Collie.us in association with Dogs.info
Dog Group Kennel Club: Herding (AKC) Pastoral ( KC)
There are two types of collie, smooth shorthaired and the rough longhaired collie. The difference originating from their past history. The rough coated collie was bred to cope with the more harsh weather in the highlands of Scotland, whereas the smooth coated collie was bred in the lowlands of Scotland. The Rough collie has a long thick coat that is well textured. It is thick and flowing except on the head and legs. The outer coat is straight and harsh. The undercoat, however, is soft, furry. The Smooth collie has a short, hard, dense, flat coat, with a undercoat. Both Collies coat colours can include sable, tri-colour and blue merle.
Weight: 60 – 75 lbs, Female: 51 – 66 lbs
Average Life Span: 9 – 15 years
Collies are friendly, active and intelligent, happy, very affectionate, loyal, and eager to please. They make good house dogs that bond very closely with their families and who are good companions for children, always willing to play. Collies will get on well with other dogs and household pets making them an all round exceptional family dog.
Collies can be trained as watchdogs, but they are too kind and friendly to be a guard dog.
Collies learn very quickly and can therefore be easily trained. However collies have sensitive natures so training should be gentle and positive.
With their medium/long length double coats weekly brushing is a necessity to prevent serious matting. During moulting, daily brushing is highly recommended . Occasional trimming will keep the feathering on the front legs and tail in good condition.
They need daily long walks and free exercise to keep them healthy and happy.
Collie Health Issues
Bloat (gastric torsion), though not a hereditary condition, frequently affects the many breeds including the collie. This is a very serious condition. When a dog bloats, the stomach can turn and block, causing a build up of gas. Unless treated quickly, bloat can be fatal. Signs of bloat include futile attempts to vomit and to salivate. Bloat, which may lead to cardiovascular collapse, usually occurs when exercise too closely follows eating. The incidence of bloat may be lessened by feeding adult dogs twice a day and, of course, by allowing a dog time to digest before taking him for a run in the park.
Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA)
The disorder occurs commonly in collie breeds, including the border collie, rough collie, smooth collie, and Shetland sheepdog. This eye disorder results in the dog having “blind spots”. This condition is not a life threatening disorder and the animals are capable of having normal, full lives. It is only through screening and selective breeding that this problem will be eliminated. The best way to avoid this problem is to purchase a pup from parents that have been registered with the Canine Eye Registration Foundation (CERF), and have never produced affected pups.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is a hereditary disease of the eye that has been identified in collies. PRA is a blanket term for many types of retinal diseases, all of which result in blindness. All Border collies, regardless of age or breeding status, should be examined yearly by a member of the Veterinary Opthalmologists
Hip dysplasia, a malformation of the hip joint resulting in a poor fit between the head of the femur bone and the hip socket. This condition can be alleviated by surgery, at some cost to dog and owner. Because dysplastic dogs often produce dysplastic puppies, buyers should ask if both the sire and the dam of the puppy in which they are interested have been rated clear of hip dysplasia. Do not take yes for an answer without seeing a certificate, and ask for a copy to take to your veterinarian.
Collie Nose is a discoloration of the nose pigment diagnosed as Discoid Lupus Erythematosus. Originally thought to be an allergic reaction to sunlight, the condition is only aggravated by prolonged sun exposure. Though not painful, the lighter colored areas are very sensitive to sunlight and can be sunburned. The dog should be kept out of bright sunlight as much as possible or the affected area should be protected with a sun screen lotion.
Dermatomyositis is another common collie problem. This is an autoimmune skin disorder that begins with lesions and skin ulcers on the face. It can progress into muscular atrophy that makes chewing or swallowing difficult.
In the 18th century, the collie’s natural home was in the highlands of Scotland, deep in the hills and the mountains, where he had been used for centuries as a sheepdog. It is possible that the Romans brought sheepdogs with them when they invaded Britain and that these dogs then interbred with the local dogs and thus are the ancestors of today’s collies.
Eventually two types of collies developed from these common ancestors – the Rough Collie, the long-haired variety that worked directly with the flocks; and the Smooth Collie, the short-haired variety that was used primarily as a drover dog to drive livestock to market.Bred for centuries for their working ability rather than the status of their pedigree, their exact origins have been lost. The farmers who relied on these dogs were totally dependent on their pastoral pursuits, so the dogs were bred for strength, endurance, intelligence, devotion and loyalty.The origin of the word ‘collie’ is also open to speculation. It has been spelled many different ways: Coll, Colley, Coally and Coaly. Coll is the Anglo-Saxon word for black and one theory holds that ‘Collie’ comes from the black-faced Colley sheep and therefore the dogs responsible for their well-being became known as “colley dogs”. Another theory suggests that the original working dog was black and therefore was called “Coallies.” Whatever the origins, around 1875, the name Collie was firmly in place.