A marvelous line appears in Robert Leighton’s fine book, Dogs and All About Them : “Few dogs possess the fertile, resourceful brain of the Collie.
Extrapolating from this knowledge makes it suspect, then, that the versatile Collie is prewired for it. The breed not only functions as a herding dog, but was successfully trained for ambulance work on the field of battle by Major Edwin Richardson during WWI. A noted dog fancier of his time, Richardson was the founder of the British War Dog School during the first World War. After working with several breeds, he found that Collies were superb in any activity that entailed seeking out and returning to a given spot; he believed this was due to generations of the sheepdog’s ancestry and being “trained outwards:” Tend after the sheep, but always return to the shepherd.
Richardson once said that the Collie “had reasoning powers that were practically human.” We don’t disagree.