Scotch collie is best known from the book “Lassie, come back!”. The breed occurs in the long-haired and less known variety – short-haired. Collies are smart, sensitive and mentally gentle dogs who like to work with people. They are not very aggressive, rather friendly, although not effusive.
Long-haired and short-haired collie have the same body structure, differing only in the type of coat. They also have a similar character, although short-haired collies are generally mentally stronger and more confident. Because of the less glamorous appearance, they were more often chosen for work, while their long-haired cousins became exhibition goers and companion dogs.
Collies are calm, sensitive, temperate. Faithful, gentle and devoted to the family, they are most likely to stay near their master. They like children and handle them gently. Generally brave and confident, they are reserved towards strangers, which makes them good watchmen.
Their relations with dogs and other animals are correct. Although they are quite active and like space, they will adapt to city life if they have some activity and a daily portion of the movement.
Scotch collie. Skills
The collie’s original task was to work on sheep herding. When the demand for shepherd dogs decreased, they found employment in other areas. During World War I, they were e.g. used in the English Army as liaison dogs.
Although now they are primarily family companions, they will also prove themselves as blind guides, assistants of the disabled and in dog therapy, they will also cope well as avalanche dogs. They are suitable for dog sports (e.g. agility, obedience). They will even cope with defense training (IPO) on condition that it will have a sporty character (due to its stronger character, short-haired individuals will be better suited here).
Scotch collie. Training and education
Collies are distinguished by high intelligence and susceptibility to training. They have a good memory, they learn commands permanently, but they are not blindly obedient. They don’t like monotonous exercises and harsh treatment. They are happy to cooperate with the owner if he treats him gently but firmly. Puppies require socialization with people and dogs, they must also be accustomed to various situations. Left alone and isolated from the world, they can grow into cowardly individuals.
Who is this race for?
A suitable owner for a Scottish Sheepdog is a calm, balanced person who enjoys working with a quadruped and leading an active lifestyle. This dog breed is also great for families with children.
Scotch collie. Advantages and disadvantages
sensitive, requires a gentle approach
In the breed, fear often occurs
the coat requires regular brushing
gentle to people and animals
does not require a lot of movement and attachment
very attached to the family
even a novice owner can handle his upbringing
Scotch collie may be affected by hip dysplasia. There are also genetic diseases of the eyes: collie eye anomaly (so-called CEA), which consists in hypoplasia of the choroid and PRA, i.e. progressive retinal atrophy.
Collies are also hypersensitive to drugs, e.g. ivomec (a lethal threat to them), some antibiotics and anesthesia caused by a mutation in the MDR1 gene. You should also check your teeth regularly and remove scale deposits.
They are not picky. They can get both natural foods supplemented with calcium and vitamin preparations, as well as ready-made foods. The daily dose is best divided into two meals.
Before the show, the collie requires thorough combing of the coat (if necessary, bathing) and alignment of the hair on the paws and ears.
The ancestors of the Scottish collie are probably the ancient shepherd dogs that reached the British Isles with the Romans. Because they were poorly adapted to the local climate, Scottish shepherds associated them with later imported larger quadrupeds, with a strong build and a short waterproof coat. Over time, an admixture of blood from North African dogs was also introduced, resulting in calmer, more susceptible training.
The word “collie” can come from the Anglo-Saxon “col” – black and refer to the original color of the hair of these four-legged dogs, or from the word “colley” meaning black sheep.
The first messages about these shepherds come from the 16th century. The dogs owed their image to a large extent to shepherds, who helped to establish not only the exterior, but also psychological features. Scottish Collie Sheepdog comes in two varieties: popular long-haired (rough collie) and less known short-haired (smooth collie).
According to some cynologists, the modern look of the long-haired collie was obtained by crossing with an Irish and Scottish setter and a Russian boar. In contrast, the short-haired variety is derived from quadrupeds with a longer coat and was probably created by selection. The great fan of the breed was Queen Victoria, who had both long and short-haired dogs in her kennel.
Scottish Collie Sheepdogs were first shown at an exhibition in Birmingham in 1860. Ten years later, at an exhibition at Crystal Palace, short-haired dogs have already appeared in a separate class. In 1871 a long-haired Old Cockie dog appeared, with an unprecedented swarthy coat, and in 1873 Scot was born, the first blue-merle collie.
The great success of the short-haired variety was the BABETTE of Moreton winning the title of the best collie at the club exhibition in 1902; this performance was repeated four years later by the dog Ormskirk VENICE.
Long-haired Scottish Sheepdog – Group I FCI, section 1, model number 156
Country of origin: Great Britain
Original purpose: shepherd dog
Character: temperate dog, calm, gentle and devoted to the family, restrained towards strangers, good guardian; the short-haired variety is mentally stronger
Size: height of dogs 56-61 cm at withers, bitches 51-56 cm at withers
Coat: available in two varieties: long hair – straight and hard coat, soft and very thick undercoat; abundant mane and ruff on the neck, fringes on the forelegs, abundant trousers on the hind legs and a hairy tail; short-haired variety – short and close-fitting hair, quite rough to the touch, very thick undercoat
Color: swarthy in shades from golden to mahogany, tricolor – black with intense tanning on the limbs and head and blue marbled, i.e. blue merle (light gray, spotted with black) with tan; in all types of color there are white, so-called Irish markings on the collar, limbs, tail tip, head and nose bridge.
Reaching puberty: 2 years
Lifespan: 12-14 years
Moulting: abundant, once a year
Activity: medium; requires frequent walks, but intensive training is not necessary
Training: the indicated basics of obedience, you can train for utility and sport purposes
Vulnerability to training: very high; intelligent dog, eager to learn if you deal with it gently and consistently
Attitude towards children: generally friendly
Attitude towards other dogs: tolerant, does not provoke brawls
Weather resistance : resistant
Apartment: it can live in a block of flats or in a house with a garden, but it is not suitable for a pen – it needs close contact with people
Possibility to buy a puppy: generally there are no problems with buying, but compared to previous years, slightly less litters are born, it is better to order a puppy in advance
This breed is often called “lassie” by laymen, because many people associate the name of the bitch with Eric Knight’s famous novel as the name of the breed, not the name of the four-legged heroine.
Interestingly, in the American feature film “Lassie, come back” from 1943, the role was played by the dog actor Pal, who, unlike the character he played, was not a bitch. In subsequent film adaptations, including e.g. the series taking place in more modern times, his descendants, also male, played.