Collie

Breed History

Collie training

Collie is a strong, intelligent, and active herding dog from the United Kingdom. Scotland is the place where they are first known to have origins, but that wasn’t the place where most of the breed standard took place.

Very friendly dog that is great around kids and other dogs. They aren’t nervous and they not aggressive towards anyone unless they are protecting their territory.

England is where breeders took the time to carefully find different elements to breed into the Collie. They were in need of a perfect Sheepdog that could also guard the property.

History of the Collie’s origin is unknown other than hearsay. No documentation is available for them concerning a wide range of areas that are known in other breeds.

Queen Victoria did a great job of owning and showing adoration for this dog. Although, they knew they were in this area before royal ownership it is around this time, they enter history around 20 C.E.

Farming was big in the 19th century in the United Kingdom and these dogs were held in high regard. Showing some of the strongest instincts to herd a flock of sheep daily.

Late 1800’s they came to America and have been a popular dog ever since. Like most dogs they eventually lost their jobs due to changes in farming and herding.

Registration

In 1885, the American Kennel Club began showing recognition to the Collie. They were an import from the United Kingdom and were one of the first dogs to get registration. There was the first wave of nine dogs in 1878 and the next set of dogs were in 1885.

Top 30 in popularity shows this dog is still a favorite in the United States. Most popular Kennel Clubs around the world will put them in the Herding Group or Sheepdog categories.

Here are the major Kennel Clubs that show recognition and their breed standards.

Size

Male Height: 24-26 inches

Female Height: 22-24 inches

Male Weight: 65-75 pounds

Female Weight: 55-65 pounds

Boy dogs are bigger than the girls by a considerable amount. It is easy to notice when you are looking at a smaller and shorter girl version than the male.

Litter Size

8 puppies are the average litter size for the Collie. Mothers have a natural birth and there is no risk of having a c-section unless it is an emergency. Breeders should be aware of how many puppies to expect when they breed. Having eight puppies or more to deal with for eight weeks is more than most litters.

Types of Collies

Smooth Coat Collie – follows the same breed standard as the rough. Rough coat Collies are under more restrictions due to the length of coat is different areas. Much easier to groom than the rough coat.

Rough Coat Collie – Perhaps the more famous due to movies and famous ownership. Harder to groom than their counterparts and must adhere to strict coat guidelines.

Colors

  • Black – white and tan
  • Blue – merle, white, tan
  • Sable – white, merle, sable
  • White – merle
  • Markings – black, tan, blue, merle, sable

Price

Average price for a Collie can span from $1,000-$8,000. Factors vary depending on location, supply, demand, and if the bloodline has championships from competing.

Buying a puppy with papers will cost you significantly more money than buying a without papers. Quality of the puppy will always be better than buying a puppy without them.

When buying puppies without papers there is no standard for the breeder and somewhere in the bloodline some dog was unable to get papers. Both parents not being able to get papers can be the result of serious crossbreeding. Expect to pay a few hundred if this is the case.

Grooming

Before you start any grooming process, or take them to a professional, make sure the dog gets at least one hour of exercise the morning of and if possible, the night before and the morning. This will help your dog relax during the grooming process and that’s how you want them to experience grooming.

  1. Brushing
  2. Combing
  3. Bathing
  4. Ears
  5. Nails
  6. Professional Help

Long double coats like the rough hair will be harder to maintain than the shorter smooth coat version. Either way get a brush that is going to reach the skin so you can brush the entire coat once per week.

Combing is an important activity to engage in on a weekly basis. From the skin outwards should be the way to comb their fur. Consult with a professional for the right type of comb which is the most important thing you can do.

Bathe the dog as you see fit. Most owners will engage in a schedule or when the dog is dirty. Exercise before washing can really calm down any over excitement a dog may have beforehand.

Cleaning the ears should be a ritual that you do every time the dog gets a bath, brushing or combing. Vet bills that are avoidable can start to add up from too many ear infections.

Nails should be trimmed during daily exercise like they would without humans. If you don’t exercise, which we don’t recommend, you should cut them with clippers.

Professional help is a recommendation with the Rough Collie but not the Smooth Collie coat.

Life Span

12-14 years is the average lifespan for a Collie. That is a decent lifespan for any dog and on the upper end of dog years. Any owner should be aware of how long of a commitment they’re making to own a dog. They can be a great adoption dog as a young adult due to how long they live.

Health Issues

Eye check – eight weeks of age and older you can take a dog to get their eye examination by a professional. Many eye problems can persist such as cherry eye, glaucoma, cataracts and many others you should get an expert opinion on. Some of these problems will be mild while other can lead to progressive blindness.

DNA test – due to a large amount of genetic diseases this dog can suffer from you will want to get some type of DNA testing done to determine if they are suffering from mutations or epilepsy.

Bloat – larger dog breeds have issues with bloat, and it is one of the deadliest killers of all dogs around the world. Conditions exist when the stomach expands beyond the belly region and puts an immense amount of pressure on arties and veins resulting in the dog dying.

Breed Group

Proud member of the Herding Group. These dogs are experts in herding large groups of different animals from one place into another. Strong, big, and energetic dogs with a high intelligence level are all common traits to every dog.

These dogs are in need of a job in most cases. Most of them have lost their original jobs working on farms due to commercial practices and are mostly pets without jobs.

Here are some of the dogs in this breed group

Exercise Needs

Collies need a lot of exercise every day and can require up to two hours per day broken into two sessions. Failure to provide the proper amount of exercise daily and result in too much energy and undesirable behavior.

Behaviors can include digging, barking, biting, nipping, and others that the owners will look to avoid. The only solution you should consider is to give them an outlet to remove any buildup.

Once you start to impend on the energy levels the dog will come home and go into recovery mode where he is laying down all day long until tomorrow.

Getting the dog to this point can happen within a few days or months depending on how much you work the dog out. Two sessions per day will get you the quickest results.

Here is a simple guide to follow

Morning: Hour (run, walk, or treadmill)

Evening: 30 minutes (run, walk, or treadmill)

Younger dogs will need a lot of runs and when you need to get a handle on their energy levels two 30-minute runs can help right away. When they start relaxing change it around to keep them calm.

Adult dogs are tricky with this breed because they will still be energetic in their older years. A great balancing of running and walking will help with this dog.

Senior dogs need walks and not runs to meet their exercise requirements. Take full advantage of this less intense program and enjoy your dog to the fullest.

Training

  1. Exercise program
  2. Commands
  3. Socialization
  4. Corrections

Exercising is the foundation for any training program. Although these are the basics of a training program there is no better place to begin and end than how much exercise are you giving your dog. Giving them a daily outlet will help with commands, socializing and correcting them. On the other hand, it is more difficult to give commands, socialize, and correct the dog without a strong exercise program. Did I mention lower energy levels? Nothing is more effective when it comes to lowering energy levels than exercise. Expect to spend most of your time getting the dog one to two hours of exercise per day.

Commands are a smaller part of any training program for two reasons. It is a very small time period where you need to train your dog. Repetition of commands can teach your dog everything they need to know in a short amount of time. A few days and most commands can be learned.

Socializing should be done the same way with exercise before for at least an hour and socializing after. Exhausting the dog before socializing will ensure that the dog shows normal social skills. Failure to use this technique can result in a lot of dog growls and other behaviors that your dog doesn’t need while learning to become social.

Correcting the dog should be done only to get the dogs attention and make them sit or lay after. Verbal is the first step and the leash or hand will follow. Lowest level on intensity possible to make the dog pay attention and listen.

Are Collies Good Family Dogs?

Yes, Collies are outstanding family dogs that require an owner that will give them a job with a daily outlet. If the dog’s needs are met and their exercise requirements are fulfilled, you will not have any problems with this dog. They’re good with kids and other pets.

Additional Resources