The Collie, made famous by the television show “Lassie,” originated in Scotland centuries ago. The breed was at this time known as the Scotch Collie. In Scotland the dogs were used in the mountains to control flocks of sheep. The original working collie was only 14″ high, with a broader head and shorter muzzle. The Collie first gained popularity when Queen Victoria expressed her admiration for the dog.
In 1886 early fanciers decided to improve the breed and produced a dog bigger in size and weight, with a refined, long, lean head and tall, lithe body. Early colonists probably brought the first dogs to America. It was one of the first breeds to be recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1885.
There are two versions of the Collie, the Rough Collie and the Smooth Collie,differing only in hair coat. During early times the rough and smooth varieties competed in the same classes, but finally at the Darlington show of 1870 separate classes were provided.
Size:Height 24-26 inches (males) and 22-24 inches (females)
Weight:60-75 lbs. (males) and 50-65 lbs. (females)
Color:Sable and white, tri-color (black with white markings and tan shadings), blue merle or white (mostly white with sable, tri-color or blue merle markings).
Eyes:Dark and almond-shaped, of medium size; dark eyes are preferred in blue merles, but either or both eyes may be merle or china in color.
Body Structure:Body is firm, hard and muscular, ribs well-rounded and chest deep, extending to the elbows. The head is of great importance: both in front and profile view, the head bears a general resemblance to a lean, well-blunted wedge, smooth and clean in outline and nicely balanced.
Hair Coat:On the rough variety, the outer coat is straight and harsh to the touch, with a soft, furry undercoat. The coat is very abundant on the mane and frill. The face is smooth, and the hair on the tail is very profuse.On the smooth variety, the hair is short, hard and flat.
Possible Health Problems:Some dogs will have hip dysplasia, various eye diseases and infections, skin diseases and deafness; possible congenital eye defects and congenital heart diseases; sensitive to some drugs. Gray Collie syndrome, a serious disorder, may strike some puppies.
The Collie is a very intelligent, sensitive and outgoing breed. They are wonderful with children. Because of their easygoing nature, they are adaptable to both apartment or country living.
With the rough coated variety, brushing is a must to maintain the hair coat.Because of the breed’s many possible health problems, buying from a reputable breeder is a must.