The Rough Collie is a fabulous family dog. They are loving, calm, and very smart. Rough Collies do 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. This makes them a great pet for those who don’t want to commit to the hours of exercise per day that some other breeds can require.
Rough Collie puppies are a delight. They are inquisitive and intelligent which makes training really easy. House training is usually an easy task to tick off the list especially if you choose a Rough Collie puppy from a reputable breeder who has raised the puppy in a home environment. Rough Collies do need lots of desensitisation and socialisation from a young age, especially becoming accustomed to noises. This is because 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 trailing 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. These are just some of their common traits that many owners find endearing in their pups!
A well trained Rough Collie puppy will grow into an amazing adult!
Rough Collies: What to bear in mind
While they do make great pets that are suitable for lots of different families, there are some things to bear in mind when it comes to owning a Rough Collie. Here are some things to look out for, so you’re prepared if you’re considering one!
If the Rough Collie lacks socialisation and has been reared in kennel environment from birth, they will need to catch up when they leave their siblings and the breeder. As long as the puppy arrives in their new home at 8 weeks old, then it is possible to catch up with all of the 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. It will lead to a well-adjusted puppy that then becomes an amazing adult dog!
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 to groom them regularly, then a Rough Collie is not for you. You may like to check out the Smooth Collie instead, as their coat requires less maintenance.
Rough Collies do not need hours of grooming. As long as it is kept on top of, checking behind ears and armpits for matts, a 10-minute long 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 to keep them nice and clean.
Rough Collies do moult. It is usually just once a year, but 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 so it’s not all dropped around your house!
This breed can come with a few health issues but there are tests available to check for them. Plus, most breeders health test the parents and the Rough Collie 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, the risk you would be taking is calculated. But, results can never be guaranteed, so this is something that you must prepare for if you want to get one of these dogs as a puppy. Here are some of the potential issues that you may encounter:
Eye tests for PRA and CEA can be done on parents and the Rough Collie puppy before 8 weeks. They also look for Columbia and other eye defects
MDR1 gene: some Collies and other herding breeds carry a multidrug resistance gene. It is very important to know what your puppy’s status is. If it is 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 out of a possible 53 for each hip.
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, so they make the ideal family pet, even for busy households.
Rough Collies are a beautiful breed, just be warned about their potential issues
Top 8 Tips for Rough Collie puppies and beyond
There are a few things to consider when choosing your Rough Collie, training them, and beyond. Take a look at our top 10 tips to ensure that you feel prepared and confident!
Consider your breeder carefully
Buy your Rough Collie puppy for a breeder who raises their puppies in the home. This means that they are far more likely to have been socialised properly and have had the best start in life. Ask to meet the mother. Does she look like a happy, healthy, and well-cared for dog? This is very important, as many bad breeders may try to hide the dog’s parents if they’re not looked after properly. If they won’t let you see the mother, this is a big red flag, and you should find another, more reputable breeder.
Health is important
Ask to see health test results for parents and the puppy. This will give you a clearer picture of what their health may look like in the future, which is always a good thing to have, no matter what breed of dog you may be looking at.
Colour is a consideration with your Rough Collie puppy
Rough Collies come in four officially recognised colours so check these out and choose the colour that appeals to you most! These colours are sable and white, tricolour (black, white, and tan), blue merle (a mottled grey), and white (a mainly white coat, but the head can be a different colour). Within these variations, different shades can be present so there’s lots of variety, you may struggle to choose!
Grooming will be an important part of life for Rough Collie puppies
Get your Rough Collie 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. Don’t neglect this task as it will make your life a lot easier in the long run, as well as keeping your Collie in the best condition with a nice, tangle-free coat.
Rough Collie puppies are a joy to be around well into adulthood
Use positive training methods
Rough Collies are sensitive dogs and respond well to pause. Furthermore, they hate shouting or roughhousing. For the best results, they should be trained using positive training methods and not corrections. We’re big advocates of reward-based training here at Royvon. Rewards can be anything from food to toys, it’s up to the individual dog and what motivated them best.
Be careful with collars
These Collies have a beautiful ruff around their necks. However, it can become damaged if you leave them to wear a collar all the time. Make sure your dog is microchipped in case they do get lost, and then use a collar with an ID tag when on walks. But, make sure to remove this when you get home to stop the coat from becoming damaged.
They love being in the car!
Perhaps quite unusually, most Rough Collies are actually fans of being in the car! 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. This makes them the ideal pet for families who love to travel and bring their dogs along on their adventures! It’s unlikely that you’ll have to deal with car sickness or a dog that is unwilling to travel in your vehicle, as long as you get your Rough Collie puppy used to it from a young age.
Keep them dry
If your Rough Collie gets very wet on a walk then dry them thoroughly to avoid hot spots. This will keep them comfortable and also ensure that their coat is kept in tip-top condition year-round, whatever the weather may be.
Here at Royvon, we absolutely love helping owners, old and new, train this majestic breed. We offer everything from puppy classes to residential stays that you can choose from depending on your needs. Our three locations in Esher, Rugby, and Merthyr Tydfil are here to help you with your training needs, whether you have a Rough Collie puppy or adult dog! Just visit our website today to find out more about everything we offer.
Darren is the Managing Director of Royvon Dog Training & Hotels. The business has been in his family for over 60 years! Darren uses this blog to share knowledge and information about dog training and more.