What's Good About 'Em,
What's Bad About 'Em
Rough and Smooth Collie Temperament, Personality, Behavior, Traits, and Characteristics, by Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2014
Though they have a working heritage as a herding breed, modern Collies need only moderate exercise. But they need a great deal more personal attention -- Collies become unhappy if left for long periods of time without the companionship of people or other pets, and unhappiness can result in chronic barking or destructive chewing.
Collies have a soft, sweet personality. They do not do well in an environment with frequent tension or loud voices.
Collies are peaceful with other pets and polite with strangers. As with most sweet-natured breeds, there is potential for timidity; young Collies need to be thoroughly socialized in order to build a confident temperament.
Collies can have a mild stubborn streak, but they're easy to train if you maintain a calm voice and a light hand on the leash. Sensitivity is one of the hallmarks of this breed. Often they need only verbal corrections, and they become confused and skittish if you jerk them around. Praise, gentle guidance, and food rewards are all that is needed with most Collies. Some individuals, unfortunately, can be hypersensitive and highstrung.
The most common behavioral issue is excessive barking (typically when bored and left outside).
>Smooth Collies, in general, are more energetic, more athletic and agile, more outgoing, and retain more working instincts. Rough Collies, in general, are calmer and more reserved. Some say Smooth Collies tend to be extroverts, and Rough Collies tend to be introverts.
If you want a dog who...
- Is elegant and graceful, rather than powerful
- Comes in two coat lengths and many striking colors
- Is sweet-natured and gentle
- Makes a good watchdog, but is not aggressive
- Is polite with strangers and other pets
- Is athletic and animated but needs only moderate exercise
- Is not difficult to train
A Rough or Smooth Collie may be right for you.
If you don't want to deal with...
- Providing sufficient exercise and mental stimulation to prevent boredom
- "Separation anxiety" (destructiveness and barking) when left alone too much
- Shyness or fearfulness in some lines, or when not socialized enough
- Chasing things that move (instinctive herding behaviors)
- Potential barking
- Frequent brushing and combing (Rough coat)
- Heavy shedding (both coats)
- Potential for serious health problems
A Rough or Smooth Collie may not be right for you.
- choosing the RIGHT breeder and the RIGHT puppy
- or choosing an ADULT dog from your animal shelter or rescue group – a dog who has already proven that he doesn't have negative traits
- training your dog to respect you
- avoiding health problems by following my daily care program in 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy
More traits and characteristics of the Rough or Smooth Collie
If I was considering a Scottish Collie, I would be most concerned about...
- Providing enough exercise and mental stimulation. Though they don't need miles of running exercise, Collies must have regular opportunities to vent their energy and do interesting things. Otherwise they will become rambunctious and bored -- which they usually express by barking and destructive chewing.
- Providing enough socialization. Standoffish by nature, Collies need extensive exposure to people and to unusual sights and sounds. Otherwise their natural caution can become shyness.
- Emotional sensitivity. Be honest...is there tension in your home? Are people loud or angry or emotional? Are there arguments or fights? Collies are extremely sensitive to stress and may behave neurotically if the people in their home are having family problems. Collies are peaceful dogs who need a harmonious home.
- Barking. Some Collies, especially those who are highstrung or bored, are often too quick to sound the alarm at every new sight and sound. You have to be equally quick to stop them. For the same reason, Collies should not be left outside in your yard, unsupervised.
- Heavy shedding. Rough and Smooth Collies shed a LOT. You'll find hair and fur is deposited all over your clothing, upholstery, carpeting, and under your furniture.
- Regular brushing and combing (Rough coat). Without frequent brushing, Rough Collies will become a matted mess. Even Smooth Collies need frequent brushing because of all the shedding. (Hairs that end up in the brush do not end up on your clothes, furniture, and floor.)
- Health problems. Eye diseases are very common, as are skin disorders. Epilepsy and heart disease have become concerns, as well.
To learn more about training Rough and Smooth Collies to be calm and well-behaved, consider my dog training book,
Teach Your Dog 100 English Words.
It's a unique Vocabulary and Respect Training Program that will make your Collie the smartest, most well-behaved companion you've ever had.
Teaches your dog to listen to you, to pay attention to you, and to do whatever you ask him to do.
My dog buying guide, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams, will teach you everything you need to know about finding a healthy Rough or Smooth Collie puppy. Health problems have become so widespread in dogs today that this book is required reading for ANYONE who is thinking of getting a purebred, crossbred, or mixed breed dog.
If you'd like to consult with me personally about whether the Scottish Collie might be a good dog breed for your family, I offer a Dog Breed Consulting Service.
Once you have your Collie home, you need to KEEP him healthy -- or if he's having any current health problems, you need to get him back on the road to good health.
My dog health care book, 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy is the book you need.
Raise your dog the right way and you will be helping him live a longer, healthier life while avoiding health problems and unnecessary veterinary expenses.
Please consider adopting an ADULT Scottish Collie...
When you're acquiring a Collie PUPPY, you're acquiring potential -- what he one day will be. So "typical breed characteristics" are very important.
But when you acquire an adult dog, you're acquiring what he already IS and you can decide whether he is the right dog for you based on that reality. There are plenty of adult Collies who have already proven themselves NOT to have negative characteristics that are "typical" for their breed. If you find such an adult dog, don't let "typical breed negatives" worry you. Just be happy that you found an atypical individual -- and enjoy!
Save a life. Adopt a dog.
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