Collies of today contribute their sweet and gentle disposition to therapy work, assisting those who are ill, depressed or disabled. Their presence in the classroom has also been of encouragement to children in reading programs.
Appearance, Coat and Care
Ideal standard weight: 50-75 pounds
Coat colors: Sable and White, Tri-color, Blue Merle and White
There are two coat varieties of Collie dogs for consideration - rough coated and smooth.
The rough coated has more of a following in this country while the smooth variety is more popular in the UK. Both dogs are essentially the same and are judged using the same standards by the AKC, except for the coat.
Originally the coat color was primarily black and has a connection to the breed name which comes from an old Anglo-Saxon word "Col", meaning black. Today, the sable color is more frequently seen.
The rough coated Collie has a very abundant double coat except on the legs and head. The outer coat is straight and harsh, while the under coat is soft and very dense. Both coat varieties equipped this breed very well for the harsh climate of the Scottish highlands, but in warmer climates, care should be taken to provide adequate shade and plenty of water when the dog is outside
The smooth variety is also double-coated. The outer coat is short, flat, dense and hard with good texture, and the undercoat is abundant.
One really nice feature of Collies is that they are naturally clean and fastidious dogs. They also have no doggie odor.
This glorious coat is not as arduous to maintain as it appears, but it should be brushed sufficiently enough to keep mats and tangles from forming. This in less of a concern with the smooth coat, but both varieties do shed at different times of the year, according to their cycle and gender. Occasional hair trimming of the rough coat is needed on the feet and around the ears and face. Teeth and nails need the same routine attention as is normal for all breeds.
An indispensable grooming tool, that gets high praise from dog owners, is the FURminator.
Personality and TraitsCollie dogs have so many positive attributes, it is hard to name them all. First and foremost they are noted as great family companions. They are renowned for being people-oriented and that definitely includes little people! The Collie has a friendly demeanor and is a gentle loving dog with a sensitive nature.
In addition to this, they are intelligent and easy
to train if done with a gentle approach. A real plus is the ease with which they can be
housebroken - some owners report, remarkably, accomplishing this training within a week.
This dog is playful and likes to have strong family relations which means he does
not like being relegated to the back yard for excessive periods of time. He will definitely
feel lonely and bored without significant contact with his master. Dog boredom is to be
doggedly avoided as it will ultimately lead to undesirable behavior and a sad dog.
Exercise is a great pleasure to many breeds and the Collie dogs are no exception in this regard. They are very athletic, love to please and can be trained to excel in agility and herding.
Collies are not aggressive, though they are suspicious of strangers and make good watchdogs.
The caution remains that unexpected situations can occur and for this reason, it is still always the best policy
to have an adult supervise activities between pets and children.
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