Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Rough Collies

Well, after writing about Lassie yesterday, I decided to do some in-depth research on the rough collie breed, and now I'm going to tell you what I found out.  First of all, I will say that rough collies have LOTS of hair!  In fact, when people say that a collie is "rough," what they mean is that it has long hair.  This is the opposite of a "smooth" collie, which has short hair.  I think it would make more sense to just say "long" and "short" instead of "rough" and "smooth," but nobody asked for my opinion.










A sheltie and a collie
Anyway, collies got their start in Scotland, where they were used to herd sheep and guard flocks and drive cattle to market and do useful stuff like that.  And since it is often cold and rainy in Scotland, a dog with long hair would not get overheated while doing all this hard work.  There's a kind of sheep in Scotland that has a black face, and this sheep is called a colley.  So this is probably where the collie dog got its name.















Later on, the English and Welsh people started breeding their own types of collies with the Scottish collie, and then some Borzoi might have got thrown in to make a longer head, plus some Irish setter to make the collie taller.  In the 1860s, Queen Victoria started keeping rough collies at Balmoral Castle, and that made the breed very popular because everybody wanted the same kind of dog that the queen had.

The first time a rough collie was in a dog show was in 1860.  The AKC recognized the breed in 1885.  The Collie Club of America, which started in 1886, is one of the very oldest breed clubs in the U.S.








Rough collies come in four different colors:

(1) Sable
(2) Tri-colored
(3) Blue merle
(4) White









Lassie was a fine example of what kind of temperament rough collies are supposed to have.  They really like to be with people and they love children, and this makes them very good dogs for families to have.  Also they are friendly and smart and playful and easy to train.  But collie puppies need to be socialized early, so they don't start being scared of strangers.  Also, collies will sometimes try to herd children, so unless you need to have your children herded, you should teach your collie not to do this.






You can keep a collie in an apartment, but you still need to take it for walks or else take it somewhere to run and get plenty of exercise.  Collies are not used much for herding nowadays.  Mostly people use border collies for that.  But rough collies can do lots of other good stuff, such as search and rescue,  therapy work, agility, and competitive obedience.

Mom knows a rough collie named Cabernet, whose mom is on the Humane Society board.  Cabernet is a tri-colored collie.  She and her mom like to go to Children's Mercy Hospital to try to make the sick kids feel better.  I think they must be very good at this.  Cabernet is very calm and friendly and not spooked by all the scary stuff in a hospital, like I would be.  And this is why she is a therapy dog and I am not!

21 comments:

  1. Another interesting blog today Piper. We found out a little more about the word "collie"
    http://hubpages.com/hub/On_the_Fourth_Day_of_Christmas

    and now we know there are collie dogs, collie sheep and collie birds. I wonder what other animals are collie.

    Also, I wanted to let you know that there's nothing scary about being a therapy dog. My brothers are both therapy dogs and I've been to the nursing home a couple of times, but not officially since I'm not certified. Mom says I need to get certified then I can go to the nursing homes for reals. It was lots of fun to go and everybody was amazed at all the smart tricks I know.

    Your friend,
    Zest, superstar in training

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  2. Dear Zest,

    Thank you for the link to collie birds. I guess I am a collie basenji, since I am as black as coal. Except for the parts of me that are as white as snow. Ha!

    I think you and your brothers are very brave to go to nursing homes. I am scared of lots of things that Mom says are not scary at all, but Mom has never been out running around loose on the streets of Houston, trying to stay alive, when everything you see is Extremely Scary. I get scared just walking down the street in our neighborhood, and I don't like to let people pet me because that's scary, too. Mom said I would have to let people pet me if I was a therapy dog, so I said "No, thanks!" At least I don't bite people I'm scared of, like my brothers do, which is why they are not therapy dogs either. Mom says that her next dog will be a dog who can be a therapy dog. I don't know what she means by "next dog." I hope this doesn't mean she is going to kick one of us out of the house!

    Your scaredy-dog friend,
    Piper

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  3. collies are so cool they are one of the best animals in the world thank you for posting this website it rely made my day to look on the web and see this site pop up with all these pictures of collies on it.

    Long live collies!!!
    Skye.G

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  4. Dear Skye.G,
    I am glad you liked my blog entry about collies. Everyone says that collies are very nice dogs, and I'm sure they are right, but I still think basenjis are better -- maybe because I am a basenji myself! LOL
    Sincerely, Piper

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  5. Hi Piper, my name is Caitlyn Mavourneen. Caitlyn means pure and Mavourneen means my darling--it's all Gaelic. Your blog IS great. My Mom loved reading it this morning for a pick-me-up. I live in a small apartment but Mom walks me a lot, even in lots of snow--which I LOVE--and single digit temperatures (I mean, what else is my rough coat for?). Mom has found me to be oh-so-loyal, gentle, VERY friendly, and a real companion. It's a wonderful world that has Collie in it! I agree with Anonymous--LONG LIVE COLLIES. P.S. I have five cousins (but I am still the best). They are Khaki--a 10 year old Golden, Lilly, a mixed breed Labrador, Ladybird, a rescue beagle, Bailybird, a rescued basset hound, and Sierra, a puppy Golden. They live with my Mom's niece and nephews. We sure have fun when we all play together!

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  6. Dear Caitlyn Mavourneen,

    I was very happy to read your comment and learn all about your life as a collie. Your have a very pretty name, and I'm glad you told me what it means because I do not speak Gaelic. My mom has a friend with two rough collies, and one of them is a therapy dog who visits nursing homes and children's hospitals. My mom also used to know a golden named Khaki. It was my Aunt Barb's dog, but I never met him personally. Sadly, he died from cancer a couple of years ago.

    I don't mind going out in the snow or cold to potty, even though I have short hair, so Mom just lets me to out in the back yard to do that. Mom does not like walking dogs in cold weather, so it's a good thing we don't live in an apartment!

    Well, bye for now. I hope you will keep reading my blog.

    Your friend, Piper

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  7. Hi again, Piper. This is Caitlyn. I just got in from "our" walk, and now I am snuggled up to Mom on the couch. We live in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I WIll keep reading your blog. It's fun. I kinda wish I could be a therapy dog. Right now Mom says I desperately need obedience training. So that's what the two of us will do this spring. Bye.

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  8. Hello to all Collie lovers-

    I had to write a note here, when I saw the comment by Skye G. Skye G. was my beloved Collie and had an adopted brother, Reggie, also a rough collie 14 years old. On Sunday, I said goodbye to the two best friends I have ever had. This was, and still is, the toughest and most heart wrenching decision I have ever made. Both of their health was failing for over a year, and both failed rapidly over the last few months. They helped each other and were inseparable as they became older. I, too,was inseparable with them. I referred to them as my heart and soul. I reflect now on the awesome life they both had....with runs on the beach, never having spent one day in a cage or kennel and the utmost affection possible not only from myself, but from my family. I am obviously grieving and searching for some time of reassurance that I did the right thing as their quality of life was non existant at their age. To the owners of collies....cherish every moment that you have with the most amazing dogs in the world. My Skye and Reggie will never be replaced and I have been blessed to have had them in my life. Reg and Skye.....I miss you, and I love you with all my heart. We will be together someday as our hearts meet at The Bridge one day.....

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    Replies
    1. I hope you are past your grief, as I know how overwhelming it can be. I was wondering, and hoping a new collie has come into your life to brighten your days!

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    2. Hello there I lost my beloved Tess and Rockie (my wonderful Rough Collies) last September within weeks of each other - both aged 14. I took a year off work to look after them when their health began to fail. It became a fulltime job but I loved them so much this became quite natural. I know when the time came I timed it just right not a day too early, not a day too late. I am lucky enough to have my other two Rough Collies Suki and Honey although I know they miss Tess and Rockie dreadfully and I cant take one out without the other becoming too distressed, I too can say Tess and Rockie never spent as much as a day in a kennel we took them everywhere and we had some wonderful holidays. My collies are my life.....they are an incredible breed, loyal, funny, beautiful and a wonderful gift above any other possession. A year on from losing Tess and Rockie it hasnt even began to compute the grief is so raw. That said I lost my first Rough Collie Sadie 6 years ago and I still can't look at her photos. I have some comfort in knowing that I will be buried with all my collies ashes so one day we will all be together forever and never be parted again. Love to Skye and Reg, all animals both with us and watching over us and all animal lovers around the world.....animals the greatest gift to man. XXXX

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    3. Hi! This is Dorrie the chihuahua. I took over writing Piper's blog after she died. I think your collies Tess and Rockie were very lucky to be loved and taken care of and remembered in such a wonderful way. My mom says to give Suki and Honey a big hug.

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  9. It made me very sad to read what you wrote about Skye and Reggie because I could tell how much you loved them and were missing them. I think you did the last loving thing you could for them by letting them go to the Rainbow Bridge, where I know they are waiting for you patiently. Maybe someday, when you are ready, you can give another collie a wonderful, loving home like you gave Skye and Reggie. I think they would like for you to do that.
    Your friend, Piper

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  10. I had a most wonderful best friend... a collie/shepherd mix. Her name was Georgia Mae.
    Don't know to get another mix breed or a collie or a german shepherd... any suggestions?
    Thank you,
    Jane
    plainjanecollage@gmail.com

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  11. One of the best places ever to find a nice dog to adopt is on the Petfinder site: http://www.petfinder.com . You can enter your zip code and find dogs in shelters near you. Also you can search by breed, gender, size, or age. Also you can search particular shelters.

    Good luck on finding another dog to love!

    Piper

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  12. Hi Piper! I'm Bentley, a Maltese. I was hoping for a friend and since I'm pretty small, I need a nice friend. Do you think a collie would be a right friend for me? What kind of dog do you think I should get??

    Thanks,
    Bentley, Your white buddy

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  13. Hi Piper, here's my video. Merry Christmas! from M.C Whiskey. Woof!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7yQkZhqsCKE

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    Replies
    1. Dear M.C. Whiskey,
      You are a very good rapper, and I enjoyed watching your video! I hope you have a happy holiday and get lots of goodies and yummy treats.
      Piper

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  14. Anonymous, this is Caitlyn's mom. I am so sorry to hear of your losses. I know that my Caitlyn is my lifeline. I am not sure I understood the posts correctly....have you lost 4 collies? Or was that someone responding to you. Now I will let Caitlyn "take over."

    Guess what came to my apartment???? A puppy collie which my Mom has named Clare Eileen. I loved her from the minute I saw her and now we are inseparable too. She loves ME! Mom tried hard to keep me happy and healthy with long walks and good food. But the best thing is Mom gave me a little sister--who is now not so little and is 10 months old. Mom says she is laughing because she sees in the past where she wanted to take ME to obedience school (we never made it) and NOW she says she wants to take BOTH of us to obedience/canine good citizen school because my little sister is a bit crazy! We are hoping to move into a house soon, with a back yard and fence. That would make all of us very happy. We all hope you are healing from your losses. Mom says she has lost a beloved collie named Kate and she knows your sadness. Take special care. Caitlyn Mavourneen

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  15. I'm sorry, I forgot to list my Mom's name.

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    Replies
    1. Dear Caitlyn, it's good to hear from you again! I think it's exciting that you got a puppy of your very own to play with. I like having my two chihuahua brothers here to keep me company. I like them lots better than I like all the silly cats we have around here! Your friend, Dorrie the Chihuahua

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