The Collie, An Original “Farm Dog”

The Collie belongs in the Herding Group of the A.K.C. There are two varieties, the Smooth coat and the "Rough". The Collie was always a favorite "farm dog" in the United States way before the advent of television and when "Lassie Come Home" became a film and later a TV series, its popularity soared even more. The movie emphasized the Collie's homing instincts and it is true that this breed is the type of dog that bonds to its master. It is not the sort of dog that one can "re- home" at an older age and unless fenced it will escape and try to go back to its original home.

All varieties of Collies come from Scotland. There used to be a great similarity between the Border Collie and the Rough Collie but through the years of its historical development the rough collie has become a larger, more elegant breed and there are definite distinctions between the two breeds.

The Collie is a larger sized dog, standing about 22 - 24 inches at the withers, but not as heavy boned as many of the breeds that are this size. The coat in the Rough Collie is extremely profuse and long, having a large ruff around the neck and extending down the front and long feathers on the legs, belly and tail. Far too many owners fall in love with this breed and purchase a Collie without undertaking the matter of coat care. It is imperative that this dog be brushed on a regular basis as the Collie has a dense undercoat which will easily mat. If the matted undercoat is left in without being combed out this can create hot spots and sores which remain undiscovered beneath the thick matted coat.

Many owners need to be taught by the breeder to groom the dog correctly right down to the skin, for if they only comb the top surface these mats can go completely unrecognized. The head of the Collie is long and has a wedge shaped appearance, having no stop. This may led to a problem because breeders have placed much emphasis on the elongation of the muzzle and the narrowness of the head. Collies have a problem called "collie eye anomaly" which seems to be more common than in years past. Some breeders have over emphasized the head and have bred for a refined skull with no "stop" whatsoever, which may have detrimentally affected the breed.

It is speculated that this problem may perhaps be due to the increasing emphasis on a narrower skull. Hopefully this is a condition which careful breeding can get under control. Other than that and the fact that they should be x-rayed for hip dysplasia the Collie is generally a healthy breed.

The Collie is considered to be a perfect child's companion. There are few reports of Collies with poor disposition. They are a very affectionate breed, willing to work and easily trained. They love their families and treat the children as their charges, being naturally protective and instinctive in their guardianship.

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