|Sensitivity to strangers|
|Affection for family|
|Suitable for first-time owners|
|Ease of grooming|
It is not common to come across a Collie, also known as the Rough Collie, in the United States, Canada, or the United Kingdom where it is actually a very famous dog as it was the protagonist of the American television series called Lassie.
It is difficult not to look with fascination at a Collie or Long-haired Collie (also called Rough Collie in its home country) when walking down the street. It is a noble and austere dog with a cheerful and lovely look. It can be easily recognized by its long and beautiful coat. Besides, it became famous after some movies, television series, and books where a female Collie, named Lassie, went on numerous adventures to return home.
There are only a few specimens in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, India, Scotland and South Africa, but if you see a Rough Collie you will immediately link it to many childhood memories, thanks to the movie that exalted the real characteristics of this breed. It is a very intelligent and curious dog, always motivated to do what the owner expects of it. It is sensitive and deeply attached to its family.
The breed probably originated from the crossbreeding of the dogs that accompanied the Romans when they entered Scotland with the dogs already present in the area. It is believed that its name may derive from the colley, the Scottish black-faced sheep, that the Collie dog used to guard.
It is said that early collies were believed to have been crossed, in the mid-nineteenth century, with the Borzoi (Russian Wolfhound) to get a longer muzzle.
In the past, Rough Collies were only used to herd cattle, until Queen Victoria wanted one for her own when she was fascinated by a specimen of this breed in Balmoral Castle. From that moment on, many people, attracted by the Collie’s physical appearance, wanted a Collie as a companion dog.
Collie: General Physical Characteristics
“The Collie is a dog of great beauty, impassive gracefulness, and perfect harmony.” It’s classy, and its gait is almost majestic. It never makes too much fuss and it always knows where to go.
The Collie’s coat may be:
- Smooth (short)
- Rough (long)
This gives rise to two different breeds whose only difference is the length of the hair.
Its coat, which once protected it from cold weather, is today an aesthetic element that enhances its undisputed elegance. Its coat is probably the key that distinguishes it from its short-haired brother, the Smooth Collie, that is not so well known.
The Rough Collie’s eyes give it a loving expression. It also has an intelligent and curious look. Scottish Shepherds have a double coat: the inner one is woolly and tight; the outer one is smooth and strong.
The range of colors varies, but the most common shades are: sable, sable and white, tricolor, and blue merle. Dogs with the first three coat colors have brown eyes, while some merle collies have blue or blue-tinged eyes or maybe just one blue eye.
Collie: Temperament and Grooming
Collies are sensitive dogs that sometimes tend to be shy. That is why it is essential to socialize your puppy from the moment it enters the family. They are very loyal, intelligent, friendly, active, and lively. They are not dogs that show nervousness or aggression, rather they are good and balanced.
The Collie is an excellent watchdog and affectionate bodyguard. It uses its bark as a deterrent. It learns new games quickly. This makes it a great friend to children. It is preferable for a collie to live in medium-large houses, and not in small apartments.
It is an ideal dog for those who love to do sports with their pet and for those who love long walks as it is highly obedient and agile. If you are thinking of adopting a Collie, you should know that it will need several walks a day which will help it to burn its energy although it likes to rest at home.
In addition, you will need time and money to keep your dog’s coat healthy and beautiful. Even if your dog does not participate in competitions, you should still do it although not as often.
The Collie suffers from hot temperatures, so it is necessary to take this characteristic into account when organizing summer days. It is a guard dog and an excellent sheepdog. However, it is commonly sought after as a companion dog. It is good at obeying commands and it is agile. It is used as a guide dog for the blind and in civil protection work. It is used by the police in Germany and France.
Collie: Diseases and Life Expectancy
The Collie is prone to eye diseases like CEA (collie eye anomaly) or PRA (progressive retinal atrophy), which can lead to blindness. It can also be affected by hip dysplasia.
When looking to buy a Collie puppy, it is always advisable to check the tests for the diseases that the stud dogs and breeders of the litter have been subjected to.
The collie is listed in some veterinary studies as one of the breeds prone to juvenile renal dysplasia (JRD). Besides, it is said that the Collie is prone to suffer from epilepsy, food allergies, and hyperthyroidism due to its genetics. However, this is not entirely proven.
It has a life expectancy of 10 to 15 years.
Collie: The Ideal Owner
The Collie is calm and loves the comforts of home. It adapts well to families with children, but they should always approach the dog with respect so as to not increase its shyness. The ideal Rough Collie owner is someone who has time to train, socialize, and exercise it; someone who has time to take care of his pet coat daily.
As a dog with long hair, whose grooming requires time and patience, the Collie may not be suitable for a person meticulous about housekeeping and/or for those who do not have time to groom their pets daily.
In addition, the Collie is an extremely sensitive dog, which tends to be shy, therefore it is not suitable for those who do not know how to treat introverted dogs, and those who believe they can train them with abrupt and authoritarian methods.
The Collie is a good guardian, but it barks to warn that something is happening. So, it may not be the ideal breed if you live in a condominium, or in an urban context.
Collie: Relationship With Children
It is calm, affectionate, docile, and patient. It is a great playmate for children, as long as you teach the little ones to respect the dog. The Collie creates a loving and protective relationship with children.
Collie: Relationship With Other Dogs
Generally, the Collie has no problem in getting close to other dogs; however, it is good to have it socialized properly from puppyhood as to avoid unpleasant episodes once it has grown up.
Collie: Price, Breeders, and Puppies For Sale
Avoid pet stores or breeders that sell multiple dogs. It is advisable to go to a certified breeding establishment.
It is essential to ensure that the stallion and the female dog have health tests confirming that they are not carriers of the genetic diseases described above.
As it is a rare dog breed, a Collie puppy, with pedigree and a paternal health test, may cost 1200-1700 dollars, about 1100-1500 English pounds.
Now that we have clarified the most important aspects, you can go in search of your new 4-legged friend, who is surely waiting for you.
You may be interested in reading another article related to other dog breeds such as:
- Doberman Pinscher
- Siberian Husky
- Bull Terrier
- German Shepherd Dog
- Bernese Mountain Dog
- Great Dane
- Saint Bernard
- Cane Corso (Italian Mastiff)