• Overview

    When you lose young Timmy in the well, look no further than the Collie to go fish him out. These dedicated, astute dogs are efficient herders who constantly anticipate their owner's needs, which makes them popular companion dogs as well as working dogs. Collies come in smooth and rough-coated varieties and they stand between 1 foot, 10 inches and 2 feet, 2 inches tall. Collies are the ultimate family companion. Their number one job is to take care of their people, and they will watch over their people with loving care, no matter what. These dogs work best in active families where the owners or their children are able to exercise and entertain their Collie. Choose a Collie if you want to have a dog hopes to constantly enjoy your company and never stop working to please you.

  • Personality

    In fact, the reason the character of Timmy never did fall deep into a well on the popular 1950's television show was probably because of his Collie Lassie's diligent protection. The famous television star helped her young charge avoid all kinds of horrendous predicaments, and she did so with a cheerful, expectant expression on her face. Collies appreciate looking out for the ones they love. They have an almost uncanny ability to figure out what their owners want and to identify distress in the humans the love. Collies are smart dogs with a natural affinity for humans. Therefore, they most enjoy being around people and keeping a watchful eye out for their human "flock." Collies are gentle and loving around their families, and are especially patient and docile with children, which is probably why Lassie and Timmy built such a strong relationship. The Collie's friendly, alert expression is a characteristic of the breed. These dogs should look intelligent and inviting. They should also be eager to work and eager to please. Shyness or sharpness of temperament is considered a huge fault for Collies in the show ring. Collies are smart, so they learn quickly, but they are also incredibly responsive to their owner's tone of voice. Therefore, training should involve positive motivation and plenty of reinforcement. Once a Collie trusts his owner, he can be convinced to do just about anything.

  • Coat Care

    Collies have either rough or smooth coats, but the under coat is always soft, dense and abundant. The outer coat on smooth Collies is hard, short and of course, smooth to the touch. The coat is thick, but it lies flat against the body. Rough-coated Collies have an abundant long coat that is harsh and full, especially around the mane and ruff. It can be wavy or straight, but it should not be curly. The hair around the face, muzzle and lower legs is always short, smooth and soft. Collies have long tails that are covered profusely in hair on rough-coated varieties. Most people picture tri-colored Collies like Lassie, but they also come in sable, white and blue merle patterns. Still, the black, white and tan variations are very popular, and all Collies have traces of these colors in their coats. Collies also need to be bathed, because those beautiful coats can collect debris. Use a conditioning or detangling dog shampoo about once every six weeks.

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It's probably not a huge surprise to learn that Collies have to shed that abundant coat. Even smooth-coated Collies blow their undercoat several times a year. During this time especially, you're going to need to spend some significant time brushing your Collie. Unless you want to confront an onslaught of hair in your house, you should brush your Collie routinely throughout the year with a large slicker brush and a metal comb. This will help remove dead hairs and stimulate healthy hair growth to control the shedding.

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Unlike other heavy-coated breeds, Collies need to be bathed a little more frequently because their coats are not as oily and repellent. Their abundant coats can collect debris. Use a conditioning or detangling dog shampoo about once every six weeks.

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Hair Clipping

Trim any feathering around the lower legs if you plan to show your Collie. If not, make sure to trim any hair around the feet, legs or face that seems to make your Collie uncomfortable.

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Many dog owners are apprehensive about trimming their dog’s nails because they are nervous about cutting into the quick. But with the right conditioning and careful cutting, nail clipping can be a simple, stress-free activity for you and your dog.

Provide your dog with plenty of positive reinforcement and even treats to help associate nail clipping with a positive experience.  As you start to clip, gently press on your dog’s paws to help him become accustomed to the feeling of having his nails clipped. Then, work gradually, shaving down just a thin portion of the nail at first to make sure you don’t reach the quick. Clip one nail, reward your dog with a treat, and stop to give him some positive reinforcement before moving on. Gradually increase the number of nails you clip in one sitting to help your dog get used to the process. Never trim extremely long nails down to a short nail in one sitting, because this is an excellent way to accidently quick the dog’s nail. Instead, work gradually, shaving small portions of your dog’s nails off each time.

You can tell if you’re getting close to the quick by the texture of your dog’s nail. The nail is hard closer to the surface and becomes softer as you get closer to the quick. If your dog’s nail starts to feel softer, that’s a good indication that you’re getting close to the quick.

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Eyes / Ears

Not all breeds and coat styles require routine trimming in and around the eyes and ears but all should undergo regular inspection and cleaning around these sensitive areas. Doing so will help prevent the development of infections that could seriously damage these amazing organs.

It is always important to routinely clean your dog's eyes and ears, and examine for potential infections. Small dogs, like Pomeranians, and dogs with extremely profuse coats, like Newfoundlands, American Eskimo Dogs and Keeshonds, have ears that need to be checked weekly for infection and cleaned with a cotton ball. Gently wipe a cotton ball moistened with mineral oil, olive oil or witch hazel in your dog's ear, being careful to avoid the ear canal. Never use a Q-Tip, which could cause damage to the inner ear if your dog suddenly shakes or jerks his head. Bushy hair growth within the ear can be thinned with tweezers or blunt scissors. Use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around the eyes, ears and face. Small dogs like Pomeranians and Pekingese, and dogs with white coats like American Eskimo Dogs and Samoyeds, are prone to developing tear stains around their eyes, so clean around their eyes with a cotton ball or soft cloth and use a small trimmer to trim excess hair around their eyes.

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Many owners do not realize how important it is to brush your pet’s teeth on a regular basis. Some dogs are prone to dental problems and sensitive teeth, especially small dogs with tiny teeth and dogs with special diets. These problems can be easily combatted with frequent brushing.

Cavities are rare with dogs but gum disease caused by tartar buildup is not, which is why they require regular brushing with toothpaste and a toothbrush formulated specifically for dogs. While daily brushing is ideal, doing so on a weekly basis will be a big help in avoiding the need to bring your dog to a veterinarian for a cleaning, which usually has to be done under sedation.