Old Time Farm Shepherd
He is not recognized by the F.C.I.
|The Old Time Farm Shepherd is a rare breed of working dog known for its versatility and intelligence. Old Time Farm Shepherds are descendants of the old Scottish collie dogs that were common on farms in America in the early 20th century, and as a recognized breed were created by J. Richard McDuffie in 1994.
Old Time Farm Shepherds are medium-sized, collie-type dogs with moderate coats and large, expressive eyes. They come in a range of colors, including sable, tricolor, merle, and black and tan. Sand and white is the most common color. Most shepherds on the farm weigh 40 to 50 pounds. The tail can be full or natural.
The Old Time Farm Shepherd is distinguished from closely related breeds by its temperament. The breed's founder, J. Richard McDuffie, described them as follows: They have an almost human intelligence, they are able to understand things and react appropriately to unusual situations, they are very people-oriented but wary of strangers. Old Time Farm Shepherds are often very sensitive or "soft", easily trainable, eager to please but also easily damaged by harsh words.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, these dogs were common on farms across America. They were called shepherds or collies. After World War II, people turned to registered dogs, and Old Time Farm Shepherds slowly began to decline. By the 1980s, Old Time Farm Shepherds were nearly extinct in America, so McDuffie began a nationwide search for the dogs he remembered from his youth, using his column in Full Cry Magazine as a vehicle to reach out to others. From the hundreds of responses he received, he finally found a family in middle Tennessee that had kept a line of these pure dogs for generations. In the spring of 1994, McDuffie traveled to Brush Creek, Tennessee, and purchased the last litter of 4 puppies produced by this family. McDuffie found another Old Time Farm Shepherd line in West Tennessee where he acquired 2 females. With these 6 dogs, McDuffie founded the Old Time Farm Shepherd breed and began registering them with the National Kennel Club.
By October 2010, McDuffie's Old Time Farm Shepherd had contributed to the pedigrees of more than 30 of the 135 farm workers in the American Working Farmcollie Association, more than any other dog. Most of these descendants are registered as English Shepherds.
McDuffie sought out and bred Old Time Farm Shepherds for their hunting and treeing ability. He used his dogs to hunt raccoon, squirrel and possum. McDuffie was adamant that the working traits in this breed be maintained and that selection must continue in the same way it had for generations or the breed would change.
Old Time Farm Shepherds are often used as versatile dogs on small farms. As descendants of the old Scotch Collies, they possess all the instincts and abilities of their ancestors, including herding, guarding and pest control. Breeding instincts and training ability can be measured in non-competitive breeding trials. Old Time Farm Shepherds with basic breeding instincts can also be trained to participate in Old Time Farm Shepherd trials. McDuffie was adamant that selection by herding trials would not result in the same breed of dog.
Old Time Farm Shepherds have a specialized motivation, often moving livestock outside the sense of rules and routine, and altering their working strategies to suit the situation. They are easily trained to leave cattle alone unless the stock is not where they belong.