The Rough Coat Collie
Four 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
is mottled gray, and the white collie. The white collie generally has a
colored head, tri, sable, or merle. All have white coat areas, in the
collar, parts of the leg, and sometimes the tail tip. Some may have
white blazes on their faces. Rough Collies have a more pointed face than
the smaller, but otherwise very similar Shetland Sheepdog
, which is partly descended from the
Rough Collie. 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.
The desired size and weight varies among breed standards; male
collies can stand 55.8 to 66 cm (22 to 26 in) at the shoulder; the
female averages 5 cm (2 in) shorter. The males are usually in the weight
range (45 - 75 lbs) and the females are usually 5 to 10lbs less.
Anecdotely, large breed rough collies from the U.S. can weigh in excess
of 100lbs. According to the American and UK Kennel clubs Breed
standards, UK Rough Collies may be a lot smaller than their USA
counterparts; USA breeds can still qualify for the AKC standards.
One of the characteristic features of the Rough Collie is its head.
This is light in relation to the rest of the body, and resembles a
blunted wedge tapering smoothly from ears to black nose. The muzzle is
well rounded, and never square. There is considerable variation in the
colour of the head, however. The eyes are medium sized and attentive.
The ears are supposed to be bent, the bottom part vertical and the tips
sloped forwards, although the dog can lay them back, or hold them
vertical when alert. Rough Collies often have ears which do not bend at
all. They are simalar to a shetland sheepdogs although larger.
Once seen, the contrast between the Rough Collie head and that of a Border
is immediately apparent, the latter having a considerably
shorter muzzle and a distinct stop between muzzle and forehead. The ruff
is also distinctive in distinguishing the two breeds.
Tri-colored Sable Blue Merle White
The double layered coat needs to be brushed frequently and thoroughly
to keep it in a show condition, but it does not require extensive care.
Rough collies should show no nervousness or aggressiveness, and are
good with children and other animals.
However, they must be well socialized to prevent shyness. They are mid
to large sized dogs, are suited to live in small apartments because of
their calm disposition; as they are not high strung as the poodle,
labrador and other hunting breeds. The herding instinct is very much
apparent in some dogs, but other dogs do not show this as much. Rough
Collies are very loyal and protective to their owners. They are a good
family dog. They are eager to learn and to please and respond best to a
gentle hand. They relish human company and should be let outside as they
need to run and exercise. By nature gentle and domesticated, they are
fearless in danger and will rush to defend their owners.
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
Health - Be sure to view our commitment below in Red
While Rough Collies are generally resilient and healthy, there are
some health issues that can affect the breed.
Collie eye anomaly
(CEA), a genetic disease
which causes improper
development of the eye and possible blindness, is a common ailment in
More rarely, Collies can be affected by Progressive retinal atrophy
(PRA), another genetic disease in which bilateral degeneration of the retina
results in progressive vision loss culminating in blindness.
Through genetic testing and careful screening program it would be
theoretically possible to eradicate both of these problems in purebred
lines, however, certainly in the UK, the Kennel Club does not require
these tests to be done either for registration or showing. Some people
(particularly professional breeders) claim that the problem is made
worse with the less rigid breeding standards of home breeders
and puppy mill breeders
but there are no scientific studies to support this. Collie puppies
should be screened at an early age by a certified veterinaryophthalmologist
for both of these problems.
Note, the UK Kennel Club "Accredited Breeder Scheme" requires eye tests
the genetic test for this class of members ,
however, a very small proportion of UK registered puppies are bred
under this scheme.
is a cyclic blood disorder that is usually fatal
to affected puppies. The disease is also referred to as "gray collie
syndrome," due to affected puppies having a pale gray, pinkish/gray or
beige coloring, none of which are normal Collie colors. Puppies that
survive through adulthood are plagued with immune disorders
lives and rarely live more than three years. DNA testing
can help detect carriers of the
recessive gene that causes the disease.
: As with most of the
larger breeds, hip dysplasia is a potential concern for Rough Collies.
Although this disease appears to be "multigene", careful selection by
many breeders is reducing this problem. The UK Kennel Club "Accredited
Breeder Scheme" requires hip-scores this class of members ,
however, a very small proportion of UK registered puppies are bred
under this scheme.
Collies may carry a mutant Mdr1
gene that results in a sensitivity to Ivermectin
and related drugs. A screening test is used to determine if alternative
medications are required. Overdoses from the proscribed medications can
result in neurological impairment or even death. This faulty gene is
present in several breeds, but is well known among collies.
COLLIE EYE DISEASES
Collies like other breeds of dogs have a number of inherited eye
Some of these are quite severe while others are relatively minor. The
ones we think should be considered are Collie eye anomaly (CEA) and
retinal atrophy (PRA)
COLLIE EYE ANOMALY
Collie eye anomaly was first reported in 1953. The original report
a description of pale area in the retina due to a deficiency of blood
along with a bulging of the back of the eye and retinal detachments.
first reports a number of studies have been completed and tens of
Collie dogs have been examined. Based on these studies and examinations,
specific breeding recommendations have been proposed. CEA is the
development of the eye that is present as early as the 28th day of
The defect involves the sclera (white outer wall of the eye) and the
(blood vessel layer in back of the eye). Additionally, the retina
the eye that turns light into electricity), the retinal blood vessels
optic nerve are also involved. Clinically the severity of CEA is
variable--ranging from no apparent vision defect to total blindness. It
in rough and smooth Collies and all color coats are involved. Most
to 90%) with CEA do not demonstrate vision problems. CEA is a simple
defect. This means that a gene from both mother and father
state) must be present for CEA to develop. Carrier animals (who have the
from only mother or father) and normal animals cannot be
on an ophthalmic or eye examination. A number of researchers have
separate the various aspects of the disease but were unable to do so.
disease was first described, such a large percentage of the population
affected that a number of grading systems were devised to make
of individuals easier. It was the feeling of some people at the time
severity of the disease might be lessened by breeding individuals with
problems to each other. Certainly this idea has had its place in history
breeding better Collies.
Unfortunately dogs with minor afflictions can and do produce
afflicted offspring. Likewise blind parents can produce less
offspring. An individual with a mildest problem is just as bad as a
blind dog for the purpose of genetic selection. Because the grading
remains firmly entrenched within the Collie breeding community, a
the grades and categories is appropriate:
torturous retinal vessels, extremely small areas of choroidal
torturous retinal vessels, substantial areas of choroidal hypoplasia
tortuous retinal vessels, substantial areas of choroidal hypoplasia
(blood vessel loss) with pits (colobomas) or areas of out pouching
the posterior segment
all the above defects with a retinal detachment
all the above defects with a retinal hemorrhage
It is possible for one eye to have a different grade than the other
eyes in almost all cases are affected. "Go normal" is a term
used to describe an affected individual, Grade 1 or Grade 2, in which
of choroidal hypoplasia fills in so it appears normal during later
These animals act genetically like the affected individuals that they
can set a breeding program back years. Because the lesion is present at
puppy eyes can be checked as early as 5 to 6 weeks of age. For the ease
examiner and to facilitate a more accurate exam, evaluation at 6 to 8
Royalty Collies of Cedar join in this fight to regulate and work diligently to prevent this disease from continuing. Each one of our puppies are normal eyed.
Female or male, you will receive information that will tell you what class and if they are a carrier or non-carrier. Also included will be information for breeding purposes. Even if your puppy is a carrier, depending on class, you will be given directions on what type you will need to breed with so we can keep your puppy and their continuing lines safe.
ROYALTY COLLIES OF CEDAR IS NOT A BREEDER MILL. WE TAKE OUR RESPONSIBILITIES SERIOUSLY AND ONLY RAISE HEALTHY PUPPIES AND ADULT COLLIES.
Controversies exist around eliminating this disorder from breeding
Collies. Some veterinarians
advocate only breeding dogs with
no evidence of disease, but this would eliminate a large portion of
potential breeding stock. Because of this, others recommend only
breeding mildly affected dogs, but this would never completely eradicate
the condition. Also, mild cases of choroidal hypoplasia may become
pigmented and therefore undiagnosable by the age of three to seven
months. If puppies are not checked for CEA before this happens, they may
be mistaken for normal and bred as such. Checking for CEA by seven
weeks of age can eliminate this possibility. Diagnosis is also difficult
in dogs with coats
of dilute color because lack of pigment in
the choroid of these animals can be confused with choroidal hypoplasia.
Also, because of the lack of choroidal pigment, mild choroidal
hypoplasia is difficult to see, and therefore cases of CEA may be
Until recently, the only way to know if a dog was a carrier
was for it to produce an
affected puppy. However, a genetic test for CEA became available at the
beginning of 2005, developed by the Baker Institute for Animal Health, Cornell University
, and administered through OptiGen
The test can determine whether a dog is affected, a carrier, or clear,
and is therefore a useful tool in determining a particular dog's
suitability for breeding.
Rough Collies can compete in dog
, and herding
instincts Herding instincts and train-ability can be measured at
noncompetitive herding tests. Collies exhibiting basic herding instincts
can be trained to compete in herding trials.
a line of Collies originally owned by Rudd Weather wax that have starred
in numerous films, multiple television series, a radio program, and has
been the subject of various novels and non-fiction works. One of the
few animal actors to have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
- Lad, the main hero of Albert Payson Terhune's early 20th century novels
about his Sunnybank Collies.
- Pal, the first Collie to portray Lassie
and from whom the Lassie line is descended.
- Ch. Laund Loyalty of Bellhaven, a nine-month-old Rough Collie
who is the youngest dog to ever win the Westminster Kennel Club Dog
- Reveille VIII, the mascot of Texas A&M University.
- Colleen, a collie from London (voiced by Tress MacNeille) on Road
- Wilson, a Collie who appears in the Japanese manga series
Ginga: Nagareboshi Gin.
- The helpful Collie (voiced by Tom
Conway) , from 101 Dalmatians. He leads Pongo, Perdita and
the puppies into the safety of a dairy farm somewhere in Hertfordshire.
- Sam, Martin Riggs' dog who appears in every movie
from the Lethal Weapon
- Rob Roy and Prudence Prim, famous snow white Collies owned by
President Calvin and First Lady Gracie Coolidge.
- Laddie a parody of Lassie on The
Simpsons episode Canine Mutiny
- Zeb, dog from Olney, Maryland popular in the mid-Atlantic states as a "spokesdog" for
- Pip, dog from Bolton, England famous local rescue dog.
Mason, who portrayed the last "Lassie" in the latest Lassie Movie.
More information is in the Q & A Tab... I encourage anyone looking for a collie puppy or adult should read this information. It is very important to our family and yours to be informed before the purchase of any puppy.