The Rough Collie

Let’s face it. As a veterinarian, I should not have a breed preference; but I do. I love them all, honestly, but there are two breeds that are near and dear to me – the Labrador retriever and the Rough Collie. These are two very different breeds, and maybe that is why I like them so much – together. Today I will focus on the Rough Collie.

The Rough Collie is also known as the Long-Haired Collie. It is a long-coated breed of medium to large size. The breed was originally used and bred for herding sheep in Scotland in and around the 1800s. The most well know Rough Collie in North America is likely Lassie from the novel, movies, and television shows. Rough Collies generally come in shades of sable, merles, and tri-coloured.

Instead of going on at length about the breed I will simply tell you what I see/recognize of the breed.

They are super smart. Some will disagree wholeheartedly with that statement but well…they are. They may not do what you want them to do right away but is that a lack of intelligence? In this case – no. They need to decide if what you are asking of them is really what they want to do at that particular time.

They are gentle – almost to the point of being frail. And need to be treated as such. If they are treated too harshly (i.e. a raised voice), they can become quite fearful.

They are pushy. From pushing you physically with their nose to giving you their unsolicited opinion vocally about their like or dislike of a situation they will push their opinion upon you.

They are independent. They like to receive attention but are just as likely to move away when they are “done” even if you are not. i.e. they are often less snuggly than other breeds.

They have a beautiful coat. They are simply gorgeous. Beauty needs maintenance — a lot.

They have some health issues most notably with their sweet beady little eyes, teeth and reactions/response to certain medications that some members of the breed are not able to metabolize so well.

So, as I reread this, I wonder why do I like the breed so much. Bottom line they are sweet and loving, and you need to understand them.

Written by: Rob Doucette, DVM



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