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The Intelligent and Devoted Rough Collie: A Guide to Owning This Iconic Dog Breed

Everything you need to know about the elegant, family-friendly Rough Collie dog breed including history, temperament, health, nutrition, grooming tips and ownership considerations.

Rough Collies are a beautiful and intelligent breed of dog, but they require some special care to keep them healthy and happy.

The Rough collie dog breed is a splendid, long-haired Scottish Shepherd of medium size whose physical structure must express strength and agility. A dog of incredible beauty and perfect dignity exists in two varieties: the long-haired rough Collie and the Smooth Collie with a short coat. Originating in Scotland, this beautiful dog was tasked with herding sheep across vast terrains and pastures.

For many years, there was no distinction according to coat, as being a working breed, shepherds cared more about behavioural characteristics than physical ones, and the skin had to be rather long and flowing to protect the dog from the cold and heavy rain anyway: let us discover the main physical characteristics.

Origin

The origin of the Collie is not entirely clear, but it is considered a Scottish breed. It is believed to have developed from a mix of local dogs and dogs brought to Scotland by the Romans who invaded the British Isles. The dogs mainly acted as shepherds of the large flocks of sheep. Even today, many Collies are capable of hard work if given the opportunity, although they are primarily seen as companion dogs. Today’s long-haired Scottish Shepherd is a somewhat refined version of the original shepherd dog that used to work hard.

Besides being a wonderful dog, the growing interest in Collies may be due to two different factors. The first is due to Queen Victoria, a great admirer of the Collie, who increased interest in the breed as a companion dog. The second factor is related to the popular 1950s TV series ‘Lassie, which further boosted the dog’s worldwide popularity. Today, the Collie is both long-haired and short-haired, and they differ only in the length of their coat.

Appearance and Attributes

  • Appearance:
    • Well-proportioned, athletic build
    • Elegant and graceful movement
    • Distinctive long, narrow head with flat skull and slight stop
    • Medium-sized ears that are semi-erect and tipped forward
    • Almond-shaped eyes, dark brown
    • Long muzzle with scissor bite
    • Flowing double coat with abundant long outer coat and soft undercoat
    • Coat colours include sable, tri-colour, blue merle, white
    • Long feathery tail
  • Height:
    • Male: 22-24 inches (56-61 cm)
    • Female 20-22 inches (51-56 cm)
  • Weight: 39-55 pounds (18-25 kg)
  • Lifespan: 12-14 years
  • Attributes:
    • Intelligent, easy to train
    • Devoted, loyal, sensitive
    • Gentle, calm, good with children
    • Athletic, agile herding dog
    • Protective of family members
    • Needs daily exercise and mental stimulation
    • Alert, observant watchdogs
    • Some barking and moderate shedding
    • Prone to compulsive behaviours like chasing cars or light if bored

UK price of Rough Collie

Rough Collies are intelligent, active, and loyal dogs
The Collie, also called the Scottish shepherd, is a docile and affectionate dog with a beautiful coat.

With their elegant appearance and loyal temperament, it’s no wonder the Rough Collie remains one of the most beloved dog breeds. Often associated with the classic fictional Collie Lassie, this energetic herding dog makes for a devoted family companion. For those considering adding one of these striking dogs to your home, it’s essential to understand the Rough Collie’s distinguishing looks and personality and the costs involved with ownership.

Ownership costs are essential for those looking to add one of these beautiful dogs to their family. The average Rough Collie puppy price ranges from £600 to £1000 in the UK. Show quality lineage dogs can cost £1000-£2500 or more. Additional expenses for healthcare, insurance, supplies and grooming will also apply. However, adopting a Collie from a shelter or rescue can cost as little as £150-£350.

With their timeless beauty and delightful temperament, it’s easy to see why the Rough Collie remains popular. Those willing to meet the breed’s considerable exercise and training needs will find these dogs make for devoted, family-friendly companions.

Pros and Cons of owning this breed

Here are some of the key pros and cons of owning a Rough Collie:

Pros:

  • Extremely loyal and devoted to family
  • Intelligent and highly trainable
  • Gentle and patient temperament, good with children
  • Energetic and athletic, great for active families
  • Minimal grooming is needed if trimmed.
  • Generally healthy breed with few major health issues
  • Being alert and observant makes a good watchdog.
  • Graceful appearance and fluid movement

Cons:

  • Moderate to high exercise needs, requires daily walks/play
  • Prone to boredom and destructiveness if under-stimulated
  • Frequent brushing is needed to control shedding.
  • Susceptible to Collie Eye Anomaly and hip dysplasia
  • Barking and herding tendencies need to be controlled
  • Large size and energy may be too much for some families.
  • A thick double coat means they can overheat in hot weather.
  • Grooming costs can add up with their long coats
  • Prone to separation anxiety and fearfulness if not socialised

Overall, the loyal and intelligent Rough Collie makes a beautiful family dog for active households able to provide ample daily exercise, training, and attention. Their graceful beauty, trainability, and devotion tend to outweigh the breed’s moderate grooming and shedding challenges. Proper training and socialisation are crucial to preventing problem behaviours.

Temperament

The Rough Collie is known for its gentle, sensitive, and eager-to-please disposition. While energetic and athletic, these dogs have a mild and mellow temperament, making them an excellent family companion. Collies form powerful bonds with their owners and aim to be constantly by their side. They are loyal and protective of their families, including children, though they may herd them occasionally if their herding instincts are not sufficiently controlled.

With proper socialisation, Collies excel in homes with kids, other pets, and strangers. However, these brilliant dogs may become restless or engage in nuisance barking or chasing behaviours without enough mental stimulation and activity. Overall, the loyal and docile Rough Collie responds incredibly well to patient training and thrives when given plenty of quality time and affection with its cherished family.

Education and training

Rough Collies are a medium to large breed of dog that is known for their intelligence, loyalty, and thick, double coat.
The Rough Collie’s thick coat requires regular grooming to keep it clean and mat-free.

With their high intelligence and eagerness to work, Rough Collies are a delight to train, provided proper positive reinforcement methods are used. This sensitive breed responds exceptionally well to rewards-based training that motivates them with treats, praise, and toys. Collies excel at agility, obedience competitions, and other dog sports, which provide vital mental stimulation.

Leash training and socialisation from an early age are crucial to prevent shy or aggressive tendencies toward other dogs or people. Their herding instincts mean Collies may try to chase or nip at children, cats, or other pets if not adequately controlled.

Owners should be prepared to provide consistent, firm leadership and plenty of daily activity to prevent problem behaviours from emerging. Overall, Rough Collies thrive with an experienced, patient owner who gives them focused daily training sessions, provides social opportunities, and consistently reinforces good manners.

Is it suitable for families and children?

It is an active dog that likes to be involved in its owner's life. It also adapts well to metropolitan life as long as walks are not reduced to three laps around the block a day to do its business.
The beauty of living with a Scottish shepherd dog is, in fact, that of having a companion who is always ready to follow us on new adventures, extraordinarily cooperative and assertive with whom we can also share walks in the mountains or parks and the countryside or at the seaside.

When properly socialised and trained, the Rough Collie is an excellent breed for families with children. Here are some key reasons why Collies tend to do well with kids:

  • Patient, Gentle Temperament – Collies are typically mild-mannered, low-energy dogs indoors. They have a high tolerance for handling and prodding from little kids.
  • Loyal and Affectionate – Collies form strong bonds with family members and enjoy the companionship of children when raised with them. They aim to please their families.
  • Intelligent and Trainable – With proper training, Collies can be taught to modify their behaviour around children and not engage in herding or nipping.
  • Active and Playful – Collies enjoy activity and can match the energy levels of enthusiastic kids who provide them with exercise—games like fetch appeal to their herding heritage.
  • Devoted Guardians – Collies often watch over children and want to accompany them, keeping them protected. Their barking alerts families to anything amiss.
  • Good for Allergies – The Collie’s long double coat has a minimal doggy odour and doesn’t trigger allergies as much as some breeds. Their coat requires brushing but is low maintenance.

As long as Collie puppies are correctly socialised with children and enrolled in obedience training, they generally integrate into families with kids quite well. Their loyal, gentle nature makes them one of the better family dog breeds.

Care and health

Rough Collies are a beautiful and intelligent dog breed that requires special care to keep them healthy and happy. Here are some tips:

Grooming

Rough Collies have a thick, double coat that requires regular brushing to prevent mats and tangles. Daily brushing is recommended, but you may get away with brushing every other day if your dog’s coat is in good condition. Be sure to touch the skin and pay special attention to areas where mats are likely to form, such as behind the ears, under the arms, and between the legs.

Through play, you can entertain your dog and find lots of fun games on ETSY made entirely by hand for your four-legged friend.

Rough Collies also need to be bathed regularly, but not too often. Bathing them once a month is usually sufficient, but you may need to bathe them more often if they get dirty or smelly. When bathing your Rough Collie, use a mild shampoo and conditioner specifically designed for dogs. Rinse your dog thoroughly and dry them completely to prevent skin problems.

In addition to brushing and bathing, Rough Collies also need their nails trimmed regularly. If your dog does not wear down their nails naturally, you must trim them yourself or take them to a professional groomer.

Diet

Rough Collies are a medium- to large-sized dog breed, so they need a diet high in protein and calories. A good quality commercial dog food is a good option for most Rough Collies. However, if your dog has health problems, you may need to work with your veterinarian to develop a special diet.

It is essential to avoid overfeeding your Rough Collie, as this can lead to obesity and other health problems. Be sure to feed your dog the recommended amount of food daily and divide it into two or more meals.

Exercise

Rough Collies are active dogs and need plenty of exercises. Aim to give your dog at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. This could include a brisk walk, a game of fetch, or a run in a fenced-in yard. If you live in a hot climate, exercise your dog in the morning or evening to avoid heat stress.

Health

Rough Collies are generally healthy dogs, but they are susceptible to specific health conditions, including:

  • Collie eye anomaly (CEA): This is a genetic condition that can cause a variety of eye problems, including blindness.
  • Hip dysplasia is a condition in which the hip joint develops incorrectly. It can lead to pain and arthritis.
  • Elbow dysplasia: This is a condition in which the elbow joint develops incorrectly. It can lead to pain and arthritis.
  • Degenerative myelopathy (DM) is a progressive neurological disease affecting the spinal cord. It can lead to paralysis.
  • Dermatomyositis: This skin and muscle disease can cause inflammation and hair loss.

It is essential to have your Rough Collie screened for these conditions by a veterinarian. Early detection and treatment can help to improve your dog’s quality of life.

Other tips

Here are some additional tips for caring for your Rough Collie:

  • Provide your dog with fresh water at all times.
  • Keep your dog’s vaccinations up to date.
  • Take your dog to the veterinarian for regular checkups.
  • Brush your dog’s teeth regularly to prevent dental problems.
  • Protect your dog from fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes.
  • Socialise with your dog from a young age.

With proper care, Rough Collies can live long and healthy lives.

Feeding

As energetic herding dogs, Rough Collies need a high-quality diet to fuel their active lifestyles. Owners should choose a commercial dog food formulated for medium/large breed dogs, ensuring the first ingredient is a protein source like chicken or lamb. Collies will thrive best on a portion of food containing 22% – 27% protein and at least 12% fat. 2-3 cups of kibble divided into two meals daily is typical for an adult Collie, but amounts should be adjusted based on activity level and weight. Treats should comprise no more than 10% of Collie’s daily calories. Ongoing access to fresh water is essential as well.

Owners should monitor Collie’s weight, adjusting food amounts if needed to keep them fit but not too thin or overweight. Some Collies, especially seniors, may benefit from a joint supplement added to their diet to support healthy hips and elbows. Overall, feeding a Collie an appropriate amount of quality large-breed dog food, monitoring their weight, and keeping fresh water available will help ensure good nutrition.

Grooming

With their abundant double coat, Rough Collies require regular grooming to keep their fur in good condition. Collies must be brushed thoroughly 2-3 times per week using a slicker brush and metal comb to remove loose hair and prevent matting, especially in areas like the mane, tails, and behind the ears. Bathing should be done every 6-8 weeks using a mild canine shampoo and conditioner to keep their coat clean and enhance sheen.

Rough Collies have a thick, double coat that requires regular brushing to prevent mats and tangles.
Daily brushing is recommended, but you may get away with brushing every other day if your dog’s coat is in good condition.

Take care to dry the coat thoroughly after bathing to avoid matting. Collies shed heavily during seasonal changes, so more frequent brushing may be needed in spring and fall. In addition to coat care, other grooming needs include regular nail trimming, dental cleaning, and checking and cleaning the eyes and ears weekly for infection. Show dog grooming requires more intensive trimming and conditioning to achieve the breed’s signature long, flowing coat. For pet Collies, keeping up with weekly brushing sessions and bathing every couple of months is typically enough to maintain the breed’s beautiful double coat.

Final Thoughts

With their refined elegance, intelligence, and loyal devotion, it’s clear why the Rough Collie has enduring popularity as a family companion dog. Their gentle nature and athleticism allow them to thrive in homes with active children and owners. However, Collies require substantial time and effort spent on training, exercise, and grooming to behave appropriately and stay healthy.

Meeting their daily activity requirements can prove challenging for some families. Additionally, this breed may not do well in hot climates or with owners gone for long periods. Overall, the Rough Collie’s loyal personality and graceful beauty make them rewarding dogs for owners able to commit fully to their care and training. For the proper active household, few breeds offer the level of companionship and lively spirit as the iconic and captivating Rough Collie.

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The "Frenchie Breed" website is a blog aimed at dog owners. We regularly publish articles about our four-legged furry friends. Among the contents of our blog, you will find ample space on the latest news in the sector, with information and in-depth analysis dedicated to the world of dogs in all its forms, the latest trends and news of the moment, curious facts, events devoted to dogs, product reviews, as well as an intense activity of information regarding the health and well-being of pets.

Please Note: The articles in the 'Frenchie Breed Blog' are for information purposes only; nothing published can or should be construed as an attempt to offer professional advice or consultation with a physician, veterinary surgeon or another health professional.

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Written by Frenchie Breed

The "Frenchie Breed" website is a blog aimed at dog owners. We regularly publish articles about our four-legged furry friends. Among the contents of our blog, you will find ample space on the latest news in the sector, with information and in-depth analysis dedicated to the world of dogs in all its forms, the latest trends and news of the moment, curious facts, events devoted to dogs, product reviews, as well as an intense activity of information regarding the health and well-being of pets.

Please Note: The articles in the 'Frenchie Breed Blog' are for information purposes only; nothing published can or should be construed as an attempt to offer professional advice or consultation with a physician, veterinary surgeon or another health professional.

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