Collie At a Glance
Country of Origin:
Large. Weight: 40 – 65 lbs . Height: 20-24 in
Their coat comes in two types: Rough with long hair and Smooth with short hair.
Tri-color, White, Sable & White, Sable Merle, Sable, Blue Merle
10 to 14 years
Cold Weather Tolerance
Hot Weather Tolerance
Did You Know?
The famous dog Lassie is a Collie.
AKC Breed Group: Herding
Other Registries: AKC (Herding); ANKC (Working); CKC (Herding); FCI (Sheepdog); KC (Pastoral); UKC (Herding)
Weight: 40 – 65 lbs
Height: 20-24 in
Color: Tri-color, White, Sable & White, Sable Merle, Sable, Blue Merle
The Collie is a native of the Highlands of Scotland and Northern England where for centuries they were used as sheepdogs. Their ancestors were probably brought to the British Isles by Roman conquerors about 2000 years ago.
The name ‘Collie’ is either derived from ‘col’, the Anglo-Saxon word for ‘black’ or from ‘colley’, the Scottish black-faced sheep that the Collie used to guard.
There are two types of Collie: the Rough variety and the Smooth variety, depending on the coat type. The Rough Collie and the Smooth Collie are identical with exception of the coat. Other names for the Collie are: Rough Collie, Scotch Collie, Scottish Collie, Long-Haired Collie, English Collie, Smooth-Haired Collie, and Lassie dog.
The popularity of this dog breed began when Queen Victoria fell in love with this dog breed while visiting Scotland in 1860. The lowly farmer’s dog became a popular aristocratic canine when the queen brought Collies back to England.
Lassie, the unforgettable hero dog from the long-running and very popular TV series was a Rough Collie. In the United Kingdom Smooth Collies are more popular.
The first Collie was introduced into the United States in 1879 and the first Collie Club formed in 1886. Collies imported from England were the ancestors of the present day Rough Collies in the USA.
Nowadays Collies are more popular for their appearance and show dog potential than their herding abilities. They are the perfect dogs for owners who wish a social and responsive dog, and makes the ideal family companion.
The Rough Collie is a powerful and well-proportioned dog with intelligence, speed and grace. Their bodies are muscular with a deep chest, rounding ribs, sloping shoulders and a ‘noble’ head that is nicely balanced in proportion to the dog’s body. This dog breed has a level back, strong hips and thighs, and muscular legs that give them speed and grace. The feet are oval in shape with well-padded soles and well-arched toes. The tail is long with a swirl at the end.
The head of this dog breed has a clean, smooth outline with parallel planes of the muzzle and the top of the skull. Their eyes are dark, medium-sized and almond-shaped with a bright and intelligent expression.
A Collie is a Collie whether their ears are erect or tip forward. If left alone, the ears go straight up in the air. Most breeders train the ears to have them two-thirds erect with the top part tipping over. It is the owner’s preference whether to train the ears, but if your Collie participates in dog shows, tipping ears are required. The ears should neither too close together, nor too far apart. The neck of this breed is firm and muscular with a slight arch at the nape, showing off the frill.
The Collie’s stride should be long, light and appear effortless.
Male Collies are 22 to 24 inches (56 to 61 cm) at the shoulder and weigh between 45 and 65 pounds (20.5 and 29.5 kgs). Female Collies are smaller and lighter: 20 to 24 inches(51 – 56 cm) at shoulder and between 40 and 55 pounds (18 – 25 kg).
This breed is a gentle, responsible, loyal, protective, playful, sensitive, and affectionate herding dog, that is famous for beauty and intelligence. This dog breed is naturally obedient and easy to train.
They love their families more than anything in the world and always want to spend time in the company of their human pack. This breed loves kids and especially enjoys playing with them and watching over them. Because of their sociable temperament, this dog will happily play with other dogs. These dogs are not aggressive by nature and typically friendly to strangers.
Collies have a sensitive personality. Harsh words or a loud voice will cause stress. Collies have a peaceful nature and thrive in a harmonious environment.
Collies are a communicative breed and can be quite vocal with a wide range of barks, grunts, and ‘singing’. The dialogue is accompanied by facial expressions such as nodding, puffing the cheeks, cocking the head to one side, smiling, and snapping teeth depending on the message the dog wants to communicate.
This dog breed is not a watch dog, but will bark whenever necessary. With proper training this breed can be taught when barking is appropriate or not.
The Collie puppy is curious and playful. Before buying a puppy, make sure that at least one of the parents has a nice, even temperament. Every puppy needs early socialization to expose them to a variety of people and experiences.
This breed thrives on human companionship and does not like to be left alone for long periods of time. Without human contact, this breed becomes bored and lonely.
They make an excellent family pet, especially for first-time owners, and will be fully engaged in the lives of her human family. This breed can sense events before they actually happen. This breed is a wonderful family member, always watchful and protective of her home and her loved ones.
Their coat comes in two types: Rough with long hair and Smooth with short hair. The undercoat of this breed is soft and thick. The outer coat is dense, straight, and harsh to the touch. The undercoat will keeps the dog warm in cold conditions and also protect the skin from the hot sun. The Smooth Collie also has a thick under coat, but the outer coat is smooth, short and flat.
They are naturally clean dogs and with the right tools and equipment every family member can help grooming them. Rough Collies need regular brushing, preferably every day, especially when shedding. The Smooth Collies can be brushed once a week.
Both the Rough Collie and the Smooth Collie are heavy yearly shedders, and shed in the Spring. Rough Collies need a bath every 6 to 8 weeks, and the Smooth Collie less regularly.
The density of the coat may require the services of a professional groomer.
The 4 recognized colors of the Rough Collie are sable and shite, tri-color (black and white with tan markings), blue merle (silvery blue with marbled tan and black markings) and solid white for the body with either sable, tri, or blue markings, usually on the head. Collies typically have a white collar, chest, legs, feet and tip of the tail, and sometimes a blaze – white facial marking. It can take years for the Collie to reach their maximum pigmentation.
They are a healthy and hardy breed, but they are prone to certain health conditions just like any other dog breed. Diseases that can affect Collies are:
Collie Nose or Nasal Solar Dermatitis. The peeling and oozing of the nose that can develop into cancer.
Dermatomyositis, a genetic autoimmune disorder of the skin. Both Rough and Smooth can be carriers of the gene.
Collie Eye is an anomaly that causes abnormalities in the eye and can sometimes lead to blindness. This eye disease occurs by the time the dog is 2 years old and there is no treatment or cure for this condition.
Nodular Granulomatous Episclerokeratitis (NGE) is also known as Fribrous Histiocytoma, Collie Granuloma, or Nodular Fascitis. This is an immune disorder that damages the cornea. NGE and Collie Nose often go together. This condition is treated with immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory medications.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA). A slow deterioration of the retina that causes night-blindness and in time total loss of vision.
Hip Dysplasia causes lameness and pain. Insist that the parents of your puppy are free of this condition.
Allergies related to food, pollen or other airborne substances, or contact with chemicals, flea powder, and dog shampoo.
Drug sensitivity to heartworm medication with the active ingredient Ivermectin, anesthesia and insecticides. Be advised by your veterinarian before using tick or flea control products or giving any medication to Collies.
They live on average 10 to 14 years and even longer.
The popularity of this dog breed has resulted in much unscrupulous breeding with total disregard for the health, temperament and conformation standards of this breed. Always buy a puppy from a reputable breeder who has performed all the necessary tests to make sure the puppies are free of genetic diseases and have even temperaments.
Without proper training your cute Collie puppy will grow into an uncontrollable adult dog. Training and socialization are very rewarding for both owner and dog, because Collies are naturally social animals.
This dog breed is intelligent, easy to train and eager to please, but can be somewhat stubborn. Collies love attention. The only well-behaved Collie is a trained Collie. Training takes time, patience, kindness, and the right techniques. If you wish your dog to behave like Lassie, you will have to invest 1½ to 2 years in training and socialization. This breed has the ability learn almost everything you are prepared to teach. Make sure training is varied because repetition can get boring for these intelligent dogs. Training this dog is well worth the effort as a well-behaved dog is a pleasure to own.
They excel at showing, obedience, retrieving, agility and jumping. This breed is also popular as therapy dogs, search and rescue dogs, and guide dogs for the blind.
Collies especially love learning tricks. Because of their natural herding instincts, they can be trained to compete in herding tests.
This dog breed does not need vigorous exercise. Brisk daily walks and 15 minutes of play will keep this dog content. You can take this dog anywhere: they are happy to walk on a lead in town, run in the woods with their family or herd animals on a farm. These are adaptable dogs who can live just about anywhere.
Before buying a Collie puppy it is important to realize that they will grow into a big dog that will require regular visits to the veterinarian, grooming tools, food, toys and a secure fence. A Collie requires your time for grooming, exercise, training and socialization. Consider your family situation and accommodation before adding a Collie puppy to your family.