That isn’t a lion! It’s in fact the collie, a majestic and capable herding dog that makes an intelligent and dedicated companion. Collies in this breed group are sometimes referred to as rough collie and smooth collies. They have two distant relatives, the border collie and the bearded collie.
But, you’re here because you have questions about collies. Are collies easy to train? Is that long, wavy hair going to need lots of grooming? Are collies known barkers? This guide will answer that and more!
Do Collies Bark a Lot?
Originally bred for herding and agility training, the collie is an intelligent dog that will bark when it needs attention and exercise. But, this is its way of letting you know what it needs. Most collies need 40 to 50 minutes of outdoor activity every day. Being on the more independent side, the collie will be alright for a short amount of time alone in a backyard. But if bored, a collie will bark to let you know it wants back inside. Collies are content with running around in the yard for a while, but the best, most active, exercise is taking it for a short run or a walk. Remember to not take your collie out in extreme heat or cold, though.
Collies are very dynamic in their energy levels. When outside, they will want to run around and play. But, when inside, the rough collie will recognize it’s time to relax and lie down for a while. If your collie is continuing to bark while inside, that’s a sign that it’s getting restless and needs some exercise.
What is your dog trying to tell you Learn more about why dogs bark: 7 Reasons Dogs Bark
Collies, being both intelligent and protective, may show signs of shyness or caution around strangers at first. You may notice some initial discomfort or barking around new people. However, once familiar with the new person, your collie will be just as friendly as ever!
Facts About Collies
Collies were bred in the Scottish Highlands as herding dogs. However, in 1860, Queen Victoria adopted one and the majestic breed became synonymous with royalty and aristocracy. In the 1950s, the collie was synonymous with “Lassie,” the dedicated and loyal dog that saved Timmy from falling in a well. In reality, the collie may not be able to save you from wells, but it is a fiercely loyal protector that is famously good around children.
- Size: Collies can weigh from 50 to 70 pounds and stand about 2 feet tall.
- Life expectancy: They live 10 to 14 years.
- Coat: Collies have a medium to long rough-textured, multi-colored coat. Rough-coated collies will require brushing daily. Smooth-coated collies will need to be brushed only once per week. Twice a year, they will shed and require extra brushing.
- AKC group: Collies are part of the herding AKC group.
Are Collies Easy to Train?
Training rough collies is easy because this breed is a working dog, intelligent, and eager to please.
Collie training tips:
- The collie breed of dog responds well to positive reinforcement.
- Get creative with training activities! Collies get bored easily.
- Train early to ease herding behavior like nipping at the heels of others.
As puppies, collies should be brought to classes for general socialization and training. Socialization is important so that collies recognize good and bad strangers, responding in the appropriate manner. Collies will want to chase, due to their herding nature, which will need to be trained out early on. Collies, like any other dog, respond well to positive teaching methods that reinforce good behavior.
Are collies good family dogs?
Because of their protective but gentle nature, collies can be very good pets in households with children. Collies do well in homes with fenced-in yards where they can get lots of exercise.
Always assess a dog as an individual, though. If you’re adopting any dog from a shelter, it’s likely that their history is unknown.
Does the Collie Dog Breed Need Grooming? Do Collies Shed a Lot?
The collie has a thick, double coat of fur that will mean a big shed at least once a year. A collie’s weekly care depends on its specific breed. A smooth-coated collie has shorter hair and therefore requires less upkeep, as their fur won’t mat. However, they will still need weekly brushing, especially during the shedding period. A rough-coated collie has much longer hair that will need daily upkeep in certain areas where hair will clump and mat.
List of Popular Collie Mixes
Collies are known for their loyalty, intelligence, and herding ability. Their beauty and intelligence can be crossed with other pups for a unique and loveable dog unlike any other.
- + Afghan hound = Afollie
- + Australian cattle dog = Cattle collie dog
- + Poodle = Cadoodle
- + Labrador = Labollie
- + Pointer = Pointollie
- + Great Pyrenees = Collie Pyrenees
- + Golden retriever = Gollie
- + German shepherd = Shollie