The television show Lassie ran from 1954 to 1973, making the show one of the longest running television series and endearing the Collie to the hearts and homes of many American families. This graceful, loyal breed originated in Scotland and England and was used mostly to guide cattle and sheep to the marketplace.

Common Characteristics

  • Size: 51 to 100 pounds
  • Lifespan: 6 to 15 years
  • Pet purchase cost: $501 to $1000
  • Allergies: Moderate
  • Shedding: Severe
  • Primarily suited for indoors


Common Reasons for Surrender

Collies often end up in rescues or shelters because of the economy. Many people simply cannot continue to afford to care for their Collies and other pets due to a change in income status, the loss of a job, or the loss of a home. Collies also end up homeless because an owner passes away or the family moves and their new home does not allow pets.


A loyal dog, especially to their families, Collies want to please their humans, which makes training relatively easy as long as you use positive reinforcement. Because of their friendliness and gentleness, they are considered good family dogs. Remember, every Collie is different, and you will need to find the right match for your family.


Collies require regular grooming, which can be costly if you opt to take your Collie to the groomer. If you want to save money, you will have to learn how to properly groom a Collie, which requires time and patience.

You must also teach your Collie when it is appropriate to bark because the breed can be nuisance barkers if they are not taught when it is acceptable to bark.


Keep your Collie healthy by providing him with a high quality food, preferably a dry food. Ensure that all foods and treats do not contain certain ingredients, including: meat by-products (by-products are from the less desirable and less healthy parts of an animal), corn, wheat, and soy. Avoid getting into the bad habit of offering table scraps and, instead, give your Collie healthy options—such as green beans, carrots, and sweet potato—as a treat. Because of the many product recalls of products from China, avoid products from that country.


Collies require at least two walks a day with a minimum of one to two miles by the end of the day. In addition to the daily walks, a Collie often enjoys a game of fetch, a hike with her family, or a good run around a fenced yard.

Possible Health Problems

Collies are prone to gastrointestinal issues, eye problems, and skin issues. Skin issues, arguably the biggest health issue with Collies, often require consistent treatment, which can be costly. Many Collies have difficulties with certain medications, which can be detected with a genetic test before adopting the dog.


Grooming will depend on what type of hair your Collie has—long hair or smooth hair. Long hair Collies, whose fur can get easily matted, require brushing weekly with trips to the groomer at least twice a month while you can generally just brush your smooth Collie at home. You can learn how to properly groom your long-haired Collie, but it will take time and patience.


Although training takes time, it is an ideal bonding opportunity for you and your Collie. Training generally comes easy due to the Collie’s intelligence and willingness to please. You will find training goes more smoothly if you make it a game. Keep the mood lighthearted and your attitude positive during training, even if your Collie isn’t picking up concepts as quickly as you’d like. Avoid using negative reinforcement as it can easily deter your Collie and make training more difficult.

You may also want to enroll your Collie in a training class. Collies have herding instincts, but the instincts don’t tell them not to chase after cars, which could prove fatal. A training class will help you and your Collie learn how to curb such behavior.


Keep your Collie physically and mentally stimulated, an essential to his well-being. To keep your Collie mentally stimulated, give him things to do that require thought. Give him a Kong or a ball puzzle that requires him to figure out how to remove the treats.

We would like to thank Collie Rescue, Inc, and The Collie Rescue Foundation and Affiliates for help with this profile.

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