The Collie

Background:

The Collie was originally a Scottish and English herding dog who weighed between twenty-five and forty pounds. The exact breed lines are blurry because shepherds at the time were less interested in keeping records than they were in getting their cows and sheep to the market. 

The Collie likely would have faded into obscurity if not for the intervention of Queen Victoria, who visited Scotland in the 1860’s and formed an instantaneous bond with the Collie. The breed soon became associated with royalty which prompted an immediate rise in popularity. 

In 1877, Collies were exhibited at the Westminster Kennel Club show, a new generation of pet owners were impressed by them, surprised by the way Collies seemed to float on air.

In America, the Collie captured an audience as Lassie, a television show which ran from 1954 until 1973. Not only was Lassie the perfect family dog, she was a hero, and soon became the most recognizable breed in the country. 

The beautiful flowing coat of a Collie is likely the result of the harsh environments where they were first bred.

Sizing up:

  • Weight 50 to 70 Pounds
  • Height: 22 to 26 inches
  • Coat:  Tough, thick coat with undercoat
  • Color: Sable, white, tricolor of black, white and tan, blue merle
  • Life expectancy: 10 to 14 years


What's the Collie like?

The Collie is a herder and as such, highly intelligent. He should be trained at a young age not to nip at the ankles of family members, as this a common behavior. He’ll train easily due to his intelligence, and will respond very well to treats. He’s gentle and should not be disciplined too aggressively. 

The Collie is a well mannered and a loyal companion. He’ll be an excellent therapy dog and has a very calming effect on people. 

The Collie enjoys attention and although he’s not the most energetic of the herding dogs he certainly requires a great deal of exercise and new games that can keep him entertained.

The Collie might bore easily and will bark when he has nothing else to do. Some Collies do develop a habitual barking habit. The best way to avoid such behavior in your dog is by keeping him entertained. 

The Collie is an independent thinker. The type of thinking you won’t get from any dog that’s not part of the herding family. He can make decisions on his own and you should use this to your advantage. Don’t fight your Collie’s stubborn side, roll with it and you’ll have much more fun.

Health
According to Dr. Justine Lee, some underlying skin diseases or immune diseases such as pemphigus  are more commonly seen in breeds like Collies. 

Takeaway points

  • The Collie is a friendly well mannered dog
  • The Collie will respect a strong leader
  • The Collie would prefer a big back yard
  • The Collie is very intelligent and easily bored

If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian – they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.

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