Probably, the Collie is one of the best family dogs to ever grace the dogdom. This dog pledges hardcore loyalty to his owner. The Collie has one of the most famous dog faces ever because of its firm root in popular culture including the 1950’s TV series ‘Lassie Come Home’ that depicts a Collie in the central role.
Actually, he is a herder who has mastered many jobs to glorify his position and value in the family. This intellectual canine member has arrived from Scotland. He doesn’t call for as much grooming attention as his lavish coat necessarily suggests. The Rough Collie has a long coat while the Smooth Collie possesses a short coat.
Above all, the Collie is a wonderful kid friendly dog. This relationship greatly depends on his extravagant capacity of realizing the situation. Playing with children is his top priority.
But he is not going to ignore any member of the family including the other pets. This dog will love to maintain herding as his core profession and he will start gathering up kids, pets, animals, cars and any moving thing at an opportune moment.
However, he is unlikely to show the rough side of his character while on a job. He is especially protective of his loved ones and makes a tremendous watchdog. This medium-large sized dog is a profound athlete scoring well in obedience and agility.
Furthermore, he can endure daylong work. He was in fact bred for this purpose. On the flip side, Collie barking is often a source of relentless annoyance. He tends to bite an animal or a person from the back.
Measure Collie smartness:
Herding, as a profession, takes immense smartness. The Collie is highly intelligent as has been pointed out by Professor Stanley Coren. His list of dog intelligence puts the Collie on the 16th spot. He catches at your lessons pretty quickly.
A properly exercised Collie has a sweet and mellow temperament. He likes to be among his people and please them with some outstanding tricks. Excellent training program can further smooth the rough edges of his personality and thus shapes up his smartness.
Sports and shows are some other grounds of showing off his wit. This dog can also work as a therapy dog because of his gentle nature.
What & how to feed:
A Collie is truly in love with his food. Highly active adult Collie needs 3-4 cups of daily intake. Two meals respectively in the morning and in the evening will do the job finely.
But food amount is truly a dynamic issue and there will always lie a difference in amount from dog to dog. This quantity actually relies on age, sex, activities, health and so many other aspects of an individual dog. You can determine the amount of food the dog requires as you continue feeding him for a long time.
The Collie can get along well with both homemade and commercial products as long as they fulfill his energy necessities. However, you can feed him medium sized dog foods. You just should not free feed the dog. It creates some bad habits.
A 70 pound and adult active Collie requires on an average 1688 calories per day as has been suggested by the National Research Council of the National Academies. But you cannot give him as much as this amount if your dog is prone to sitting out the days. Such an idling tendency is not common to this dog breed. A field herder might even demand much higher than this quantity.
Collie meals should be rich in protein and fat ingredients. At least, 18-20 percent of proteins in each meal will provide him with ample energy. Beef, chicken, fish, turkey, eggs, dairy items and lamb are excellent sources of proteins.
Barley, cereals, vegetables and oats will give him some plant proteins. But vegetable proteins are not proficient in amino acid which is vital for a dog.
On the other hand, flaxseed oil, safflower oil, olive oil and fish oil are going to supply the dog with necessary fat. Fat prevents an injury by protecting the internal organs by creating a protective layer. Bone and joint strength also derives from it.
Tapioca, brown rice, sweet potatoes, fruits, beetroot, pumpkin and vegetables serve him with carbohydrates and fibers. Carbohydrate is the source of long term strength. Vegetables should not go beyond 1-2% of his total diet.
A commercial item should be free of preservatives, dyes and flavors for the betterment of his health. You may want to feed him large breed dog foods. In this regard, you can follow the guidelines set by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO).
Clean water is a vital necessity for the dog. Irrelevant use of treats causes overweight. You have to be careful in this respect.
Escape a few health issues:
The Collie is a healthy dog breed and usually staves off most of the diseases. But you can always exercise some precautions before buying a puppy.
A number of health clearances from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA), and the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF) will clear the dog out of a list of major physical conditions. Ophthalmological screenings are of vital interest when it comes to the Collies.
DNA tests are also vital for his good health in the long run. However, your dog may not suffer from any of these listed diseases in his lifetime.
But your proper concept on some of these diseases can save both of you from a lot of troubles. Collie eye anomaly or Collie eye defect is a family disease. The choroide or the group of blood vessels remains insufficiently developed. As a result, the retina nourishing process gets tremendously hampered.
Retinal detachment is an outcome of this condition. Usually, both of his eyes suffer from it. Normally, herding dogs are casualties of this disease. But the Rough and Smooth Collies are the biggest victims.
Dermatomyositis is another inherited condition of the Collies. It is an inflammatory issue of skin and muscles. Subtle to severe skin lesions around eyes, lips and face; reduced muscle mass; elongated esophagus are some of the signs of this condition.
However, this is a curable disease. Progressive retinal atrophy is another eye deformity that attacks the Collie. The rod cells gradually decreases and the dog becomes night blind in the initial stage. Ultimately, he will completely lose his vision and unfortunately, there is little treatment.
Collie nose is a skin issue and the symptoms range from pigment loss, sores to crusting. Exposure to the Sun, autoimmune disorders can cause this disease. Your dog may not show any distress due to being affected. Keeping your dog away from extreme sun is a way out. Severe cases call for vet attention.
Hip dysplasia is the result of disjointed femur ball and hip socket. It impairs the dog’s movement. The treatment often demands a full scale surgery.
Insightful care program:
Both Rough and Smooth Collies have double coat. They shed but it is not a big problem unless it is the peak season. Rough Collie coat tends to mat and on the opposite, Smooth Collie has no such problem.
Use a rubber curry brush or soft slicker brush for 2-3 sessions per week reaching up to the skin. This dog can go about two months without a bath. You have to select a perfect dog shampoo for his bath. Human shampoo bears ill impacts on his skin.
You have to cut the nails once a month. Do not forget his teeth and brush them 2-3 times per week. Thick hair around his ears calls for special attention to this organ.
Check inside of the ear canal for debris or bad smell. You have to use ear cleaning solution in this purpose. The Collie can greatly use a yearly vet visit for thorough health checkup.
Proper exercise method:
The Collie needs at least 40 minutes to an hour of exercise. He is an active dog and likes free running. You can give him an enclosed area for that. Smooth Collies are preferably more energetic than a Rough Collie. Playing with kids is a great option for extra workouts. But you need to take him out for a walk no matter what he has done in that specific day.
Keep him on the leash when you are going outdoors. Moreover, take some water to cool the dog down. You can also take a poo bag in order to clean after him. Besides, flyball, frisbee, fetching and other interactive games are of tremendous interest to a Collie. You can employ him in a job so that he can satisfy his exercise urges.
Dog training cues:
This is a highly intelligent dog you are dealing with and he gets the core message of your training pretty swiftly. So, you have the liberty to give him a round personality with adequate training. He belongs to the medium-large sized dog group and socialization is of paramount vitality. He should learn the basics of meeting stranger pets and humans.
Controlling his barks is a challenge and you have to remain firm in applying the most effective techniques. Biting is a form of aggression and you should nip it in the bud. Your lessons should be able to stop him from nipping. Get the dog under the umbrella of obedience training.
Loyalty is the Collie trademark and you feed him any idea with positive reinforcement. Crate training is important for effective potty rule implementation. It will also help the dog deal with separation issues.
The Collie comes from Scotland to be more specific, Scottish Highlands. Their name underwent many changes over the ages. Some of those are Collis, Coaly and Colley.
In the earlier days, the Collies resembled the Border Collies in terms of their physical traits. They came to the spotlight thanks to special interest of Queen Victoria.
Clearly, this dog was herding and managing cattle drive in Scotland for about two millennia before coming to public arena. The enthusiasm of the Queen instantly widened the Collie fan base. Subsequently, the Collie first appeared in a dog show in 1860 in Birmingham, England. America saw its first known member of this breed in 1879. The AKC accepted this dog as a distinct breed in 1885.
Nowadays, he enjoys the 38th spot on the AKC breed popularity list.