Rough Collies

The Rough Collie also known as the Scottish Collie is a graceful, poised breed of dog that has rich roots in Western Europe. During the 18th century, ancestors of the Collie could be found in the Highland region of Scotland. Collies were originally bred as working dogs for herding. The Collies of today descend from herding dogs of Scotland and Wales. They are a mix of Scotland’s large and aggressive dogs, used for herding the Highland sheep. As well as, Wale’s more moderately sized and agile dogs that were better suited for goat herding and often domesticated because of their innate friendliness. During the late 19th century, Queen Victoria’s fondness of Collies as a fashion accessory moved along the evolution of the Collie’s appearance to what is seen today.

Collies will come in litters of 8 to 12 pups with litters as large as 16 pups. In the right setting, a Collie will stick around from 13 to 15 years or even longer. They are a substantial breed and typically weigh 50 to 75 pounds. Males typically range in weight from 55 to 75 pounds with a height anywhere from 21 to 26 inches, and females range from 45 to 65 pounds with a height around 22 to 24 inches. When it comes to color, Rough Collies almost always bear a white chest and white tip of the tail. Usually a Collie will feature a coat along the sable scale such as deep browns or tan, a tri-color coat, a blue merle coat or a completely white coat with exclusion of the head being sable, tri-color or merle.

Rough Collies have a distinctive long coat, especially in comparison to their Border Collie counterparts, earning them the alternative name of Long-Haired Collie. They have a double coat where the undercoat is much softer and more for insulation from hot or cold temperatures. The topcoat is stiff and acts as a repellent and protection from water and dirt. Because of their double coat they tend to shed a lot and require frequent brushing. The undercoat hairs regularly cause tangling and matting within in the topcoat that can be rectified with frequent brushes at least two to three times a week.

Collies are very friendly and calm dogs. They make great family dogs because they behave so well with children and are very loyal. They are not typically an anxious or aggressive breed of dogs. However, proper socializing when they are young, not only with humans but with other animals, will keep them in good spirit and outgoing as they grow older. Collies love to learn and are easily trained not to bark. They are smart, quick learners that respond better to positive reinforcement versus negative reinforcement. Collies want to be around their families, be it other dogs or humans, and are likely to respond with excessive barking when they are left alone for long periods. If they are very bored or distraught it can even lead to damaging chewing, so it is recommended to keep them in a social environment.

The Rough Collies of today are not much used for herding, but because of their loyalty and quick learning skills, there has been some reemergence of Collies as a working dog. Still, Collies do not need more than moderate exercise daily to stay healthy. The Collie is playful and gentle with children and will keep a protective watch over the little ones. That being said, because it is not extremely aggressive in nature the Collie’s method of protection is through barking and visual deterrence. The Collie is susceptible to a couple of genetic diseases including the most common, Collie Eye Anomaly or CEA, which affects the development of their eyes and can create blindness. It is also known that Collies have been found to be more sensitive to medications including ivermectin, which is commonly found in heartworm medication.

Rough Collies are great for families, especially those with small children. They do well in a social home with lots of room and love. Collies are tranquil dogs that do not tend to enjoy loud, disruptive environments. If they are loved and given great attention they will most certainly love back and share their loyal and protective spirit.

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