Country of Origin: The origin of the Collie (also known as the ‘Scottish Collie’), the prototypical Sheepdog, is wrapped in mystery. Even the origination of the name ‘Collie’ is unknown, but it may derive from the Gaelic word for ‘useful’. The first recorded evidence of the breed dates to around 1800, when both rough-coated and smooth-coated versions, used for sheepherding and guarding, arrived with Celts on the British Isles. They grew in popularity, and were brought to America in the late 1800’s to serve as sheepherders. The standard created for the Collie in 1886 remains unchanged today. You may have heard of a famous Collie by the name of ‘Lassie’. Lassie brought attention to the rough-coated Collie, helping them to become one of the most popular American breeds and proving that they are a great help when little Timmy falls down the well.
Size: The Collie has a shoulder height of 56-66 cm (22-26 in) and weighs 23-34 kg (50-75 lbs). Collies have a flat, wedged shaped head, long muzzle, almond shaped eyes, and small, tilted ears. They have thin, muscular bodies, low tails, wide chests and small, ovular feet. They are longer than they are tall.
Coat: The Collie can have a rough, straight, and long coat or a smooth, hard, and flat coat. Both coats have a soft undercoat and short, smooth hair on their head and legs. Acceptable colors for both types are tricolor, blue merle, white, or sable and white. If white, markings are preferred. Rough haired Collies have frilly, mane-like necks.
Character: The Collie is mild-mannered, gentle, and eager to work. Collies are noble and intelligent, but occasionally can be a bit stubborn. They are kind, affectionate, and serene. Collies make great companions.
Temperament: The Collie is excellent with children, and if properly socialized can get along well with other household pets. Collies are very well-mannered, obedient, and passive. They may be suspicious of strangers. Some Collies, as puppies, can exhibit herding behaviors that will result in the nipping of people's heals however, this behavior usually is outgrown as they get older. Collies are devoted to their family and protective of those they love.
Care: The coat of the smooth-haired Collie only needs brushing periodically. The rough-haired Collie needs to brushed or combed every other day, more often when shedding. Collies have a life span of 8-12 years. They can live outdoors in cool climates, but they prefer indoor life with the family. Collies should be tested for eye and hip problems.
Training: The Collie has a well-deserved reputation of being easy to train. Collies are eager to learn and obey. They are sensitive to the tone of the trainer's voice, so good results can be achieved through positive reinforcement. If Collies are trained too harshly they may become afraid or refuse to cooperate. Collies are quickly housetrained.
Activity: A Collie needs a good daily walk or jog on the leash, or a chance to run around and indulge in physical play. Collies can tolerate apartment life if sufficiently exercised outdoors. They should be provided plenty of water and shade when exercised in hot weather as they are sensitive to heat.
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