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Rough Collie

 Photo of Rough Collie
Photo: courtesy of Brian & Pauline Skyrme

Rough Collie Books

Group: Pastoral - Breed Standard


The Collie originated in Scotland approximately 200 years ago. However, the true origins are rather vague. It is known that Highland Shepherds began breeding selectively, and found them valuable working partners, not only out on the moors herding, but also as drovers when taking their stock to the far cities. The first recorded show for Collies was in 1860 and held in Birmingham.


Height: dogs: 56-61 cms (22-24 ins) at shoulder; bitches: 51-56 cms (20-22 ins).

Collies come in five basic coat colors: sable and white, where the "Sable" ranges from pale tan to a golden mahogany; white (which some breed standards disallow); tricolour, which is primarily black edged in tan; sable merle, almost identical to a sable and white, yet with a slightly mottled sable coat, and blue merle, which is a mottled gray. All come with white coat areas, in the collar, parts of the leg, and maybe tail tip. Some may have white blazes on their faces. Tricolours are more likely to have a tan blaze on their face.


The Collie is a highly intelligent dog, being happy and affectionate. Sensitive to your mood - when you are happy then so are they, but when you are sad they are miserable. A graceful and gentle breed which is eager to please and has a great sense of humour. It is a well known fact that Collies love everyone, except when strangers come on to their property. They will happily allow the stranger to enter, but rarely allows them to leave until he is sure that they are lawful and that you are aware there has been a visitor. The Collie makes an excellent family pet, who can be a one man's do or equally devoted to all the family. Whilst growing up, like any child, the odd thing may startle them, but they are soon reassured.

Breed Health

In general, they are a healthy breed and can live 15 years. Breeders generally test their breeding stock for hip dysplasia and annually for Progressive Retinal Atrophy. Puppies should be tested for Collie Eye Anomaly between the ages of 5 to 7 weeks.

Breed Care

Collies are not trimmed, except for around the feet, but do require a good brush every day. For the rough-coated, a good bristle and nylon brush is required, plus a steel comb, the fine to medium to large toothed variety. And of course a tooth brush! Collies moult seasonally, with bitches tending to lose a considerable amount of their coat, while dogs, when mature, lose all their undercoat but only some of their top coat. A bath helps to lift and get rid of all loose coat quicker. The shed hairs are easy to clean up from the furniture and carpet as, unlike short hairs, they remain on the surface.


The Collie actually requires very little exercise, but a daily walk will help to keep them fit and their muscles toned. They will happily trek miles with you, but are equally content to lie or sit by you all day. However, when you move, they will move - just like your shadow!


Being intelligent and quick to learn, Collies train relatively easily - especially as they are also willing to please! They should be taught with love and patience, never harsh methods. They are a true trusting, willing and obedient friend. See our books on training

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Last link added: 12 Mar, 2008