All About Rough Collies: Breed Information, Traits, Temperament & More

Collies are herding dogs. They were originally bred to herd sheep and ducks.

These days Collies can do many different activities. They are wonderful therapy dogs, good herders, and faithful companions. Collies can grow up to 26 inches tall and weigh between 50-80 pounds.

Males are usually bigger than females. Male Collies have more coat than female Collies, usually. Collies need to be bathed regularly and brushed at least two to three times every week, but more is always better. Collies will shed.

Grooming and Care

If you brush your collie often, there will be less hair on the floor of your house. Brushing everyday is not too much, and once a month is not enough. If your parents do not like hair on the floor, a collie might not be for you.

A Collie with long hair is called a Rough Collie. Collies can also have short hair. This is called a Smooth Collie because the hair feels smooth and is short.

Smooth Collies are easier to groom, but they still need to be brushed and bathed. If you love Collies, but don’t want a lot of grooming, the Smooth Collie may be the dog for you. They do shed, though!

Different Colors

There are 4 different colors of Collies:

1. Sable and White: The sable, or brown color, can be many shades, from light brown to dark brown.
2. Tricolor (black, white, and tan)
3. Blue Merle (Gray and Black), and
4. White (with different colored faces).


Collies are alert, which means they notice things around them. They like to protect their family and let them know if there is something important going on. They will listen carefully to sounds around your house and may bark to let you know about them.

Many Collies like to bark and sometimes can even bark too much. They think it’s important to watch out for strangers and things that look and sound different. A Collie may need extra training so that he doesn’t bark too much. Still, your collie might bark.

Barking is a behavior that is instinctive (dogs are born with the urge to bark). It’s very hard to teach a collie not to bark. If your collie is in the house with you, he won’t have to bark at all the interesting sights and sounds that are outside. Inside collies are usually more quiet than outside collies.

Collies are very sweet and proud. They don’t need harsh words when they do something wrong. Just show them what they should have done and they will be happy to change.

Exercise and Activity

Collies can easily become couch potatoes so they need exercise quite often. Collies like to play games like hide and seek, tug-of-war, and fetch.

Walk your Collie everyday even if he has a large yard. Activities like agility, fly-ball, and obedience are fun and healthy for your dog. Some Collies will surprise you by swimming in a pool, lake, or ocean.

Collies like obedience training if it is fun. Most collies do not like to be tugged hard while on a leash. If your collie pulls too much while walking, try having a few treats in your pocket to feed him. This will turn his attention to you.

Collies don’t like to be left alone very much. They get very lonely when left in the yard with nothing to do. It’s good to go outside to spend time with your dog, or to let your Collie in the house. If he has learned the house rules, everyone will be happy to have him in the house. Collies love to be with people and other dogs.

Other Facts

A Collie’s coat has two layers: the beautiful hair you can see, and a hidden, second coat called an undercoat. This undercoat helps a Collie stay warm and dry in cold weather and it protects his skin from the hot sun, too.

Spend lots of time with your new pup from an early age so he is comfortable with you. Roll him over, touch his feet, look at his teeth, and brush him gently. This will help him get used to being handled and he will be a better companion when he is older.

It is important that your Collie start learning his manners when he is young. As he grows, he will get stronger and it will be harder for you to train him. You don’t have to be harsh. Puppies learn through play. There are lots of games you can play with your puppy and he will be learning at the same time. Teaching him tricks will teach him how to learn. You both will have lots of fun.

When he gets older, you can start to take him places. Socialize your pup from an early age so he is comfortable in many different situations. Taking him places where he will meet other dogs and new people will help him be a better companion for you.

Collies are loyal and affectionate, so the more you hug and pet your Collie, the happier he will be.

Collies are very social, which means they like people and other animals. When your dog is young, you can expose him to cats and other small pets.

When your Collie gets older, you might him to try herding sheep or ducks. There are places out in the country that have sheep and will train your dog. There are even competitions where your dog can win a ribbon for the best herder!

Collies are very trainable. That means they learn quickly when taught with patience and kindness. They can learn almost anything one teaches them. They love agility, fly-ball, tracking, and they especially love to learn tricks. Many tricks are easy to teach. Click below to read what tricks kids are teaching their dogs. Kids Teaching Tricks

Kids with Collies

“Nikki is a 1 year old collie. She is very playful and doesn’t bark. She’s very friendly and is the best! My mom got her for my birthday because I’ve asked her for a dog for 3 years. I got her from a pound.” Tasha, age 13, Wisconsin USA

“I have a blue merle puppy! I got him yesterday. He is a full collie and is so cute. My cat was scared of him at first but now I think that she knows that he would not hurt a fly!!! Right now he is sleeping on my lap. His name is Teddy!” Victoria, age 13, Western Australia

“My collie is the best herding dog (and pet) in the world! Her name is Lassie. She is 11 months old.” Charklene, age 13, Texas

“I have one Collie. And two other dogs. My Collie is a full breed Collie. Her name is Daisy. She likes to play fetch and soccer. I recently have to get a new soccer ball because she popped it. She likes to play chase. The Collie is tan and white. She is a very pretty dog.

She likes to get squirted with the water hose. She will bark at it when I turn the water on and she will run back and forth until she gets squirted. Then she tries to bite the water – it is funny. She is a cool, funny dog. I was outside in the front yard playing fetch one day and a car stopped and asked how we got our dog to do that. We told him that we trained her.” Leigh, age 15, Texas USA

“I have two Collies at home, their names are Nikki and Angel. Nikki is 2 years old and Angel is 11 months. They are both very energetic, but Nikki is the more lazy one. Angel is O.K., but she also loves to chase all types of things. She is one active pup!” Abby, age 13, New Jersey USA

“I have one Collie. His name is Rusty. Rusty is a sable Collie, he likes to play ball and learn new tricks. His birthday is May 1.” Loretta, age 15, Indiana USA

“My Collies are a blue merle and a tricolor. The tricolor is very energetic and the blue merle is a lazy lay who is funny. :)” Alex, age 14, Ontario Canada

“I have a white-factored sable female that is going be a show dog. We hope to put a CH. (Championship) on her this year.” Jesse, age 17, Michigan USA

“His name is Quincy and he is one year old. We got him for Christmas last year from Grandpa and Grandma. They have a Collie, too. His name is Charlie. Quincy likes to play fetch and play with kids. My mom and dad say he thinks he’s a kid himself.” Freddy, age 6, Michigan USA

“Once I fell in a water rushing river with a very bad current. I was going to drown. Then my golden Collie, Friskey, came running and saved me and we didn’t train him to do any thing like that. We were all stunned. So my mom and I took him to a doctor and they said he was psychic. And now he’s a life saver.” Sarah, Age 14 Michigan USA

“My dog’s name is Laxess. She’s a Collie. She is tan and white. She has a white star on her forehead. She is three years old and is trained excellent. I love her. I don’t know what I’ll do when she dies. She is going to Michigan state finals! So see ya there!” Katie, Age 13 Michigan USA

“Hi, I have two dogs. One is a Collie named Cory and the other is a Bull Terrier named Delta. Cory is nine years old. We have had Cory since she was three. She is so sweet. I was around six when we got her. Her breeder had her up for adoption. We wanted her! When we came over, there was this evil boy! He was around my age and he kept throwing sand in my eyes. It really hurt! He also threw books at Cory. So in a way we saved her. These are the best two dogs ever! PS I am getting a Sheltie puppy very son! Wish me luck, I will need it!” Kelsey, Age 10 New York USA

“I have two sled dogs. I was 5th out of 9 in my first sled dog race. My dogs ran really well that day. I was happy with my dogs, but I was the laugh of the race. One of my dogs is a Collie cross, and everyone called him Lassie! He may not be a “normal” sled dog, but he is my best friend. He has pulled 600 pounds at a weight pull! My other dog is an Alaskan Husky.” Melanie, Age 15 Minnesota USA

“There was a dog named Maggie. She was a Collie. She had brown, tan, white, and black fur. Everyday she would go to the tennis court and play tennis. Her master was Mary. She always slept with Mary. One day she did not eat her meal. There was something wrong. She went to the swimming pool. She saw someone drowning. She jumped into the pool and saved a young girl. Maggie was a hero!” Eilis, Age 9 Michigan USA

“My Collie is named Clancey and he is the best Collie ever. He keeps us from playing in the street by pinching our heels and he catches all our balls, hockey pucks and other toys. He sleeps with us in our beds and eats breakfast when we do. He also walks us to the bus stop and meets us there when we come home. Clancey is the best friend of my whole family.” Sarah, Age 13 New Jersey USA

“I live in Louisiana with my dad and sisters, but we spend each summer with my mom and stepdad in Pennsylvania. They have four Collies (the big ones) and I love them all! My favorite thing to do with Rascal (dad) is wrestle. He turns his head when you call him the “Great Googly-Moogly”. He loves to play tug with his rope toy and will fetch it for hours.

Weebles (son) is a snuggler. He is the biggest, but he doesn’t know it. Daisy Mae (daughter) talks all the time even when we are trying to watch TV. She loves to bring in sticks and rocks…my mom doesn’t like that. Pippie (mom) is the most spoiled of all. She gets to go into parts of the house that are off limits to the rest of them. She gets mad if any of the others disturb her while she is laying down with my stepdad (she thinks he belongs only to her). She loves pizza and anything else with tomato sauce. She puts on quite a dramatic act if you don’t share your pizza with her. She often steals things off the counter and has taught Weebles to do the same.

Weebles and Daisy are only eight months old. There were eight puppies all together, but my mom said the other six all got really good homes. Mom says we need a bigger house. It gets very crowded in the summer with four big dogs and four big kids…I am the youngest. My stepdad says that we all cost too much, but he spoils us anyway. I love my summers with my mom and stepdad and the four mischievous Collies from the “Long-nose pack”.” Josh, Age 12 Louisiana and Pennsylvania USA

“Solo (Collie cross), my dog, is really old now and we rescued her from the Battersea Dogs Home, but our favorite thing that we do together (when she’s not asleep, that is) I get my hoop and some dog biscuits and she loves jumping though my hoop.” Clare, Age 12 England

“Having two dogs in the house is the best it can be. A mutt and the Collie in my house are the best of friends. They have opened their world to me. For them to be so kind I am doing the best to be kind to them. I send my love to Merlin and Katie from me the Tippy who loves you.” Tippy, age 13 Wisconsin USA

Some Famous Collies

  • Lassie, star of the classic TV shows and movies
  • Lad of Sunnybank, famous series of books by Albert Payson Terhune
  • Prudence, Prince, white Collies owned by U.S. President Calvin Coolidge
  • Ruby Rough, sable Collie owned by U.S. President Calvin Coolidge
  • Bessie, owned by actor Chuck Norris
  • Cheyenne, owned by Jim Reeves, country singer
  • Laddie, from The Simpsons TV show
  • Reveille, official mascot of the Texas A&M University
  • Pal, trained by Rudd Weatherwax, and played the original Lassie