Rough Collies are medium/large dogs of dignity and beauty with sweet, expressive looks. They have abundant coats that come in sable, sable and white, tricolour and blue merle, and elongated, chiselled heads. Adult males measure 56-61cm and weigh 27-34kg, and adult females stand at 51-56cms and weigh 23-30kg.
It is believed the Rough Collie dog breed is descended from dogs that accompanied the Roman invaders in 50BC and native Scottish dogs. They probably take their name from a type of black sheep, Colleys, bred in the lowlands of Scotland. In the 1860s Queen Victoria became entranced with these dogs when she visited her Scottish estate at Balmoral and took some back with her to Windsor Castle. Known at that time as the Scottish Sheepdog, the Rough Collie first entered the show ring at the Birmingham Dog Society Show and was soon highly sought after.
Rough Collies have friendly dispositions with minimal traces of nervousness or aggression. They are happy dogs who bond very closely with their families. Very protective of their home environment, they will warmly receive invited friends. Rough Collies learn very quickly and thrive when given new training challenges.
As with many dog breeds the Rough Collie can suffer from various hereditary eye disorders, and hip dysplasia (a condition that can lead to mobility problems). Eye testing and hip scoring of dogs prior to breeding is therefore important.
Surprisingly enough, Rough Collies do not demand too much exercise and will easily adapt to family circumstances. However, free-running should be given, allowing them time to play with and retrieve a ball. For an adult, one hour's daily exercise should be given, though he will happily accept more if you can offer it.
Large breed dogs, as well as having large appetites, benefit from a different balance of nutrients including minerals and vitamins compared to smaller-breed dogs. Rough Collies may be prone to bloating and stomach problems; smaller, more frequent meals can help minimise this risk.
With their abundant double coats, Rough Collies need weekly brushing to prevent serious matting. The undercoat is soft and furry, sitting close to the skin, while the outer coat is harsh and straight. During moulting, daily brushing is beneficial. Occasional trimming will keep the feathering on the front legs and tail in check.