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, which 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.
Rough Collie head
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 Collie 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 the breed. 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 to check for both of these problems. Note, the UK Kennel Club "Accredited Breeder Scheme" requires eye tests and recommends the genetic test for this class of members , however, a very small proportion of UK registered puppies are bred under this scheme.
Canine cyclic neutropenia 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 throughout their lives and rarely live more than three years. DNA testing can help detect carriers of the recessive gene that causes the disease.
Hip dysplasia: 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.

Collies like other breeds of dogs have a number of inherited eye defects. Some of these are quite severe while others are relatively minor. The important ones we think should be considered are Collie eye anomaly (CEA) and progressive retinal atrophy (PRA).
Collie eye anomaly was first reported in 1953. The original report included a description of pale area in the retina due to a deficiency of blood vessels along with a bulging of the back of the eye and retinal detachments. Since the first reports a number of studies have been completed and tens of thousands of Collie dogs have been examined. Based on these studies and examinations, specific breeding recommendations have been proposed. CEA is the incomplete development of the eye that is present as early as the 28th day of development. The defect involves the sclera (white outer wall of the eye) and the choroid (blood vessel layer in back of the eye). Additionally, the retina (portion of the eye that turns light into electricity), the retinal blood vessels and the optic nerve are also involved. Clinically the severity of CEA is variable--ranging from no apparent vision defect to total blindness. It is found in rough and smooth Collies and all color coats are involved. Most Collies (80 to 90%) with CEA do not demonstrate vision problems. CEA is a simple recessive defect. This means that a gene from both mother and father (homozygous state) must be present for CEA to develop. Carrier animals (who have the gene from only mother or father) and normal animals cannot be separated based on an ophthalmic or eye examination. A number of researchers have attempted to separate the various aspects of the disease but were unable to do so. When the disease was first described, such a large percentage of the population was affected that a number of grading systems were devised to make classifications of individuals easier. It was the feeling of some people at the time that the severity of the disease might be lessened by breeding individuals with minor problems to each other. Certainly this idea has had its place in history of breeding better Collies. Unfortunately dogs with minor afflictions can and do produce severely afflicted offspring. Likewise blind parents can produce less afflicted offspring. An individual with a mildest problem is just as bad as a totally blind dog for the purpose of genetic selection. Because the grading system remains firmly entrenched within the Collie breeding community, a discussion of the grades and categories is appropriate:

Grade 1 torturous retinal vessels, extremely small areas of choroidal hypoplasia
Grade 2 torturous retinal vessels, substantial areas of choroidal hypoplasia
Grade 3 tortuous retinal vessels, substantial areas of choroidal hypoplasia (blood vessel loss) with pits (colobomas) or areas of out pouching (ectasia) in the posterior segment
Grade 4 all the above defects with a retinal detachment
Grade 5 all the above defects with a retinal hemorrhage

It is possible for one eye to have a different grade than the other but both 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 the area of choroidal hypoplasia fills in so it appears normal during later examinations. These animals act genetically like the affected individuals that they are. They can set a breeding program back years. Because the lesion is present at birth, puppy eyes can be checked as early as 5 to 6 weeks of age. For the ease of the examiner and to facilitate a more accurate exam, evaluation at 6 to 8 weeks is recommended.

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.


Breeding and testing
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 missed.
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 agility trials, obedience, showmanship, flyball, tracking, and herding events.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.

Notable Rough Collies
Lassie TV series, filming on location in Florida (1965)
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.
Thank you.