You have to figure that if Hollywood decides to dedicate an entire TV show to just how great a particular dog can be (Lassie), chances are, the breed of dog has got to be pretty fantastic! And the truth is if you are thinking about adding a “medium-sized dog to your family, you’d be hard-pressed to do better than getting a Collie.
But that doesn’t…
This means that a Collie will be a good fit for every family. This is why, in this article, we wanted to take a moment and discuss some of the pros and cons of owning a Collie so that if you do decide to adopt one, you won’t be disappointed with your decision six months from now. So, without further ado, let’s dive right into it!
Collie Fast Facts
Country of Origin: Scotland
Original Purpose: Sheepherder
Height: 22 to 26 inches
Weight: 50 to 75 pounds
Lifespan: 8 to 12 years
Dog Classification: Herding group
Origin of the Collie
Collies are a somewhat old breed that dates back to the 1800s when the breed consisted of two “types,” the rough and smooth coated “Scotch” Collies. And while both “types” still exist today, most folks are only familiar with the “rough” version simply because, throughout history, the rough Collie has always seemed to get the larger share of the “spotlight.”
Queen Victoria first became excited about the breed in the late 1800s when she first embraced the species, then later when she entered two Collies into the Westminster Dog Show herself. This was also around when the American Kennel Club (AKC) decided to “officially” recognize the breed in 1885 and set the standard. While the Collie was beginning to become quite popular within the United States, their portrayal in the literary works by Albert Payson Terhune and the TV series Lassie helped make the Collie one of America’s favorite breeds for many decades after that.
But let’s face it…
If the Collie weren’t a great dog, it wouldn’t have mattered if the Queen of England loved them, then, at Terhune, wrote many stories about them, or if we got to watch Lassie save another boy from a well every week! The Collie became one of America’s favorite dog breeds because they’re beautiful dogs with great personalities and are typically a joy to own.
Your average Collie will weigh about 50-75 pounds (males on the heavier side of the scale), and as we’ve already mentioned, it will come in two “versions,” the rough-coated Collie and the smooth-coated Collie. The rough-coated Collie will have a thicker coat with straight fur and a dense undercoat, while the smooth-coated Collie will have shorter hair, making finding their skin through all that fur much more accessible, even with a thick undercoat.
Now, you may be thinking to yourself…
“Wow, that’s a rather random thing to say… I mean, why would it matter how EASY it is to find the SKIN of my Collie?”
And we’ll give you that it is a strange thing to say. Still, the problem is that Collies tend to be prone to developing “skin” issues, so if you do end up purchasing a Collie puppy or, better yet, adopting a Collie rescue your dog, you may find yourself examining their skin quite often… (more on that later).
What we can say for now is…
The “type” of Collie you choose will undoubtedly impact their grooming needs; rough collies need more attention to their coat, while a smooth collie only needs to be brushed once a week. Either way, you’ll have to budget for a few visits to the groomers every year unless you’re a pro! The coat of either type of Collie you choose will range in colors, from sable and white to tricolor or blue merle to even, in some cases almost 100% white!
Personality and Temperament
These are talkative dogs that bark quite often…
“What’s that Lassie? Timmy fell a well?”
But that’s OK, they’re not the kind of. A dog that goes around barking at everything under the sun. When your Collie barks, it’s because there’s an excellent reason for them to bark. Like there’s:
- Someone knocking on the door,
- Or they need to go outside to go to the bathroom,
- Or a squirrel is running up a tree,
You get the idea. And while we probably shouldn’t have to mention it, Collies love kids, which is perhaps why so many families love to welcome a Scotch Collie into their families. And if you start training a collie puppy while they’re young, you’ll probably be amazed at how fast they can learn. You should be able to teach this dog many things you might not be able to train other dogs. This is part of the reason you’ve seen Collies in so many movies.
Now there is…
One major downside to choosing to adopt a super popular dog breed… And that is why people have tended to poorly “manage” breeding them over the years. As a result, many of them have become susceptible to certain hereditary medical conditions. Unfortunately, this is what we see with Collies nowadays. So, let’s not take a moment and discuss some of the health concerns you should know if you decide to adopt a Collie.
Potential Health Concerns
Overall, these dogs are pretty healthy, but just like the healthiest humans can get sick or have some health problems, so can collies. The most common things that can go wrong with a collie’s health are:
- Skin problems and dermatomyositis,
- Hereditary eye disease.
Skin Problems are usually mild but will cause your dog discomfort, and you will want to take them to the vet for treatment. Depending on the severity and how long your dog is plagued with it, this could cost anywhere between $100-2000.
Some Collies may develop an eye anomaly that can cause them to suffer from other more serious eye issues, such as retinal detachment. Most collies with this eye anomaly live with it and don’t incur more significant problems. However, if your Collie develops a condition requiring further treatment, don’t be surprised if you get a vet bill near or around $3,000 bucks (per eye)!
Other medical conditions that could affect may include:
Bloat or emergency gastrointestinal syndrome:
Scottish collies are at risk of getting this because they have deep chests like Akitas, Boxers, and Great Danes. Dog bloat surgery costs around $ 2,000-6,000, depending on where you live and how fancy your vet’s office is. If you’re initially deciding what “kind” dog you should get, please research what it might cost to ensure that particular dog.
Whatever “kind” of dog you decide to get, like any living thing, they may develop some illness or suffer from an injury that may require professional care. And this care can be pretty expensive! The last thing you want to happen is for your animal to become sick or injured and not be able to afford the care they need. This is why we here at IndulgeYourPet have taken the time to write our Best Pet Insurance article so that you can get an idea of what it might cost to purchase a pet insurance policy and determine if the “cost” makes sense for you.