Type: Herding Dog
Height: Females: 20 - 24 inches; Males: 24 - 26 inches.
Weight: Females: 50 - 65 lbs.; Males: 60 - 80 lbs.
Life Span: 8 - 14 years.
Litter Size: 6 - 10 puppies.
Country of Origin: Scotland
Activity: Indoors - Low. Outdoors - High. Collies love to play and will do so if given the chance.
Watch-dog: High. They are highly sensitive to what is going on around them, and often like to bark about it.
Guard-dog: Medium - Low. Collies will make friends rather than attack.
Description: The Collie presents a picture of true balance, each part being in harmonious proportion to every other part and to the whole. Collies are considered one of the most beautiful breeds because of their elegant appearance. Sometimes referred to as the Scottish Collie, the Collie is of Scottish heritage. They come in two coat varieties, Smooth Coated Collies and the Rough Coated Collie with the only difference being the length of their coat. Rough coats will occasionally produce smooth coats in their offspring. The Smooth Coated Collie looks like it has a crew cut. Rough Coated Collies have always been more popular than the smooth, and the personalities slightly differ in snappiness, which may be why the Rough is so much more popular. Collies are medium sized dogs with either long fluffy fur, or short smooth fur. They have long faces and elegant bodies. They come in colors of sable and white, tricolor, blue merle and white. Their personality gives way to their popularity, as they are very gentle, loving, affectionate and friendly. Much like the TV collie named "Lassie", Collies will strive to be with their families and endure difficult hardships to remain loyal to their owners. Forever immortalized by "Lassie" (who was actually a lad!), they are a true family dog that enjoys human companionship.
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Other Names: Scottish Collie
Colors: Sable and white, tri colored and blue merle (not permissible in the UK).
Coat: Coat (Smooth): Very dense, straight outer coat with soft, furry undercoat Coat (Rough): Long, harsh and smooth with a dense undercoat.
Temperament: Rough and Smooth Collies are intelligent, gentile, social and friendly. Some tend to nip at the heels in play, but they are generally well-behaved. Collies love to play. They are sensitive, devoted, gentle and willing to please. The Collie is mild mannered and enjoys being with family, going through whatever it takes to get to its family. Some can be stubborn, and they tend to bark a lot. They are protective of children, a good watch dog and easy to train. The Smooth Coated version is said to be slightly nippier than the Rough Coated.
With Children: Yes, excellent. Collies are naturally gentle and playful towards children.
With Pets: Yes, usually very good.
Special Skills: Sheepdog and family companion.
Care and Training: Rough Coated Collies: Coat sheds dirt easily, but a weekly brushing will keep them in good condition. Collies shed a lot, take extra care during shedding to remove mats and tangles. Smooth Coated Collies: Minimal grooming is necessary. Regular walks or free exercise is necessary to keep a well balanced dog. Play sessions are equal workouts. Basic obedience training should be taught at an early age. Collies are a quick learner who will give their best results by you using the tone of your voice. Housebreaking is relatively easy for this breed.
Learning Rate: High. Collies are very intelligent. Obedience - Very High. Problem Solving - High.
Special Needs: Grooming.
Living Environment: A home with a fenced yard is best, with neighbors who are not too close or don't mind barking. The Collie tends to bark a lot, and will do best with an active family in a suburban or rural environment.
Health Issues: CEA (Collie eye anomaly, a recessive defective gene which can cause blindness) and PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy). Other health concerns include hip dysplasia, skin infections, dermatomyositis, ivermectin sensetivity, and gastric torsion or bloat. Bloat is a health issue to most dogs, being the second largest killer of dogs other than cancer, but Collies can be particularly susceptible to it because of their deep chests.
History: All varieties of Collies come from Scotland where they were used in the Scottish Lowlands as a hard working sheepdog. Before that, Collies were thought to have been brought from Iceland 400 years before. The word "colley" is a Scottish term for a sheep with a black face and legs, thus giving the breed its name. Claims have been made that the Rough Collie was crossed with the Borzoi, and the Smooth Collie crossed with Greyhound. The Collie remained a working sheepdog until the 1860s when Queen Victoria encountered the breed and was so impressed that she took some back to the royal kennels in Windsor. This stimulated great interest in the breed overnight, and soon the breed was highly popular. Later, the breed was used in the Lad stories written by Albert Payson Terhune, further increasing their popularity. Finally in more recent times, the breed's popularity has grown even more due to the Television show "Lassie", in which a Rough Coated male Collie played a female "Lassie", who rescued her owner from many perilous situations. This personality on TV is actually quite applicable to the Collie of today, as their temperaments are such that they do, in fact, go great distances or endure heavy burdens in order to be with their families. As for the Smooth Coated Collie, his roots can be traced back to one dog in 1873 named "Trefoil" who had a Smooth Coat.
First Registered by the AKC: 1885
AKC Group: Herding
Registries: AKC, CKC, FCI (Group 1), KC (GB)