Few herding dog breeds are more recognizable than the loveable Collie, popularized by the canine movie character, Lassie. Friendly and easy to train, the Collie makes a wonderful companion for individuals and families alike. This breed originates from Scotland and Wales, and is sometimes referred to more specifically as the Long-Haired Collie or the Rough Collie. The American Kennel Club ranks the Collie’s popularity at number 40 out of 193 dog breeds.
Though numbers aren’t exact, it’s guessed that the Collie breed originated sometime in the 1700s or earlier. Collies were used as sheepdogs for centuries, and that aspect of their history has carried through to today, giving them a characteristic intelligence and devotion to their owners.
Appearance of Collies
The Collie is a medium-large dog, measuring 22-26 inches in height, with males usually on the taller side. Though they’re classified as large by the AKC, Collies are relatively slim and light compared to many other large dogs. Collies are usually in the range of 40 to 70 pounds, with weight varying depending on gender and adherence to different breed standards.
The coat of the Collie can be divided into two different groups – that of the Smooth Collie and that of the Rough Collie. Smooth Collies have relatively short fur, about 1-2 inches in length, and though their coat isn’t long, the thick undercoat needs weekly brushing to stay well-maintained. They shed profusely twice a year, and brushing will be needed at this time.
Rough Collies have substantial amounts of long fur, and will need brushing 2 to 3 times a week to avoid matting and health problems from their dense coat. Minor trimming along the lower legs and feet as well as rare baths during shedding season can help lessen the work needed to maintain a Collie’s coat.
Collies are gentle and kind by nature, and they generally get along fantastically with kids. They make good family dogs and can be amazingly loyal to all members of the house. Collies are usually friendly without being too gregarious and intense in their approach, making them good with children. That said, it’s still a good idea to supervise young kids and dogs to make sure everyone is getting along.
Collies are usually pretty good with other dogs, though their history in herding can give some Collies the urge to chase or group together smaller dogs and cats. It’s a good idea to socialize Collies early and get them used to a variety of creatures, otherwise they may struggle to get along with smaller animals.
Due to their loyal nature, Collies may also act as watchdogs to the family, barking at strange animals or people. This can turn into a noise issue if the Collie isn’t trained on when to bark and when to be quiet. Though Collies don’t usually have aggression issues, it’s a good idea to keep alarm barking to a minimum in yards and on walks to keep them from being perceived as a dangerous dog.
Because of their sheepherding history, Collies are intelligent dogs that generally enjoy listening to and interacting with their owners. Collies love to learn, so it’s recommended to give them stimulation through training. This can aid in good behavior, help build bonds between dog and owner, and create a happier, healthier dog.
Collies are sensitive dogs, usually fairly attached to their owners and uncomfortable with being apart. Separation anxiety can be a problem for Collies. Their sensitivity can make them nervous in chaotic situations such as travel, which may prompt extra barking. If the owners can control the noise level of their Collie and stay close to their dog, this can keep the Collie happy and calm in a noisy or crowded situation. Their obediency makes Collies fairly good candidates for travel.
CARING FOR A COLLIE
It’s important to know how to care for a Collie so that health or behavior issues can be avoided altogether. Staying on top of health and exercise can be particularly valuable for Collies, and training and nutrition are important topics to delve into for this breed as well.
Because coat quality is so intrinsic to the health of a Collie, nutrition is a significant topic of concern for proper care of this breed. Recommendations for Collies are to feed a high-quality diet that contains mostly meat. Since this breed can suffer from food allergies, it may be a good idea to avoid grains like corn, soy, and wheat in dog food and treats.
Collies require a moderate amount of food, usually between 2 to 3 cups of dry food a day. Since Collies have some risk of bloat, it’s better to feed this amount over the course of several servings multiple times a day. Regular feeding of smaller amounts can be achieved with an automatic dog feeder as well.
Though not as active as some other large dog breeds, Collies still require a moderate amount of exercise with regularity. With this breed, it’s important to work out not just the body but also the mind, so it’s suggested to avoid leaving Collies to roam the backyard for all their exercise requirements. Daily walks, puzzle toys, or aerobic games can help provide a Collie with enough stimulation to keep it healthy and happy. Try to come up with new activities to engage in with your dog on occasion. This can also help curb boredom barking. This kept in mind, Collies are usually quite good at balancing activity with rest, and enjoy relaxation with their family as well.
Collies are easy dogs to train, though their high intelligence may mean that they need more training than other dogs in order to stay mentally stimulated. Obedience or agility classes are a good option for a more structured way of keeping your dog trained and entertained. For more casual options, new tricks and fetch are also good activities to do with your Collie. Commands to speak and be quiet are particularly important for the training regimen of a Collie. If your dog knows when noise is or isn’t allowed, this can help prevent excessive barking overall and help you put a stop to barking in progress.
The Collie breed is a moderately healthy one. Though most Collies will be free of genetic issues, it’s important to ask your breeder for health clearances and certificates on a few diseases that Collies can be prone to. The American Kennel Club recommends a PRA Optigen DNA Test and a MDR1 DNA Test. It’s important to avoid Collie eye anomaly, and it may be a good idea to check for hip dysplasia and von Willebrand’s disease as well. If genetic issues can be avoided with good breeding and careful checking, the Collie will probably be a quite healthy dog.
Since this breed has a longer list of rare, but potentially-significant genetic conditions, it’s good to monitor your Collie for signs of health problems. Keep watch for issues with eyesight, teeth, and skin of your Collie. Itchy skin or hair loss may be dealt with through a change in diet, but it’s important to see a vet for advice as well as to rule out other causes.
Other potential health conditions that Collies may be more prone to include: allergies, coat issues from matting, Collie Nose (akin to sunburn damage), Dermatomyositis (an inflammatory skin condition), Epilepsy, Nodular Granulomatous Episclerokeratitis, Progressive Retinal atrophy, Joint Disease (from too-fast growth), Lupus, Cancer, Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency, Drug Resistance, Hernias, Hemolytic Anemia, and Thrombocytopenia.
Best Dog Food For Collies
Finding high-quality protein and fatty food for your Collies is essential for a healthy and happy life. Getting their nutrition from Blue Buffalo Freedom Adult Chicken Recipe Grain-Free Dry Dog Food should be your best choice. It is a chicken, grain-free mix packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help support your Collie’s immune system and life stage requirements. It is also free from corn, wheat, poultry by-products, preservatives, artificial colors, etc.
- Contains Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids that help in nourishment of skin
- Plays an essential role in bolstering energy for being active
- It has a delicious and irresistible taste that will be loved by Collies.
Best Puppy Food For Collies
Right nutrition plays a fundamental role in the overall growth and development of collies. Puppies who grow up eating Hill’s Science Diet Puppy Healthy Development Small Bites Dry Dog Food has seen considerable development in the brain, vision, and immune system. It is made with savory chicken meal and barley free from artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives keeping nutrition as its top concern.
- Easily digested and comes in bite-size pieces.
- Made from natural and high-quality ingredients
- Packed with antioxidants and Vitamin C and E that promote better functioning of the immune system and Natural DHA from fish oil nourishes the eyes and the brain.
Best Dog Crate For Collies
Frisco XX-Large Heavy Duty Double Door Wire Dog Crate is the best option if you are looking for crates that would give your Collies a sense of safety and comfort while being in confinement. This crate comes with an easy to open large door with three latches and a plastic pan that makes it easier. It is also covered with a protective, black electro-coat finish to make it durable and longer to use.
- Highly secured and safe to use
- Less claustrophobic environmental setting
- Assembling the crate requires no tools.
Best Dog Bed For Collies
An afternoon siesta in the Frisco Pillow Cat & Dog Bed will help your Collies reactive their strength and spirits. A cozy ultra-plush fabric stuffed with polyester fiber filling for extra cushioning and comfort making, it perfect for your collies to nap all day. It is also covered in soft faux suede, making it durable and long-lasting.
- Available in all sizes
- Easy to wash
- Designed in a way that stepping on the bed becomes easier.
Best Dog Harness For Collies
Ordinary leashes are unsafe and problematic to use, but the Sporn Mesh No Pull Dog Harness eliminates all the dangerous factors of a leash. It is a one-piece, ergonomic structure attached with an elasticized mesh that moves with your Collies and padded restraint sleeves to add extra comfort while making walks much easier by helping in their natural movements. It reduces pulling, prevents choking, and is difficult to slip through, ensuring it is strong and safe to use.
- High-quality nylon is used, which makes it durable.
- It is hassle-free and easy to use
- Easy to wear and remove.
Best Dog Collar For Collies
Blueberry Pet Classic Solid Nylon Dog Collar is a collar that would look good on your Collie’s neck. It is a simple design every-day wear collar that is easy to put and remove. The collar is durable and is made from nylon fabric with high-density webbing around it. Moreover, the collar’s buckle is made from recycled plastic bottles promoting sustainable development and a safe environment.
- Comes in many colors and sizes
- It is easy to use and wash.
- It provides stability and comfort to your Collie.
Best Dog Muzzle For Collies
Building a safe environment for you and your Collies while training them to acquire a muzzle is difficult and risky, but not while using PetSafe Dog Muzzle. This muzzle has been designed to curb rebellious and destructive behavior safely potentially. It has an adjustable feature wrapped through a mesh layer that allows your Collie to breathe, pant, and drink water.
- Equipped with a pad to eliminate discomfort
- It helps to cut down bad hits like nipping, biting, etc.
- It gives your Collie a channel to pant, making it less suffocating.
Best Dog Toys For Collies
The Chuckit! Ultra Rubber Ball + Classic Launcher Dog Toy can make you forget the old ways of fetching. It is designed for a high level of energetic, athletic, and playful dogs Collie. It comes equipped with a well-gripped launcher and ultra-bouncy and colorful balls that would help you work out and sweat your Collie till he is not tired.
- Ability to throw at far distances.
- Boosts mental stimulation and wellbeing.
- Pocket and user friendly.
Best Dog Brush For Collies
Mr. Peanut’s Hand Gloves Dog & Cat Grooming & Deshedding Aid can be your “helping hand” in grooming your Collie. Shedding their fur is a common issue because of its long, dense, and double coat. The Mr. Peanut’s Hand Gloves Dog & Cat Grooming & Deshedding Aid is comfortable to wear rubber gloves that helps in removing loose fur, dirt, and untangling knots and mat as you caress through their coat.
- Works on both a wet and dry coat
- It is soft on the fur, making it a safe grooming experience for your Collie.
- The gloves are a fit for all hands.
Best Dog Shampoo For Collies
A wash with the Buddy Wash Original Lavender and Mint Dog Shampoo would leave your collie spick and span. Formulated with cosmetic grade ingredients, including botanical extracts and essential oils, give a refreshing and clean feeling for long hours. The sweet smell of lavender and mint will make you want to cuddle your Collie. The shampoo also includes added aloe-vera properties that soothe and calm irritated skin.
- Promotes soft and silky, smooth coat.
- Made with pure ingredients like green tea, aloe-vera, rosemary, etc.
- It soothes and moisturizes hence giving a glow to their healthy skin.
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