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Collie: Characteristics, Exercise, Health

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About Collie

Country of Origin, History of Collies

The Rough Coated Collie hails from Scotland where it was known as the Colley Dog. Queen Victoria kept Collies at Balmoral Castle and made them a popular breed. The Scotch Collie is a hard-working herder and guardian of sheep. The show Collie has some Borzoi in his background and shows those characteristics in his face and nose.

Because of the Collie’s intelligence, common sense, and loyalty he has been used as a rescue dog, guard dog, guide dog, and movie star.

The Smooth Collie is more popular in England than in the United States. He is from the same original stock as the Rough Collie. A litter can contain both Rough and Smooth Collie pups.

Collie Tools

Breed Selector Tool - is the Collie the right breed for you?

Is the Collie the right breed for you and your family?

Find out by using our Free Dog Breed Selector Tool

Check Your Collie's Learning Style

Are you aware dogs also have a learning style that can greatly affect their ability to housetrain as well as be trained correctly. Evaluate your Collie's learning style and personality using our free Learning Style tool so that you are better able to provide him with the proper Collie training methods.

Is your Collie dominating over you?

Does your Collie bark unnecessarily? Does your Collie come to you when you call? Download a FREE Report on Dog Dominance for you and your Collie and learn how to control your dog.

Do you make these mistakes with your Collie?

Are you inadvertently snow-balling bad behavior in your Collie? Evaluate your Dog Training Style from our Free Tool and learn how best to deal with your dog.

Collie Calorie Calculator

Do you know how many calories your Collie needs every day and how many cups of food you should be giving it every day? Click here to use our Collie Calorie Calculator.

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A General Appearance of the Dog

The Collie is one of the most beautiful of the herding dogs. It is slender of leg, has a trim and muscular body, a long nose and long, feathered tail that curves slightly. The Collie’s ears are supposed to be erect with tips that fold forward, but for a family pet it is okay if the ears have no fold. The Rough-coated Collie has a full, double coat that is medium long and very dense with a mane around his neck and chest. The Smooth-coated Collie has a one-inch long coat all over that is fairly dense.

Coat Color

Both Smooth and Rough Collies come in the same colorations with the same general markings. Basic colors are sable and white, tri-color (black, sable, and white), and blue merle (marbled). White is normally on the nose (and can go up the forehead) as a blaze, on the feet and/or legs, on the mane, and on the tail.

Coat Type

The Rough-coated Collie has a full, double coat that is medium long and very dense with a mane around his neck and chest. The Rough Collie needs weekly brushing and sheds heavily in the spring and fall.

The Smooth-coated Collie has a one-inch long coat all over that is fairly dense. The Smooth Collie is a fairly light shedder year-round and needs only occasional brushing.


Males 24-26"
Females 22-25".


Males 60-75 lbs.
Females 50-65 lbs.

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Collie Personality Traits

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The Spanish Water Dog is an extremely intelligent, fearless, ever-active, strong, attentive, happy and well balanced versatile working dog with strong herding, hunting and guardian instincts. It is a devoted companion. It is reserved, not shy, with strangers. They can be protective and territorial.

Are they suited to families with kids?

Most of them are good with children and other animals if properly socialized.


Collies can be trained to a fairly high level through the use of praise and food rewards. Training of Collies must be done with gentleness rather than harshness or they will refuse to cooperate and appear very willful. Housetraining is very easy with Collies as they do not like to soil any area where they live and play and have a strong sense of right and wrong.

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Free Course on Collie Training & Obedience
Stop All Bad Behavior, Excessive Barking and Biting

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Collie Activity Level

How Active is the Breed?

Collies need a lot of social interaction and can become noisy or destructive (including boisterous barking and digging) if left without human companionship for long periods of time.

They love to run and play throughout their lives. As herders, Collies are able to run 40 miles a day. A Collie is happy with a territory to “guard” and run. A medium to large fenced yard and plenty of outdoor time suits him well.

How Much Exercise Does the Dog Need at every stage of its Life?

A puppy or young dog needs several play times a day and loves for some of those to be outdoors. An adult Collie needs at least two fairly long walks a day with some active play times at a park or dog park at least a couple of times a week. They like to play games and solve problems. They enjoy obedience training and showing and some love agility.


The Rough variety needs frequent brushing – once a week most of the year. In the spring and fall, he is a heavy shedder and will need daily brushing until his undercoat is out. Check the coat for burs and mats.

The Smooth-coated Collie needs only moderate grooming and is a much lighter shedder.

Monthly nail cutting (may need it more often) and biweekly check of ears and eyes are needed as well.

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Free Collie Training Secrets

Free Course on Collie Training & Obedience
Stop All Bad Behavior, Excessive Barking and Biting

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Health and Care

Hip problems including arthritis, cancer, and dysplasia leading to lameness are prevalent. Eye defects occasionally. This breed was over bred for many years leading to problems, which will be eliminated by purchasing from a reputable breeder. The legs of Collies are prone to various problems including broken bones when they are young and arthritis and cancer as they age. Many Collies do not like to jump, so will hesitate to do so for advanced obedience trials or agility.

Beware of Collie Eye Anomaly which causes blindness. Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) can also cause blindness. Nodular Granulomatous Episclerokeratitis (NGE) is an autoimmune disorder that affects the cornea of the eye.

Try to use a heartworm preventive that does not contain ivermectin (such as Heartguard®) as Collies are very sensitive to it.

Breeding the Dog and any Caution

Collie puppies need to be thoroughly socialized in order to build confidence.

Litter Size

4-8 puppies are normal for Collies. A litter can have both Rough and Smooth collies and a wide variety of colorations including merle, tri, and sable.

Life Span

Life span is generally 12-16 years.

National Breed Clubs

National Breed Clubs

British – British Collie Club –
US – Collie Club of America -


Rescue Link:

Group: Herding Group.

AKC Popularity Ranking: 38

Also Known As: Scottish Collie, Scotch Collie, Rough Collie, Smooth Collie, Lassie Dog

Train Your Collie To Listen To You

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You'll learn new commands to obedience-train your dog as well as how to housebreak your dog in 6 days or less.

You'll also learn how to eliminate bad habits like barking, nipping or biting, jumping, or pulling on the leash.Here's just s small fraction of what else you'll learn in the course:

  • How to lead and think like a pack dog - the new psychology.

  • 3 dangerous mistakes that most Collie owners make when they are trying to potty train their dogs.

  • The 2 main reasons why your dog barks excessively and how to control its excessive barking.

  • How to obedience train your Collie to permanently end behavioral problems like Jumping, Aggression, Pulling on Leash.

  • A surprisingly easy way to teach your dog cool new tricks.

  • How to improve your dog's lifespan and keep it from getting overly heavy with a healthy and nutritious diet.

  • Getting Pro help fast - how to get access to our expert trainers when you need them most.

  • One hidden psychological trigger that all Collies have... that practically allows you to "analyze" and "control" your dog's every action.

  • Priority access to the free online seminars conducted by our training experts.

Whereas other dog training related web sites and books offer generic information for dogs in general, ours is the ONLY web site that offers Collie information specifically, from a renowned panel of experts - because as you probably know, Collies have their own special training requirements that other dogs don't have.

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Our Dog Experts

The Collie training information you will read here was developed by a panel of renowned dog training experts whose combined wisdom represents nearly 100 years of specialist experience training dogs.

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