Collies are a working, herding breed originating from Scotland. They are considered a large breed dog with medium exercise requirements compared to other breeds. Collies are a family dog. They are gentle and sensitive with kids and other family pets. Collies enjoy being trained and are fairly easy to train. Collies like being with people and other dogs. Collies are territorial, observant, watchfull and protective. They are not aggressive but their bark can scare off intruders. If a collie is left alone for a long period of time, they will become bored and destructive to items. There are a handful of genetic diseases collies can have, so if you are considering getting a collie make sure the dog or the dogs ancestry has been tested for them. Collies are rough coat or smooth coat and range in a variety of colors.
Personality, Temperament, Behavioral Traits
Collies love to run and round up or heard other animals and people! When we take our family on a hike, the dogs run back and forth between us on the trail to the person in front then to the person who is last again continuously trying to keep us together.
Collies are gentle and sensitive. They do enjoy being outdoors but are most happy being with the people of their family. Collies get along very well with other pets. One of our collies tolerates the cat, sometimes giving us jealous looks if we pet the cat, and our other collie grooms and massages the cat like it’s her baby. Collies do well with small childreon watching over them and aiming to please. Collies enjoy being trained new tricks and are eager to please. Our daughter has started 4h this year with one of our collies and it’s been a lot of fun.
Collies do enjoy being outdoors, but are most happy being with the people of their family wherever that may be.
Collies are territorial, very observant-watching and protecting their property with barking. Our collies bark at anyone who walks by our house on the street and when a stranger comes onto our property. I’ll admit sometimes this gets on our nerves, but other times we’ve been glad to be alerted about someone on our property. Our collies have never been aggressive but their bark does scare the mailman! If we take our collies anywhere off our property they never bark.
If left alone for long amounts of time collies will most likely become bored and chew up items such as shoes, their bed, childs toys, or dig holes in the yard. This is more common with puppies also and less common once maturity is reached.
Genetics & Health
All our breeding dogs have been tested for the following to ensure healthy puppies.
CEA: Collie Eye Anomaly - a congenital, inherited, bilateral eye disease, which affects the retina, choroid, and sclera. It can be a mild diseas or cause blindness. CEA is cause by a simple autosomal recessive gene defect.
MDR1 Gene Mutation: Multi-Drug Resistance Gene Mutation - dogs who have two copies of the mutation will display sensitivity to Ivermectin brand wormer and a number of other drugs. Many collies have to copoies of this gene mutation. It just means they cannont have Ivermectin brand wormer or a handful of other drugs.
PRA rcd2: Rod Cone Dysplassia Type 2 which is one of the forms Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA). rcd2 causes abnormal development (dysplasia) of rods and cones (photo receptors).
DM: Degenerative Myelopathy. DM is a progressive neurological disorder that affects the spinal cord.
CN or GCS: Cyclic Neutropenia aka GCS (Gray Collie Syndrome) aka Cyclic Hematopoiesis. This is
a recessive stem cell disorder that affects the neutrophils of a dog which are an integral part of the immune system.
Collies can be rough coat (long hair) or smooth coat (short hair). There is a general opinion that smooth collies are more energetic and rough collies are more reserved. Personally I've seen calm smooth coated collies, calm rough coated collies, and very energetic smooth coated collies as well as very energetic rough coated collies. They all have the same basic collie attributes regarding personality, temperament and behavioral traits. My opinion is each collie has it's own unique personality and a lot of it has to do with the dogs age and amount of training.
Collies fully shed their coat twice a year - rough coat and smooth coat alike. Rough coated collies require more brushing and most likely require visits to the groomer for clipping and shaping. Smooth coated collies require less grooming.
Although the most known coat color is the “Lassie type” or tri-factored tan (sable), below I have listed the coat colors of collies.
Predominately sable with a light mask, and white markings. They carry no tricolor gene so have no black markings.
Predominately sable with white markings. They usually have a semi-dark mask and mostly dark tail. Along with the dominant sable gene, they carry the tricolor gene.
Predominately dark red to mahogany in color with white markings. They have dark masking with some light black fringes on the back. They carry the tricolor gene along with the dominant sable gene.
Predominately very dark brown with white markings. They have black masking and fringes to an almost black torso. The carry the tricolor gene alongwith the dominant sable gene.
Predominately black with sable & white markings.
silvery gray with black splotching. They have sable and white markings in the same pattern as the tricolor. Color is caused by the interaction between the dominant dilution gene of merles with the tricolor gene.
Pure Sable Merle
predominately sable with spots of dark brown merling mixed throughout the coat. They have white markings. Often at maturity the merling fades. They do not carry the tricolor gene.
Body is predominately sable colored but a darker sable color than the coat of the pure sable merle. The dark brown merling is frequently still visible at maturity. The tricolor gene is present along with the sable merle gene.
(CHW or Color-Headed White)- predominately white with sable, tri-colored, or blue merle head & body markings.
Additional Rare Colors
Saddle Back Sable
Solid black torso with sable and white markings. They carry the tricolor gene along with the dominant sable gene and they're tri-factored.
Mostly red with white and sable on sides of muzzle, above eyes and inside of legs. The color results from a dilution of the black tricolor gene.
Solid black with white markings on chest, feet, and tip of tail. They may or may not have a full white collar. The gene is recessive to sable and tri factor. These dogs are extremely rare.
Mostly white with either sable, tricolor, or blue merle spotting. The merle gene is present along with the tricolor and sable genes.
They look like a tricolor or sable collie but also have small areas of merling present.
Areas of gray and red merling. They carry sable markings in the same pattern as the tricolor. This color results from the dilution of the merle gene interacting with the tricolor gene.
A blue merle collie, except there is no sable color present.