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The Collie is a gentle and friendly family dog, which is easy to train. There are shorthaired and longhaired versions. However, it is the longhaired version that is most common and thus the one described in the following. The Collie is a shepherd dog, which originates from Northern England and the Scottish highland. In 1919 this breed experienced great popularity when A.P. Terhue wrote the book about ‘Lassie’ and when it was later made into a film.

Character and behaviour
The Collie is an extremely intelligent shepherd, which is very energetic outdoors. In addition, it is an excellent family dog and good with children and other pets. It is important that the owner is firm but calm towards the dog given that it will most likely become stubborn otherwise. Early socialisation is also essential since they might become watchful with strangers.

History of the breed
The exact origin of the Collie is unknown, but it is of common knowledge that it was the Romans who brought shepherds on their journeys through Europe and these were crossed with local dogs. In that manner the foundation of the collie dogs were developed. The English and the Scottish bred the collie because of its ability as a shepherd. It is named after the black-faced sheep: Colley.

In 1860 Queen Victoria took an interest in the Collie and started to breed Collies on her castle in Scotland. The queen’s interest helped making the Collie popular and soon after it was found on dog exhibitions.

Appearance, grooming and health
The Collie is a large, slender, and strong breed. It has a wedge shaped head with a narrow muzzle. The ears are ¾ erect with the tip folded forward. The body is longer than it is tall and the legs are straight. The eyes are almond shaped and dark brown. The nose is black.

The Collie is 24-26 inches and weighs 60-75 pounds.

The coat consists of two layers, of which the outer coat is long except in the head and on the legs. The undercoat is soft and dense. The breed has more colour variations and usually the colour white is part of the colours.

The Collie requires a great deal of grooming. Several weekly brushings are necessary. In case of the undercoat tangling up it may be necessary to cut the hair in order to spare the dog for pain.

Generally speaking the Collie is a healthy dog. However, some individuals may suffer from genetic determined weaknesses such as sensitivity to medicine. Life expectancy is 14-16 years.

What you should know about the breed:

  • A friendly and gentle dog.
  • Suitable for living in an apartment as long as it gets plenty of exercise.
  • Easy to train and house train.
  • Suitable for agility.
  • May have a tendency to act as a shepherd towards its family.

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