Sunday, September 26, 2010

Rough Collie Dog

The Rough Collie (also known as the Long-Haired Collie) is a breed of dog developed originally for herding in Scotland. It is well known through the works of author Albert Payson Terhune, and latterly through the Lassie novel, movies, and television shows. There is also a smooth-coated variety; some breed organizations consider the smooth-coat and rough-coat dogs to be variations of the same breed.
Three coat colors are recognized for Rough Collies: sable and white, where the "sable" ranges from pale tan to a mahogany; tricolour, which is primarily black edged in tan; blue merle, which is mottled gray. All have white coat areas, in the collar, parts of the leg, and usually the tail tip. Some may have white blazes on their faces. In addition, the American Kennel Club accepts white, where the dog is predominantly white with colored markings of sable, tricolor, or blue merle on the head and sometimes body patches. Rough Collies have a blunter face than the smaller, but otherwise very similar Shetland Sheepdog, which is partly descended from the Rough Collie. The planes of the muzzle and the top of the skull should be parallel in collies, with a slight but distinct stop. (In shelties, the planes are not parallel.) The downy undercoat is covered by a long, dense, coarse outer coat with a notable ruff around the neck, feathers about the legs, a petticoat on the abdomen, and a frill on the hindquarters.

Temperament

Rough collies should show no nervousness or aggression, and are generally good with children and other animals. However, they must be well socialized to prevent shyness. They are medium to large sized dogs, but can be well suited to live in small apartments because of their calm disposition. Like many herding dogs, collies can be fairly vocal, and some are difficult to train not to bark. The amount of herding instinct varies, with some dogs being quite drivey and others being very laid back. Rough Collies are very loyal and may be one-family dogs (although most make exceptions for children), but are very rarely aggressive or protective beyond barking and providing a visual deterrent. They are typically excellent with children as long as they have been well-socialized and trained. They are eager to learn and respond best to a gentle hand. They relish human company and generally fare poorly as outdoor dogs. They are typically very gentle and while some individuals may rush to protect their dogs, Lassie IS only a myth. Due to several booms in the popularity of this breed, breeders more concerned with profit than breeding good dogs have produced Collies that are high-strung, neurotic or extremely shy[. These problems are not typical of well-bred Collies, and can usually be avoided by acquiring a Collie either through an ethical breeder or a good rescue organization.


Grooming

The double layered coat needs to be brushed frequently and thoroughly to keep it in a show condition. Pet dogs need less maintenance but still a significant amount. The profuse coat picks up grass seeds and burrs, and many dogs tend to mat to some degree, particularly behind the ears, around the collar (if a collar is left on the dog), and in the pants. Shaving collies is very bad for their skin and some do not regrow any significant amount of hair after being shaved. Spaying and neutering can alter coat texture, making it softer and more prone to matting. Individuals who like collies but do not love grooming are strongly recommended to consider a smooth collie instead.

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