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About Collies

What is a Collie?

The following are excerpts from the official Collie standard as adopted by the A.K.C.

General Character — The Collie is a lithe, strong, responsive, active dog, carrying no useless timber, standing naturally straight and firm. The deep, moderately wide chest shows strength, the sloping shoulders and well bent hocks indicate speed and grace, and the face shows high intelligence. The Collie presents an impressive, proud picture of true balance, each part being in harmonious proportion to every other part and to the whole. Timidity, frailness, sullenness, viciousness, lack of animation, cumbersome appearance and lack of overall balance impair the general character."The Hillside Collies"

Appearance — The Collie comes in two varieties, either the rough coated or smooth coated variety. The rough coated Collie carries a long and abundant coat over it’s entire body with the exception of the head and legs. The smooth coated variety carries a short, hard, dense, flat coat of good texture. Both varieties are double coated, with an undercoat that is soft, furry, and so close together that it is difficult to see the  skin when the hair is parted.

The "Hillside Collies" (above L to R) Grace, Jesse, Brady, Katie-Scarlett & Alice      

Size — Dogs are 24 - 26 inches at the shoulders  and weigh from 60 - 75 pounds. Bitches are from 22 - 24 inches at the shoulders, weighing 50 - 65 pounds.

Color — The four colors that are recognized are “Sable and White”, “Tri-colored”, “Blue Merle”, and “White”.


Things to consider before owning a Collie


The Collie coat, especially the rough coated variety, will require regular brushing to maintain their beauty. Be prepared to give your dog a thorough brushing at least once a week, with a daily touch- up.

Collies are one of the “Herding Breeds” and will tend to chase cars, bikes, and joggers in an effort to “restore the general order of his world.” A fenced yard and walking on lead are strongly recommended! 

Collies fulfill their duties as watchdog by barking loudly at all unusual situations. Leaving your dog chained out in the backyard all day while you are away at work will most assuredly make you well known among the neighbors! 


Collies are social animals and require regular contact with their human family. They respond best to training methods, which utilize “Positive Reinforcement.” 

Collies get along well with other animals, although initial introductions should be supervised. 


The Collie temperament does not permit them to “attack on command.” While they will protect their owner’s family, they will not protect the owner’s property! If you are looking for a guard dog, don’t get a Collie!

Collies live on the average of 12 years. Be prepared to make commitment of time, money and energy before you get a Collie.


For a printer-friendly PDF brochure about Collies and NEOCR, click here.

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