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Collie – a Scottish Beauty Made Popular from the Television Series “Lassie”

07.10.2022 - Reading time: 3 minutes

Ein Collie liegt am Wegesrand

There are short-haired and long-haired versions of the Collie. It is thanks to the influence of the TV dog Lassie that the long-haired version of this gentle herding dog has become much better known. However, the two types do not differ fundamentally apart from the length of their fur.


Newsletter Collie

Great Britain
Cattle and herding dogs
Males 56 to 61 cm at shoulder height – females 51 to 56 cm at shoulder height
male dog 25 to 30 kilograms – female dog 21 to 26 kilograms
elegant, narrow head with longitudinal muzzle
medium-sized, almond-shaped
small and standing with tilting tips
Coat and colour
fur structure face small and short neck mane, coat firm with mixed top and undercoat, bushy tail, sable-white, three-coloured or silver-blue
Special features
likes to bark
affectionate, playful, eager to learn and clever, sweet-tempered, alert
easy to care for despite their long fur, regular brushing, only bathe in exceptional cases
Susceptibility for the MDR1 defect (hypersensitivity to medication), sensitive digestive tract, retina diseases, hip dysplasia; at the breeder’s ensure that no merle dogs are crossed.

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Among sheep

Collies are true Scots whose ancestors were brought to the British Isles by the Romans. There were already Collies with a responsible job in Scotland in the 13th century – as excellent herding dogs, they helped to direct the large flocks of sheep. Visually, these early Collies differ from today’s counterparts. They were black and tan or grey. Queen Victoria, who was a huge fan of dogs, made the elegant dog socially acceptable and also popular outside of agriculture. The Collie has been an officially recognised breed since 1858 and is divided into the British and Scotch Collie lines. The first mahagony-coloured Collie, “Old Cockie”, was exhibited in 1871. It is deemed to be the progenitor of the modern Collies. The type bred in America has a slightly more delicate build.

Character of the Collie: serve, protect, please

Because of their intelligence and their gentle nature, Collies are ideally suited as companion and therapy dogs or as guard and working dogs. The character of the Collie is characterised by great enjoyment at work and an eagerness to learn. The Collie needs a person that it trusts as the leader to whom it can bond closely. In addition, the dogs want to please their owners at all costs and are very obedient. With the Collie, you are opting for an extremely loyal dog with an instinct to guard and protect. This instinct is so pronounced that the dog can respond with distrust to strangers. Therefore show your Collie early on that your acquaintances and neighbours are “friends”.

Training and husbandry of the Collie

Collies are very active and need to be occupied. Your dog will keep you on your toes. Presumably, you cannot offer it a herd of sheep but agility and obedience sport offer outstanding alternatives. Long walks on a daily basis are the minimum. When your Collie has physical exercise, it will also behave in an exemplary manner in your flat. A characteristic of the breed is the Collie’s increased need to tell you something – it likes to bark and loudly at that. During training, in the interest of being a good neighbour, you should teach your dog to be quiet. The Collie is eager to learn and learns commands at an above-average speed compared to other breeds. Only work with positive reinforcement as the dog must enjoy learning. Force makes the Collie stubborn and uncertain and is absolutely unnecessary with this gentle family dog that is particularly good with children.

Caring for the Collie

Despite its luxuriant fur, the Collie is easy to care for. Of course, you have to brush the dog carefully and in the process pay particular attention to matting in areas that are difficult to access, behind the ears and joints. Otherwise, the magnificent fur of the Collie is practically self-cleaning. As Collies often have a sensitive digestive tract, be prudent when feeding them and use high-quality food. Offer the animal its daily ration spread over several small portions. A hereditary incompatibility to medical drugs is widespread among Collies. A precautionary gene test is recommended to avoid complications in the event of an emergency.

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