The Collie: A Complete Guide

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Often labeled as the Girl Scout of their kind, the Collie is a breed widely known for its limitless loyalty and companionship.

These are only some of the qualities that make this breed the perfect pet for a loving household.

For those of you who are looking to get the most out of the experience of getting and raising a pet, the Collie will undoubtedly prove to be an excellent choice.

Particularly drafted for first-timers, this guide will serve as the complete code of the dos and don’ts of keeping a pet Collie, in addition to giving you a taste of what you can expect from the whole experience.

We understand that most of you probably landed on this page in search of help regarding the breed as a pet, not only to learn about it.

Therefore, we have a complete, step-by-step recipe for you to walk you through the entire process of adding one of the most devoted and affectionate dogs to your family.

From the purchase of a Collie pup to its upbringing, nurturing, and training, we have broken down the process for you.

A black and white Collie sitting in the grass
The Collie is one of the most active herding breeds.

Since getting a dog is not something you do every day, and is a fairly huge decision, this guide aims to make your life a lot easier, given that you stick to it and follow it word for word.

By the end of it, you will find yourself with enough knowledge about the Collie to make an informed decision and raise your pup the right way!

Rest assured that training a Collie pup is not the most difficult job in the world, and you novices will find this particular breed to be highly adaptable, trainable, and obedient.

The innate desire for this dog to learn new things and gain new experiences will aid immensely when it comes to establishing a healthy bond with the Collie.

In fact, owners will find themselves enjoying by merely interacting with the dog because that is exactly the kind mood boost and uplifting aura that this breed brings with it.

So since there’s no question about the Collie being the ideal pet for a newbie dog owner, the first step is to determine where to get a good Collie puppy from, and that is exactly what you will find out as you read further.

Also see: Miniature Collie Dog Breed

The Collie Puppies – Before You Buy…

Undertaking a responsibility as huge as this can often get intimidating.

So, before going in for the buy, you need to ask yourself certain questions that will ensure that the breeder you’re opting for gives you the best deal in town.

Do I find a pedigree Collie puppy to be affordable?

Where can I find a trusted breeder for Collie puppies?

Will the Collie thrive in my household and adapt to my lifestyle?

What price are the Collie puppies?

Normally, a Collie puppy will cost you anywhere between $400 and $600.

However, for a good quality puppy with papers and breeding rights, you can expect to budget more than $1800, not to mention that a Collie pup from the most pedigree breeding line can even cost you as much as $ 10,000.

The average price for a Collie as sourced from, based on 2233 Collie sales across the United States, is $700, not accounting for the additional owning costs associated with the upkeep of the Collie.

How to find reputable Collie breeders?

A Collie walking in the park
Collies are most faithful to their owners.

There are several sources that allow you to get in touch with tried and tested Collie breeders.

The following are some of the best practices that you can undertake in order to contact a trustworthy and experienced breeder and develop a good understanding of him.

  • To reach a good breeder, check out the local dog show in your area because the superintendents of these shows usually have a lot of knowledge and contacts with some of the best breeders around.
  • When contacting a breeder, it is important to note that patience is key. Collie breeders usually have a full-time job, which is why they may take a while to get back to you.
  • It is also worth noting that a Collie breeder will not necessarily have a puppy available, and therefore may take longer to respond to any puppy-related inquiries that you may have.

Once you’ve tracked down a breeder, there are some essential checkboxes that you will want to fill in:

  • When you meet with the breeder, ask to meet one, or better yet both, of the puppy’s parents. This is an important step because it will give you a fair idea of what you can expect from your puppy, not only in terms of its looks but also in terms of temperament and personality.
  • More importantly, you should gauge how willing the breeder is to release breeding documents about health, like proofs of screenings and other health test certificates.
  • If the breeder is hesitant to let you meet the parents, or share other important information to you about the DNA or genetic issues inherent in the puppy’s lineage, that will certainly be a huge red flag on the breeder’s profile.
  • Another good way to assess the breeder’s legitimacy is to see if he or she makes you sign a binding contract that stipulates the breeder’s right to claim the puppy back in case you fail to look after it or meet certain specified care-related conditions.

Finally, a sincere breeder will always be available to cater to any questions that you may have regarding the puppy’s care and upbringing.

All good breeders take particular measures to ensure that the puppies find good homes and prepared families.

Therefore, the breeder will himself be interested in ensuring that you are properly mentored not only before, but also throughout the whole process of raising your Collie pup.

3 Little-known facts about the Collie puppies

Despite their popularity, there are some facts about this breed that are not as widely known:

  • There is a long history behind the name “Border Collie”.

The breed gets its name from the very simple fact that, back in the day, Collies were bred on the border that separated England from Scotland.

The breed thus infamously came to be known as Border Collies, which is how then secretary of the International Sheepdog Society would describe these canines in letters to his colleagues.

  • They crouch like a cat for very specific reasons.

The Collie’s herding trait has allowed for it to swiftly take up cat-like positions, slithering close to the ground by crouching its body in a certain way.

This is to achieve optimal precision for herding, which is enabled by the shape of their bodies, more specifically due to the space between their shoulder blades that lets them get into a crouching-cat position in the blink of an eye.

  • The trick is in the eye.

The Collie has an exceptionally intimidating stare, which will be most noticeable when you have a treat in your hand.

The eyes of the Collie are such that all it takes is one stare of the dog to get other animals and livestock in line and control them for efficient herding.

Physical Traits of the Collie

A black and white Collie holding a stick
The Collie is the ideal pet for a newbie dog owner.

The Collie is undoubtedly a beautiful dog, but before buying one it will be helpful to know how big the dog can grow.

How big is a full-grown Collie?

A male Border Collie can grow as tall as 19 to 22 inches, whereas the female Collie will stand up to 18 to 21 inches tall.

In terms of weight, the male will fare at approximately 20 to 29 kg, while the female will weigh lighter at about 18 to 25 kg.

What is the life expectancy of the Collie?

The average life expectancy of the Collie is 12 to 14 years.

For a herding dog of this size, the lifespan of the Collie ranks amongst the longer dog life expectancies.

The Rough Collie, which is a type of Collie, has an even longer lifespan of 14 – 16 years.

Intelligence, Temperament and Personality Traits of the Collie

A family-oriented and obedient breed, the Collie is an exceptionally smart dog that can easily be labeled as one of the smartest dog breeds.

Its intelligence can be testified by its inherent problem-solving skills, as well as its remarkable ability to learn very quickly.

The calm and gentle personality of the Collie makes it the best choice for a therapy dog. Its loyalty to the owner manifests in its impressive ability to sense the owner’s mood, and hence act accordingly.

The Collie can best be trained through a reward-based system. It responds well to attention and consistency and is always eager to carry out its duties and obey its owners.

A downside to the dog’s personality is that it is very prone to getting bored easily, and therefore will have to be engaged in different kinds of activities.

The boredom can also turn into loud, irritating barking.

When it doesn’t bark out of boredom, the Collie can also develop a tendency to nip at its owners’ feet, which can get both annoying and frightening, especially to children.

Overall, the dog is known for its welcoming and caring nature, and with proper training, you can easily weed out the problems of barking, digging, and other unappealing behaviors.

The key to training the Collie is to work with its stubbornness and look at it as an independent streak rather than going against it.

The Collie’s Diet

The best diet to keep up with a Collie’s level of daily activity should ideally consist of high levels of protein.

Protein comes from animal-based foods like fish, red meat, and chicken, and is the most essential part of an active dog’s diet.

More concentrated sources of protein are home-cooked meals that contain meat that is left with moisture levels of around 10 percent, making it richer in protein.

Another important source of energy for the Collie, a breed with high levels of metabolism, is fat. Therefore, fat-based oil, like salmon oil, and chicken fat should be incorporated into the Collie’s diet.

Finally, the every day dietary requirements of a Collie are completed with carbohydrates, which serve as a rich source of essential vitamins, minerals, and digestive fiber to keep the dog’s digestion process healthy and running.

How much Exercise does a Collie need?

The Collie is a dog with a lot of stamina and energy that it needs to expel throughout the day.

If you’re an overall active person, it shouldn’t be an issue for you to make that extra effort to engage your dog in activities that use up its energy.

However, the Collie can get particularly cranky if it cannot find avenues to release its stored up energy, hence it a minimum of ten to fifteen minutes of running, if not more, are incumbent for the dog.

Additionally, incorporate healthy, mind-challenging activities into your Collie’s playtime.

Some ideas include playing fetch, letting it run about in an open space, and letting it socializing with other animals on playdates.

The Collie Health and Conditions

As sturdy as the breed is known to be, the Collie isn’t immune to a host of health issues.

The breed is particularly prone to genetic problems, like sensitivity to certain drugs, sight issues, and epilepsy.

A serious disease stems from a gene known as MDR1 (multi-drug resistant gene) that can cause a dog to fatally react to several common drugs.

To prevent this, it is best to get screening proofs of not only the parents of your puppy but also of the puppy itself, as this can be a life-threatening health concern.

One of the most common health issues prevalent amongst the breed is one that can easily be prevented: obesity.

At the end of the day, it all comes down to the level of care, activity, and a good diet that you gave to your puppy throughout its formative years.

My final thoughts on the CollieAn adult Collie looking to the side

While they’re notoriously known as one of the most active herding breeds, the Collie is equally good as a calm companion when you only want to rest at home or need some friendly moral support.

Collies are most faithful to their owners, and will never leave their side; this exactly what makes them not only the most devoted pets but also very fun and responsive buddies.

Therefore, it is safe to say that if you’re looking for a companion who will urge you to stay active throughout the day, but at the same time will also give you the space you need, the Collie will undoubtedly be the best friend everyone will want to have by their side!

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