Breed Organization Collie Club of America Website:
http://www.collieclubofamerica.org Native Country Great Britain Other Names Collie, Rough Collie, Scotch Collie Life Expectancy Approximately 13-15 Years Litter Size Average 6-10 Puppies Breed Group AKC Herding
Breed Appearance Collies are generally medium-sized dogs of
about 22 to 55 lb and light to medium-boned. Cattle-herding types
are more stocky. The fur may be short, flat, or long, and the tail
may be smooth, feathered, or bushy. Collies can have both naturally
long or naturally bobbed tails. Some breed clubs historically dock
the tail. The tail can be carried low with an upward swirl or twist
or high over the back. The tail never curls at the base or touches
the back. Each breed can vary in coloration, with the usual base
colors being black, black-and-tan, red, red-and-tan, or sable. They
often have white along with the main color, usually under the belly
and chest, over the shoulders, and on parts of the face and legs,
but sometimes leaving only the head colored – or white may be absent
or limited to the chest and toes (as in the Australian Kelpie).
Merle coloration may also be present over any of the other color
combinations, even in landrace types. The most widespread patterns
include sable, black-and-white, and tricolour (black-and-tan and
white) also known also known as black sable.
Breed Description Head: Long, clean, wedge-shaped. Size in
proportion to body. Flat skull. Slight stop. Ears: Medium size, fairly wide set. Carried forward and
semi-erect. Eyes: Medium size, almond, set obliquely in the skull. Dark
brown color, except blue merles that often have blue or blue flecked
eyes. Body: Medium size, longer than tall. Powerful neck. Deep chest.
Ribs well sprung. Straight back with a slightly arched loin. Tail: Long, reaching the hocks. Generally carried low. Profuse
covering of hair. Hair: Rough Collie: straight, harsh, long, and dense; soft,
dense undercoat; abundant on the mane and frill; feathering on the
legs. Smooth Collie: flat and harsh; dense undercoat. Coat: Three colors are accepted: Sable – from light gold to
dark mahogany. Tricolor – predominantly black with tan shadings on
the head and legs, and white markings. Blue merle (marbled) –
blue-gray marbled or mottled with black. Size: Dog: 56 to 61 cm. Bitch: 51 to 56 cm. Weight: Dog: 20 to 29 kg.Bitch: 18 to 25 kg.
History The Collie is descended from Scottish herding
dogs. When the Romans invaded, their dogs were crossed with native
Scottish dogs. Early shepherds began crossing the short-tailed and
long-tailed shepherd dogs, and the result was the superb animal with
an aristocratic bearing that we know today. The origin of this
breed's name is disputed. Some believe the name comes from the word
(colley), an early variety of Scottish sheep with a black mask and
tail. Others believe the breed is named for its beautiful collar.
The rough Collie is much more popular than the smooth Collie. The
smooth Collie is more popular in Great Britain than it is in the
United States, but is gaining some popularity in the States. The
smooth Collie is the same as the rough Collie, but without the long
coat. The AKC considers the rough and smooth Collies as variations
on the same breed and they are judged by the same standard with the
exception of the coat.
Behavior This active, lively dog is typically
well-balanced, but can be anxious and timid. This gentle, sensitive
Lassie dog is a faithful companion. The Collie is reserved toward
strangers, but not aggressive. He should receive firm, but gentle
Health Some collie breeds (especially the Rough Collie
and the Smooth Collie) are affected by a genetic defect, a mutation
within the MDR1 gene. Affected dogs are very sensitive to some
drugs, such as Ivermectin, as well as to some antibiotics, opioids
and steroids – over 100 drugs in total. Affected dogs also show a
lower cortisol concentration than normal. Collies may have a genetic
disease, canine cyclic neutropenia, or Grey Collie Syndrome. This is
a stem cell disorder. Puppies with this disorder are quite often
mistaken as healthy Blue Merles, even though their color is a silver
grey. Affected puppies rarely live more than 6 months of age. For a
puppy to be affected, both the sire and the dam have to be carriers
of the disorder. This is generally a very healthy breed.
Advice The Collie can live in the city but he will be
happier with a yard and space to run. Regular exercise is required.
Brushing two times per week is adequate.