Dating back into the 1920s and 1930s, the intelligent and gentle Collie has been a well-known dog in the US for a long time. This elegant breed has been cherished in many popular media such as books, TV, magazines and movies. But in contrast to their looks, Collies were originally farm dogs that worked in the field, herding sheep. They were bred initially for herding and not for beauty contests, and did not have a standard look.
They used to work out in the fields of Scotland during cold winters, and were very quick to command response, since they were very intelligent and were capable of solving problems on their own. Queen Victoria first took these dogs from simply working on farms, and allowed them to step into the limelight of beauty and grace. She fell in love with the dog’s natural charm, and after a few decades, these dogs started to become more of a good-looking domestic breed rather than a working breed. However, there are many traits that have survived from their earliest ancestors, such as the intelligence, responsiveness and independence.
Four known color combinations of the Collie are:
- Tri-color: black, white markings, tan shades
- Sable and White: Pale gold, deep mahogany
- Blue Merle: shades of black and blue, gray with tan shades
- White: with a bit of color markings
There are also two varieties of the breed, according to coat:
- Rough-coated (long haired)
- Smooth coated (short haired)
Don’t let looks fool you – every part of a Collie is actually significant when it comes to his herding skills. Because he is a large dog, he can lead an entire herd of animals with authority. The ruffed hair is actually useful for dogs that mess with them – the result is the other dog gets lots of hair in his mouth. Heavy and rough coats of a Collie are also essential for the weather conditions in the British Isles and Europe. However, the smooth-coated Collie is actually much more preferred in herding due to freer movement, without much bulky rough coat and potential overheating, because herding can sometimes require steady and constant movements. And due to this fact, rough-coated Collies are no longer needed on farms; hence they have become more of a pampered household pet.
Despite the long, thick coat, the rough-coated Collies can actually adjust to any kind of weather, be it sunny and hot, or damp and chilly, and cutting its hair is not really necessary, and may even make him feel uncomfortable. The breed is also good with kids and youngsters, and is quite intelligent. However, most Collies tend to be a little noisy, so you should also be aware of the dog’s personality.
One can enjoy training a Collie, but the dog may be sensitive in nature, thus needing more gentle persuasion and reasons for him to be motivated. Collies need to be rewarded for their intelligence and hard work.