Whenever we take the collies for a walk, people stop us to talk about them. Ryder, in particular, brings a smile to people's faces and his happy nature invites people to stop and chat for a while. I'm sure it's because Ryder is a rough collie, and he reminds people of Lassie or of their own childhood collie, or both. We have even had people stop their cars in the middle of the street to tell us how beautiful Ryder looks.
The girls, being smooth collies, are less recognizable. But their sweet personalities, pretty markings, and beautiful faces also have people stopping us to ask about them. We have been asked if they were shepherd mixes or grey hound mixes. Some people even ask us "why did we shave our collies?" We then explain about the smooth coat, and many are amazed because they never knew the smooth coated variety of collie existed.
Children flock to collies, like bees to flowers, and the admiration is mutual. Not only are our collies careful and gentle with small children, they are fascinated by them. I can't count how many times they have spotted a child and dragged us over to say "hello." The children we have encountered seem to know that the collies love them, often wrapping their little arms around a collie neck to share a hug. (Which sets our collies' entire bodies to wagging in delight!)
Older adults often reminisce with us about their childhoods, and how they grew up with collies. And many tell us about how they watched the Lassie TV show every week. We have also heard many times that "you never see collies anymore." It's so strange, with so many people loving this breed so deeply, that collies aren't more popular.
Some days, during our walks, it feels like we are accompanying celebrities on a goodwill tour! They never seem to tire of making new friends. Which is why we have begun attending AKC "Meet the Breeds" events with our collies. It is a great way to educate people about this wonderful breed, that has captured hearts for generations.
Here are some fun facts about collies:
- The collie originated in Scotland.
- The role of Lassie, the most famous collie, was always played by a male collie.
- Most collies dislike getting dirty, and they will even avoid mud puddles!
- Collies are one of the most intelligent breeds, which makes them easy to train. But they are also sensitive, so only positive training methods should be used.
- Collies are talented and eager to please, which means they can compete in a variety of competitions – herding, agility, obedience, Rally, dance. And they can also serve as search and rescue, therapy or guide dogs.
- Collies are “nosey,” and are always checking on their humans. If they can’t be by your side, they can be seen peeking around doors, shower curtains or windows, to see what you are doing or if you need their “help.” They need to be with their families, so if you want an “outside” dog, this is not the breed for you.
- Male collies typically weigh around 60 to 75 pounds, females are usually smaller and weigh 50 to 65 pounds.
- Collies come in four coat colors – tri-color, white, blue merle, or sable and white