Rough Collie

Rough Collie

11 July 2023

Let's talk about... Rough Collies: what are they?

  • Rough Collies are a magnificent and intelligent breed that originated in Scotland.
  • They are well-known for their striking appearance, which includes a beautiful double coat and a distinctive mane of fur around their neck.
  • Collies have a rich history as herding dogs, but they have also become beloved family pets due to their gentle nature and loyalty.
  • The most famous Rough Collie on television is undoubtedly Lassie, which has led to a lot of people describing the breed as “Lassie dogs”.
  • On average, male Rough Collies stand between 56 to 61 cm in height, while females are slightly smaller, ranging from 51 to 56 cm.
  • They typically weigh between 20 to 29 kilograms.
  • Rough Collies have a life expectancy of around 12 to 14 years.
Rough Collie  Exercise Needs 4/5 Grooming Ease 3/5 Trainability 4/5

What is the temperament of Rough Collies like?

  • Rough Collies have a gentle and affectionate temperament, making them wonderful companions and family pets.
  • They are known for their loyalty and devotion to their owners.
  • Collies are generally good with children and other pets when properly socialised from a young age.
  • Collies have a natural herding instinct, which may lead them to try herding people or objects. Early socialisation and training can help redirect this behaviour into more appropriate outlets.
  • They are also known to be watchful and alert, making them good watchdogs.
Holly, the Rough Collie

How much exercise do Rough Collies need?

  • Rough Collies are an active breed that benefits from regular exercise to keep them physically and mentally stimulated.
  • On average, they require around 1 to 2 hours of exercise per day. This can include brisk walks, jogging, playing fetch, or participating in canine sports like obedience or agility.
  • It's important to provide them with a balanced routine that includes both physical exercise and mental enrichment activities. Puzzle toys, interactive games, and training sessions can help keep their minds engaged.
  • Although there is no scientific basis to the 5 minutes of exercise per month of age “rule”, it can be a guide to make sure you don’t over-exercise your puppy. Collie pups could get 5 minutes of exercise per month of age once or twice a day.
  • As well as walks though, fun, mental stimulating games can entertain and tire an active pup, especially one as smart as a Rough Collie.
  • Gradually increase their exercise duration and intensity as they grow, always keeping an eye on their comfort and well-being.
  • Rough Collie puppies typically reach full exercise capacity at an adult level around 12 to 18 months of age. Until then, monitor their exercise and avoid excessive running or jumping to protect their growing bones and joints.
Lucky, the Rough Collie

Do Rough Collies need a lot of grooming?

  • Rough Collies come in a variety of colours including blue merle, tri-colour, sable and white.
  • They have a stunning double coat that requires regular grooming to keep it in good condition.
  • Their outer coat is long, dense, and straight, while their undercoat is soft and insulating.
  • To maintain their coat, Rough Collies need to be brushed at least once or twice a week.
  • Use a slicker brush or a comb with medium-to-wide teeth to remove tangles, debris, and loose hair.
  • Pay special attention to areas prone to matting, such as behind the ears and around the neck.
  • During shedding seasons, which typically occur twice a year, Collies will require more frequent brushing to manage the increased hair loss. Daily brushing can help minimise shedding and keep their coat healthy.
  • Remember to give your Collie positive reinforcement and make grooming sessions a pleasant experience to strengthen the bond between you and your furry friend.
  • Like any dog, regular tooth brushing with a dog-specific toothpaste twice daily is ideal. If you can’t manage that often, just do it as often as you can.
Merlin and Griffin, the Rough Collies

Are Rough Collies easy to train?

  • They are intelligent dogs and eager to please, which makes training them a rewarding experience.
  • Collies are sensitive and respond best to positive reinforcement techniques such as praise, treats, and play.
  • Their willingness to learn, combined with their gentle nature, makes them well-suited for obedience training and various canine sports.
  • Collies excel in tasks that engage their minds, such as obedience training, agility, herding trials, and even search and rescue work. Providing mental stimulation alongside physical exercise helps prevent boredom and destructive behaviours.
  • Start training your Rough Collie from an early age to establish good habits and manners.
  • Gentle and patient training methods, while still being sure to be engaging and clear so they don’t get bored, work best with this breed.
Storm, the Rough Collie

What do Rough Collies eat?

  • Feeding your Rough Collie a balanced and nutritious diet is essential for their overall health and well-being. Choose a high-quality dog food that is appropriate for their age, size, and activity level. Consult with your veterinarian or breeder for specific dietary recommendations.
  • Divide their daily food into two meals as adults.
  • Feed them puppy food 3-4 times a day when they are young, reducing to twice a day at 6 months and feed puppy food until about 12 months old, or as advised by your pet food supplier and/or vet.
  • Avoid overfeeding or excessive treats, as Rough Collies can easily gain weight.

Are Rough Collies healthy?

Rough Collies are generally a healthy breed, but like all dogs, they can be prone to certain health conditions. It's essential to be aware of potential issues and provide them with proper care and regular veterinary check-ups.

Some health concerns associated with Rough Collies include:

Bleeding Disorders 

  • Von Willebrand’s Disease - an issue with platelet function in the blood stream causing bleeding

Bones and Joints

  • Hip Dysplasia - a condition where the thigh bone and pelvis do not sit together properly at the hip joint


  • Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA): A hereditary eye condition that can lead to visual impairment or blindness.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) - this is when the retina of the eye breaks down, leading to blindness. In collies this can be at a young age.


  • Epilepsy - A condition of the brain that causes dogs to have fits

This list is by no means comprehensive, if you have any concerns about the health of your dog, or if you want to discuss further if a Rough Collie is right for you, consult with your vet.

BorrowMyDoggy loves Rough Collies

BorrowMyDoggy has 546 Rough Collie members.

Information on this page should never replace advice given by your veterinarian.  Potential health issues presented are given as a guide only and are not meant to be comprehensive.  If you ever have any concerns about your dog’s health contact your local vet.

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