a general article about all collies, the section on temperament should address pet AND working dogs. If the article is meant to only refer to working collies, it should be retitled OR special notation should be added.

Furthermore, the references you added are specific to dogs bred as working dogs and 2 out of 3 of the references are for one specific breed (the Border Collie.) None of the references address the Rough Collie which is the most commonly known breed. I think this should be noted.

The temperament section is entirely misleading to the average reader. When the average person thinks of a collie, they think of Lassie. The temperament most likely thought of in regard to collies is probably best described by the Westminster Kennel Club:

"The Rough Collie is a dog as beautiful in temperament as in body. Originally bred to assist the shepherd in the care and protection of his flock, the modern Collie still possesses the fine qualities of his Scottish herding ancestors: gentleness, intelligence, and loyalty, making him especially well suited for family life. His willingness to work closely with his master makes him an excellent performance or service dog. An exceptional dog with children, the Collie's devotion to his family is legendary. Because his primary focus is on his people, the Collie adapts well to either city or country life."

It is my opinion that the temperament section needs to be rewritten. --HansLechner 20:00, October 3, 2007 —Preceding signed but undated comment was added at 00:00, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Most breeds of collie-type dogs are primarily working herding dogs, and I believe this section covers them well. Rough (and Smooth) Collies may be widely known, but they are only one breed (or two). They are different in many ways from the other collies – and I agree that their temperament is one of these ways (perhaps that's the phlegmatic Borzoi influence). However, I don't think this one type should smother the many other types, which are what this general page is about – the Rough/Smooth Collie is dealt with very well on its own pages. In fact I'm not so sure that Rough/Smooth Collies are well known everywhere – here in southern England I rarely see them, and even as pets I see Border Collies and landrace Farm Collies very much more often. (Incidentally, the only reason why the refs are biased towards Border Collies is because there are more pages about those).
Having said all that, as there are indeed collies and collie-type dogs which do make good pets, I think you're right, a further paragraph should be added about those types. Would you like to write it?--Richard New Forest 09:48, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Ah, I believe that I have discovered the root of our disagreement. It is a matter of language: English vs. American English. In American English, generally the word "collie" is automatically assumed to refer to Rough Collies. In fact all other breeds that have collie in their name "Smooth Collie," "Border Collie," etc. are referred to by their complete breed name while "Rough Collies" are only referred to by their full breed name in the context of Kennel Club shows and amongst breeders. In common usuage, collie=rough collie. As a genetic group, all the breeds listed in the article are rarely if ever referred to collectively as "collies." When I performed searches at the top rated Kennel Club sites in the US, the term "collie" yields only the Rough and Smooth breeds and demonstrate the limited usage of the word "collie" in the US. Here is an example: [1]

Given all this, I am not sure how to proceed. Any thoughts?-- HansLechner —Preceding signed but undated comment was added at 20:07, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

One people, separated by a common language... My feeling is that the note at the head of the page deals with that point – it clearly says information on Rough Collie, Smooth Collie and both (as Scotch Collie) is found on their other pages. The American usage may be largely restricted to the Rough/Smooth Collie, but that I think is an accident of usage and popularity, not one of fact and descent. My feeling is that there is a need for a general collie page dealing with all the collie-type dogs – and I think "Collie" is the obvious title for it.
Do you think there's a need for something more than the existing note, making it even more clear that the page is not restricted to Smooth/Rough Collies?
Coming back to your original point, I still think you're right that there's a need for something about the temperament of pet-type collies of other breeds.--Richard New Forest 21:32, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

I added a paragraph about the temperament of pet breeds and a sentence to opening paragraph for clarity. Or at least I hope they offer clarity. I agree that the American usage may be accidental but it is so common I think the article should address it. --HansLechner

Collie-type dogs in Ireland[edit]

I've found very little information on collies in Ireland, and what there is seems to refer to Border Collies rather than to any native type. Do landrace collies/sheepdogs occur in Ireland as well as in Britain? If so, are they of any distinctive type?--Richard New Forest 14:15, 3 October 2007 (UTC)

  • This is probably because collies are apparently thought very poorly of in Ireland. One animal rescue site said they are viewed as vermin there. (Warning! Images of graphic cruelty! NSFW!) ANTIcarrot (talk) 12:07, 10 February 2011 (UTC)

Miscellaneous discussions about article content[edit]

(copied from User talk:Richard New Forest Elf | Talk 18:32, 4 October 2007 (UTC))

Thanks for your work on the collie article; I've given up several times over the last couple of years on what exactly to say there. Note that quotation marks don't belong around the breed names even if they don't reflect the actual probable origins of the breeds. Those are the official breed names and there are no quotes in the official breed names. So you can take 'em out again or I will. :-) Elf | Talk 01:47, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

P.S. I have a tremendous amount of history with dog-related articles in wikipedia, although I try very hard these days to stay away, or I get sucked in like I did today when I just came here to look up one little thing... So if you have any general questions or want to draw my attention to something in particular, you can leave a note on my talk page and I'll see it eventually, but who knows when. OR you can go to my user page and click E-mail this user in the left-side toolbox if you want a faster response.

Also, I'm a Border Collie owner, too. :-) Elf | Talk 02:23, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Elf –
I'm not sure it's important to have the types with their exact breed names here – this is a list with comments and interpretation, not a simple list, where I agree that quotes would not be right. My feeling is that without the quotes it would be easy to miss the anomalies, and think for example that there were five Australian types listed (which of course there are, including the German one...). The quotes gently draw attention to this, without the need for overt comment. Take them out though if you feel strongly about it.
Nice dog. Am I right that he's called Sweep...? Two of my dogs (Welsh Sheepdogs) are in the list too, though I left the third out as his name is not a traditional one (Tig – Kelpie cross). I'll put a pic of one of my others on the Welsh Sheepdog page when I get around to it.--Richard New Forest 10:15, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

I think the place to address anomalies is in the text and that putting quotes around the breed names is misleading, implying that those are perhaps not the breed names. Nope, my dog's not Sweep--but a bit of browsing among herding dogs indicates that it's a more common name than we see in agility dogs. Probably for "sweeping" around herds or "sweeping" them in. There's a very cool online database of working border collie info (ISDS) that has stuff like this in it: -- maybe we should use that, pick the top 20 names or something, and then we can cite that as a reference. (That was one of the sources I used to be sure that my dog's name--Boost--was not commonly used. ;-) There are SO many BCs working in agility and competitive herding around here & I wanted to be unique.) Looking forward to seeing more Welsh Sheepdog photos. Elf | Talk 16:21, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

OK, I'm happy with no quotes – those ought not to be the proper names, but I suppose they're now stuck... Good idea about the database for names – however, they are the commonest names, not necessarily the traditional ones, and so some very traditional ones get pushed rather low (Rex, Flash, Tip, Judy). How could you not have Flash? (Also, Sam is at 21, and we can't leave him out...). Useful database though.
Lots of Welsh Sheepdog photos at (select Gallery) --Richard New Forest 16:57, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Collie names[edit]

To be able to put a reference in the collie names section, we need some specific references. Some research needs to be done into what are traditional, original, common, etc. names, and make sure that the list is edited appropriately. Resources:

I'm not finding any other reliable-looking sources online for what makes a "traditional" BC name. Elf | Talk 23:24, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Pictures please[edit]

I think we need pictures of a collie. --KushalClick me! write to me 16:30, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

Huh, thought we had some at one point. Have added a couple. Elf | Talk 21:23, 17 October 2007 (UTC)

Collie breed vs. collie type[edit]

This article seems to imply that Collie is not a breed, but it is "Scotch collie". While I understand that there is a collie type, this article should reflect that, both in it's name and its information. The other article, Scotch collie, should be moved to this article, as that is the most commonly used name. This article should moved to Collie (type) or something along those lines. Mynameisnotpj (talk) 12:30, 16 May 2008 (UTC)

"Collie" is indeed used in certain areas for Scotch Collie (or more commonly just Rough Collie) – but this is an informal use, limited to places where other collies are unusual and so are unknown to most people. There is no breed called "the" Collie, and the word is used differently depending on what types occur locally For example, where I used to live in rural Wales, Scotch Collies are virtually unknown and the word "collie" used on its own would be taken to mean a working sheepdog (in that area either Border Collie or Welsh Sheepdog) – much the same would apply in other livestock-keeping areas of Britain and no doubt in many other parts of the world.
However, the word "collie" does apply accurately to the type – it's the equivalent of "retriever", "terrier" etc. Surely no-one would suggest putting (say) Golden Retriever under Retriever just because that was the most familiar retriever breed in some areas? The current title of this article matches those of Retriever, Spaniel, Terrier, Sighthound and others, none of which needs a "type" or similar epithet.
If anyone comes to this article under the misapprehension that "collie" does mean only Scotch or Rough Collies, the links at the top of the article will take them where they wanted to be, and the lead para will explain why.
Separately from all that, the formal names of those two breeds are not just "Collie", but Scotch Collie and Rough Collie, and so their articles are also titled correctly. --Richard New Forest (talk) 13:56, 16 May 2008 (UTC)


"Coll" is Gaelic for "dog". "Dubh" is Gaelic for "dark" or "black". The author obviously doesn't know what they are talking about as far as the etymology of the name goes. Collie in Gaelic would be like calling a lass "lassie" or a boy "boy-o". If translated liteerally from Gaelic, Collie means "doggie". It is simply a playful and affectionate disambiguation. The breeds name is older than the prevelence of English in the lands where these dogs were breed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:40, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

An interesting and attractive theory. As someone who obviously knows something about Gaelic you'll realise that there was no suggestion that coll was Gaelic for "black" – the language mentioned was Early Scots, an Anglo Saxon language closely related to Old English. I've checked the OED entry for collie, which says "Origin uncertain: it has been conjectured to be the same word as coaly". It doesn't actually mention Early Scots as such, only the English word "coal", so I've amended the text of the article and included the OED as a ref (though no doubt Early Scots did have a similar word).
The OED makes no mention of Scottish Gaelic: coll, and though the OED is not wholly and entirely infallible this would be an extraordinary omission if it was as simple as that. Do you have a ref for that derivation? Or for the idea that the name is older than the use of English (or perhaps more properly Scots) in the Scottish Borders – where incidentally Gaelic has never been spoken (the pre-Scots language there was Cumbric, not a Goidelic language but a Brythonic one).
I notice that the Gaelic WP article [for dog] is entitled (with no mention of coll) and the Irish article is Madra. The Gaelic plural seems to be coin, which matches Welsh ci, cŵn. I don't know what the Brythonic word was, but it rather looks as if it may have been like the Gaelic and Welsh. Richard New Forest (talk) 11:00, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

Great Britain/United Kingdom[edit]

User: just removed various references to "Great Britain", with the following edit summary: "Great Britain is an archaic term for the UK only used in sporting events. 'North' Britain is an archaic and unacceptable term which can be offensive to people from the member states in the UK." I have reverted these changes.

The difficulty here is that we have no information or refs for Ireland (see also my request above). The full title of the United Kingdom is of course the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. "Great Britain" is not in fact an archaic term for the UK, it is a geographical term for the part of the British Isles which does not include Ireland. All the info we have indicates that collies originated from the geographical Great Britain, independent of the modern political divisions – and quite possibly before those divisions arose. The reverted edit offered the phrase "originating in Scotland and the North and West of England" as a way of avoiding offence to "people from the member states [sic] in the UK". I could find that offensive, as it forgets Wales! (Incidentally, they are member countries, not states: it's the UK that's the state, at the moment at least.)

It seems very likely to me that collies did arise in the British Isles (or whatever you wish to call them) as a whole, but at the moment we have no information showing that they occurred historically in Ireland at all. Until we do, we really have to keep the geographical descriptions to Britain. I don't really think the current wording could cause offence to anyone, but if it could, then let's find phrasing which does not – without taking the article outside what can be reffed. Richard New Forest (talk)

Placement of photos[edit]

You know, I agree that having photos on top is better, but the way it is now really messes up the formatting -- the edit links for all the top sections are now bunched up in one place and run into the text. Putting the images down in a separate gallery solves that problem. Or should we put the gallery on top? (talk) 00:16, 1 July 2010 (UTC)

I'm not really sure what you mean. The edit links seem fine to me at all window sizes, with the pictures one above the other neatly down the right hand side, with the edit links just to the left of them against each section. Nothing runs into the text. Could it just be your browser...? Richard New Forest (talk) 21:43, 1 July 2010 (UTC)
It is a browser issue. I just tested the page in Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer(IE), and Safari. Of those four, only IE rendered the section edit links correctly. Firefox bunched the first four edit links into the first line of the working types subsection. Chrome and Safari rendered the first four edit links in sixth line of the working types subsection. However, they super-scripted the links, thus partially overwriting the text in the fifth line. I am going to experiment with image placement to see if I can resolve this issue. Coaster1983 (talk) 22:35, 1 July 2010 (UTC)

Photo of Rough Collie[edit]

The photograph labeled "Rough Collie" is a Shetland Sheepdog, not a Rough Collie. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:01, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

What makes you think so? Richard New Forest (talk) 08:16, 26 July 2010 (UTC)