Collie Breed Characteristics There are two coat lengths and three colour variations: The longer coat is called Rough Collie and the shorter coat is called the Smooth Collie. The recognised colours for both Rough and Smooth are:
Sable:Any shade from light gold to rich mahogany or shaded sable. Light straw or cream colour is highly undesirable.
Tricolour:Predominantly black with rich tan markings about the legs and head. A rusty tinge on the top coat is highly undesirable.
Blue Merle:Predominantly clear, silvery blue, splashed and marbled with black. Rich tan markings to be preferred, but their absence should not be penalised. Large black markings, slate colour, or a rusty tinge either of the top or undercoat are highly undesirable.
White markings - All the above should carry the typical white Collie markings to a greater or lesser degree. The following markings are favourable: white collar, full or part; white shirt, legs and feet; white tail tip. A blaze may be carried on muzzle or skull or both.
An adult male will measure 51-61cm at the shoulder and will weigh 26-30kg. An adult female will measure 51-56cm and weigh 22-25kg. A Collie's life span is from 10 to 14 years, the average being 11 to 12 years. Collies are very affectionate animals who respond to love and affection rather than harsh discipline. They are an excellent family dog and like to be regarded as a member of the family. They are not a dog to be left in the yard with very little human contact. Collies do well in Obedience Training as they are intelligent and relish the chance to work with their master, but they are a sensitive animal and must be treated accordingly when training.
Although Rough and Smooth Collies have a working heritage, they don't need to live somewhere with acres of garden and only need moderate exercise. However, Smooth Collies, in general, are more energetic than Roughs. They are more athletic and agile, more outgoing, and retain more working instincts. Collies have a soft, sweet personality, they are generally good with other pets and polite with strangers. Despite the Rough Collie’s immense coat, there is a misconception that they require daily brushing and regular bathing. However, they only need to be brushed about once a week with the hair trimmed from around their feet and hocks every month or so. The need for brushing may increase during moulting - once a year for males, and after a season for females. Collies are also a very clean breed and are noted for not having a doggie odour.