Purebred adult Collies stand 22 to 26 inches tall at the shoulder and weigh 45 to 90 pounds. There is no such thing as a Miniature Collie. The small dog that resembles a Collie is a Shetland Sheepdog (Sheltie), a completely different breed. Not all Collies look like Lassie. Collies come in two varieties, rough and smooth, and each variety may be one of 4 colors: sable and white, tricolor, blue merle, and white. The smooth Collie is identical in conformation to the rough, but it's outer coat is short, hard, dense and flat. Collies are loving, loyal, devoted companions. The Collie standard forbids any display of sullenness, timidity or viciousness, and it is extremely rare to find a Collie possessing these undesirable traits. Collie ears stand erect except for the top 1/4 which is tipped forward. Collies are nibblers, particularly when in play or when exhibiting their herding traits. They frequently nibble gently at their family as a sign of playfulness or affection, and this should not be misinterpreted as biting.
History of the Collie
The Collie is believed to have originated in the hilly border countries of Scotland and Ireland. Farmers and shepherds needed a reliable, intelligent dog to guard the flock and be a companion to the family. Although Collies today are known for their beauty, these first Collies were valued for their working ability and intelligence, and were a far cry from the show Collies of today.
What did early Collies look like?
Early Collies were small, between 25 and 40 pounds, and came in a wide assortment of colors and markings. The rough Collie's glory, its beautiful flowing coat, was probably an adaptation to the harsh climate in which it lived.
1860: Collies in the show ring
Since the appearance of the first Collie in the show ring in England in 1860, the Collie's appearance has undergone many changes. They have doubled in size, the coat has become thicker and colors standardized, heads leaner and lighter and the eye is darker. Despite these changes in appearance, the Collie retains the charming personality, working ability, intelligence and devotion that endeared them to the Scottish farmers of old.
Collies have proven themselves to be a very adaptable and versatile breed. Collies today are seen in the conformation ring, obedience ring and in herding events. Many Collies have even lived up to the high standards set by Lassie, performing feats of heroism and bravery.
Is a Collie right for you?
As a rule, Collies are loving, loyal and devoted companions, gentle with children and with other animals and quiet and dependable house pets. A Collie will bond very closely with all family members and will reward a loving owner with years of unquestioning devotion and affection. The ideal place for your Collie to live is in your home with the family. Collies are very social, family oriented dogs and do not adapt well to life on a chain or in a kennel. If deprived of it's rightful place as a full-fledged family member, a Collie's personality will never have a chance to fully develop and behavior problems will occur. The benefits of keeping your Collie in the house are many. Your dog will be happier, healthier and cleaner, and you will have a constant source of companionship, love, amusement and protection. Collies are generally very easy to housebreak and if groomed regularly, will have almost no 'doggy' smell. If the idea of having a dog in the house is not acceptable to you, perhaps you need to rethink your decision to acquire a Collie as a pet. The rough variety of Collie, with it's long, double coat, does require regular and thorough grooming. To keep a Collie in top condition, grooming at least once a week is necessary, more often is preferable. Special attention must be paid to the ears, chest, legs and belly coat. These areas are most prone to matting.