Right among the top family dogs available today, it is fair to say that Collies are a very good choice for people who want to enjoy their devotion, their desire to please and the high trainability. On top of these, Collies are probably much easier to groom than many people think. They are very energetic in nature, but they are pretty calm when they are indoors, keeping most of the energy for outdoor activities.
There are two Collie varieties. One of them is the classic one, the Lassie type, having a longer coat, while the other is called a Smooth Collie, with a shorter, but denser coat. However, the same standard applies for both varieties when they are participating in shows.
These dogs get very attached to children and enjoy sharing activities with them, but they do so with the entire family. They seem to consider most people their friends, but would act protectively about their own family. Old herding instincts may lead them to nip at times at heels, which may scare some children. They get along well with other pets, but the same herding heritage may lead them to try and herd everything that moves, animals or children.
White and sable, blue merle or simply white are the options for the coat colors. Given the fact that they shed pretty much, Collies are not a good option for someone who has dog allergies. They blow their coats more intensely two times per year and therefore require more frequent brushing in these periods. Smooth Collies shed more than the Rough ones.
Collies require a decent level of physical exercises on a daily basis, be it a one hour walk or two sessions of playtime. It’s a poor option to consider in apartments, unless there is someone to provide the entire necessary daily exercising, so that barking is prevented. If they receive it, they will be pretty calm afterwards. Collies are very sociable and crave for human companionship, so leaving them alone for longer periods of time will only lead to them getting bored and most likely to excessive barking.
Given the herding history of the Collie, this dog is a very smart animal, a quick learner when it comes to training and is always connected to people he loves. Although the required level of daily exercises is lower than for other herding breeds, they still need it in order to keep fit, both physically and mentally.
Best results are obtained if the training process is consistent, combined with positive reinforcements such as food rewards and praises. While participating in all sorts of exercises and contests, they enjoy being in the center of the attention. Thanks to their calm temperaments and friendly personality, Collies also make good therapy dogs.
As a disadvantage, the Collies’ barking can be really loud and annoying. This is usually the outcome of longer periods in which they are left alone, because of the boredom. Collies are family dogs and should live with their families, indoors, while the outdoors far from an ideal situation.
The heel nipping is a behavior that the Collies can occasionally display, but it is best not to encourage but even discourage this, as it can be scaring for people, especially children or other animals, even if seeing it can be interesting. As Collies are smart and are able to learn quickly a lot of tricks and exercises, they may get bored if they are too repetitive, so it’s best to find a way not to allow these to become a routine.
The coats of both Collie varieties are double layered, with the undercoat being thicker, but softer and the overcoat having more of a thin, flat texture. Both the Smooth and the Rough Collies require weekly brushing, although the appearance of their coats may suggest more difficult and intense grooming. This is enough tore move the dead hairs. Usually a monthly bath should be enough for Collies.
Two blowing coats take place twice a year for Collies, which actually mean some heavy shedding. It is recommended that in these periods a daily brushing is carried out, in order to keep the hair from spreading all over the place. This only happens with the Rough Collie, but Smooth Collies shed more during a year, even if they don’t blow coats. Trimming the nails and brushing the teeth for a good hygiene and fresh breath come to complete the grooming.