BORDER COLLIE COUSINS
A Barb from Robert Kaleski
A cousin of the Kelpie, the Barb was developed by Thomas Edols of Burrawang Station, NSW, to be used to work what Kaleski called "obstinate woollies." There is some controversy over whether the Barb was just a Kelpie strain or a separate breed. The dog called "Barb" was born ca. 1880, sired by Tully's Moss, but his dam was not King's Kelpie herself but a bitch called Sally, a daughter of King's Kelpie. So the Barb was a close relative of the Kelpie. It was a dog that was ready to bite and back when necessary. Kaleski compared the two by saying "[t]he Kelpie is shy and silent and fond of working his sheep very wide; the Barb, on the other hand, likes to get in close to his work, bark when it suits him and nip the sheep a little if he thinks they want it." He credits this difference to the Kelpie having the "Fox" collie (see McNab) in its ancestry, while the Barb descended from the "old Border Smooth Collie".
Right, from a 1915 photo of a Barb. (Photo in the Public Domain.)
"The Barb was from a slightly different blend of the same strains which formed the Kelpie foundation only one generation further on.... The property, Burrawang, where the Barb strain was developed was a very large property running large flocks of merino sheep. The Barb...was developed to suit the conditions that prevailed on the property...Unlike the Kelpie...the Barb and his progeny were not promoted publicly but...were equally successful." The Barb and Kelpie developed independently in their respective districts, but eventually, these two types were bred together to get a more balanced worker, and today the name Barb is considered synonymous with the Kelpie and some people sometimes call all-black Kelpies "Barbs".
Cooper, Barbara M. "Thomas Edols, Foundations Breeder and the Development of The Barb", The Working Kelpie Council of Australia Inc., 2004.
Kaleski, Robert. Australian Barkers and Biters, the Endeavor Press, Sydney, 1914, revised edition 1933.
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