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. Smooth collies have the same body type as rough collies, they just have short fur. While many claim the smooths are more energetic than the rough coated collies, there are laid back smooths.
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!) It doesn't matter if the collie is a rough or a smooth, when they see children it's love at first sight.
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. I think many people hesitate about getting a collie because they imagine their coats will be too much work. But few realize that smooths are collies too, and their coats are much easier to care for.
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. And it's also a great way to promote the smooth collie, to make the public aware that there are two varieties of collies.
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.
- Many collies dislike getting dirty, and some of ours even avoid stepping in 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, service 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
- If you breed a rough and a smooth collie together, you can have both rough puppies and smooth puppies in the litter. If you breed two rough collies together, you will only get rough puppies, as rough is a recessive gene. If you breed two smooths together, and both the male and female have one rough parent , you can end up with a rough puppy in the litter.
We have had a few people recently comment, to ask about why some of the collies' coats are so short. So we decided to share this post again, to explain the difference in coat types.