Rough and Smooth Collies (Book of the Breed)

rough collie

 Click on the cover above to go to this book at

Rough Collies became popular with Lassie, and this is one case where popularity in a movie has tended to have a happy outcome. Rough Collies are good family dogs, usually getting on very well with children. They are certainly a far more biddable breed than Dalmations, though they can develop bad habits if they don't get enough exercise and aren't trained properly. They are sensitive dogs, and learn well, so long as their owners are patient. They will tend to shut off if they are shouted at.

They have been used in a number of roles, including herding, search and rescue, and helping disabled people. Rough Collies are also generally outgoing and friendly and tend to get on well with other dogs. One reason they may get on so well with people is that they are so good looking with their long coats, that every passer by wants to pet them, and Rough Collies love this attention.

Smooth Collies are very similar to Rough Collies in terms of character, without the long hair, but they can be a little nervy and shy, and so may need a very gentle but firm approach to training, with no playbiting allowed when they are little so that they are less likely to snap from fear when they are older. It's especially important to check the temperament of Smooth Collie parents of any pup you are interested in.

What is the downside of Rough Collies? They are herders, so do need exercise and mental stimulation, preferably daily walks with their owner. They also need a lot of grooming, with at least one good grooming session every week, or they tend to mat. Many people prefer Smooth Collies because they don't need so much grooming, taking care to choose pups from parents with very good temperaments. Some rough collies can be nervy and a bit over sensitive too, and they can also be very barky.

Common health problems include skin disorders, which are partly hereditary, and can be affected by food and environmental chemicals, and possible sensitivity to some veterinary pharmaceutical products. Eye trouble can also be inherited. This is a good introductory guide to Rough and Smooth Collies, covering their history and general care, including grooming and training.