Collie is an agile and active breed of dog that has long been used for herding livestock. If you are looking to keep this gentle and loving breed as a pet, here is everything you should know about it.
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A Collie is a medium-sized dog with a high level of energy. Its coat can be either smooth or rough. The Rough Collie has a straight outer coat that is long and thick, and harsh on touch. The Smooth Collie has dense, short hair that lies flat toward the body with a thick undercoat.
The male collie stands 24 to 26 inches in height and weighs 60 to 75 pounds, while the female is smaller in height, measuring 22 to 24 inches, and weighs 50 to 65 pounds. The head of the collie is its distinguishing feature. It is wedge-shaped and elegant with large almond eyes that are able to convey a variety of expressions. Its ears tend to be semi-prick with the tips folded over.
The grooming needs of the rough and smooth Collie differ. The Rough Collie needs to be brushed more often than the Smooth Collie. This is to get rid of tangles and mats on the coat. Brushing the coat also distributes oil evenly making the coat shiny and healthier. The Smooth Collie requires brushing only once a week to get rid of dead hair and maintain the texture.
Use a soft bristled brush gently to avoid causing any harm to the dog’s skin. This breed requires a bath after six to eight weeks. You may need the help or advice of a professional groomer to bathe the Rough Collie as its thick coat could prove to be challenging.
When bathing the Collie, make sure to use a shampoo specially formulated for the dogs as regular shampoo could cause dryness by stripping the natural oil off its skin. Brushing and bathing should be incorporated routinely, as it will benefit the overall health of the Collie.
Make sure to check its ears for any signs of infection or wax build-up. Use the vet-approved solution to clean its ears and avoid inserting cotton swabs into its ear canal. Brush the dog’s teeth regularly to remove tartar and plaque build-up. It will insure healthy gums and teeth.
This breed needs socializing from a very young age in order to overcome shyness. It hardly shows signs of aggressiveness and nervousness and therefore is great with children. A Collie is a medium to large sized dog and usually enjoys a house life instead of an apartment life.
Because of its herding nature, this breed tends to bark. If trained from an early age, the barking could be overcome. Its herding instincts tend to vary. That is why a few of them are noisy while others are calmer.
Collie is extremely loyal and fond of its owner. Just like most dogs, a Collie does almost anything for attention and the love of its owner. It is excellent with children and responds the most when it is handled gently. This breed cannot be left alone for prolonged hours as it could develop anxiety and fear in them.
The Rough Collie enjoys playing in the snow during winters and is naturally protective of children and its owner’s property. This is why this breed makes excellent family dogs that are loving and loyal to the family.
Training a Collie is not difficult. However, it may turn stubborn at times making it challenging to train them. Always use positive reinforcement and introduce treats to keep it eager. Since this breed is sensitive, it is best to avoid harsh words or shouting while you are training it.
Due to its intelligent nature, Collie picks up commands fast when treated the right way. Once its basic training is done, you can move on to advanced or agility activities. Never lock it up as a sort of punishment, as it could cause severe anxiety and fear in the dog.
The rough and smooth Collies both originated from Scotland where they were largely used as herding dogs. This breed was later interbred with their own sheepdogs by the English when they saw them at the Birmingham market. After finding one at the Balmoral Castle, Queen Victoria acquired a Rough Collie for herself. They were considered a fashion item thereafter.
The breed has several other names that include English Collie, Scottish Collie, Lassie Dog, and Longhaired Collie.