An online museum dedicated to the shepherd's dog,
its history, culture, and lore
through the eyes of artists, writers, poets, and historians;
and to the shepherds that used their herding dogs to bring the flocks safely down from the hills.
"The Shepherd's Dogge...either at the hearing of his master's voyce, or at the wagging and whistling in his fist, or at his shrill and hoarse hissing, bringeth the wandering weathers and straying sheepe into the self same place where his master's will and wishe is to have them."
--- Johannes Caius, physician to Queen Elizabeth I,
from his Treatise on Englishe Dogges, 1576
Above, "Twins" by Sir Edwin Landseer.
("Twins" refers to the two lambs, not the dogs.
One of dogs (the rear one) is a sable and the other a tricolor,
possibly a saddle-patterned tri or a heavily shaded sable.)
The exhibits here will give you an idea of what kind of dog a Border Collie is and what went into the making of the breed. They include information on the shepherd's dog in general and on the Border Collie specifically, its history, physical attributes and working style.
We also provide an extensive bibliography and with all our pages, furnish links to other Border Collie and shepherd's dog websites. The intent is to have important and interesting information available to you at all times, but some of it may also change, as things are updated periodically or given a rest.
Below are some of the things we have to offer. Just click on the thumbnail pictures and/or the green underlined text and they will take you where you want to go. Enjoy your stay and come back for subsequent visits. The exhibits are ever-growing and ever-changing.
[REQUEST: The Border Collie Museum is always looking for new material, both for this site and for a possible future book. We are particularly eager to find material relating to the Border Collie or other breed of shepherd's dog in America. If you have any old books, articles, clippings, photographs, personal or family stories, and other memorabilia relating to the breed that you would like to lend or donate to us and would enjoy seeing incorporated into this site, please contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org) and we will tell you where to send it. Any material we borrow will be handled carefully and returned to you as quickly as possible. Any material donated to us, will be archived. If we use your material, we will give you credit. --ed.]
Above, "Two Collies" a sable and a black-and-white, from an 1870 painting by Sir Edwin Landseer
[PLEASE NOTE: Thumbnails that are bordered in green, and green and underlined text are links.
Thumbnails that are bordered in brown and text that is not in green and underlined in green are NOT links.]
THE HISTORY OF THE SHEPHERD'S DOG
On this website, we purposely draw a distinction between the Border Collie and the shepherd's dog. For our purposes here, "Border Collie" refers to the shepherd's dog that as a breed did not come into being until the late 19th, early 20th centuries; whereas, "shepherd's dog" refers to all working herding dogs as well as livestock guardian breeds.
By "collies" or "collie breeds" we mean the herding dogs, chiefly in Great Britain and Ireland, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand. When we talk about "old working collies" we are refering to those herding dogs from the 19th century and before, in Great Britain and Ireland, from which the Border Collie and it's cousins in Great Britain and Ireland, the United States, Australia, and New Zealand developed. See our page on the definition of the word "collie" and see our glossary for definitions of the various terms we use in ths website.
You will also see on these pages articles about herding dogs in Western Europe, Eastern Europe, and Asia. It is not meant to imply that all the herding dogs in the world are Border Collie cousins, only that they have something in common: herding instinct, which in a way makes them more similar to the Border Collie than, say, the Great Dane or the Jack Russell Terrier.
We also present biographies of people, who, through writing or art, music or poetry, or by action, have contributed to our knowledge of the history of the shepherd's dog. There is very little mention of the shepherd's dog in history or literature, so we are infinitely grateful to the people referred to on these pages.
VERY EARLY HISTORY
THE EARLY 18TH CENTURY THROUGH THE MID 20TH CENTURY
↓ click here for the ↓
THE BORDER COLLIE IN ITS COUNTRY OF ORIGIN
THE 20TH CENTURY AND BEYOND
THE BORDER COLLIE IN AMERICA
LIVESTOCK GUARDIAN DOGS
of the Word
of the Breed
A Sheepdog Bibliography
NOTE ON THE PICTURES ON THESE PAGES
For those of you who wonder where I get the pictures on these pages, I have to say they come from many sources and my own collection, both hard copy and virtual, is large. In every case, I try to track down the original artist or photographer, and, in the case where they are living, seek permission to use; but as you can imagine, this is no easy task. So let me just say that if I've put up a picture where you own the rights and have not credited you, I would be more than happy to do so if you will contact me at email@example.com or if you prefer, I will take it down. If you know the artist and I have not credited him or her, I would appreciate hearing from you as well.
However, there are several resources that I would like to acknowledge here:
Niki Sawyer was a handspinner and a sheep farmer, among other things. "Every morning at dawn," her husband Tom tells us, "Niki hunted the Internet for sheep images over coffee. She looked forward to this special quiet time--it relaxed her and gave us both a chance to wake up before tackling barn chores." Niki passed away suddenly in December of 2006 and her husband has put up a remarkable memorial website for her which includes nearly 6,000 of the images she collected. I am pleased to be able, with Tom's approval, to present some of Niki's collection here.
Sarah Kellem is the great, great-granddaughter of Victorian artist, Richard Ansdell, and has graciously supplied many of the Ansdell pictures I have on this website, as well as much information on her illustrious great, great-grandfather.
Beth Maxwell Boyle is an artist and sheep farmer from New York State, and with her husband, Jim, a metalsmith, runs The Rams Horn Studio. She is also an inveterate collector of sheep pictures, and has kindly allowed me the use of some of them on my website.
Barbara Carpenter was an author, sheep farmer and Border Collie breeder. Her unabiding love for the Border Collie breed motivated her to amass a large collection of Border Collie memorabelia, which, over the years, she generously shared with me and others, for which I am grateful.
There are others who have supplied pictures, and I am grateful to them as well.
But these four ladies have made the biggest impact on this website in the way of pictures, and I cannot thank them enough.
Meet the Curator of the Border Collie Museum
See us on Facebook
A painting of a Yorkshire farm and barn
by Alan Ingham
THE OTHER WEB PAGES WE MAINTAIN
These web pages are copyright ©2014
and maintained by webmeistress Carole Presberg
with technical help from webwizard David Presberg
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
If you are interested in using ANY material on this website, you MUST first ask for permission.