Rough Collie: Dog Breed Information

Country of origin: Great Britain
Shoulder height: 51 – 61 cm
Weight: 18 – 30 kg
Age: 12 – 14 years
Colour: sable, tricolor, blue-merle each with white markings
Use: Companion dog, the family dog

The Collie ( long-haired Scottish Shepherd, Collie Rough ) is an old breed of herding dog from Scotland, which gained world fame mainly through the television series Lassie and became a true fashion breed. Even today, the collie is a popular and widespread family companion dog. Collies are considered to be easy to train, adaptable and gentle, which is why they are also well-suited for dog beginners.

Origin and history

The collie has existed since the 13th century and was primarily used as a herding dog by shepherds on the Scottish moors. The original working dog breed was refined at the end of the 19th century through skillful borzoi crossbreeding to become the family companion dog known today. In 1881 the first breed standard was established. As Queen Victoria’s favorite dog, the Rough Collie quickly became known outside of Great Britain. The collie gained worldwide fame through the television series Lassie, which triggered a real collie boom.


The Rough Collie is an elegant companion dog, up to 61 cm tall and weighing up to 25 kg, and has a mixed upper and lower coat, which gives the coat its characteristic plushness. The top coat is smooth, dense, and hard to the touch, the undercoat is silky soft. The thick mane around the neck is also striking, while the hair on the face and ears is relatively short and straight. The narrow, long head, the slender figure, and the elegant, floating gait were achieved through targeted borzoi crossbreeding. 

The ears are small and carried semi-erect – ie approximately two-thirds of the ear is erect and the top third is naturally tipped forward (drop ear).

The Collie is bred in three colors: sable (any shade from light gold to mahogany red), tricolor (three colors – predominantly black and white with a tan), and blue-merle, each with white markings. A special form is the white Collie, which has so far only been recognized in the American standard. The Blue Merle is a gray-mottled Collie. It is a tricolor Collie with lightning caused by the merle gene. However, the merle gene may only be inherited from one parent animal, otherwise, damage to the eyes and inner ear will occur (deafness and blindness).


The Collie is a sensitive and gentle dog that is very responsive to its people. He is very intelligent and willing to learn, likes to be submissive, and is therefore easy to train. The collie – like many herding dogs – is rather reserved to suspicious strangers and ready to defend its “herd” or family in an emergency. It is also considered to be very barking. However, the typical collie should never be nervous or anxious, but relaxed and balanced.

The Collie is also well suited for dog beginners due to its gentle nature and easy handling. It learns quickly and can adapt well to all living conditions. However, you can’t achieve anything with a collie by being particularly strict or tough. It needs a loving and empathetic upbringing with clear leadership and close family connections.

Collies love being outdoors and busy and can be enthusiastic about many dog ​​sports activities. The long and dense fur does not require too much care.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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