So You Want a Collie?
Almost every child wants to own Lassie, the wonder Collie. Unfortunately,
if the child really expects one dog to be that incredible, a Collie puppy
may be a bit of a disappointment. After all, in real life, Lassie is actually
played by several hard working Collies.
The Collie was originally bred to herd sheep and still has a strong
protective instinct, which makes the breed an excellent choice for a family
dog. Of course, not every Collie is a highly intelligent, diligent protector.
Some of these dogs are high strung and nervous, but most are wonderful
with children. The American Kennel Club classifies the Collie as part of
the Herding Group. These dogs weigh 55 to 80 pounds and stand 22 to 26
The Collie is strong and graceful and has plenty of endurance. This
dog's almond shaped eyes seem to sparkle with intelligence, whether they
are brown or blue in color. The Collie's prick ears give it an alert appearance.
The Collie can be rough or smooth coated. The rough coat is longer and
fuller than the smooth coat. This breed can come in sable and white, tricolor,
or blue merle colors.
The Collie enjoys living in the midst of an active family - it's a great
family dog. This breed is not a good choice for apartment living, since
it loves to spend time outside. A home
with a large yard is ideal for the Collie breed.
Although the Collie is friendly and outgoing, this dog is protective
of its family and takes its duties as a watchdog seriously. Your Collie
will bark at intruders, whether they are people, cats, squirrels, or pieces
of trash blowing around the yard.
The Collie can be quite headstrong and can get into quite a lot of mischief
as a puppy. You should consider attending
puppy obedience classes with your Collie, since it is easier to train
a small puppy who hasn't developed bad habits than a sixty pound dog that
has. Also, be sure to be firm with your puppy about staying on the floor
if you do not want Collie hair on all of your furniture. Once you allow
your dog on the furniture, he will feel that he has a right to be there
any time you leave the room.
The Collie breed has very few health problems. Eye diseases and PRA
are the most common problems these dogs face. In fact, you are much more
likely to take your puppy to the veterinarian because he has injured himself
while jumping from a moving vehicle or exploring his surroundings than
you will for a health problem.
Collies are quite happy to pack away plenty of food. These dogs have
a tendency to overeat, so it is best to give them three small meals a day.
If your Collie develops a bulge around his middle, talk to your veterinarian
about switching to a dog
food that promotes weight loss.
Although a rough coated Collie has long hair, the Collie does not need
extensive grooming. Brush through your dog's coat several times a week
to avoid mats, paying close attention to the hair around his face, behind
his ears, and around his legs.
The Collie is an intelligent family dog. If you want a dog who will
protect your family and will play with the kids, the Collie may just be
the perfect pet for you.