This dog breed was originally found in the Scotland Highland regions, Scottish Lowlands and areas of Northern England. Although today they are usually used as a pampered family friendly pet, these canines were originally used as herding dogs. Collies are known to be extremely intelligent and sensitive, and are said to possess an undying loyalty and the ability to know what it’s owner needs. Due to these wonderful personality traits, there exist many true stories about Collies coming to the rescue of people or animals who are in danger. There are two looks that can help you distinguish a Collie, which are a short coat, which is also called the smooth variety, and a full coat, which is called the rough variety. As long as your pet gets their required amount of exercise, they can adapt to any environment, finding happiness in both relaxing in their home and playing outside. Your Collie will still possess strong herding instincts and you may find them chasing or barking at cars and herding children or small animals, but always being calm and protective. These pets excel at many sports, including agility, lure coursing, herding trials and obedience. These beautiful dogs are usually quiet unless given a reason not to be, or if they are left alone for long periods of time. They are stunning dogs that can be white, tan, blue merle or tricolored.
These stunning dogs were first found in the Highland Regions of Scotland. They used to vary greatly in looks, as their herding ability was more important than their appearance. Averaging around the size of today’s Border Collies, Collies were predominately black. Today, however, Collies have been bred and are now known for their signature coat and face structure. Collies were brought to Southern England by nomads in the stone age, which is where they became the tough and intelligent dogs that were used for herding sheep, pigs, goats and cattle. It is thought that two thousand years ago, the ancestors of Collies were introduced to the British Isles by Roman conquerors. These dogs were doomed for obscurity but were saved by Queen Victoria in 1860 when she brought some to England after she first saw them while visiting in Scotland. The first time that Collies were displayed at a dog show in the “Scotch Sheep-dogs” category was 1860 in Birmingham, England. The first of this breed was imported to the United States in 1879, and on August 26 of 1886, one of the oldest canine specialty clubs, the Collie Club of America, was created. Collies became particularly famous after one was featured in Lassie, a 1950s television series.
There are two varieties of Collies; the Rough variety, which features a beautiful dog with a long coat that is shorter around the head and legs, making a mane around the neck and chest, and the Smooth variety, which has shorter fur. The Rough variety has a thick and rough outer coat with a soft undercoat that is extremely thick, so much that it is hard to find their skin when you part their fur. The Smooth variety also has a thick undercoat, but the outer coat is shorter and flat, while still very dense. They have many color types, including sable, tricolor (a black base with white markings and tan shading), white (which can include markings), and blue merle (a black and silvery blue color). They are lean and strong dogs, with arched eyebrows and skulls with flat tops. Their heads are chiseled and wedge-shaped with muzzles that are round, with a black nose and slight stop. They have teeth that meet with a scissor bite, and eyes that are almond shaped and medium sized, brown in color, except for blue merles who may have blue or different colored eyes. Collies have ears that are ¾ erect and have tips that fold forward. They have bodies that are a bit longer than their height, with long necks. They have long legs and a tail that will be held low and straight with a slight curl at the end.
These dogs are known for their thick and beautiful coats. The Rough variety of Collies will require more grooming and maintenance due to their longer coat, but Smooth Collies will benefit from regular brushing as well. Rough Collies will need to be brushed twice a week, and Smooth Collies will be fine with getting groomed once a week. Baths should be given when they are needed, which will be basically once every six to eight weeks. You should check their ears for dirt, odor or redness once a week and trim their nails every month. Collies should have their teeth brushed at least two or three times per week to prevent bad odor and to get rid of bacteria and buildup. This breed is not hypoallergenic and will shed moderately. They are typically not droolers and should not be smelly. It will be wise to perform a quick at home checkup each week to look for any swelling, tenderness, redness or other abnormalities. This will help you catch any illnesses or injuries before they can become a problem.