The Collie was used extensively as a herding dog and hailed from the highlands of Scotland and Northern England. The true popularity of the breed came about during the 1860’s when Queen Victoria visited the Scottish Highlands and fell in love with the breed.
The Collie breed comes in two different varieties—the Rough and the Smooth. The two varieties are identical with the exception of the coat. The Smooth has a short, dense and flat coat, while the Rough Collie has a long, well-fitting, harsh-textured coat. It is abundant everywhere except on the head and legs and it is the crowning glory of the Rough variety of Collie.
Collies come in (4) different colors. The color long associated with the breed, thanks in part to Lassie, is the sable color. This color can range from a light golden tan to a rich mahogany color. The tricolor is black, white and tan. Blue Merle can range from a pale, silvery blue coloring, to a darker gray color, with black body spots of various sizes. The fourth color is white, which is a predominantly white body, with either sable, tri or blue markings, usually on the head. Typically all Collies are marked with the traditional white collar, chest, legs, feet, tail tip and sometimes white facial markings, called a blaze.
The Collie is a medium-sized dog, with females ranging from 22" to 24" and males ranging from 24" to 26" at maturity. Weights can range from 50 to 70 pounds.
Typically Collies live 10 to 14 years, with the median age being 12, although some have gone well into their 15th or 16th year.
Not only are they beautiful, but they are intelligent, friendly, loyal, loving and sensitive. They are real family dogs and are noted for being very people-friendly. Likewise, they are easy to train. In addition to being very clean dogs, they are one of the easiest breeds to housebreak. Typically the Collie is not a one-man dog. If raised properly and treated with respect, they make an ideal pet for the entire family. They are not recommended as a complete outside/backyard dog and under no cir- cumstances should a Collie ever be chained or tied up. If kept outside for long periods of time with no human contact, they can become easily bored, as well as lonely. This can result in a noisy, unhappy dog. Collies, along with many other herding dogs, have long been known for their barking tendencies. They are notorious people dogs, known for wanting to be with their owners. They make great couch potatoes! While they are excellent watchdogs, they are not known for being aggressive. A Collie should never be nervous, shy or fearful. They love to play, retrieve and to go for long walks. In essence, they make great companions for young or old.
You should do your homework before purchasing a dog or puppy by reading up on the breed and talking and visiting with various breeders. And most importantly, by seeing the dogs. This can either be done at dog shows, performance events or by visiting a breeder’s home or kennel. The Collie has a rich and loyal following. People who love Collies for all the reasons the breed is famous for, usually do so for life! Once you have determined what you want in a dog and evaluated your life-style, make sure you have the desire and ability to commit to the lifetime of the dog. The Collie is the most beautiful and most noble of all the breeds and they deserve only the best!
Originating in the Shetland Islands, the breed was first registered in Lerwick in 1908 . The Shetland Islands in the Northern Atlantic are a series of small islands exposed to the vagaries of the sea and north winds. They are rugged, rocky and sparse in vegetation. The people who inhabit the islands are also rough and rugged as are some of the animals that hail from there; for example, the Shetland Pony and the Shetland Sheepdog.
Shetland as stated in the standard: black, blue merle, and sable (ranging from golden through mahogany); marked with varying amounts of white/and or tan. Sable color will range from gold to mahogany with varying amounts of white. Tri-color is black with varying amounts of white and/or tan. Blue merle is grey and black with varying amounts of white and/or tan. The merling gene dilutes the basic black to a silver-gray, leaving patches of black in random areas, which is referred to as merling. Bi-blue is the same as a blue merle without tan markings. Bi-black is black with varying amounts of white and no tan coloring.
The Shetland Sheepdog stands between 13 and 16 inches tall at the shoulder, but it's not unusual for them to be over- or undersize. A typical Sheltie weighs about 22 pounds, but a large one can weigh as much as 35 or 40 pounds.
Typically Shelties live 12 to 15 years.
The Sheltie is intensely loyal, gentle, and sensitive. There's a wide range of personalities in the breed, from outgoing and boisterous to calm and sedate to shy or retiring.
It's normal for Shelties to be reserved with strangers, but steer clear of dogs that seem overly timid or nervous. If you're choosing a puppy, it's fine if they don't always come right up to a stranger, but they should be happily curious and ready to make friends with someone who sits down on the floor with them.
Whatever their personality, Shelties prefer to be with their people at all times and will follow them from room to room during the course of the day.
Shelties are excellent family companions, especially when they're raised with children who know how to handle dogs respectfully.
As with any dog, always teach children how to approach and touch dogs. Supervise all interactions between dogs and young kids to prevent biting or ear pulling from either party. Never leave dogs and young children alone together.
When it comes to other dogs, Shelties have a definite preference for their own kind, even if they don't live with other Shelties. On first introduction, they seem to recognize other Shelties as kindred spirits and are usually immediately friendly and willing to play. They tend to be standoffish with new dogs of other breeds, however. They can get along with cats, once the cat puts the Sheltie in his place for trying to herd him.
Shelties have a reputation for being a little too smart for their own good. This is a breed that needs a job. Without plenty of mental stimulation, Shelties quickly become bored and will invent their own entertainment, which may or may not be to their people's liking.
Shelties retain a strong herding instinct. You'll find that your Sheltie will enthusiastically chase and try to "herd" squirrels, rabbits, and children, running around them, barking, and nipping. Shelty owners should discourage this habit, especially with children, because it can lead to biting. Never let your Sheltie herd unless it's in a herding class with appropriate subjects such as ducks or sheep.
Shelties are relatively inactive indoors and can handle apartment living if they're walked daily and aren't recreational barkers. Otherwise, they need a fenced yard where they can play safely and be prevented from seeking out animals, people, or cars to "herd."
Shelties have a long, dense, furry coat and shed heavily. Lots of people don't realize just how much loose fur they're letting themselves in for, and many Shelties are given up to rescue groups every year because they shed. Be sure that you and your vacuum cleaner can handle that much hair.
Shelties can be a good choice for a working person as they'll stay home alone contentedly, provided they get their fair share of attention when their people are home. They thrive in an environment where they're given companionship, playtime, training, and quiet patting. Your love they'll return tenfold.