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Why historically smooth collies are more active than rough collie?

Natalain: In standards of breeds are difference in the part of common impression. Smoothies are active, rough are more quiet. What do you think: Why historically smooth collies are more active than rough collie?

Ответов - 13

Lisa: well, i think it is because the rough has been a very popular dog an has been bred for familys and show only for a long time. the smooth is still a working an sport dog. that is also the reason for the smooths to be much more healthy and sometimes braver than the rough collies.

Dianne: It is also said that smooths were used with cattle rather than sheep and were used for driving animals long disttances to market. Dianne

Twinway: Very interesting question Natalain !

Glenmorangie: Hello Natalain, Well, I know the Collie breed (rough) since 1975 when my aunt and uncle bought their first (and last) dog and from the very first instant I saw the 3 days old puppies of the litter I fell in love with them. "Loch Ness" was not a show dog, he was just a "half-pedigreed" dog carrying the Cabrenysset line by his father, but, although living in full city, was extremely intelligent, active and reactive. He never herded any cattles, sheeps or poultries but I knew he owned the herding instinct because each time he was walking within a humans "herd" he always acted like if we were "his herd", going around, trying to clust us together and running after the one who tried to leave the group, pushing him/her to go back. I bought my first (but not last) rough collie bitch in 1977 "Nadja". "Full-pedigreed" she carried Cabrenysset and Rokeby lines by her mother, she also was extremely intelligent, active and reactive. She never herded cattles either but acted similarly like Loch Ness. She also learnt and understood very quickly everything I teached her and we practiced "agility" many years before I discovered this sport at Cruft's in 1984. She also save our old friend-neighbor's life one evening by barking strangely then we could not hear her calling for help because of the TV. Reading articles published in old French Collie Club bulletins (much before the 80's), it seems there were many rough collies who truly worked on cattles and were beautiful enough to be shown and won awards. "Lassie" was a quite typical working collie and always will remain THE Collie in many, many people's mind. Personally, I don't think that the "ancient" rough collie was more "lazy" compared to the smooth. As working dogs, they needed to own a "living brain" at birth otherwise they were given as pets (in the best of cases, I imagine...). Even if the 70's (in France) saw few rough collies bred only for shows, the most crucial turning came in the early 80's giving this totally transformed dogs, with big bones, overhaired, large heads and ears, very small eyes, short in every part of the body including the tail, displaying a rather stupid expression..... and mostly quite unable even to move across the showring. The producers' main argument was "the original rough collie was short so we want shortening those too long dogs", forgetting to see and to say that the Original Rough Collies, even shorter and a bit smaller than those I knew, were NEVER ridiculous for the unique reason that they still were bred in the respect of the breed characteristics. There also is another "detail" in the Rough and Smooth Collie History : the queen Victoria !!! She fell in love with the breed when she was in Balmoral and decided to bring some of them into her own kennels. Although she found Collies beautiful, she wanted more elegant ones so she bred her Roughs with Borzois and her Smooths with Greyhounds. Results were immediately catastrophic but the fashion was launched..... Later, it took decades to breeders for eradicating the borzoi and greyhound genes from the Collie, trying to retrieve the best characteristics of the Original but keeping this elegance, giving us the most wonderful Collies we knew until the end of the 70's. Not surprising that the today Smooth Collie looks like a "Ferrari" compared to the rough looking rather like the late "2CV Citroën" !!!! Best regards, Françoise

Nina: Excellent post

Alertness: "..queen Victoria !!! She fell in love with the breed when she was in Balmoral and decided to bring some of them into her own kennels. Although she found Collies beautiful, she wanted more elegant ones so she bred her Roughs with Borzois and her Smooths with Greyhounds." I've never heard that it was Queen Victoria that mixed borzois and greyhounds into the collie breeds? Also, I thought that the "rumour" of borzoi and greyhound blood in the collie breed is unconfirmed? Do we really know for certain that these breeds were used to better the collie breed? Another thing that I've wondered about: Is it really true that the smooth collie has always been a working and sporting dog from the very start while the rough collie developed into a show dog? When I read records of the early days the smooth breeders bred just as much for conformation and dog shows as their rough counterparts... When the smooth variety generally is more active and playful, maybe the reason must be found somewhere else? I don't know. Berit

Duna: My friend's (who ownes two labradors) version was: "Smooths have to be more active then Roughts otherwise they could freeze in Winter time".

acting smooth: That "freezing point" makes sense: Once I had a standard poodle, and I used to shave all her hair in springtime. When shaved, she became much more playfull and energetic than with thick fur. The dog must keep itself in move to keep warm, and that makes it more fit physically. Also heavy coat can weigh few kilos when wet or snowy, that's only extra weight to carry.

Dianne: I don't know how much of a role this has played, but here goes. Around 1988 the rough and smooth collie standards were amended. The smooth collie has the appearance of a dog with working ability so says its standard. The rough does not have this phrase in its standard. If breeders took notice of this important part of the standard and continued to try to breed an active dog that could do a day's work, then this would indeed be a reason for the smooth remaining a more vigorous dog. Rough breeders have no incentive to keep this important aspect of a herding dog's character. If you study the differences in the standards of the rough and smooth collie particularly the parts devoted to character and aspect, you will find other reasons for supposing that the smooth has been bred along different lines from the rough, but this is only since 1988 as I said. It has been said that many judges judge the collie mainly on its head giving less importance to other parts of the standard. This too could lead to a collie's movement being neglected by breeders. A collie does not run with its head!!!!!

Dianne: At the Nationale d'Elevage of the French collie club, I met a French lady who practices agility with several races of dogs including rough and smooth collies. She had just clipped short her twelve-year-old rough collie and the dog had never finally been so happy to be rid of her long hair. Another person I know clipped his rough because he lived in Martinique and thought his dog was cooler without all the long hair. On the other hand, I can't imagine that the smooth would suffer from the cold. A smooth with a correct coat has a good undercoat under the rain proof overcoat. Some races of hound have no undercoat and one I know shivers in cold weather if kept standing and this dog really does remain active. However, having lived in Finland, I do understand that the winters are much colder there and that smooths in this country or other northern countries would be more active. I have only to see how excited my smooths are when we very occasionally have snow in the south of France!!!!

schett: I think back in the early days both the roughs and smooths where about the same the rough coated was used to the higher and cold bits and the smooths on the lower levels where is was warmer but over the year both breeds have changed thankfully the smooths are still very much the same has they where 20 -30 years ago sadly the rought have got heavery coats and bigger build and have changed so much more in the last 20 years I think the smooths are getting better with more and more breeders comeing into the breed

Dianne: What you have said is only too true sadly.

myrnash: Yes, the roughs have become too popular as only show dogs, and it is much easier for people to keep them when they are quieter and more passive. The smooths have remained used as working dogs also, so have kept that active temperament.

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