Dog Health & More
The Collie dog breed is a native of Scotland, mostly of the Highland regions but also bred in the Scottish Lowlands and northern England, where she was used primarily as a herding dog. She is a sensitive and intelligent dog, known for her undying loyalty and amazing ability to foresee her owner's needs. She is a great family companion, and is still a capable herding dog.
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In the 1950s television series Lassie, you knew that the Collie would come to the rescue, whether Timmy was trapped in an abandoned mine or had fallen into a well. After all, the star of this long-running show wasn't just any dog. She was Lassie, a Collie dog.
To be sure, the adventures of Timmy and Lassie are fun to watch. But they're fiction — aren't they?
Well, according to those who know and love the Collie breed, the fictional accounts of television Lassie aren't too far off the mark. The real-life Collie is an extremely intelligent, sensitive dog who is known for her uncanny ability to know when something is wrong. True stories abound about this breed coming to the rescue of people and animals.
Heroics aside, the Collie is a medium-size (50 to 70 pounds) dog, easy to train, devoted to and protective of her family, and friendly with people outside the family circle as well. Known for being playful and gentle, she makes an excellent companion for children.
Although the Collie is good-natured and friendly, she can be suspicious of strangers, especially if they approach the children in her family. She's a good watchdog — she will bark — but she is not aggressive.
The beautiful Collie has two distinct looks: full coat (known as the Rough variety) and short coat (known as the Smooth variety). The television star was a Rough Collie, as was the star of the 1943 movie Lassie Come Home, which inspired the television series.
Today, the Collie is more likely to be a pampered pet than an all-around farm dog. She adapts well to a variety of home environments, as long as she has plenty of daily exercise. She enjoys relaxing around the house with her family, as well as running and playing outside with the kids. Her herding instincts are still strong, so it's not unusual for the Collie to gather children and pets, chase cars, and bark.
In addition to her herding ability, the loyal Collie excels as an assistance or therapy dog. She also does well at such canine sports as herding trials, agility, obedience, and lure coursing.
The movie and the television series made the Collie a popular dog in the United States. Unfortunately, her extreme popularity leaves her open to the bane of all favorite breeds: unscrupulous people who breed with no regard for temperament, health, or conformation.
As a result, some Collies have serious health and temperament problems. If you are considering a Collie, you must be extremely careful from whom you purchase or adopt a puppy. Buy only from a reputable breeder. Never buy a puppy from an irresponsible breeder, puppy mill, or pet store. Reputable breeders breed with temperament in mind and perform various health tests to ensure that their breeding dogs don't pass on a predisposition to genetic diseases.