Collies are a beautiful large breed that is known for their social nature, sensitivity to emotions, and loving devotion to their family. Collies are an iconic breed thanks to popular culture, dating all the way back to the 1800s! Queen Victoria famously fell in love with the breed and made them very fashionable. And we all know Lassie from the classic 1950s TV series.
But even beyond their pop-culture fame, Collies are an excellent large breed dog choice for many, especially families with children. Collies, like many large breed dogs, are a working breed. They were originally used for herding and guarding in the highlands of Scotland and Northern England.
They are a smart, loyal, and active breed loved by many. Read on to learn more!
Physical Traits and Health of Collies
Collies stand between 22 and 26 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh between 50 and 75 pounds. Their life span is between 10 and 14 years.
Collies are well known for their stunning, flowing coats. They come in two varieties, smooth and rough. The rough-coated Collie tends to have longer hair, and an almost puffier appearance. When many conjure up a picture of a Collie, this is what we think of. The smooth-coated Collie has a denser, short coat but is equally beautiful.
Their coats come in a few standard colors, including:
- Sable and White
- Blue Merle
- Sable Merle
This breed does have some well-known health risks, including Collie Eye Anomaly which is an inherited eye disease that affects the retina and can lead to blindness. They are also more prone to drug sensitivity, which is known as the MDR1 mutation.
Before you choose a Collie for your family, it’s important to read up on the Collie’s health risks. The Collie Club of American Health Statement and Collie Health Foundation are great starting points.
Personality and Lifestyle of Collies
Collies are one of the friendliest, loving breeds out there. They are known for their ability to bond with children and have loving lasting relationships with kids as they grow up. Collies take on a playful and loving role with kids while also protecting them. There exist many heartwarming anecdotes about the relationships between children and their Collies.
Beyond that, Collies are intelligent and happy, making them easy to train with positive reinforcement. Due to their extremely social nature, Collies don’t like to be left alone and do best in a busy household with lots of people. They aren’t the type of breed to attach to one person; instead, they enjoy the love of everyone in the family. The more the merrier in their mind!
Despite their herding and guarding roots, most Collies love to retrieve as well! This makes for an excellent way to exercise this active breed.
Drawbacks to Collies
When it comes to Collies, like most large working breeds, they require adequate daily exercise and are best suited for an active family or owner. Additionally, it’s very important to understand the health risks this breed faces so that you are prepared to keep your Collie healthy and comfortable throughout its life.
Another thing to be aware of is the commitment to grooming this breed requires. Especially if you choose a rough-coated variety. Their long, beautiful coat, needs regular brushing to prevent matting and reduce shedding. Ideally, twice-weekly brushing that pulls dead fur from their undercoat is needed to keep this under control.
Thinking about a Collie for your family?
If you have an active family with children, and your dog will rarely be left alone for more than a few hours, a Collie could be a great fit for you! Owners of Collies have all good things to say about this sweet, loyal breed.
As long as you understand the necessary commitment to health, exercise, and grooming, you’ll love adding a Collie to your pack.
Do you have a Collie in your pack? We’d love to hear about them below!