16 April 1999

COLLIE COMPENDIUM

FARMERS with working Border collies may be put off by the cover of Marjorie Quartons new book* on the breed – a collie tackling a bison and another flying through an agility course obstacle.

These may not appear to have much to do with the daily tasks of a hard working collie on a British farm but this book, although carrying a strong American influence via its joint author Carole L Presberg, is still a powerhouse of information on this versatile breed.

Quartons 30 years experience with Border collies on her farm in Ireland flows through this outstanding book which is lavishly illustrated with high-quality colour photographs.

Her main section on the breed in the British Isles superbly covers all aspects from the options of buying a pup or a young dog, through to management and breeding. The writing style is anecdotal and entertaining while losing nothing in its main purpose of informing and educating.

The American section is enlightening, particularly the section on the four American border collie types – the old-fashioned farm collie, the English Shepherd, the Australian Shepherd – and the McNab! Stetsons and crooks meet in harmony here and its a fascinating read.

The discussion on colour – particularly sables – is excellent and beautifully illustrated. JH

*The Working Border Collie by Marjorie Quarton and Carole L Presberg is published by TFH Publications, PO Box 15, Waterlooville PO7 6BQ (£24.95)