Rough Collie

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  • Rough Collie in Great Britain
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  • Rough Collie

Pastoral Group

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Exercise Level:
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Good with Children:
Good with other pets:
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Height: 61 - 66cm M | 56 - 61cm F
Weight: 270 - 34kg M | 23 - 29kg F
Life Expectancy: 140 - 16 Years

Searching for a Rough Collie?


The Rough Collie is a Scottish dog that descended from ancient herding dogs brought by Romans in 50 BC. It boasts of an elegant appearance thanks to its luxurious coat, which is tedious to maintain. The breed remains a popular choice as a family pet worldwide not just for its beauty but also its easygoing and calm disposition.

Are you thinking of getting a Rough Collie? Here is a brief background of this elegant and well-mannered Scottish dog.


book icon History

The Rough Collie and its cousin the Smooth Collie are descendants of ancient herding dogs bought by Romans in 50 BC to Scotland and Wales. These old dogs were named after the Scottish black-faced sheep called the Colley. Early Collies, a mixture of short- and long-haired varieties, were bred with the Borzoi during the industrial revolution when owning a dog became a fashion statement. The resulting puppies had a more “noble” head, which is a characteristic of Rough Collies.

Queen Victoria became a fan of the Rough Collie breed and brought some of these attractive and gentle dogs to England. It was first exhibited in a Birmingham Dog Society show in 1860 under the name Scottish Sheepdog. It was brought to the USA in 1879. Rough Collies became popular throughout the world thanks to the American film adaptation of the 1940s book “Lassie Come Home.” The Rough Collie remains to be a popular choice as a family and companion dog worldwide. It is registered with The Kennel Club under the Pastoral group.


comb icon Appearance and Grooming

The Rough Collie is a beautiful and elegant dog boasting of a long luxurious coat. This medium breed has an average size of 50 to 70 pounds and 51 to 66 centimetres at the withers. Its body is slightly longer than it is tall. It has a well-chiselled and wedge-shaped head that is well proportioned to its body, a flat skull, a strong jaw with a perfect scissor bite, and small ears. It has almond-shaped dark brown eyes with an intelligent, kind and thoughtful expression. Merle-coated dogs have blue or blue-flecked eyes, which can be one or both.

The Rough Collie has an abundant and lush double coat composed of a straight harsh outer coat and a soft, furry and thick undercoat. Hair around its neck is thick, forming a unique mane. The accepted colours according to KC standards are blue merle, sable & white and tricolour.

The Rough Collie has high maintenance grooming needs and would require professional grooming at least two or three times a year so its coat is manageable at home. In between visits, daily brushing is necessary because it sheds heavily all year round, more so during shedding seasons (spring and autumn). Aside from coat care, make sure that its teeth are brushed twice a week, ears cleaned to remove wax build-up and nails trimmed regularly.


bulb icon Temperament and Intelligence

The Rough Collie is a well-mannered and even-tempered breed. It is an ideal family pet because of its placid and gentle nature. It is also a great choice for first-time owners. This intuitive breed has an incredible ability to predict its owner’s needs and has an affinity with children of all ages. However, as with any dog breed, adult supervision is important to avoid accidents especially when innocent play becomes too rowdy. Also keep in mind that the breed will have herding instincts so it may herd your kids and nip at their heels. It usually gets along with other pets it grows up with including cats. However, the neighbour’s cats and other small animals are a different story because it usually considers them as fair game.

The Rough Collie is an intelligent breed and a fast learner that is eager to please, making training rather easy. However, it also has a tendency to learn bad habits, which can easily be curbed through consistent and firm yet gentle training with plenty of positive reinforcements. Since this breed easily gets bored, keep trainings short and fun.

It is worth knowing that although the Rough Collie is a placid and gentle dog, it needs to know its place in the pack, which should be below everyone else in the house. It is smart enough to realise that if no rules are set, it can get away with anything and will try to become dominant. It will need direction from its alpha to grow up obedient and well behaved.


food icon Nutrition and Feeding

A typical serving for an adult Rough Collie is 2 to 3 cups of excellent quality dry dog food per day. Keep in mind that the amount of food you give your dog depends on its size, age, physique, activity level, and metabolism. You may consult a veterinarian to ensure your dog is getting the right nutrients. Typical calorie needs of adult Rough Collie per day:

  • Senior and less active: up to 1,500 calories daily
  • Typical adults: up to 1,690 calories daily
  • Physically active/working dogs: up to 1,880 calories daily

This medium dog will benefit from a diet rich in protein from animal meat. Whether you feed it fresh home-prepared or commercial dog food is up to you. When you choose the former, ensure that your dog’s diet is nutritionally balanced. Ask your vet for the right supplements to avoid deficiencies. If you choose to go for commercial, read the labels and stay away from those filled with artificial flavours and be wary of by products and the word meal (i.e. chicken meal), which is the dried protein after the water is removed from the meat.


stethoscope icon Health and Exercise

The Rough Collie is a generally healthy dog that can live up to 16 years when properly cared for. However, there are certain hereditary and congenital ailments it can suffer from that are worth knowing such as eye issues like Collie Eye Anomaly, Multifocal Retinal Dysplasia and Progressive Retinal Atrophy. It can also develop deafness, Hip Dysplasia, Multi-drug resistance, Degenerative Myelopathy, and Nasal Solar Dermatitis.

The Rough Collie is an intelligent dog that would need 60 to 80 minutes of exercise every day. Exercise will be a great bonding time for you and your dog so aside from allowing it to romp in a back garden, take it out for a walk and have it perform canine sports like agility, flyball and obedience. If it is not able to release its energy, the Rough Collie can be destructive.


pound icon Cost of Ownership

Owning a dog entails financial responsibilities that can be overwhelming if one is not prepared. We have listed down some of the most important costs of raising Rough Collies to see if you can afford to own one now or still need to save up.

  • Well-bred pedigree Rough Collie puppy - £400 to £800
  • Pet insurance - £20 for basic and £40 for lifetime coverage
  • Veterinary expenses - up to £1,000 annually
  • Food - £40 to £50 per month
  • Basic equipment - initial cost of £200

You will be spending roughly £70 to £90 per month to raise a Rough Collie, depending on the insurance coverage you select.


Is a Rough Collie Right for You?

  • The Rough Collie is an ideal pet for families and first-time owners because of its gentle and kind nature.
  • It has high-maintenance grooming needs.
  • Although naturally well mannered, Rough Collies still need guidance from owners so rules can be set.
  • The breed excels in canine sports such as agility and flyball.
  • It gets along with other dogs but cats and other small animals are considered fair game.

Are you sure the Rough Collie is the best breed for you? Take the Pet Breed Selector Quiz to find your perfect breed match.

Dog Breed Selector Quiz

Try taking our Pet Finder to know other breeds suitable for you if you are having doubts about owning a Rough Collie.

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The information, including measurements, prices and other estimates, on this page is provided for general reference purposes only.

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