The Collie, also referred to as the Scottish Collie, is a Scottish breed that was developed as a sheepdog. They come in two varieties, rough and smooth. The Smooth Coated Collie has a medium length coat that is soft and dense. The Rough Coated Collie has short hair that is smooth. Both variations come in colors of blue merle, sable and white, and tri colored. This is a medium sized dog that typically stands between 22 and 26 inches tall.
The Collie has an excellent temperament that makes it ideal as both a family pet and as a working dog. They are very gentle and intelligent, and they enjoy being sociable. They are an excellent addition for homes with children and homes with other pets. Some of the health problems that are associated with breed include skin infections, eye problems and hip dysplasia.
Origin of the Collie
The Collie breed has existed for centuries as herding dogs in Scotland and England. Originally, they were drover dogs, driving cows and sheep to market.
Collies have descended from generations of hard working herding dogs. Their name may have originated from the Scottish black-faced sheep called the “Colley”. Long ago, the early Collies were smaller; they had shorter muzzles with broader heads.
Queen Victoria fell in love with the breed when she visited the Scottish Highlands. Collies became popular and very fashionable after that.
Collie Appearance and Abilities
Collies have great beauty. They are very attractive dogs with long coats which are long and textured. They are both elegant and graceful and they have a delightful gait which makes them appear to be floating over the ground as they run.
A medium-sized dog, Collies are fairly lightly built. They weigh about 20-50lbs and they have pointed snouts and erect ears. This gives them a fox-like impression. Collies have different varieties. Cattle-herding types tend to be rather stocky. Show types are more slender and graceful.
Fur can differ as well. Some Collies may have short, flat, or long hair. Tails may be smooth, feathered, or bushy. Collies vary in colors too. The usual base colors are black, black-and-tan, red, red-and-tan, or sable.
Collies stand out with their intelligence. They are so intelligent that they have been trained for many purposes, as a rescue dog, guide for the blind, movie star, and as a guard dog.
Temperament and Tendencies of the Collie
Collies are very responsive dogs. They show an unmistakable expression of intelligence. They are gentle and devoted to their owners but their guarding instincts make them very suspicious of strangers. Collies are wary and always alert.
They are also persistent in their endeavors but their high intelligence make them easily trained dogs. Working types are extremely energetic and very agile dogs. They are tireless workers with great stamina in the field. Show types tend to be more elegant. They are great companion dogs with delightful temperaments.
They are very gentle and sweet dogs. Collies are very good with children and they are very protective of their family.
Working strains have strong herding instincts, and some individuals can be single minded to the point of obsession. They can be intensely loyal for their own good.
Collie Training and Care
Training Collies requires a calm, firm, and confident manner. Owners should set the rules for the breed to follow. You should be consistent and never falter. However, be gentle while showing an air of authority. Being meek or passive will make the Collie think he is dominant over you. If that is the case, the dog will never listen and may become willful, stubborn and indolent.
Some have very strong herding instincts and may nip people’s heels. As puppies, they must be taught not to herd humans. Socialize Collies well so they may develop into well-mannered companions. House training them is rather easy.
Collies will do okay in an apartment as long as they are sufficiently exercised. They are relatively inactive indoors and do best with at least an average-sized yard.
They are sensitive to the heat so make sure to provide plenty of shade and fresh water in warm weather.
Weekly brushing of their coats is essential to keep them in good condition. Bathe or dry shampoo as necessary. This breed sheds heavily twice a year.