Some of America's most popular companions were bred as working dogs in Scotland. Without the collie breeds -- collie is Scottish for sheepdog -- herding the millions of sheep on Scotland's rough hills would have been impossible. Development of other breeds such as terriers and golden retrievers reflect the importance of game sport to Scotland's economy and culture, past and present.
The bearded collie, as far back as 1600s, was bred for hill shepherding. His elegant, long coat provided protection against harsh weather, like that of of the rough collie or Lassie dog. A miniature Lassie lookalike is the Shetland sheepdog. The iconic herding dog, the intelligent and energetic border collie, originated in the wild Scottish/English border country.
Another old breed from Scotland is the rough-coated border terrier. The West Highland white terrier was bred to be visible in the heather on shoots. The cairn terrier was named after the stone cairns across Scotland. Three U.S. presidents have owned Scottish terriers, affectionately known by enthusiasts as Scotties. Other sporting breeds from Scotland include the golden retriever, bred as a gun dog to retrieve duck and upland game, the Gordon setter and the Scottish deerhound, the hunting dog of the Scottish Chieftains.
By Norma Roche
About the Author
Norma Roche has worked as a complementary therapist with people and animals for more than 10 years. A teacher, she creates courses in therapies and related subjects for beginners to professional therapists. Roche received a B.A. in historical studies from Portsmouth University and holds various qualifications in therapies.