Do you remember the 1950s show Lassie featuring a gorgeous and courageous dog? Lassie was always ready to save her family members from whatever trouble they got into. But Lassie was much more than just a loving puppy that came to the rescue when needed. Lassie was the dog who sent the Rough Collie breed to the spotlight.
These dogs have come a long way from herding dogs to family puppies, but they still have all their charm. Keep reading this article to find out more about this famous breed.
Meet the Best Family Dog!
The Rough Collie has now earned the reputation for being one of the best family dogs out there. They’re devoted to their family and love them unconditionally. If you try to mess with someone in their family, especially with a child, the Collie will come after you.
They aren’t an aggressive breed, but their bark can scare off any intruder. These dogs give all their love and attention to their owners and hate being alone.
But Collie puppies haven’t always been the number one dog for families. In fact, they herded sheep and their herding instinct is pretty much the only memory they hold of their past.
History of the Collies
Collies were first bred in the Highlands of Scotland to be herding dogs. With time, they were also brought and raised in the Scottish Lowlands and to northern England.
Their job was to guide and herd sheep from the farmers’ lands to the market to be sold. They needed to be hardy and dedicated dogs to deal with the harsh weather and endure the exhausting task that was guarding hundreds of sheep.
There aren’t a lot of records and pedigrees for the Collies since farmers and ranchers weren’t particularly interested in recording history.
Because of this, there’s a little confusion surrounding the origin of their name. Some historians say that “Collie” comes from the Anglo-Saxon word “col” or “coll,” which mean black. Other historians believe that the breed’s name comes from the Scottish black-faced sheep that Collies used to guard.
But the show Lassie wasn’t the first to throw the Rough Collies to the spotlight. In 1860, Queen Victoria visited Scotland and fell in love with these herding dogs. She brought some back to England and thus started the Collie craze. In the same year, the first Collie dog show was held in Birmingham, where visitors had their hearts melted by this charming breed.
In the 19th century, the Collie Club of America was founded. But it wasn’t until the 1940s that the American people became familiar with the breed. The movie Lassie Come-Home drove the nation crazy and made this Collie a coveted breed.
Nowadays, these dog breeds are mostly family dogs and are sometimes part of a rescue group. They’re great companions who have left their herding past behind.
What Kind of Dog is Lassie? How the Lassie Breed Shaped the Collie
Lassie was what is known as a regular Collie of the rough variety. This means that she was a Collie who had a full coat with long, luscious hair. But there are other kinds of Collies out there. If you hear of Smooth Collies, it means that they’re also of this breed but have a short coat. Same breed. Different variations!
Thanks to the Lassie movies, novels, and tv shows, rough-coated Collies became the most famous variations of the breed. People were after dogs with the Lassie signature coat. With time, they’ve become more and more common to the point where if you think of a Collie, you’re probably thinking of this variety and not of the smooth-coated Collie.
Border Collies vs. Collie Breed
But not all Collies are “regular” like Lassie was. You might have heard about the breed Border Collie and thought they were Lassie’s cousin. In reality, Border Collies are a completely different breed with different characteristics.
Appearance and Personality
An adult dog is a medium-sized dog that looks majestic and regal. They have a moderately wide chest, sloping shoulders, and a muscular build. Everything about this breed is harmonious. No part of their body is disproportionate, which gives them their harmonious look.
The rough variety has long and abundant hairs everywhere on their body but their head and legs. The outer coat is straight and feels rough to the touch, while the undercoat is soft and very dense. You can barely see a Collie’s skin because of how thick their fur is.
They have a mane and a frill around their head, giving them a distinct look. Both rough and smooth Collies have different possible colors for their coat. It can be tricolor (a mixture of black, white markings, and tan), blue merle (black and silvery blue), or sable and white.
An Intelligent Family Dog: Temperament of the Fluffy Doggo
The Collie has right about anything you can dream of in a family dog. It is loving, caring, and very loyal to their family. This is a people’s dog who loves being showered with love and attention. They form pretty strong bonds with their family from the start and are very protective of them. If anyone tries to threaten them, the Collie will step in in a heartbeat.
They’re also extremely intelligent. This is a pup that can figure out the answer to numerous problems on the spot. Collies are also very playful and like to be around their owners, especially children. The happiest Collie is the one playing with little kids and protecting them from any danger around them.
It’s always important to train and socialize puppies, and a Collie is no exception. This will guarantee that they will grow up to be caring adult dogs and not aggressive and shy dogs.
5 Fun Facts About This Floof!
Do you think you know everything there is to know about Collies? Here are five things you might not have heard of.
- These dogs can get sad and stressed when left alone. They will start barking and may make a mess until their owners come back.
- This is a breed that doesn’t bark often — perfect if you have neighbors!
- Lassie is one of the very few animal actors to have a star on Los Angeles’s Walk of Fame.
- They may look dainty, but this breed can weigh— on average— up to 70 pounds.
- The UK breed is actually smaller than it was in the 1960s due to breeding to meet dog show standards.
The Rough Collie, Scotch Collie, and the Smooth Collie
When talking about Collies, we should specify that we’re talking about Regular Collies. These dogs are also known as Scotch Collies because of where they were bred for the first time. In other words, saying that the dog Lassie is a Regular Collie or a Scotch Collie is the exact same thing.
Then, we have two distinctions. A Collie can have a short coat or a long and full coat. If they have short hairs, they’re a Smooth Collie. If they have a long and luscious coat, then they’re a Rough Collie puppy.
Is this a Healthy Dog Breed?
Collies are overall healthy. However, like all other dog breeds, they are at higher risk than other dogs of developing certain conditions. Although not all Collies get them, every owner should be prepared for the worst.
Another common condition is the Collie eye anomaly. It’s an inherited illness that can lead to complete blindness. Eye anomaly can affect pretty much any component of the eye, from the choroid to the coloboma.
Lastly, Collies may also have to battle Von Willebrand’s disease. It’s a condition that affects how well the blood coagulates when there’s been a cut or a bleeding wound. Dogs who are sick have trouble stopping the hemorrhage, which can lead to death if not treated.
In addition, like all dogs, Collies are also susceptible to tick-borne diseases. You need to be careful and pay attention to see if your dog is walking around with a tick latched onto their skin.
Grooming and Maintenance
Rough Collies, as you can imagine, require more frequent grooming than Smooth Collies. The former should be brushed at least twice a week. The latter only needs a brushing session once a week. Once shedding season is upon you, you should brush your pooch every day.
Since this is a dog that is generally clean and not smelly like some other breeds, baths aren’t needed as often as you may think. Once every six to eight weeks should be more than enough.
As far as exercise goes, these dogs are incredibly active! They’re not a couch potato pooch, so you’ll need to take them out at least 3 to 4 times a day. Daily brisk walks with their owners and playing together out on a dog park or on the yard will make your dog very happy.
A Smart and Quick Learner!
You couldn’t ask for a better dog to train! Collies are incredibly intelligent and sharp. They learn commands and tricks faster than most dogs and are intuitive in their learning process. Giving them positive reinforcement using compliments, love, and treats will put your pooch on the fast track to success.
Because they also love pleasing their owners, you won’t have a hard time training these dogs. They’ll be more than happy to do what you tell them to do. If you’re too busy to train them by yourself, you can always enroll your pup on a dog training school.
Miniature Collie? Collie Puppies for Sale!
Are you ready to take the plunge and get a Collie to be your family dog? If so, you need to find reputable breeders. It’s very important to not buy a dog from any seller, even if they’re selling pups for a low price. Always stick to ones with a good reputation.
Collie Puppy Price
Whether you’re looking for a white Collie or one in any other color, you should expect to pay on average between $400 and $600. But depending on the breeder, the price could be much, much higher.
Collie Club of America: Look for Collie Rescues
The Collie Club of America and the American Kennel Club have compiled lists of reputable and trustworthy Collie breeders.
5 Tips for Families with Collie Dogs
Do you already own this smart breed? here are five tips on how to keep your pup healthy and happy.
- Give them plenty of attention. They love being around their family and shouldn’t be left alone for long.
- Socialize your pup from a young age. Expose them to new people, new places, other dogs, and even children.
- Don’t forget to go on walks and play with your pooch. They have high energy levels and need exercise.
- You should remember to brush your dog’s coat and trim their claws when it’s needed.
- Don’t be afraid to let your dog go near children. This is a family-oriented dog that loves playing with the little ones.
Witty, Fun, and Loving! These Dogs Will Be Perfect for Any Pet Lover
There’s a reason why this dog breed has always been so loved. They’re dedicated and caring dogs that only want the best for their family.
They love playing with children and spending quality time with their owners. They look majestic but if anyone tries to interfere with a Collie’s home, they will start barking loudly as a warning to get away.
There’s no better dog out there for a family!