The Collie is one of the biggest superstars in the canine kingdom. Instantly recognizable by the signature coat and face, these dogs are a beautiful breed that makes a loyal and hard-working companion.
From their strong herding abilities to their graceful and athletic build, these dogs are an active companion to those who love to be outside and on the move. Their amazing range of expression is what gives this breed its true character. Read on to learn more about the Collie.
Description of the Collie
Their lean bodies are strong, agile, and lithe. These attributes make them true athletes and, combined with their intelligence, excellent herders.
It is thanks to Queen Victoria that these Scottish dogs became such an iconic breed. Her regular visits to the Scottish highlands brought about a tender affection for these devoted dogs, and they soon began sprouting up all over Britain.
But the Collie originally dates back nearly 2,000 years, when Roman invaders brought them into Britain. Given their tenacity, wonderful personality, and general hardiness, it is no surprise these dogs have flourished into the popular breed they are today.
The long and tapered muzzle of the Collie is a quintessential feature of this dog, as is their long and luscious coat. These dogs come in both smooth and rough coat, but both are full, thick, and lush. The recognized colors for the Collie are sable and white, tri-color, blue merle, and white.
Life Expectancy and Size
While often a healthy breed, they can be prone to genetic issues, so it is always important to work with a reputable breeder when selecting your puppy. But the average lifespan of this breed is 12 – 14 years, and most Collies live a full life.
The Collie is a medium sized dog with an air of grace, and a streamlined body. Males stand 24 – 26 inches tall, and weigh 60 – 75 pounds. Females stand 22 – 24 inches tall, and weigh 50 – 65 pounds.
Naturally loyal and protective of his family, the Collie will be quick to alert you to strangers, but his friendly nature makes him more welcoming than wary.
The Collie is an amazing training partner. His eagerness to learn, combined with his sensitive nature and intelligence, makes him a great breed for training.
These dogs thrive off of positive training. Using positive and consistent words, games, and treats are excellent ways to approach training sessions. Keeping things interesting and engaging for your dog will make sessions more fun and effective.
As naturally athletic and smart dogs, Collies do well in a variety of canine sports, such as agility, obedience, and herding. These are also great ways to provide your dog with some exercise, and give him some quality bonding time with you.
The Collie is an active dog that needs plenty of daily exercise to be happy. They are especially aerobic dogs so things like fetch and big open spaces for them to run are a must. A fenced-in backyard is important for this breed.
They need plenty of interaction with their humans, so don’t think you can just let your dog out into the backyard by himself. Expect plenty of hands-on time with your furry friend everyday.
But that said, these dogs also love relaxation time with their families. This breed is less intense than some of its herding cousins, and is a good cross between active companion and couch warmer.
What Living with a Collie is Like
This is an all-around kind breed.
The Collie is known for being an incredibly kid friendly dog that does very well in homes with children. They are also great with other pets that they have been raised with. These friendly and open dogs just love to be around their people, and to get some playtime in while they’re at it!
In more laidback homes, this breed will do well as long as they still get in enough daily exercise. While the Collie is a good balance between energetic and calm, they still are an athletic breed that needs to move to be happy.
Care of the Collie
This is an incredibly sensitive dog that loves to be near his family. Provide your Collie with enough love and exercise and he will be content.
The thick double coat of the Collie is well adapted to withstanding colder temperatures. They can also adapt to warmer climates but be sure to keep them out of extreme heat, as they can quickly overheat under all that fur!
As a herder, the Collie loves to run and needs plenty of aerobic activity everyday. This can be in the form of long walks or runs, backyard playtime, and canine games. Getting involved in your dog’s exercise is also a great way to keep him happy.
Shedding and Grooming
The smooth Collie needs weekly brushing to maintain the topcoat and undercoat. While this variety doesn’t mat, it is still important to keep up on regular grooming.
The rough variety requires slightly more weekly brushing than the smooth to make sure mats don’t form, especially by the ears and elbows. But both types benefit from regular grooming as it keeps their coats healthy and eliminates loose hairs.
This breed sheds moderately.
Ideal Home Environment
The Collie is one of the most popular family dogs around. Their natural affinity for children, easy-going nature, and amazing sensitivity towards the needs of their family make them a great choice for pretty much anyone. As long as you can provide them with quality companionship and plenty of exercise they will do well.
They make good watch dogs and are always alert and vigilant, but are also friendly to everyone they meet.
It is important to understand that this breed can have health problems that may affect the quality of its life.
While usually a very healthy breed, one of the most important things you can do is work with a reputable breeder who makes sure your puppy and his parents pass certain health clearances.
These include checking for orthopedic problems like hip and elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, von Willebrand’s disease, thrombopathia, and eye problems.
Collies are an extremely sensitive breed, and very attentive to the needs of their families. They can become miserable if left alone for too long, so be sure to provide them with plenty of daily interaction.
These dogs can also become bored or anxious if not provided enough physical activity. Lots of aerobic exercise is a must for this breed.