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Working Border Collis on film - 1920's-30's

Gloria Atwater

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Dear sheepdoggers ~


I found a collection of old videos depicting border collies at work, circa the 1920's - 1950's. I find it intriguing to look back at the dogs of those early days, particularly in light of discussion about the border collies' future.


Anyhow, I thought I'd share! I think I can only paste in clickable links, but the videos are all very short, only a minute or two each, so I hope you will enjoy. :)



"Sheep Dog Trial" 1920

The earliest footage I could find. First half of this 33 second clip is a long-distance of horses doing something, then we get a bit of a rather animated handler and his dog urging sheep into a 3-sided pen. Interesting at least for the fact it's a glimpse of sheepdogging 92 years ago! :)



"Sheep Dog Trials" 1926

These sheep want to go anywhere but in a straight line!



"Clever Animals" 1926

Not as much action, but of interest is that several dogs in the line-up appear to be of a bearded border collie type. And some nice work at the shed, towards the end.



"Canine Skill" 1934

This is filmed in Australia, a champion sheepdog named "Blue Maid." It's hard to say exactly what she is: she works more upright, looks border collie-ish, but ...?? The narrator say she's the product of generations of breeding in the Outback, so ... I guess this is another branch on the border collie tree. :)



"Here's Segacity!" 1936

Another interesting look at early BCs, as well as pen work - with no gate and no handler standing at the pen! (And a brief interview with Mr. Sandy Miller of Ayrshire, who won 8 times out of 9.)



"International Sheepdog Trials" 1936

How many of us would like to try penning, whilst on one knee and nowhere near the gate? ;) Also, there was a lady amongst the line-up, this time. Wonder if she was a handler or just holding the dog during the line-up.


Seventh: "Sheepdogs Show Their Mettle" 1941

A silly bit of narrating, but a nice look at some nice dogs, including one that's nearly all white.



"Sheep Dogs" 1942

A bit of brace work, mother-son team Nell and Ben near Peebles on the Scottish Borders.



"Sheepdog Trials" 1954

Just a bit more looks at dogs. Now the pen-work is as we know it, with the gate and a handler holding the rope.



And that's that! I hope you enjoyed this little trip in the Way-Back Machine. :)

Cheers ~



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Thank you so much for sharing these! My folks are coming to visit later today, my dad will really enjoy seeing these.


Very impressive... would hardly recognize some of the dogs shown in the early lineups as sheepdogs/Border Collies.

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