The collie is a majestic dog, noted for his loyalty, intelligence and beauty. He is classified as a member of the Herding Group, which consists of breeds whose basic similarity is their ability to do herding. The Collie was named for the Scottish mountain sheep that he guarded long ago. His popularity was enhanced by Queen Victoria who was so impressed by the breed that she obtained several of them. By 1860 the Collie was one of the breeds which had classes provided for its judging at the Birgmingham Dog Society in England. Ever since those days the Collie’s popularity has been high.
Most collies today serve as beloved family companions, but many are still used for herding. The breed is also known for its heroism in the face of danger to those it loves. This is often a result of its special protectiveness of and love for little children.
Collies come in two varieties, the Rough and the Smooth. There are four acceptable colours: sable (any shade of tan with white markings); tri colour (predominantly black, with tan and white markings); blue merle (marked like the tri except it is mottled instead of solid in colour) and white (with coloured head markings and often one or more body spots in any of the three colours mentioned.
The television series “Lassie” made Lassie the beloved symbol of Collies in North America. The Collie was originally bred to herd sheep, and still has a strong protective instinct, which makes them an excellent choice for a family dog. The collie is part of the Herding Group. These dogs weight 55 to 80 pounds and stand 22 to 26 inches tall.
The Collie is strong and graceful and has lots of endurance. The dog’s almond shaped eyes seem to sparkle with intelligence. The Collie’s ears are 3/4 erect with 1/4 folded. This makes its appearance both alert and appealing. The coat can either be rough or smooth. The rough coat is longer and fuller than the smooth. The breed can come in sable and white, tricolour (black, white and tan), blue merle or white.
The Collie enjoys living in the midst of an active family. This breed love to spend time outside and loves to be with its people. Although the Collie is friendly and outgoing, this dog is protective of its family and takes its duties seriously. Your Collie will bark at intruders whether they are people, cats, squirrels or pieces of garbage blowing around the yard.
The Collie is very smart and it is highly recommended that you attend puppy training classes. This will assist you with the development of good habits at a young age.
Although a rough coated Collie has long hair, the dog does not need extensive grooming. Brushing your dog’s hair several times a week helps to avoid mats. Specifically, pay attention to behind the ears and around the legs.
If you are looking for a medium sized dog, that loves a family and loves to play with kids, the Collie may just be the perfect pet for you!
The best place to purchase a collie puppy is directly from a reputable breeder. There are many dedicated breeders throughout the country who are sincerely concerned in selling you a puppy which you will be proud to own. Names of breeders can be obtained from the Canadian Kennel Club or through the Dogs Annual.
Your new puppy should be at least 8 weeks old before you bring it home. We suggest that you visit the breeder several times so that your puppy can become familiar with you. Most breeders will accept visitors after the pups are three weeks of age of so. It is a great time for the breeder to observe as your family interacts with the pups. This assists the breeder in helping to make sure the selected puppy is a good match with your family. Some breeders may do a formal interview as well.
Your puppy should be healthy and alert. There should be no signs of discharge from the eyes or nose and his fur should glisten. There should not be any limp in his gait. Although, plump healthy puppies have an awkward waddle when they move!
The pup you select should have his first set of shots and been dewormed. He should also have visited a canine ophthalmologist to be sure that there are no hereditary eye issues. A registered puppy will also have either a microchip implanted or a tattoo for registration with the Canadian Kennel Club. Breeders will provide you with their Pet/Companion Contract. Be sure that the contract contains the following information: Date of birth, sire’s name and registration number, dam’s name and registration number, microchip number, and guarantees that are offered. Official registration for the dog are transferred once they are received from the Canadian Kennel Club.
It is important to make preparations for your new puppy making sure you have the essential materials for him to become part of your family. Crate training is strongly encouraged as the puppy then has a “place” to call his own. Once comfortable with this space a puppy will often retreat there for peace and quiet.
When you bring the puppy home let him discover and explore his new surroundings. He will soon be eager to play and make friends with everyone he meets. Make sure you have the same food as what the breeder was using and if you decide to change over to a different food it is best to do this in a gradual slow manner.
Collies are naturally clean animals and as such training will be fairly simple. It is important to remember that young puppies are small and lack self control and will need to be let outside frequently. Specifically it is essential to take him out after each meal, and every hour or so in between. It is highly recommended that you take him to the same spot and praise him when he “goes”. Gradually lengthen the interval between trips but always try to get him out before he has a mistake. As the trainer you must be alert to the puppy giving you a signal that he needs to take a trip outside. Signs might include going to the door, whining, moving about in a circle etc.
We high recommend that you take your new puppy to visit your veterinarian within the first 48 hours of bring him home. This will give your vet a baseline of what the puppy’s health is like. We provide you with an information sheet including: when your puppy has been inoculated; when the next set of shots are due; when it was de-wormed and the results; the microchip number; and other recommendations are food and routines. Your vet will be able to give you advice on these recommendations and routines.
Proper feeding for your puppy is vitally important to his future development and health. He requires a great deal more food for his weight, than a grown dog. He also requires a high quality food with the essential minerals and vitamins for a puppy.
We suggest that puppies are fed at the same time each day, breaking the daily intake into two equal servings. One in the morning and one around supper time, a good habit is to line this up with when you are having breakfast and supper. This also assists with keeping the dog away from the table and having them refraining from begging.
When you first bring your pup home, it may be necessary to add warm water or a tablespoon or two of canned food to get them eating regularly again. Remember this might be the first time that they are not with their littermates and that can throw them off a little.
At about 6 to 9 months of age the decision can be made whether to maintain the twice a day feeding schedule or switching to once a day. By this time the pup will be eating somewhere between three to four cups of food. Monitor their weight and adjust accordingly. You do not want your dog to be overweight as that has a significant impact on their health and well being.
Always keep a fresh dish of water available for your dog both inside and out.
Some Helpful "Don'ts"
DON’T ever make an abrupt change in the dog’s diet. New food should be introduced gradually, over several days.
DON’T add more than one fourth of any unbalanced food to his diet. Meat for one does not contain enough calcium for proper bone growth.
DON’T feed ordinary bones such as steak or chicken bones. These can splinter and cause internal injuries or death. A beef knuckle or shank bone, cooked or raw, can help with the craving to chew while teething.
DON’T feed raw egg whites – cooked eggs are not harmful.
DON’T feed your puppy if you are going in the car – unless you like cleaning up a mess. Once you have determined that they no longer get car sick then you can start feeding on days of trips!
Frequently grooming aids a puppy’s coat, keeps it free of dirt and helps loose hairs from settling in your house. A puppy usually shed his first fuzzy coat at 3 to 5 months and will look like he doesn’t have much hair until 7 to 9 months when he grows a longer outer coat and a new inner one (undercoat). As a rule they shed about once a year for a few weeks after he is grown. Daily brushing is important at this time to assist with the removal of dead hair.
We suggest using a pin brush on your puppy and line brush the hair. This way you get close to the skin and help to prevent mats. Watch for mats behind the ears, where the hair is finer, and on the insides of both front and hind legs near the body. The more your puppy enjoys being brushed the better. This will assist with keeping him clean and bathing then becomes greatly reduced. We recommend a spring and fall bath. The will help your collie to keep the natural oils in their coat.
Nails should be regularly clipped, either by you the owner or on a trip to the vet or groomer.
Make sure that you check your puppy’s ears and clean them frequently. We have had good success with a cotton ball or pad and alcohol. Be careful to not let any drip down into the ear canal.
The correct ear carriage for a collie is three fourths erect. In other words, the top one fourth should tip forward. This can be assisted by using Japanese Ear tape or Jiffy sew to help form the proper fold in the ear.
If the ears are too low, the ears can be braced using mole skin, Japanese ear tape or some form of prop. It is best to get assistance from your breeder with this. It is important to do this while the puppy is growing.