Collies are medium-sized dogs known for their impressive herding and protecting skills. They feature a long and remarkable coat which comes in two types – the rough and the smooth – and comes in four colors: sable and white, tricolor, blue merle, or white. Other than that, the Collie carries an elegant wedge-shaped head with almond eyes that will certainly speak to you.
As much as they are excellent herding dogs, Collies make excellent family pets as well. They are most especially fond of children, and will undoubtedly be great playmates. However, this dog is not for everyone, as he requires some devoted attention, companionship, and exercise.
Statistics For The Collie
|Dog Breed Group||Herding|
|Height||24-26 inches (male); 22-24 inches (female)|
|Weight||60-75 pounds (male); 50-65 pounds (female)|
|Friendly with family|
|Friendly with kids|
|Friendly with strangers|
|Friendly with other dogs|
Collies are part of Scotland’s native dogs, which are primarily from the Highland regions. They were said to be formerly close to size and shape to Border Collies with black as the most dominant color.
The Collies weren’t recognized during those times. Well, not until Queen Victoria popularized them among her courtiers and subjects during the mid-19th century. So, from being just a simple herding dog, the Collies slowly rose to fame.
They were first exhibited at a dog show in England in 1860. And by 1879, the Collie was brought to the United States for the first time. But it was only in 1886 when the Collie Club of America was formed.
When the 20th century came, different authors and poets started introducing Collies to their young readers. However, the most significant breakthrough came in the 1950s when the TV series, “Lassie Come Home,” was aired.
There, the breed was portrayed to be a great companion dog who will gladly protect their family. Until now, the breed remains one of the most popular dog breeds in the US.
Collies are generally sweet, friendly, and gentle. They are highly sensitive and can get stressed in an environment filled with loud noises or tension. So, if you’re planning to own one, make sure not to create a lot of arguments with family members.
As a herding dog, Collies are smart and learn quickly. However, consistent training with a lot of rewards and praise should be given.
If they’re not in the field to herd, they make excellent family dogs. They are fond of children and most certainly enjoy playing with them, watching them, and protecting them.
They are also very friendly with strangers and other pets. There are times where he will act timid, but if socialized well at an early age, confidence will surely build up.
Collies thrive for human companionship, so they’re not a dog just for anyone. Added to that, they need to work and continue to be entertained. A bored Collie will surely be a trouble Collie, and you don’t want that.
Again, early socialization and training are crucial to retaining the best traits of a Collie. Also, make sure that you approach them kindly and gently. Don’t be harsh on them as it will only make them scared and will make them lose trust in you.
Collie Care Requirements
- Nutrition: Like any other dog breed, a high-quality and well-balanced diet is what a Collie dog needs. It must also contain all the essential nutrients such as protein, carbohydrates, fiber, fats, vitamins, and minerals. Protein should be the majority of your Collie’s diet. This is because it will supply the energy he needs for his daily activities. You can derive this from animal meat such as chicken, beef, or lamb. You can also add brown rice and sweet potatoes to their diet for some carbohydrates. At a particular time of the day, mix in some fruits and vegetables to provide them with some fibers. If you feed him commercial dog foods, don’t go to the most expensive. Instead, always check the ingredients and make sure that animal protein is the primary ingredient. Stay away from those with plant-based protein, fillers, and by-products as these are not enough nutrients for the Collie. Avoid ingredients that will cause allergies, too, such as wheat and soy.
- Grooming: Collies – Rough and Smooth Collie – need regular brushing to keep their coat in a healthy state. For Smooth Collies, they would need at least once a week of brushing to remove the loose coat and reduce it when shedding season comes. For Rough Collies, you can do this 2-3 times in a week to remove mats and tangles, and, at the same time, remove loose hairs. Bath your Collies occasionally, depending on the activities they do or if their coat smells. The ears should be checked and cleaned regularly to avoid possible infection. And lastly, don’t forget to trim the nails regularly as long nails will cause pain.
- Exercise: Collies are active dogs that require regular exercise. If you plan to own a Collie, it’s best to invest in a fenced yard. This way, you can let your Collie run around freely without getting yourself super tired. However, if you’re the active type, you can take him to a jog or walk twice a day. Teaching him tricks and playing fetch are also excellent exercises that you can do with your Collie. They’re happier if they do things with you.
- Health: Collies are incredibly prone to eye diseases such as Collie eye anomaly, progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts, corneal dystrophy, and pupillary membranes. Skin diseases are a problem too, and these are usually caused by having a weak immune system. Other serious diseases you can watch out for are bloating, epilepsy, and heart diseases. Some may also be born deaf. Early screening tests for some of these health issues will help identify and rule out some major health issues. Regular check-ups are also highly recommended to monitor whether your pup has any problems or not.
- Lifespan: The life expectancy of the Collie is 12-14 years.
Lassie: The famous Collie from the movie “Lassie Come Home”; responsible for the Collie’s popularity
Fun Facts About Collies
- Collies came from Scotland 350 years ago.
- They were originally trained as herding dogs.
- They come in several color combinations: white, sable, merle, and blue.
- There are two types: the Rough Collie and the Smooth Collie.
- They are one of the most intelligent dog breeds.
Check Out Other Herding Dog Breeds:
Australian Cattle Dog, Australian Shepherd, Bearded Collies, Beaucerons, Belgian Malinois, Belgian Sheepdog, Belgian Tervuren, Bergamasco Sheepdog, Berger Picards, Border Collie, Bouviers des Flandres, Briards, Canaan Dog, Cardigan Welsh Corgis, Entlebucher Mountain Dogs, Finnish Lapphund, German Shepard, Miniature American Shepherd, Norwegian Buhunds, Old English Sheepdog, Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Polish Lowland Sheepdogs, Puli, Pumi, Pyrenean Shepherd, Shetland Sheepdog, Spanish Water Dog, Swedish Vallhunds