Collies began tending sheep in Scotland and northern England hundreds of years ago. Some believe they were called "coaly" dogs because their coats were mostly black as coal, with white. The name gradually became "Collie." Since then, writer Albert Payson Terhune's Collie stories and the Lassie movies have firmly established this breed as one of the most beloved and loyal of dogs.
Collies are smart dogs with natural herding and protecting abilities. Like all working dogs, Collies need organized activities to thrive. Trained with a gentle, loving hand, they will learn quickly and happily.
Collies are active, proud, and cautious. The Collie will be content in the country or the city, as long as he has family companionship. The Collie listens to people and understands their moods; they are especially fond of children. Collies come in rough (long) or smooth (short) coats. Both require daily brushing when shedding.
Excerpts from the Standard
General Appearance: A strong, responsive, active dog; graceful and fast, with high intelligence. Impressive.
Size, Proportion, and Substance:Height--males, 24 to 26 inches at withers; females, 22 to 24 inches. Weight--males, 60 to 75 pounds; females, 50 to 65 pounds.
Two men once wanted to buy a Collie named Shep, who worked herding sheep on a Missouri farm. But first they wanted to test the dog's abilities. While Shep was leading the sheep to the yard, the farmer, when Shep couldn't see him, took one of the sheep into the woods and tied it to a tree. When the gate to the farmyard was opened for the sheep to go in, Shep, as always, watched them carefully. As the last sheep entered, Shep immediately became agitated. He dashed out into the countryside and quickly located the sheep hidden in the woods. The men were impressed and offered a large amount of money for the dog. "No," said the farmer smiling. "I'd never part with Shep. I just wanted you to see why."
Excerpted from The Complete Dog Book For Kids © 1996, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.