- Activity Level: high
- Grooming Level: high
- Trainability: high
- Adaptability: moderate
- Kid/Pet Friendly: often
- Average Size: Medium
- Average Lifespan: 10-14 years
- Prey Drive: low
- Watchdog: chill
- Registered?: aca, akc
Collie Breed Profile
Did You Know?
“Lassie, Come Home!” The well-liked and talented Collie is a well-respected member of the Herding Class breed of canines. The breed’s origins being Scottish, it was originally used heavily as a sheepherder, but also is extremely effective herding other livestock.
The intelligence of the Collie is well known. An easily trained breed, it will be as quick to pick up on commands, both vocal and hand gesture, as any canine out there. Their place is with their family, so they will not often stray as long as taught well. They do have a yearning to work and learn, so failing to fulfill this want can lead to a disobedient dog, as with any breed.
The AKC recognizes a specific breed of dog as “Collie”, but the fact is that there are many breeds considered to be Collies that do not carry the actual name. Some of the easily recognized other forms of this type of canine are the American “Rough Collie” and the British “Border Collie”, both exceptional herding breeds.
There is a common misunderstanding that all Collies have a tendency to herd their families without the proper workload. This is only true with the high energy Border Collie, which needs to be put to work to be truly happy. Other Collies will do wonderfully in an active family environment, as long as they do not fall victim to boredom. As far as friendliness goes, this breed is generally good-hearted, but like any dog needs early socialization to be completely well-mannered.
Collies are a sensitive and emotional breed. They will not be fans of loud noises and yelling, or large parties in small environments. They are better suited to having lots of space, but can do OK in a large apartment if properly exercised. Collies do well with cooler temperatures, but their long coat makes them somewhat sensitive to heat. They also thrive on human interaction, so if you are looking for a wallflower, the Collie may not be for you.
The Collie is a generally healthy dog breed, but should be screened for certain genetic disorders like all dogs. One of the main genetic concerns with the breed is canine Cyclic Neutropenia, also known as Grey Collie Syndrome. This is considered a stem cell disorder and is often missed because it causes discoloration that mimics the popular but rare Blue-Merle Collie color.
Because of the high intelligence level and patient learning ability, a novice owner should do fine with the Collie. Obedience classes are helpful if you need direction on how to properly train a puppy.
This breed requires a person to be vigilant about grooming. Their long coat should be brushed daily to avoid tangles and potential mats developing. It is also important to trim the nails monthly, and brushing the dog’s teeth weekly is recommended.
While the Collie is a herding breed, it is not nearly as high strung as its relative, the Border Collie. With proper exercise, it will be content and not drive you crazy with hyperactivity.
This is a medium size dog breed that weighs 25 to 55 pounds and will stand 12 to 25 inches at the withers.
The average life expectancy of a healthy Collie is 10 to 14 years.
Collies come in two types – rough and smooth. Both types of Collie will have a double coat that requires regular grooming. Smooth Collie coats don’t tend to mat. but Rough Collie coats do if their coat is not cared for properly.