Collie Information & Characteristics


The Collie first appeared along the border areas of Northern England and Scotland and is thought to have been introduced by the Roman invaders many years ago. The origin of the name ‘Collie’ is said to be derived from the word ‘coally’, as earlier Collies were predominantly black and white. Another theory suggests they were named after the black-faced 'Collie' sheep that were guarded by these loyal dogs. There are two types of Collies; the Rough Collie and the Smooth Collie – each named after their style of coat.

Average lifespan

Up to 14 years of age.

Average size and weight

Rough Collie       Smooth Collie
46cm to 60cm      51cm to 61cm
22kg to 35kg        18kg to 30kg

Breed personality, characteristics & temperament

Collies are extremely intelligent animals that genuinely enjoy human company. They are relatively easy to train and are blessed with an energetic, bouncy spirit. However, these dogs do enjoy being 'where' the action is and their enthusiasm for life can quickly turn to dejection if left alone in the back yard for too long! They are also naturally clean and make extremely good companions for children.

Compatibility with other pets

Being a friendly dog, the Collie enjoys the company of other animals. However, it does possess a natural herding instinct that can compel it to 'round up' the other animals in the home from time to time.

Care requirements

Whether it’s the Rough with its long, glamorous coat or the Smooth with its short, dense coat, all Collies need a good brushing at least once a week to keep them looking good and in top condition. Exercise is essential and they will thrive on a brisk walk or run. They are extremely smart and willing workers with a natural flair for tracking and herding. However, this talent is not always limited to animals so extra care should be taken during walks to ensure it doesn’t attempt to ‘round up’ the traffic.

Ideal owners

With an abundance of intelligence, friendliness and an inherent desire to please, Collies make terrific lifelong companions for all types of people and their situations. Like most dogs, the Collie thrives on lots of love and affection from its owner. Their gentle nature makes them an ideal pet for most homes and situations – especially when given ample exercise and space to move.

Click here for advice on adopting a rescue dog and finding a breeder. All information has been provided by the Kennel Club.

Not sure which dog breed is right for you? Browse through our breeds category page to read more about popular dog breeds and understand which one is right for you.

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