Breed Group: Herding
Shoulder Height: Medium-sized; exact height dependent on variety
Weight: 48-70 lb.
Life Span: 12-13 years
Colors: Vast color varieties centered on sable, merle, black, tan, and red
- The Collie is a major sub-group within the Herding group, with several Collie breeds currently recognized by the AKC
- The most popular Collie breeds are the Border Collie, the Shetland Sheepdog, the Australian Cattle Dog, and the Bearded Collie
- All the collie breeds were developed in Scotland, England, or Australia
Collies are a wide and diverse group of dog breeds. Their popularity stems from several common factors that each breed shares with one another.
They are widely recognized for being extremely intelligent dogs and are easily trainable as a result. Collies also have a propensity to territorialism, making them loyal to you but potentially aggressive to visitors as well as other dogs without proper training. Collies of any type demand a tremendous amount of exercise, making them great for children as well as active families.
Though some Collie types, like the Australian Cattle Dog, do have shorter coats, the large majority of them have thick and wavy fur. This means that careful grooming is necessary in order to check for fleas and ticks. They also have a propensity to shed, especially during the summer months when they are blowing their coat. Be ready for constant vacuuming.
Collies are susceptible to a number of conditions:
- Collie breeds are susceptible to a genetic defect in the MDR1 gene, making them extremely sensitive to certain types of prescription medication like antibiotics, opioids, heartworm preventative ivermectin and loperamide. A simple cheek swab test can be performed to assess your dog for risk.
- Eye problems are common, the worst being progressive retinal atrophy (PRA). Genetic screening is becoming available for this condition so hopefully over time this condition will disappear through better breeding.
- Collie Eye Anomaly is another eye condition which you should be weary of when adopting a collie puppy from a breeder. They should be certified free of this condition before you take them home.
- Border collies have been used in movies for many years, most notably in the Oscar-nominated film Babe
- The Bearded Collie known as Tiger played a prominent role in The Brady Bunch through its entire run as well as in the cult film A Boy and His Dog
- The popularity of the breed surged following the Lassie films and TV series
Photo ©iStock.com/PhotoTalk, ©iStock.com/Svetography