collieThe origin of the Collie is a bit of a mystery, but breed experts agree these dogs have evolved in England and Scotland. Collies were bred by farmers for herding livestock.

The breed was introduced to Australia in the 1800s once again as a working dog to help settlers with their sheep farms. Although coming from the same family, the smooth and rough coat Collie should not be mistaken for the Border Collie, a different breed in it’s own right.

The Collie became prominent when Queen Victoria owned the breed and later its popularity sky rocketed when the breed played the famous canine character ‘Lassie’ in the movie Lassie Come Home.

Some Collies are still used for herding today and many others are kept as beloved pets. Collies are also successful in the show ring and canine sports, thanks to their impressive stamina, agility and train ability.

The highly intelligent and energetic Collie makes a great family pet


The Collie is gentle natured and very loving and devoted to its family. They are also easy to live with. They are highly intelligent, obedient and easy to train with some persistence. It is because of this gentle, obedient nature that Collies make excellent family pets.

Collies are generally a lazy dog with just a couple of bursts of energy a day. They much prefer to follow you around the house and lie at your feet. They do enjoy being walked and love a game with a tug toy or chase a ball. They also take pleasure in obedience training but tend to easily get bored.

Collies are a good guard dog. They are protective of family, friends and property, and reserved to strangers.


Don’t purchase a Collie unless you are prepared to groom regularly. They are not difficult to groom. A good brushing with a pin brush through to the skin once a week is ample to keep your Collie looking good.

Collies also need a bath every five weeks. They are not a smelly breed, as long as they are kept in good condition and free of fleas.

Their coat drops once a year and when this happens, they need to be brushed and combed out more to get rid of loose fur. If you don’t have the time to groom a rough coat Collie, then the smooth-coated Collie is an ideal alternative as you have the same dog just without the coat.

Collies don’t require a lot but do need regular exercise, such as a daily walk. They enjoy the companionship of their owner during any exercise time.

Like all dogs, Collies require regular tick, flea, intestinal worms and heartworm treatments. Consult your veterinarian on treatment options. Desexing and vaccination against diseases, such as the deadly parvo virus and highly infectious canine cough, are also important to discuss with your vet.


Collies are best suited to gentle and quietly-spoken owners. They are a sensitive breed, aim to please and don’t like getting into trouble. Collies can be easily controlled just by the tone of your voice.

The breed is considered to be one of the best-suited family dogs. They are great with children; they are watchful and protective of them – just like in the Lassie movie. But like with any breed, supervision is important around young children who may not know how to interact with dogs.

The Collie is suitable for an apartment as long as they get sufficient exercise. They are happiest with at least an average-sized yard.

Fact file

Breed classification Working Dog
Size Large
Origin Scotland & England
Lifespan 13 years
Colors Sable and white, tricolor (black white and tan) blue merle
Cost $1200 – $1500
Common hereditary problems Collie Eye Anomaly.