Nobody knows for sure the exact origins of the Collie dog breed, or even where its name came from. One theory is that the Collie was derived from the same bloodline as the Border Collie.
Another theory concerning the name “Collie” is that it comes from the Gaelic word for “useful”, which definitely describes how useful these dogs were for farmers and as stock dogs. They were considered to be of high value to the Celts when they first settled in the British Isles.
The job of guarding and sheepherding by using dogs has been around since the most ancient of times. Even so, there is only evidence of the Collie’s services of doing these jobs back towards the beginning of the 1800s. We know for sure that Collies did indeed exist during that time – both the rough-coated and smooth-coated Collie dogs.
The smooth-coated Collies were used as drovers. The rough-coated Collie dogs had the job of guarding the flock in all types of weather. In time, the breed became increasingly popular and fanciers of the Collie started to breed litters that grew to become more refined and taller in size.
In the year of 1860, Queen Victoria became quite impressed by the Collie and added her very first Collie dog to her collection. Having the Queen fancy these dogs created quite a stir and many upper-class families followed her lead and also took ownership of the Collie. By the late 1800s, there was an official standard drawn up and this description still holds true today.
During this same time period, sheepherding became more and more vital in America and new settlers came to the New World with their own Collie dogs. America’s wealthy families also brought back Collies from their travels throughout Europe.
Today, almost everybody is familiar with the famous television show titled “Lassie”. Lassie became the most famous Collie dog of all time. Needless to say, this TV series gave the breed a huge boost in popularity which has made the Collie one of the most favorite of dog breeds in America.
Personality of the Collie
The Collie has a true hard-working heritage. They need to be stimulated physically and mentally on a daily basis. Without an active lifestyle these dogs can become very frustrated. Collie dogs are gentle and mild-mannered with just about every living creature it comes across. But do not let this dog’s overly friendly attitude fool you when it comes to being a watchdog. In fact, the Collie is top-rated as an excellent watchdog.
Taking Care of Your Collie
As mentioned above, the Collie will need daily stimulation and better yet, the opportunity to herd if possible. Of course this activity is only feasible if you live on a farm or large area of land with animals. Collie dogs can live outdoors when the weather is cool, but they are happier with their family – it is much better to have your Collie stay inside at night. Grooming requires a good brushing once or twice per week, with the rough-coated Collie a bit more often.
Collie Health Information
The average lifespan of the Collie dog is approximately 10 years, with healthy Collies living up to 12 to 13 years at times. There are no major health concerns to worry about and minor issues that may spring up include demodicosis, PRA, dermatomyositis, CEA, and gastric torsion. Seizures, CHD, and microphthalmia are sometimes seen, but very rare.
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