Country of Origin: Great Britain
Height: Males 22–26 inches, females 20–24 inches
Weight: Males 45–75 pounds, females 40–65 pounds
Coat: Rough: Double coat with harsh, straight outercoat and soft, furry, close undercoat/Smooth: Double coat with short, hard, dense, flat outercoat and dense, soft, furry undercoat
Colors: Sable and white, tricolor (black with rich tan markings), blue merle and white; may have white, tan markings
Other Names: Rough Collie; Scotch Collie; Scottish Collie; Smooth Collie
Registries (With Group): AKC (Herding); UKC (Herding)
Origin and History
Collies come in two varieties, Rough and Smooth, differentiated by their coat type. Both the Rough and Smooth Collie share the same history and even the same breed standard. Developed centuries ago as hardworking herding and guarding dogs in Scotland and northern England, it is believed that the name “Collie” came from the Scottish black-faced sheep—Colleys—the breed was assigned to watch. For centuries, Collies were strictly working dogs with no fixed type. During the 1860s, on a visit to Scotland, Queen Victoria took an interest in the breed and brought several back with her to England. This increased the popularity of the Collie in England and eventually in other parts of the world.
Intelligent, kindhearted, and noble, Collies can be the “heroes” for their families, just as Lassie was for hers. Having this kind of exceptional dog doesn’t just happen, however, and the breed cannot be underestimated or have overly high expectations put on it. His intelligence demands a family who will be fair and loyal and who will not use harsh methods with him. The Collie’s loyalty and bravery are rightfully renowned.
The Collie is a breed that benefits tremendously from plenty of exercise—long walks, romps in the woods, and any opportunity to work as a herding or guardian dog.
The Rough Collie has a profuse coat that needs regular brushing and combing. The soft, dense undercoat does shed, and if not cared for, can mat. He is a seasonally heavy shedder.
The Smooth Collie has a dense coat, and even though his fur is shorter than his Rough-coated relative, he also needs regular brushing to look (and feel) his best. The Smooth Collie is a seasonally heavy shedder.
The average life span of the Collie is 14 to 16 years.
The Collie is a joy to train when approached in the proper way, which is with a positive and respectful manner. He will shut down if treated harshly. He should be socialized from puppyhood to help overcome potential shyness, but he thrives with the kind of attention he will get out in the world. The Collie’s many talents should be fostered, as he has great potential competing in activities like herding, obedience, agility, and therapy.
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