It is a very old breed, known since the 12th century. Scientists, including Darwin, agreed that the skeleton of the dog is very much like the skeleton of the wild dog. The most popular version regarding its name comes from the fact that they used to guard the Colley sheep. It was Queen Victoria's favourite dog and it became the most wanted companion dog from the beginning of the 20th century. There are two varieties of Collie that have the same morphological characteristics, differing only by the length of the hair: one has long and rough hair and the other short and smooth hair. Since 1943 due to the many movies with Lassie, the popularity of this breed has skyrocketed.
It is a large-sized dog, with a rather long, strong, well-built and thin body. The head is proportionate to the body, with a harmonious, long line. The muzzle is well-shaped and tapers to a black nose. It has medium-sized eyes, slightly slanting, almond-shaped, brown or blue. The ears are relatively small, are in proportion to the size of the head, set-high on the head and dropping towards the back when at rest or erect with pointed tips when alert. The tail is medium-sized and it is kept low when at rest and with the tip slightly curved when alert. For the variety with long hair the coat is double-layered with a fluffy and thick inner layer and with an outer layer made of long, thick, rough hair, forming a mane and a collar of very abundant hair. The other variety has short and smooth hair. Both varieties have the same colour: black and white or tricoloured (black, fawn and white). The beauty of the head and of the fur, the gentleness, the melancholy expression of the eyes, the light graceful walk, the perfectly built body with a pleasant look, the elegant and noble stature, have made the majority of the connoisseurs consider this dog the most beautiful representative of canine breeds.
It is a very intelligent, active, full of energy, lively dog, eager to work and sensitive. Loving, affectionate and protective of its master, it is an excellent family dog. It is an unsurpassed play mate for kids and it is untrusting, suspicious with strangers. It gets along well with other dogs and other household animals.
The short hair variety requires brushing and combing less often compared to the long hair variety whitch needs weekly and deep combing to prevent the fuzz from the inner layer from getting tangled. During the shedding period the brushing and combing must be made daily because it will lose a lot of hair.
It is a dog resistant to weather changes; it needs a lot of exercise and activities with to a loving, active owner with a lot of experience in raising dogs. The black Collies mustn't be crossbred between them, because the puppies (1/4) can be born with eye deficiencies (even blind). The most well-known disease is the Collie eye anomaly.
This breed is easy to train due to its remarkable intelligence, power to adapt and desire to learn. It is efficient for the training to be done on a gentle but firm tone. Generally it likes to play, to participate at agility classes, flyball and training.
It is an excellent watchdog for sheep flocks, for the household and house. It is a pleasant companion dog for adults and especially for children.