Is a Collie the right dog for You?Think of the Collie and straight away visions of Lassie spring to mind. Noble, intelligent and agile this breed possesses all of these qualities. But you need to look further than the illusions of Hollywood, and consider whether some of the other characteristics of the breed would really fit in with you, your family, and most importantly your lifestyle.
This breed has a lengthy history. Believed to have evolved in Scotland, from the dogs owned by Roman soldiers, around 55BC. They were originally bred to herd sheep, and that instinct can sometimes be seen in young puppies who will nip at people's heels. Not surprisingly then, the American Kennel Club classifies the Collie as part of the Herding Group.
These dogs weigh in at 55 to 80 pounds and reach 22 to 26 inches tall. The coat can be smooth or rough. The rough coat is longer and much denser than the smooth coat. There are three recognised colors: sable and white, tricolor, or blue merle.
This is highly intelligent breed, that has inherited a strong protective instinct. A dog of real substance, the Collie is renowned for its endurance. This is a dog of true beauty, and a very cool dignity. The prick ears give it an alert appearance, and his almond shaped eyes sparkle with friendliness.
This is a family orientated dog, and thrives in a busy household. This breed is not a good choice for apartment dwellers. A home with a large yard is best for these dogs. They need plenty of exercise, on and off of the lead. They love ball games, in fact any games that you devise will captivate these dogs.
They are usually outgoing and friendly, but he will take his duties as watchdog and family protector seriously. They are cautious with strangers, and will bark at all intruders. People, dogs, cats, squirrels, if it moves he will challenge it.
They can be quite willful and headstrong, and this can lead him in to mischief as a puppy. So, training right from the start is a must. Why not check out the puppy obedience classes in your area. This is a great way to socialize your dog at an early age. Trust me, it is much easier to train a small puppy who hasn't yet developed bad habits, than a full grown dog that has.
This breed has relatively few health problems. Eye diseases such as PRA are the most common problems. Unfortunately, in common with all popular breeds, the prospect of profit creates a number of unscrupulous breeders. Highly strung and nervous dogs, are just two of the problems caused by these crooks. So, do make sure that you only consider buying a dog from a reputable breeder.
Although the Collie has a long, dense coat they do not need extensive grooming. Brush your dog's coat several times a week to remove dirt, and avoid mats. They are heavy shedders--twice a year. So, you need to be firm with your puppy about jumping up on your furniture. If you allow him up on the bed in your presence, don't blame him if he believes that he has a right to be there whenever you leave the room.
Like almost all dogs the Collie enjoys his food. He will overeat if you allow him to. So the best way is to start as you mean to go on, by just feeding enough. If necessary feed him 3 small meals a day.
This breed is a bright, family loving dog. There are one or two things that you need to consider before commiting yourself to this breed. But, you will not go far wrong in choosing a healthy, well bred Collie as the ideal family pet.