The Rough Coated Collie

  • 23/11/2010

Through the years, several different dog breeds have touched our hearts on the big screen, from Old Yeller (a Labrador/Mastiff mix) to Benji (a Terrier) to Beethoven (a Saint Bernard) to Underdog (a Beagle). But no matter what breed shines on television or film, none can match Lassie, the quintessential family dog. Rough Coated Collies have always been a popular breed in Scotland and England, and Lassie, the "most famous dog in the world", made the breed beloved in the eyes of Americans as well.

But not all breeds showcased on film or television make good family companions. Take for instance the Jack Russell Terrier, made famous in the film My Dog Skip and the television show, Frasier. Chosen because of their cleverness and puppy-like appearance, they seem to be excellent choices for kids or city life. But in reality, Jack Russells are headstrong and stubborn, making them very difficult to train; they require a large yard with constant physical activity or else they can become destructive; and they've been known to lose their tempers with small children. But casting a Collie as the world's most adored family dog couldn't be closer to the truth. For once, Hollywood got it right.

Here's the breakdown:

Temperament 5 out of 5

Collies are featured on my top-ten list of best family breeds for quite a few reasons. They become extraordinarily devoted to their family and oftentimes elect themselves as nannies for the children, protecting them at all times. They make great outdoor babysitters for older children, accompanying them on outdoor excursions and romps. Indoors they're calm and regal, happy to curl up at your feet. Even resting in your lap is okay because although they're considered a larger breed, they're surprisingly lightweight and cuddly.

Training 5 out of 5

The Collie family is home to some of the most intelligent breeds of canines. Because of this, they tend to get bored with long, repetitive training so keep sessions short, varied, and entertaining. Very eager to please, they'll learn what upsets their masters quickly and try to avoid it at all costs. Discipline gently and consistently for the first year and you'll have a very refined companion for years to come. Praising good behavior is your best training tool with this breed. As pups, Collies can be hyper because of their natural herding instincts, needing extra attention and exercise, but they should settle down by two years of age.

Grooming 2 out of 5

Bathe only when necessary but brush often--mats can hurt the tender skin beneath the fur. When mats are too difficult to brush, they can be snipped out with scissors. Brushing daily will reduce shedding and keep the coat free from dirt, burs, sticks, and pollen. Always keep your Collie's nails trimmed, especially if she's an indoor pet. Long nails on hard surfaces will hasten arthritis. There's no need for haircuts--Collies have thick coats all year round keeping them warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Never shave your Collie! This removes the protective coat and can cause overheating and sunburn.

Overall Score 4 out of 5

Collies will do best with a large tract of land or a large yard along with an adventurous and curious family. Because they're herding dogs, their bodies need off-the-leash exercise for optimal health. Apartment life is not recommended unless they can be sufficiently exercised out of doors. They can range from 22 to 26 inches in height and weigh 50 to 75 pounds. They're generally very healthy pets when sold by reputable breeders. Be careful not to overfeed, as their thick coats make it hard to tell if they're overweight. Collies love swimming, fetch, Frisbee, herding, agility, and going on long adventurous walks with lots of exciting smells.

Please Help Us

We've got a small favour to ask. More people are reading IrishDogs.ie than ever, but far fewer are paying for it.

IrishDogs.ie takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we believe our perspective matters because it might well be your perspective, too.

Our future could be much more secure with your help. Please SUPPORT us by clicking on the Donate Button at the Top Right of your screen.

Comments (0)

Post a Comment
* Your Name:
* Your Email:
(not publicly displayed)
Reply Notification:
Approval Notification:
Website:
* Security Image:
Security Image Generate new
Copy the numbers and letters from the security image:
* Message:

Email to Friend

Fill in the form below to send this breed article to a friend:

Email to Friend
* Your Name:
* Your Email:
* Friend's Name:
* Friend's Email:
* Security Image:
Security Image Generate new
Copy the numbers and letters from the security image
* Message: