The Rough Collie is a herding breed which originated in Scotland and Wales. The breed was bred to be nimble enough to herd sheep and goats in the highlands, and capable of covering up to 100 miles in one day. The original Collie was interbred with English sheepdog types, the Borzoi, and possibly the Irish Setter. The breed eventually became somewhat more of a fashion item due to its popularity as Queen Victoria’s dog, and less of a working breed, due to the surge of the Border Collie to take its place. It is still, however, occasionally used for working purposes.
The Rough Collie generally stands 20 to 26 inches tall and weighs 35 to 75 pounds. The coat of the breed is double-layered and can be sable and white, white, tricolor, or blue merle. Regardless of coat color, all Rough Collies have white coat areas in the collar and legs, and sometimes on the tail and face. The coat is long and dense with feathered legs, frilled hindquarters, and a notable ruff around the neck.
The head of the breed is one of its distinguishing features. It is light compared to the rest of the body and appears like a blunted wedge which tapers from its ears to its nose. The eyes of the Rough Collie are medium sized, its ears are typically bent, and its muzzle rounded.
The Rough Collie is a friendly, active, and intelligent breed. It generally does well with children and other pets, even with its sometimes apparent herding instinct. The breed is loyal and protective without being overly aggressive, making it an excellent family dog. The breed responds to gentle training with eager obedience. The breed should be socialized and trained at an early age. It can have slight separation anxiety from its owners if they are away for too long, and can become bored, noisy, and possibly destructive if left alone for long periods.
The breed is generally healthy, but it can be affected by several health issues such as Collie eye anomaly or progressive retinal atrophy which may cause blindness. The breed may also deal with canine cyclic neutropenia (gray collie syndrome), hip dysplasia, and drug sensitivity.