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Collies are one of the best family dogs possible: they are devoted to the entire family, housetrain easily, and need less grooming than you’d think.

Overall Status

Height 22 to 26 inches
Temperament Devoted, Graceful, Proud
Weight 50 to 70 pounds
Life Expectancy 10 to 14 years
Coat Color Black, Black and Tan, Red, White
Barking Level Medium

Quick Factors

Dog Friendly
Exercise Need
Grooming Needs
Strangers Friendly
Family Affectionate
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Daily Care

Grooming Tips

Both varieties of Collie have double coats, meaning they have a thick, softer undercoat and a thinner, flatter overcoat. The Rough Collie has a beautiful, voluminous coat that looks like it needs significant care, but it doesn’t. A thorough brushing every week or two will keep the coat healthy and tangle-free. The Smooth Collie’s coat is a piece of cake to care for. Brush him weekly with a rubber curry brush or a soft slicker brush to remove dead hair. Your Collie should not need a bath more than once a month.

Rough Collies go through a heavy shed twice a year, called blowing coat. During this time, brush him daily to keep all the loose hair under control. The Smooth Collie doesn’t blow his coat, but he sheds more throughout the year than the Rough Collie does.

Check the ears on a weekly basis for signs of infection, irritation, or wax build up. Cleanse regularly with a veterinarian-approved cleanser and cotton ball. Brush the teeth at least once per week to prevent tartar buildup and fight gum disease. Additionally, nails should be trimmed once per month if the dog does not wear down the toenails naturally.

Exercise Tips

Agood walk of at least 30 minutes many days. If you and the dog are in shape, a good jog is even better. Include at least a couple of vigorous play sessions in during the week (fetch, dog park, training session, etc.)

With this said, Collie puppies should not be given too much exercise because their joints and bones are still growing and too much pressure on them could result in causing a dog a few problems later on in their lives. They should not be allowed to jump up or off furniture nor should they be allowed to run up and down the stairs because this puts too much pressure on their still growing joints and limbs.

  • Walks – medium (20 minutes) to long (40+) walks

  • Jogging– moderate running (up to 30 minutes)

  • Swimming,Chase,Agility,Herding

  • Training for competitive games (whether you compete or not)

  • Flying disc

  • Games that involve chasing or are mentally challenging

  • FetchHide and Seek

  • Rough-housing

  • Dog Parks– Collies tend to be friendly dogs, if yours is trained and socialized, look at the local dog park

Feeding Tips

From premium dry dog foods down to home cooked meals, the Collie does well on a variety of foods. Feed your dog a high-quality dry dog food in combination with meats and nutritious home cooking. Since these dogs are meat-eaters, the first ingredient listed on the dog food packaging should be a type of meat and not a meal or by-product.

If you get a Samoyed puppy from a breeder, they would give you a feeding schedule and it's important to stick to the same routine, feeding the same puppy food to avoid any tummy upsets. You can change a puppy's diet, but this needs to be done very gradually always making sure they don't develop any digestive upsets and if they do, it's best to put them back on their original diet and to discuss things with the vet before attempting to change it again.

Older dogs are not known to be fussy or finicky eaters, but this does not mean you can feed them a lower quality diet. It's best to feed a mature dog twice a day, once in the morning and then again in the evening, making sure it's good quality food that meets all their nutritional requirements. It's also important that dogs be given the right amount of exercise so they burn off any excess calories or they might gain too much weight which can lead to all sorts of health issues. Obesity can shorten a dog's life by several years so it's important to keep an eye on their waistline from the word go.

Learn about which human foods are safe for dogs, and which are not. Check with your vet if you have any concerns about your dog’s weight or diet. Clean, fresh water should be available at all times. Like many large breeds, Saint Bernard can experience bloat, a life-threatening condition where the stomach distends and twists. The causes of bloat aren’t fully understood, but experts agree that multiple, small meals per day and preventing vigorous exercise around mealtimes may help reduce the chances of it happening.

Health Tips

All dogs have the potential to develop genetic health problems, just as all people have the potential to inherit a particular disease. Run, don’t walk, from any breeder who does not offer a health guarantee on puppies, who tells you that the breed is 100 percent healthy and has no known problems, or who tells you that her puppies are isolated from the main part of the household for health reasons. A reputable breeder will be honest and open about health problems in the breed and the incidence with which they occur in her lines.

The average life expectancy of a Collie is between 12 and 15 years. Breed health concerns may includeskin disordersor conditions, extreme sensitivity to Ivermectin and Milbemycin,gastrointestinal disorders, immune-mediated hemolytic anemia, aspergillosis, elbow luxation,congenital deafness,hip dysplasia, eye and eyelid disorders including Collie Eye Anomaly, and congenital ectopic ureters.


While Collies are very smart and easy to train,puppy classesare recommended for generalsocializationand training. But it shouldn’t end there. Collies love training and learning, and both make for a better companion and build a good relationship with the owner and family. Collies thrive on positive teaching methods. They excel inobedience,agility, andherding, and even barn hunt andlure coursing, and owners will discover something fun to do with their dog!

Puppies should be properly socialized to develop the amiable, outgoing personality that is characteristic of the breed. They’re successful in performance and companion events such as earthdog, barn hunt, obedience, and agility.


The origin of the Collie (also known as the ‘Scottish Collie’), the prototypical Sheepdog, is wrapped in mystery. Even the origination of the name ‘Collie’ is unknown, but it may derive from the Gaelic word for ‘useful’.

The Collie enters the written record around 1800, and by the time Victoria “discovered” the Collie later in the century, the breed’s now familiar characteristics were set. In 20th-century America, author and dog breeder Albert Payson Terhune popularized the breed for generations of eager young readers, who thrilled at adventures of theSunnybank Collies. In 1940, British author Eric Knight launched one of the great pop-culture franchises of all time with his novelLassie Come-Home. Thanks to Knight’s books, spin-off movies, and a long-running TV show, Lassie made Collies the ideal canine companion of every child’s fantasy.

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