After we moved to our hobby farm a few years ago, we started looking at what kind of dog we would like to have. I did the “Pet Selector” search on one of the dog breed websites and wanted one that would be very good with children and farm animals. Only about 5 breeds showed up, and one of them was Scotch Collie. Intrigued, I started to do research on the breed and fell in love with them!
The timing of my search was perfect as I was just in time to get in on a litter of puppies from Heritage Kennels and had the opportunity to purchase Captain Jack. We were very excited. His dam is a granddaughter of one of the original four MacDuffie dogs, while his sire is a son of Gracehaven Angus and one of Peruvian Lassie’s only litter. And he was adorable! We drove to Missouri to get him and he’s been a wonderful addition to our farm ever since.
Our full name for Jack is “Captain John Paul Jones,” after the Scotch Naval hero. He was a great puppy. He was always doing something hilarious, like running back and forth through tall grass, acting like he’s attacking something or that something was attacking him!
We brought him to an outdoor festival when he was 2 months old, and it was really fun to hear everyone’s comments about him. It was touching to hear how many people were nostalgic about their collies! One elderly couple came up to me and asked what kind of dog he was. After I replied, the man nudged his wife and said, “See, I told you it was a collie!” It was more of the type he remembered collies being. One of my favorite stories was from a woman who said that the collie she had while growing up used to let the family know that the phone was ringing in the house, when they were all in the barn!
Jack has matured very well. He’s been great with the kids and all the animals around here. We’ve had to train him on accepted behaviors, of course, but he is definitely eager to please. One of the Scotch Collie attributes that I have loved, and which Jack has exhibited very well since puppyhood, is their love of relaxing and resting… until they perceive they’re needed!
A fox started snatching some chickens last summer. After Jack had seen the fox and learned the smell, he was on the alert. In fact, he’s been on the alert ever since. Months later, in the dead of winter, we were listening to a nature sounds CD with the kids. As soon as we played the red fox yelp, Jack went wild. We quickly shut the sound off, but for two weeks after, Jack would bark to go outside almost constantly, and always run his patrol route through the woods and back around to the yard.
He does a great job at alerting us to visitors. When he was still a young pup, I was worried about his protectiveness – he didn’t seem to have any. But, he sure grew into it! I have no fears that he’d ever hurt anyone, though.
Not too long ago, Jack did something interesting. My husband and I were talking and Jack was in the next room. He barked, which is unusual for him to do in the house. We looked at him and he barked again, but not at anything that we could tell. When we stepped into the room where he was, we heard our daughter crying. Jack had heard her but must have figured out that we hadn’t, and was trying to tell us! I told my husband, “He just had a Scotch Collie moment!”
Jack loves the snow! This Spring we had one small patch of snow left after the melting.
Where did Jack go lie down? Sure enough, right on top of it. The only time I really noticed him actually being cold was when we were having record low temperatures with wind chills well into the negatives – and then only after he had been out for a little while!
Jack definitely has a herding instinct. It was pretty easy to train him that we didn’t want the chickens in our yard. He does a great job herding them out of it! He also is learning how to work with the family cow and calf.
After having read so much about Scotch Collies, and wondering what they would be like in reality, Captain Jack hasn’t let us down!