The First Border Collie

Surprisingly, (it certainly surprised me when I first found out) the border collie is not an ancient breed, although the type of dog from which the breed emerged probably goes back to the day when a lazy British shepherd first persuaded his dog to do his work for him. As a distinct breed the border collie goes back no further than 1893 when the progenitor of the breed, Old Hemp, was born in the English county of Northumberland which is on the border with Scotland (hence the name “border collie”).

Since 2012 a Facebook campaign has called for a memorial to Old Hemp and his breeder, Adam Telfer, to be installed in the village of West Woodburn, the famous dog’s birthplace. Yesterday, this was realised and, no doubt, the MadGang will soon be on pilgrimage to the site.

Note: Old Hemp, the number one, the originator, was tri-colour like the MadGang dogs, not just boring black and white.

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