Collies

Discussion in 'The Dog Breeds' started by Paige, Jan 13, 2007.

  1. Paige

    Paige Let it be

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    They have always been my dream dog. I currently have two Border Collies and I had a sheltie who just recently passed on. I'd love to know more about this breed and any major differences they'd have from a Sheltie or a Border Collie.

    No plans to get a new dog anytime soon. My Borders are still young and are both being trained for agility. I don't want to compete in agility but I'd love to have a dog that will have fun with it at home and aslo would be happy living on the farm.

    Seeing as from what I've read their temperment seems like it would belong in my home I'd love to get peoples opinions who have had Collies in the past or have spent a lot of time with them.
     
  2. dogsarebetter

    dogsarebetter EVIL SHELTIES!!!!

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    the collie is a very loyal dog. they are intelligent. they are not overly hyper and the collie is a loving gentle companion.
    i have never had a border collie, so i cannot compare.
    however i do have a sheltie, and honestly i dont see any similarities. the collie is alot more friendly where the sheltie is more stand offish. the sheltie would rather watch strangers while the collie would rather greet them.
    i havent met a collie with a shy bone in its body, and about 80% of shelties i have met are shy in comparision to the collie.

    the collies i work with are very smart. they will watch you open a gate, and soon try it out for themselves (the gates are dog proof, impossible for one to open)
    some can be stubborn, hard headed... but i am sure all breeds can be. one dog i work with is a combination of stubborn and super smart, she is always doing something she shouldnt, or learning some new way to get what she wants.
    I think collies are great :)

    oh and another thing. they are can be very vocal and do quite a bit more than just bark ;)
     
  3. Love That Collie

    Love That Collie Owned by 2 Rough Collies

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    In addition to what rabbit said above. ^^

    I have had Collies most of my life since I was a kid (in addition to other breeds). I have two at this time.
    There really aren't any similarities of Collies to Shelties to Border Collies other than a Sheltie LOOKS like a small Collie and all of them are dogs. LOL

    A Collie doesn't NEED a "job" to do like a Border Collie does. A Collie is EXTREMEMLY content being with their human. They love other animals and children. Regardless of what their breed profile states they do not require lots of exercise. They are highly trainable and are pleasers. That being said they can have a stubborn streak. Example: Let's just say you were sitting on the couch and you called him up on the couch and he didn't quite make the jump and fell back. Chances are the next time you called him to get on the couch he wouldn't do it until he knew he wasn't going to fall back and that could take some time. :)

    They are great "watch dogs" but don't expect them to attack a stranger, and fight to the death even if you commanded him to do it. ALL of the many Collies I have had would have let a burglar in if I wasn't home and then showed them where the jewlery was. ;) But they would attempt to deter someone attempting their master harm while you get away from the situation. I have seen this before. EXAMPLE: One of my collies mother was attacked by a pack of 4 Coon Hounds (neighbors hunting dogs that were abused) that escaped from their pen. As she was being attacked the father Collie jumped into the middle of the vicious attack on his mate allowing her to escape. Father Collie was pretty banged up but survived. The human owner of the Collies came running out and broke up the attack.

    They are herding dogs like your Border Collie and Sheltie and some Collies have more of a herding instinct than others depending on the line. My Chloe "herds' like a Border Collie with the INTENSE stare and stalk. My Bailey does not, he herds like a Collie. They can be nippy when small pups but are easily deterred not to do this. They are very happy dogs.

    They should be kept as house dogs and NOT relegated to being an outside dog solely because they need to be with their humans they are very people oriented. They are wonderful inside dogs and great in multi dog households.
    They are for the most part calm and laid back but willing to play, play play if you want to.

    Their biggest health concerns are CEA. A breeder should have their eyes tested by a canine Opthamologist before they are let go to there forever homes. And hip dysplasia and Collie Nose. Although I have never had a dog with any of the above. However most Collies do have a mild form of CEA when tested, grade 1 or 2 is acceptable and shouldn't cause any major problems in its life. However, I would be leery of anything grade 3 and above and I would not purchase a pup/dog with this unless you were well aware of the condition beforehand. Some CAN be barkers. Bailey is a vocal Collie whether he's barking or just Rawr, Rawr, Rawr "talking" which isn't a bark so to speak. Chloe isn't a barker and isn't much interested in barking although she will occassionally.

    They are highly sensitive and do not respond well to loud, angry, harsh tones and you can easily hurt their feelings and scare them with yelling etc.... Hope some of this has helped.
     
  4. colliewog

    colliewog Collies&Terriers, Oh My!

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    And in addition to what LoveThatCollie said ... lol

    Collies were originally bred as a multi-purpose dog, so they are content around the home (and farm) as long as they are kept mentally stimulated. They don't need a "job" per se, but they do keep themselves busy, and that includes checking on the family and trying to keep everyone together. If you have multiple people in the house, the Collie will go from room to room checking on everyone. They can be perfectly happy playing on a home agility course, playing tug in the living room or snuggling on the couch. They are very nurturing, yet at the same time can be excellent varmint dogs. I used to raise domestic rats (outdoors), which they played with and cared for, but at the same time would catch and kill the grove rats who tried to infiltrate my rats' cages.

    As far as protection instinct, that can vary from bloodline to bloodline. Most of mine are protective of their home, and do not welcome strangers (infrequent visitors) in until *I* have brought them in. And the intelligence comes to light when you see that you can allow a person in 10 times, but if on the 11th time they come in uninvited, they will be checked out thoroughly. (Why are you coming in without permission?) They do use the least amount of force to protect their family. Subtle body blocks are their first line of defense, which most people don't recongise, but respond to all the same. If that doesn't work, they might use a low growl. If that doesn't work, then they might use additional force. They are not a breed to attack unprovoked, which makes them except for children, and also wonderful therapy dogs for elderly and handicapped individuals who may act unpredictable. They are family dogs, although they may have one individual they spend most of their time with, they will bond with the entire family (they aren't a 'one person' dog as some other breeds are).

    In addition to CEA and HD, there is a drug sensitivity in the breed called MDR1 (multi drug sensitivity). It's a mutant gene that allows certain drugs to cross the blood brain barrier, building up in the brain and causing neurological damage (ie seizures) and even death. 3/4 of all Collies are affected by this gene in some way. I have several who are free of it and a few that are partially affected. It's not a sign of weakness in the breed, but just a caution. Dogs affected by the MDR1 are perfectly healthy, but must avoid certain drugs, such as ivermectin, loperamide, acepromazine - all very commonly used drugs for dogs.

    You might also decide if you like the rough or smooth Collie better. There are subtle differences in personality, with the smooth often being a tiny bit more assertive than the roughs, though not always.
     
  5. Love That Collie

    Love That Collie Owned by 2 Rough Collies

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    lol Colliewog

    And HOW did I forget about mentioning the MDR1 gene and ivermectin etc sensitivity! Every time I've gone to a new vet over the years I make sure they know about this. A lot of them around here do not believe it or not. :yikes: There are not many Collies around this area but there's many Shelties and Aussies so I don't know WHY some of the vets don't know about it right off!
     
  6. Paige

    Paige Let it be

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    Thank-you. You have been very helpful.

    From what you guys have said they sound like fabulous dogs. I am going to do more research of course, but from what you guys have said they'd fit right in.

    colliewog I have a pet rat. My sheltie use to walk around with the rat on her back, would share her food with her, and cuddled with her. They were the best of friends after Lou's two rat buddies died of old age. That dog always loved my rodents.
     
  7. roughcollies

    roughcollies Collie lover

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    Coming from a collie person, who has grown up with a collie breeder and been around more collies in her day than most people will ever imagine, I have quite a bit of input here.

    First of all, collies are wonderful. I love them with everything in me. I don't think I will ever NOT have a collie. I need them like I need air. That said, they are not by any means the superdog that everyone seems to think.

    They have a lot of health issues such as the above mentioned ivermectin sensitivity. The are becoming more and more known for having demodex mites, and I have seen some mild cases and I have seen some SEVERE cases. I don't have my pictures of Tess, my little sweet demodex pup online anymore, but I can describe it to you pretty well. Tess was bought as a show pup and to be introduced to my stepmoms breeding lines. Sweetest little thing, very lovey, very cuddly. She started finding spots on her body that had almost thinning hair. Took her, did a skin scrape. Demodex. The mites tore that dog apart. She was COMPLETELY hairless. Her skin was raw and constantly needed to be cared for. The problem with collies being ivermectin sensitive is not heartworm meds, you see, because there are other meds out there for heartworm, but rather that demodex is most easily treated with ivermectin. Most dogs with problems are able to clear up rather easily. But because some collies can't have ivermectin, and ivermectin helps demodex... well, you can see the problem. Tess did manage to kick it and get better after several years of battling it. She was a strong willed dog. I miss her a lot. She died a few years ago.

    Also related to health, is that sensitive collie tummy. Faith has overcome most of her issues by me constantly (every three months or so) changing her food to get her acclimated to variety. I am a FIRM believer that variety helps eliminate a lot of sensitivity problems for a lot of dogs. I've seen it work. But, she has had to overcome a lot. I have seen many collies that needed to be on very basic foods. Need that more sensitive diet. I won't even begin about collie eyes. There is so much to say about them and I am a bit sleepy, lol.

    Okay, onto temperment. I, with a passion, LOVE LOVE LOVE the collie temperment. That is the main turn on for this breed for me. They are very... almost mother like. So sweet, so gentle. It's funny that you mentioned that you had a rat that rode your shelties back, because James, my big ole fat rattie rides Faithey all the time. She licks, cleans, mothers, and just adores him. She is like that with everything. I rescued a baby bird once after I watched a cat eat it's momma. Faith wanted that bird so bad. She would watch it all day long. When he came out for feedings, she would lick at him and try and clean and mother him.

    Faithey is a one person dog (unless you have food). She is a total mommas girl. She loves her daddy, but if she is not able to get to mommy then she cries. For example, I work at a pet store that they come into all the time. They will visit me and I'll be with them and then get called to help a customer. As I walk away, Faith will literally sob. It breaks a mommas heart. She cuddles me. When she wants too. She's not overly cuddly, but she will want to be by you. She used to follow me all over the house. Since we moved into a smaller house, she hasn't needed too. She can always find me by moving a few feet, lol.

    Okay, health and temperment aside, someone has mentioned something about collies being intelligent. I beg to differ. I mean, look at the head shape. There is no room for a big brain in there. They are absolutely intuitive, but don't mistake that for intelligence, lol. Okay, I have had a few "smart" collies before. My Piper was insanely intelligent. Tess was as well. But, mostly, my collies have all had this "ditzy blonde" type of thing going on. Or at least all my girls. Keeping in mind, my stepmom bred them, so we had mostly girls. Faith is by far the most unintelligent collie I have ever known. She has no brains, lol. She walks into walls, can't figure out how to step over a pillow and a coat on the ground (instead, she jumps all the way on the bed after crying for 20 minutes), can't understand how to jump over a small fence after having done it minutes before. She just isn't smart. She's trainable. It doesn't take long for her to catch on to a new command or trick. But, she lacks problem solving skills to a severe degree.

    I'll try and name some of the ones I have had. I don't breed, never will. I rescue, but I did grow up with a breeder, so I have had a lot.

    Star, Abbie, Domino, Piper, Tess, Leah, Destiny, Haley, Ruler, Luke, Benton, Gabby, oh I can't remember them all. That's another reason I don't like breeding, I can't even remember all the dogs.

    Now, I apoligize if what I just said was worded weird as I am tired, sick, and on meds, lol. But, I think I managed to get my point across. Onto the pics.

    Faith at 11 weeks
    [​IMG]

    My girl grown up.
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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. roughcollies

    roughcollies Collie lover

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  9. roughcollies

    roughcollies Collie lover

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    More collie "intelligence" showing. The first video was taken before the second one.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And Dakota. She felt left out.
    [​IMG]
     
  10. colliewog

    colliewog Collies&Terriers, Oh My!

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    Roughcollies, I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to disagree with your disagreements. lol My family has been breeding Collies for over 40 yrs, so some of your generalizations may actually only refer to specific individuals as opposed to the entire breed.

    The idea of them "not having room for big brain" is an old wives' tale. There is plenty of room for brains in their skull and their intelligence abounds! There are only a few breeds that have been successful guide dogs, and Collies are one of them. There is an Alzheimers Aid Dog program in Israel. Many, many breeds have gone through their program - the only breed to succeed? Two smooth Collies.

    As far as the other health problems you mentioned, such as sensitive stomachs and demodex mange, that's more of a bloodline issue than a breed issue. My dogs have cast iron stomachs, rarely ever have diarrhea, even when getting into fatty food in the garbage, and if we ever have an outbreak of demodex in a puppy, it's localized and goes away without treatment. Generalized (all over the body) demodectic mange is the sign of a weakened immune system. There are many factors that can weaken the immune system, often over vaccination. But as a breed, Collies shouldn't be touted as prone to mange if they are healthy.

    Yes, there is an eye problem in Collies (85% of the breed is affected), but there are some breeders, like myself, who will only breed normal-eyed dogs, from several generations of normal-eyed, even non-carrier dogs. http://www.4onesti.com/cea.html
     
  11. colliewog

    colliewog Collies&Terriers, Oh My!

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    I loved my rats. My last rat was a hairless rat who died of breast cancer 4 yrs ago. I was so devastated that I haven't gotten another one since. People didn't understand how I could pay $300.00 for surgery to remove a mammary tumor on a $2.00 rat. But I did and it gave her another year, but when the tumors returned, then came with a vengence and we had to put her down.
     
  12. Love That Collie

    Love That Collie Owned by 2 Rough Collies

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    roughcollies, while I agree with some of what you say whether a breeder of many years or not or owning lots of Collies or knowing a someone who breeds collies. All I can say is that you must have had lines of Collies that were unintelligent because of poor breeding, I don't know. But I've never, ever had a "ditzy" collie. And head shape and size has nothing to do with intelligence or lack thereof. Walking into walls and not knowing how to step over something in its path or being uncoordinated sounds more like a health defect or genetic trait.

    PAIGE - if you do decide on a Collie, please do your research on the breeder that you choose. I'm sure you already know that just because someone breeds collies or any dog for that matter doesn't make them a good breeder.
    I know of several collie breeders who breed merle to merle and that is a big NO NO in ETHICAL collie breeding.
     
  13. Denaluvscorgis

    Denaluvscorgis Corgi bum

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    I was raised with Collies when I still lived at home with my parents. They're truly lovely dogs!!!!
     
  14. DeeDee

    DeeDee New Member

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    surprise-- it's a collie!!

    oh boy, well, this is funny and not so funny really. I adopted a dog from pound over the weekend, met with her twice, and the card listed her as a terrier mix. I thought she looked different from other terrier type dogs, but thought the pound must know. I got her home and as a little time more went by, and I could see her from different angles, and her behavior, I realized almost certainly she is part or nearly all collie- maybe a collie and small dog mix, or sheltie and other dog mix.
    At the pound she was scared, quiet as a mouse and a bit aloof. I took her for a couple walks with a volunteer helper, and she seemed a bit independent. The next day she seemed to recognize me and we spent over 2 hours in a play area. She was less aloof and started to show some affection, and as I ran in a circle she followed at my heels kind of moving me along, but they insisted she was a terrier.
    Anyways, since then I've realized (vet will know more about this than me, we go Thursday), this dog totally acts like a collie from the little I know of them. She is super vigilant and notices any sound and her ears go forward, she loves the outdoors more than your average terrier would, and she is smarter than I realized. My daughter taught her a trick in only 2 tries, she mimicked what my daughter did lying down on her side. Every time after she would continue to play the lying on side game, hard to explain, but I thought (of course) very smart.
    The not so funny part about the pound telling us she was t errier when apparently she is a small collie is she is super active, would love to run around a farm all day, and also barks alot- a high pitched sound. She is veyr loyal to US, but only us. At the gas station she did an impersonation of a doberman watch dog, when a nice man pumped our gas. It was so embarrasing, she was having a snarling barking fit, just like seriously dobies do that are used as watch dogs. Then, after she sat down and almost looked content as if she thought she had done her job.
    THe thing that concerns me most is the barking but esp the vicious guard dog impersonation. The actgive part is manageable, I will just lose 20 pounds running her everyday, but I want to be able to take her out in society without her thinking she is a guard dog for us.
    collie owners, what do you think, keeping in mind she is a rescue? I got some good tips for keeping her occupied when I leave the house during the day, to curtail barking, but since I posted that, we stopped for gas, and realized she thinks she is part dobie.
    help..
     
  15. Love That Collie

    Love That Collie Owned by 2 Rough Collies

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    Post a good picture of her and some of us here might be able to help.

    Since she is a mix, even if she is part Collie then whatever she's mixed with could be the part that is snarling at the gas station attendant so to speak.

    I have never had a Collie snarl and growl at someone. I had one collie who was 12 when he died and he had NEVER uttered one growl in his entire life, ever.

    Collies normally, as adults, aren't as active as what you described.
    However, she could be part Sheltie. A lot of Shelties are VERY active and nippy as adults and are in no way as calm as a Collie. I have never had a Collie that didn't want everyone to pet it stranger or friend. Collies are usually not very territorial as you described meaning that yours apparently didn't like it one bit having the guy that close to your car as you said "vicious guard dog."

    Do you know her background? Was she abused physically? If she was abused then that could be the reason for the bad behavior. About how much does she weigh? Yes, Collies AND Shelties can be barkers. Bailey is a barker but only because he wants attention from WHATEVER he's barking at. Chloe could care less about barking. LOL

    Again, a picture would be more than helpful.
     
  16. colliewog

    colliewog Collies&Terriers, Oh My!

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    She could easily be a mix of several breeds. A pic would help a lot. :)

    Some Collies can be aloof with strangers, especially is not socialized properly as a puppy (which wouldn't be uncommon with a shelter dog), but typically they are friendly with friendly people. However, my dogs are very protective of their property, especially their yard and my front door. You would think I had a house full of vicious attack dogs when you ring the doorbell. I don't discourage the behavior, as I think it would discourage a burglar. :cool: It is very controlled, though, and with a simple "enough" command, they are silenced. This isn't a Collie trait per se. Many breeds protect their property with the zest that you describe. She may be going overboard because everything is new and she doesn't know what to expect from strangers. What do you do when she does this? Part of her response may be directly related to how you respond.
     
  17. DeeDee

    DeeDee New Member

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    I dont know how to post a picture of her, but will see if a friend can for me. In answer to how I responded when she went to guard dog mode, first I was surprised, I never saw her become like that, and the man was nice, smiling, just pumping our gas and wiping the windows down. So, for a few seconds I didnt do anything bc I was just stunned, then I said firmly, loudly, her name and NO!, she did not seem to take notice of me, she was in her own barking world at that point. Only after the man left, she transformed into cute collie, sat there smiling, and really seemed content as if she had performed a necessary task for us. She is the size about of a sheltie, her fur is exactly like Lassie, and her tail is like that too, but she has something else mixed in. Besides telling her no, what else would be good to stop her in her tracks?
     
  18. Love That Collie

    Love That Collie Owned by 2 Rough Collies

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    Since I only have to deal with Bailey at this point and if Chloe (age 6 months) does bark I can silence her with saying "enough" and at the same time using my index and middle finger pressed together and a quick jesture horizontally in front of myself (kinda hard to explain in writing) it's a form of sign language lol and she immediately stops.

    Bailey on the otherhand can sometimes "zone out" in his "bark world". When he initially barks when someone comes to the door I tell him OK, pat his head, put him in a "sit/stay" and the next time he barks I firmly say "enough" with the hand jesture ^^. He's still excited and he is a "talker" anyway and he'll usually resort to "talking" softly, which isn't a bark but he will try to contain himself but he's still young and puppylike at 21 months but I can see him maturing and getting better at controlling his excitibility.

    When Bailey was a very young puppy 3-4 months he used to interrupt conversations with neighbors I was having if we were out on a walk. I tried the ignore technique, didn't work. "Enough" didn't work when out of the house on walks. So I squirted him ONCE with the squirt gun and he's never done it again during a conversation. (He hates water anywhere from the feet up) I don't like using the squirt gun but in that situation it did do the trick seeing that he was and can be very barky.

    However, that being said, training away any unwanted behavior can take time. Consistency is the key. You have to be more strong willed than the dog. :D
     
  19. MyLittleChowChow

    MyLittleChowChow New Member

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    I'm sorry, I don't know a thing about Collies but with some mention of intellegents of the breed, I just wanted to share this with you.
    My grandfather was a farmer. Up until my grandparent's died, there was a large picture of a Collie sitting on a step of my grandparents house. Not long ago I asked mom about that dog in the picture. She told me how (darn, now I cant think what her name was), anyway, one day a cow got out. Grandpa got mad and yelled at her for letting the cow get out. LOL, she got mad at him and REFUSED to work for a week. She said everyday for a week Grandpa would go outside, say come on, she'd just sit there, refusing to go. For a whole week this went on. All because he yelled at her about over the cow. I wish I would have known that dog, I like the sounds of her attitude.

    Sorry, just thought I'd share this with you.
     
  20. Paige

    Paige Let it be

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    I'd do the same for Lou. She is the last of 14 rats I had. It was hard to tell them all apart because 13 of them were either brown or brown and white. Lou, being the only dumbo, was my favourite. I plan on getting her a new rat buddy. It's hard going from such a large number to only one. I miss them all.

    As for what everyone else is saying, obviously health is something important and thank-you for being honest. If I do get a Collie I actually am hoping I can find one that will fit into my home through a collie rescue group that has foster homes in my area. As much as everyone loves a cute puppy, I enjoy the company of an adult dog just as much. So we'll see. That is years away. My borders are my perfect K-9 companions.
    :)
     

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