The Rough Collie is a fabulous family dog. They are loving, calm, and very smart. The rough collie does not need lots of exercise and on wet days they are more than happy with a quick walk and then spend the rest of the day snoozing or pottering around the home.

Rough collie puppies are a delight. They are inquisitive and intelligent which makes training really easy. Housetraining is usually an easy task to tick off the list especially if you choose a puppy from a reputable breeder who has raised the puppy in a home environment.  Rough collies need lots of desensitisation and socialisation from a young age, especially becoming accustomed to noises as their hearing is so acute that they can easily become startled by unfamiliar noises. They soon get used to the normal household sounds like the washing machine, hairdryer and vacuum cleaner but they may always be anxious when there are fireworks around.

Rough collies have little quirks that seem to be common to the breed. Lying in doorways, stretching out with their back legs training out behind them, crossing their front paws. Lifting their lips to smile ( which some people fear at first thinking the dog is showing his teeth) air biting. High pitched wining when excited. Pushing their head under your arm and leaning onto their human to make close contact.

If the rough collie lacks socialisation and has been reared in kennel environment they will need to catch up when they leave their siblings and the breeder. As long as the puppy arrives in it’s new home at 8 weeks than it is possible to catch up with socialisation that has been missed. In these cases the window between 8 and 12 weeks is very important and putting hard work and time during this period will pay off.

Rough collies have a double coat which keeps them warm in winter and cool in summer. Shaving a rough Collie to keep them cool does not work. If you do not want hit to groom then a rough collie is not for you and you may like to check out the smooth collie.

Rough collies do not need hours of grooming. As long as it is kept on top of, checking behind ears and arm pits for mats, a 10 minute session every other day is more than enough. They do not need to be bathed often. After a muddy walk a quick rinse of dirty legs is usually enough.

Rough collies do moult. It is usually just once a year and at that time they do lose a lot of hair. It may be a good idea to get your dog professionally groomed at this time as dog groomers have high power dog blaster/ dryers so can get all of the loose hair out for you.

Rough collies can come with a few health issues but there are tests available and most breeder’s health test the parents and the puppies. Some of the tests cannot be done until the puppy is a year old so the breeder can’t do all of the tests  but as long as the parents have good results then the risk you would be taking is calculated but can never be guaranteed.

Eye tests for pra and cea can be done on parents and puppy before 8 weeks. They also look for Columbia and other eye defects

MDR1 gene. Some collies and other herding breeds carry a multi drug resistance gene. It is very important to know what your puppy’s status is as if positive you will need to advise your vet and ensure that all drugs that your vet provides are on the safe list.

Hip and elbow dysplasia. Dogs cannot be tested for this until one year old as the bones need to be fully formed first. It involves taking an X-ray and sending it off to the kennel club for scoring. The average score for rough collies is 24.

Rough collies do not generally pull on the lead and learn the basic obedience commands very easily. They are good with children and other animals.

Top 10 Tips

Buy your puppy for a breeder who raises their puppies in the home. Ask to meet the mother.

Ask to see health test results for parents and the puppy.

Rough collies come in three colours so check these out and choose the colour that appeals to you most.

Get your puppy used to grooming from the start. A quick brush every day at the start with the puppy standing on a table with lots of treats, will be a good way to train your puppy to enjoy this important task.

Rough collies are sensitive and respond well to pause and hate shouting or rough housing. For the best results they should be trained using positive training methods and not corrections.

Collie have a beautiful ruff around their necks which can be damaged if you leave them wear a collar all the time. Make sure your dog is microchipped and then use collar with I’d tag when on walks but remove when at home.

Get your puppy used to car travel from an early age. Rough collies love car travel and usually go  to sleep within 5 minutes and don’t wake up until You reach your destination.

If your collie gets very wet on a walk then dry him thoroughly to avoid hot spots.