Meet the Breed: The Collie



  • Height: 22"- 26”
  • Weight: 50-75 pounds
  • Historical function: Herder, drover
  • Modern function: Family dog
  • AKC classification: Herding

Physical Characteristics:

The Collie is a large, lean, active dog with a prominent muzzle, and erect ears. The expression is alert and intelligent. The Collie comes in both smooth (short haired) and rough (long-haired) versions, though the rough-coated collie is more popular in the U.S. The long-haired version has a mane-like ruff which makes them appear regal. Coat colors may include sable and white, tri-color, and blue merle and white.

Smooth-coated tri-color Collie

History of the Breed:

The collie is a general term used to described herding dogs from Scotland and Wales. Collies were believed to have been crossed with the Borzoi, the Russian Wolfhound, to develop the regal face seen on the modern Collie. This show dog, especially the long-haired version became quite fashionable with English royalty, and was imported into the U.S. When this dog was cast in a popular television show as a family dog hero, the popularity of this breed skyrocketed. Everyone wanted a loyal, intelligent beautiful dog to keep their children safe.


The Collie is very devoted, intelligent, eager to please, and is especially good with children. In fact, my siblings and I learned to walk as babies by hanging on to our Collie's fur. He was very patient!

  • Best suited for: All families. Will do okay in an apartment if sufficiently exercised.
  • Preferred living conditions: The Collie is a people-oriented dog so do not leave this dog isolated outdoors for long periods of time, even though their coats are protective against the elements. 

Care and Health:

  • Grooming requirements: Even though the rough-coated collie has a profuse coat, it only requires brushing once a week. The smooth coat requires even less. They are very clean and have no dog odor. More attention to the coat is required during the shedding season.
  • Exercise needs: Long daily walk.
  • Life expectancy: 14-16 years.
  • Health concerns: May be prone to eye problems but are generally healthy.

Breed Club Links: Collie Club of America Perfect Pairings: Millers Forge Vista Shedding Slicker Brush

Have any stories about a Collie? Please share!

Rough Coated Collie photo courtesy of Marco Verch. Smooth Coated tri-color Collie photo courtesy of Wikipedia Creative Commons.

This entry was posted by Mary.
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