The Collie is a sage among dogs.
This breed — best known as the star of TV and movies — is known for its remarkable intelligence, hard work, loyalty, and mild temperament.
TEMPERAMENT: Devoted, hard-working, playful
GROUP: Herding dogs
HEIGHT: 24-26 inches male; 22-24 inches female
WEIGHT: 27-34 kg male; 23-29 female
COAT: Medium-length double coat; an array of colors with or without white patches (black, blue, blue merle, brindle, gold, lilac, red, or red merle, etc.)
LIFE EXPECTANCY: 10-16 years
AKC BREED POPULARITY (2018): Rank 38 out of 195
Difference types of Collies
There are two distinct looks of this majestic breed: they either have a full coat, a medium-length rough double coat known as the Rough variety, or the shorter, smoother outercoat with a soft undercoat, known as the Smooth variety. The Lassie dog was a Rough Collie, which made this variety very popular among the Americans in the ’40s and ’50s when the movie was released.
As with other double-coat breeds, Collies need to be groomed regularly and brushed properly to avoid tangles and knots. When brushing a Collie, make sure to use a sturdy brush with steel bristles to reach the undercoat and pull out the dead hair to make room for new and healthy fur growth.
When it comes to colors, the Border Collie coat ranges from tri-color combinations to a uni-color variety. Dominant colors you can find in a Collie are black, white, red, lilac, black merle, white merle, brown, red, brindle, etc. Almost all Collies have white-spotting, white patches, or marks placed in specific patterns on their coat.
Although rare, completely white Border Collies do exist, almost like an albino dog, and it consequently has light blue eyes. That said, white collies can have spotting of different colors, like black or brown, usually asymmetrically placed on one of their ears, back, or legs. Border Collies are susceptible to heterochromia, which makes one of their eyes blue and the other usually brown. Nevertheless, this makes them even more quirky and unique-looking.
A brief history of the Border Collie
The breed descends from the collie breed mostly found on the British Isles. As it originates somewhere on the border of England and Scotland, it got this “Border” added to its name. Collies are sheepdogs, herders whose genetic material predisposed them for sheep and cattle herding, which they are very proficient at.
In the mid-1800s, Queen Victoria became quite fond of the breed and likely made it popular as the diligent, hard-working dog ideal for sheep-herding and farming.
Soon it was maintained that the Collie was undoubtedly among the intelligent breeds, indeed very useful for organizing livestock and helping out. In the 20th century, it found its way to Australia and New Zealand, where it started being used in sheep ranches. As far as pet-keeping is concerned, Collies are one of the successful breeds to compete on dog shows and competitions, as they can perform astonishing tricks and adhere to any given task.
The American Kennel Club officially recognized the Border Collie in 1995, and it remains among the 40 most popular breeds in the world.
Care and nutritional needs
Collies are generally active and playful dogs that need loads of exercise and challenging activities and tasks. Simply put, the more you’re engaged in play and learning with a Collie, the faster and better he or she will thrive.
Border Collies need approximately 2-3 smaller portions of high-quality dry food per day, served in between equal periods, to ensure a fast metabolism and plenty of energy for exercising.
The more active the dog, the better food is required, and this goes with any dog breed in general. What’s more, your dog’s nutritional needs will depend on its age as well, so make sure to provide them with appropriate food amounts and types throughout the development period.
Proper hydration goes without saying, especially if your active Collie is a growing puppy.
Possible health problems
Collies are generally of good health, but like any dog, their breed characteristics also bring some predispositions to health issues and congenital diseases.
Upon reaching an older age, Collies can develop bone problems, like Hip Dysplasia (abnormal development of joint sockets) as well as Osteochondrosis ( abnormalities in the development of cartilage).
Furthermore, Border Collies are prone to epilepsy and an eye condition (referred to as Collie Eye Anomaly) that leads to vision impairment. All of these conditions are treatable when discovered and addressed on time, so consulting a vet and getting the right treatment is highly effective.
Whether you already own one, or you’re looking for a companion to buy or adopt, this review of the essential info you need to know about a collie will come in handy.