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Your Pet, Our Passion.

Collie (Rough)

The Rough Collie is undeniably, a glamorous, eye-catching dog, with their abundant sweeping coat, chiselled head and alert expression of dignity. A medium to large dog, Rough Collie coats should be dense, harsh to touch and with an abundant mane and frill. Ears are expressive and attractively tipped forward when alert.

  • Dog suitable for experienced owners
  • Some training required
  • Enjoys active walks
  • Enjoys walking one to two hours a day
  • Large dog
  • Some drool
  • Requires grooming daily
  • Non hypoallergenic breed
  • Chatty and vocal dog
  • Guard dog. Barks and alerts
  • May require training to live with other pets
  • May require training to live with kids

Key Facts

Lifespan: 14 – 16 years
Weight:  Males should weigh around 27-34kg and females a little less at 23-30kg
Height:  Males stand 56-61cm tall and 51-56cm for females
Colours:  Sable, sable and white, tricolour and blue merle
Size:  Large
UK Kennel Club Groups: Pastoral

Ratings

Family-friendly: 5/5
Exercise needs: 3/5
Easy to train: 4/5
Tolerates being alone: 2/5
Likes other pets: 4/5
Energy level: 3/5
Grooming needs: 3/5
Shedding: 5/5
Dog looking at sky

Personality

Friendly and affectionate with family and those known or introduced as friends, the Rough Collie bonds closely and is a loyal companion. Inclined to bark to alert to the presence of strangers, the Rough Collie can make a good watch dog, but will back down quickly when asked to do so, as they are not inclined towards aggression.

Rough Collies are quick learners and will thrive when both their bodies and minds are kept exercised and entertained.

Collie standing in the forest

History and Origins

Country of Origin: Scotland

The early ancestors of the Rough Collie are thought to have arrived with the Romans, around 2000 years ago. Originally shorter in both leg and nose, the Rough Collie is thought to have had some influence from the Borzoi, known for its elongated, chiselled head, though exactly when this occurred is unclear.

Queen Victoria was instrumental in popularizing the Collie, however it was the Smooth variant she kept herself. Later, Queen Alexandra kept Rough Collies, and it is likely she who is responsible for the popularity of the breed in the show ring and the development of the more glamorous appearance of the breed today.

Health and Common Issues

As with many dog breeds the Rough Collie can suffer from various hereditary eye disorders, and hip dysplasia (a condition that can lead to mobility problems). Eye testing and hip scoring of dogs prior to breeding is therefore important.

Exercise Needs

The Rough Collie is not a particularly demanding dog when it comes to dog exercise, around an hours walking per day, some play and free running and general involvement in family activities is provided. More will be happily accepted if you can offer it, this is a dog who wants to be with their family, whatever they are doing.

Space Requirements

This is a reasonably large dog, with a heavy coat, so not ideally suitable for the tiny home. A reasonably sized house and secure garden, with access to a variety of rural walks will suffice. Better suited to quiet suburbs or countryside living as the Rough Collie will alert to all manner of noises, and may find cities and busy towns too noisy and frantic.

Nutrition and Feeding

Large breed dogs, as well as having large appetites, benefit from a different balance of nutrients including minerals and vitamins compared to smaller-breed dogs. Rough Collies may be prone to bloating and stomach problems; smaller, more frequent meals can help minimise this risk. Discover more about how to offer your dog a balanced diet with our easy-to-follow guide.

Grooming Collie (Rough)

The Rough Collie has a double coat, a hard outer coat and a dense soft undercoat. This requires daily brushing to keep clean and tidy and a more thoroughly weekly groom to prevent matting around elbows, chest, behind the ears and in the trousers and knicker regions. 

Professional grooming to blast out excess undercoat and provide a full bath and dry might be required if you do not have the facilities to do this at home. Find out more about dog grooming and daily care with our article. 

Training Collie (Rough)

Unlike some of other Collie or pastoral dog types, the Rough Collie is not a ‘training junkie’ and although they will enjoy working with their owner, is not overly demanding as long as the basics are taught and maintained and positive reinforcement methods used. As with exercise, the Rough Collie is happy to do whatever you are doing. Their enjoyment lies in working with their person, whatever the activity may be.

Best Family Dog Breeds

The Rough Collie can make a good family dog – although is better with older more sensible children as they can be sensitive to noise and family chaos! 

While many dogs are traditionally thought of as being good with children, all dogs and children need to be taught to get on with each other and be safe together. Even so, dogs and young children should never be left alone together and adults should supervise all interactions between them.

did you know?

Did You Know?

  • Almost everyone will recognise the Rough Collie as ‘Lassie’ the famous film character, as played by Pal, owned and trained by Rudd Weatherwax (and in fact all the Lassies in the film franchise were male dogs, descended from Pal), however Pal was not the first film-star Rough Collie.
  • The first Rough Collie to star on film, in fact the first of any breed of dog, was Blair, an English bred Rough Collie belonging to the British Film-maker Cecil Hepworth.
  • Blair first featured in a film (albeit briefly) in 1903 (Alice in Wonderland), and then in 1905 had the lead role in ‘Rescued by Rover’.
  • He featured in 15 films between 1903 and 1912, and was the first British movie star of any species!

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