All about Collies 

 Collies are herding dogs.
They were originally bred to herd sheep and ducks.

These days Collies can do many different activities.
They are wonderful therapy dogs, good herders, and faithful companions.

 Collies can grow up to 26 inches tall and weigh between 50-75 pounds. Males are usually bigger than females.  The life of the Collie is 12-14 years.

The collie's temperament makes it one of the finest family pets. These are highly responsive dogs that want to please their owners.

Collies are affectionate with children, family members, and other familiar adults, and are generally friendly with other animals.

Collies are loyal and affectionate, so the more you hug and pet your Collie, the happier he will be.

Collies are very social, which means they like people and other animals. They trust you to take good care of them.

 Collies can be reserved with strangers without behaving aggressively, although they may bark when they feel they are needed as watchdogs or when they want attention.

The temperament of The Rough and the Smooth Collie is basically the same, in that they are both loving and loyal. The Smooth Collie is more agile, possibly more inquisitive, and sometimes noisier. However, it is always difficult to assess how strong an influence the home environment is on the individual Collie's temperament.

Collies are very sweet and proud. They don't need harsh words when they do something wrong. Just show them what they should have done and they will be happy to change.

  Collies are very trainable. That means they learn quickly when taught with patience and kindness. They can learn almost anything one teaches them. They love agility, flyball, tracking, and they especially love to learn tricks. They excel in obedience training when handled gently and with positive reinforcement, as long as the sessions are varied (repetitive activities bore these intelligent dogs) and interspersed with retrieving and jumping.

The collie's coat can be rough or smooth. The coat of the rough variety is abundant except on the head and legs. The outer coat is straight and harsh to the touch; the undercoat is soft, furry, and so dense that it is difficult to see the skin. The smooth variety has a less abundant, hard, dense, and smooth coat.

A Collie's coat has two layers: the beautiful hair you can see, and a hidden, second coat called an undercoat. This undercoat helps a Collie stay warm and dry in cold weather and it protects his skin from the hot sun, too.

The collie is bred in four colors: sable and white, tricolor, blue merle, and white. While collies do not change color from birth, it may take several years for their coats to reach maximum pigmentation.

Grooming & Exercise Needs

The rough collie's coat requires a considerable time commitment: it needs to be brushed every day when shedding and several times a week at other times or it will become severely matted and will need to be clipped.
The collie typically sheds once a year in the spring, when a shedding rake is needed to remove the dense undercoat. The smooth collie requires only an occasional brushing.

Collies don't need vigorous exercise, even though they are a herding breed. A few daily brisk walks around the block and ten to fifteen minutes of play are sufficient.


Collies became popular in the 1860s, when Queen Victoria became infatuated with them after seeing them herd sheep.

The collie had been used as a herding dog in the border counties of northern England and Scotland. Its earliest ancestors may have been the herding dogs that accompanied the Romans across what is now Britain around 500 B.C.

Special Alerts

Breed-related health concerns: collie eye anomaly (a congenital defect that occasionally causes blindness), progressive retinal atrophy.

Is a Collie right for you?

Questions to ask yourself

Something special about the collie has caught your eye. Was it their beautiful coats? Their loving demeanor? Or do you know someone who has a collie dog and you want one too? Perhaps, you might just be interested in Lassie and want a dog like that! Whatever the reason, you shouldn't make a snap decision to purchase a collie puppy. Lots of thought must go into the preparation for bringing a new life into your home!

Questions to ask yourself

         Do you have enough money? Collies are big dogs! They require regular (and emergency) visits to the vet, inoculations, food, toys, comfy blankets to sleep on, a dog house and fence if staying outside, leashes, collars, ID's, and grooming tools.

         Do you have time to train a collie? Collies are very intelligent and require high mental stimulation to keep them happy and healthy.

         Do you have time to groom your collie? Rough collie coats get matted very easily if not brushed a few times a week. Once the tangles are there, you'll have a hard time getting them out (plus they hurt your collie!)

         Does your family situation permit the addition of a new pet? If you have just gone through birth of a child, it would not be wise to add a new collie simply because of all the attention each would need.

         What kind of place do you live in? Remember, collies do well living indoors, but they do not do well with an inactive lifestyle. They need plenty of exercise and lots of space to let off energy. If you are unable to provide them with the bare minimum of a routine "walk" around the neighborhood, then the collie is not for you.

         Are you forgetful? Collies need routine feeding, watering, training, and lots of other things! You can not go for days and then suddenly "remember" that your collie is in the backyard and hasn't been fed for a week.

         Do other family members actually want a collie in the household? This may seem like a simple question, but it is one of the most important! If your spouse or any other person in your home is at odds with the idea, and you bring home a collie anyway, then your relationship could be in for a rough road ahead. Always respect others wishes and ideas - after all, it is their home too!


Do I want a puppy?

The collie puppy is a beautiful site to behold. However, this little ball of fur will soon turn your house upside down if you are not prepared. Like all breeds, the collie puppy needs great amounts of attention. You will also find yourself spending plenty of money those first few months!

The biggest thing you must do is to "puppy-proof" your house. Go through the house on your hands and knees to catch a view of what your puppy is going to see. Remove any household cleaners that your pup could accidentally spill (then drink!), make sure all nails and tacks are up as these can puncture your pup's insides if eaten, and remove any electrical cords or cover them with bitter apple lotion (found at your local pet shop.)

Do the same procedure if your pup will be living outside, except you should also look for holes under your fence (you do have a fence, right??!!), make sure none of your plants are poisonous to dogs, remove or fix anything that your pup could get trapped in or harmed on, predetermine a "potty" area, and get your dog house ready.

Remember, before he arrives you need:

  • Crate for house training
  • Comfy place for him to sleep
  • Chewing toys (his own! not your old shoes!)
  • Books to teach you how to train a puppy
  • Camera & Film for those funny moments
  • Puppy Potty pads if you must be gone for long hours
  • Plenty of patience
  • Food, bowl, water dish
  • Brush, comb, shampoo, conditioner
  • Knowledge of a local veterinarian
  • ...Over a decade of time to spend with your collie!


How about adopting an older Collie?

Collie Rescue is a wonderful cause to contribute to. Sadly, there are numerous abandoned, abused, neglected, and unwanted collies out there. Collie Rescue groups take in these poor collies and strive to find a wonderful, happy home for them!

Adopting from collie rescue not only gives these collies a second chance at a good life, it also give you a personal fulfillment of knowing you are helping a creature that has never known what it was like to be loved by a human.

Practically speaking, the prices of Collie Rescue dogs are a lot less than purchasing from a breeder, and a lot of them even come to you fully house-trained! Most rescue centers charge a small minimum price ($50.00 to 100.00 usually) which is used to cover things such as spaying/neutering and vaccinations.

How do I go about getting my own Collie?

  • You can expect to pay upwards of $500 and more for purebred collie pet purchased from a reputable breeder. If you order from someone out of state and have to have the collie flown in, charges will be even higher. If you are looking for a collie you could take to the show ring, you're price could range in the thousands.
  • The difference between show quality collies and pet collies are simply that pet collies have flaws that would prohibit them from winning in the show ring in accordance to the recognized collie breed standard. Reputable breeders will usually have a clause in their contract stating that before you can register the pup you must have proof of spaying/neutering. This rightly prohibits unscrupulous breeders from mating collies with genetic flaws that could end up ruining the breed in future generations.
  • You can best find a collie pup by:
  • 1. Asking your local veterinarian for breeder referrals
  • 2. Attending local Collie shows and ask collie owners from who they purchased their collie from. Be sure to pay attention to the winning collies and ask their owners!
  • 3. Contact a collie club in your area to ask for referrals. You can find a listing of collie clubs on the American Kennel Club website
  • Please do not buy a collie from a pet store! While they are precious and hard to resist, the majority of these puppies have bad genetic flaws due to horrible breeding practices. Pet stores are also known to get their "stock" from puppy mills -- places that treat puppies like products. Puppies born at these puppy mills, as well as the mothers they belong to; often never know what its like to have a hand pet their head. They are raised in horrible conditions, often with hundreds of other dogs in a small, cramped area. Purchasing from pet stores only encourage and fund the horrors of these "puppy factories."





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