We all know him from television – Lassie! And that’s exactly what he looks like, the long-haired collie. The TV series has helped him to a certain fame. He really is as great as he is described in the series: Intelligent, empathetic and forward-thinking, athletic and beautiful. Actually a herding dog, he has established himself as an ideal family dog!
Character of the Long haired Collie
An amazing dog that seems to have only positive qualities in him:
- eager to learn
It is these qualities, among others, that make the Longhaired Collie a beginner’s dog. Even if mistakes are made and worked out with the dog trainer, the Longhaired Collie will be able to forgive them all.
Nevertheless: loving, calm consistency is also necessary with him so that he receives solid and sound dog training.
The historical background of the Long haired Collie
Historical records state that the Collie’s ancestors were used to herd and drive flocks of sheep as early as the 13th century. They also got their name from the sheep. For the sheep with black faces were called “Colleys”. This was later transferred to the dog. The actual origin probably goes back to Roman times. At that time, the native herding dogs of the British Isles were crossed with the driving dogs of the Roman troops. This happened in the 5th century.
Due to the remoteness of the Scottish farms, the herding dogs of that time remained isolated and free from foreign influences for a long time. The colouring, by the way, also originated in the Highlands. With the colours that still exist today, they were much easier to recognise both on the moors and in the Highlands and could be clearly distinguished from the sheep.
In the 19th century, the longhaired collie found its way into aristocratic homes. Queen Victoria was a great friend of the breed.
It is not surprising that with the waves of emigration to the USA and Australia, the Longhaired Collie also found its way to these regions. There, own breeding lines were formed. The Longhaired Collie is the ancestor of today’s Australian herding dogs, the Cattle Dog and the Kelpie. In America, on the other hand, a separate standard for the “American Rough Collie” was created.
The colours of the Longhair Collie
The coat of every Longhaired Collie is its distinguishing mark. It is long and smooth. In combination with the soft and very dense undercoat / undercoat the whole coat appears very voluminous. It is preferred that the dog shows a pronounced mane as well as a ruff, so that the usual aristocratic appearance is created.
Three colours or colour combinations are accepted for the British line, which is recognised by the FCI:
- Tricolour, i.e. the colours black, white and tan.
- Blue-Merle, marbled in blue-grey
- Sable-White (white sable)
In addition, there is an American line in which the white Collie is also accepted. The typical Collie markings in blue-merle, tricolour or sable-white can only be found on the head. The rest of the coat is a uniform white.
In former times there was also a black Collie. However, as this was not accepted in either the British or the American line, its breeding was no longer pursued, as a result of which the specimens no longer exist.
The care of the coat is not as time-consuming as one might think. It is enough to brush it really thoroughly every fortnight. Be sure to pay attention to the areas behind the ears as well as on the legs. They mat easily. Sometimes they need to be brushed short prematurely. If you want to do something supposedly good for your Collie and therefore brush him every day, you run the risk of brushing out the undercoat too much. This would reduce the protection against wind and cold in winter and the insulating effect in summer.
What demands does the Longhaired Collie make?
Surely the Longhaired Collie will join in all the fun that the children in the family have with him. Surely he can manage a day with a little less exercise. BUT: As a former herding dog, he has a certain urge to move. This must be indulged several times a day. He has quite a lot of stamina when it comes to walking.
The Longhaired Collie needs a quiet place in the house to which he can retreat when he is too busy or tired. This is because he insists on spending the night in the house with his humans.
Because of his health predisposition, it is important to take him to the vet regularly. In this case, prevention is better than cure.
The Longhaired Collie and his health
The so-called “Lassie boom” has led to many dubious breeders, often just called multipliers, appearing on the scene. Many dogs were sold without health tests and, of course, without papers. Unfortunately, this was not without consequences. Behavioural problems that had not been known before appeared in many cases, such as nervousness or strong shyness. Unfortunately, there were also genetic hereditary diseases that resulted from the fact that the dogs were used for breeding without a health examination. Normally, breeding animals showing such genetic markers are taken out of the breeding programme. Even today, attempts are made to eliminate these hereditary diseases from breeding.
Fortunately, the serious breeders have come to their senses again, so that the original, robust Collie type is increasingly being produced. Thanks to advanced technology, various breed-typical diseases have been suppressed. In some cases, complete elimination has not yet been possible. The serious breeder strictly adheres to the FCI standard with regard to breeding and records all breeding attempts and planned litters in stud books. Only in this way can the genetic defects that have arisen be combated in order to reinforce the health and breed-specific characteristics of the breed.
Nevertheless, there are some collie-typical diseases that you should be aware of if you want to take this dog into your family:
- MDR1 defect: This genetic defect causes hypersensitivity to various drugs. If these were administered, it could lead to vomiting, paralysis, but also death. Every Collie should therefore undergo an appropriate genetic test to confirm whether it is affected or not. If a dog is affected, it is important to carry an emergency card with you, so that you can also give information to foreign vets immediately if necessary.
- Collie Eye Anomaly: In mild cases, vision may be impaired. In severe cases it leads to blindness.
- Dermatomyositis: A muscle disease that affects Collie puppies and young dogs relatively frequently.
- Mating ban: The mating of two merle-coloured animals can lead to blindness and deafness in the offspring. For this reason, many countries have banned this mating combination.
Advantages and disadvantages of the Longhaired Collie
He is the perfect family dog. BUT you have to be aware that he will not stay at home alone for hours. In a family where both parents work and the children stay at school until the afternoon, this dog would become unhappy. Because he just wants to go everywhere with you. Otherwise, he is absolutely easy to handle and care for.
The inherent health predisposition makes it necessary to take him to the vet more often than would be necessary with other dogs. This is of course a financial factor that needs to be considered. It can also pay to have appropriate insurance for him.
The perfect person for a Longhair Collie
- is a family person
- fully integrates his dog into the family circle
- is reluctant to leave his dog alone and is not bothered by the fact that the dog will follow him everywhere anyway.
- is aware of the health problems and predispositions of the animal and the associated visits to the vet
- is not afraid of long walks, no matter what the weather is like at the moment
- has a garden where the dog can exercise with or without its humans
- loves to take his dog everywhere with him.
Buying the puppies of the Longhaired Collie
First of all, you need to find a reputable breeder for this purpose. A breeder who has his breeding animals regularly examined and vaccinated. You can literally ask a reputable breeder everything that has to do with the breed, but also the rearing of the puppies and their training.
The reputable breeder is always happy to share his knowledge with the new family of his puppies. After all, he wants them to be in the best of hands. It is best to look for a breeder who is registered with the VDH. They all adhere to the breeding requirements, which are set quite high and very strict in the standard. This way you can guarantee to get a healthy puppy.
Don’t be surprised if the breeder asks about your living conditions. He will voluntarily show you around his breeding rooms, show you the dogs and of course the runs. And when you get together, he will invite you to visit the puppy from the 5th week of life so that you can make friends before the move takes place.
It goes without saying that you will receive all the necessary papers, including a vaccination certificate, when you take possession.
And once the move has taken place and you have any questions or problems, the reputable breeder will be there to help and advise you. Because he owes that to his puppies!
First equipment for the longhaired collie
- Dog collar
- Dog harness
- Dog leash, in addition possibly a drag line
- Water and food bowl, if possible easy to clean
- Dog bed / blanket for the resting place
- Long hair brush
- Undercoat brush
- Comb for the dog / lice comb
- Possibly clippers (but these should only be used if you really know how to use them).
- Dog food
- possibly toys
- possibly treats
Dog food for the longhaired collie
The Longhaired Collie will accept any food you will offer him. Therefore, it is your task to ensure that the food is of high quality. Dry food, wet food, BARFEN or home-cooked – it depends on the quality and the needs of the dog how much he will get.
If you do not find what you are looking for, ask the breeder, the vet or the specialist advisor in the feed shop. They will all know the specifics of the different food manufacturers and will be able to give good nutritional advice. By the way, you can also get this from an experienced veterinary practitioner.
How much does a long haired collie cost?
If the puppy comes from a good, reputable breeding, you should expect to pay around 1,000 pounds for the puppy. No, this is not exaggerated at all in this day and age. But a purebred longhaired collie cannot be bought at a discount price!
And if you are offered such a dog, it is a dubious trader, a puppy mill, and it is best to keep your hands off it in order not to increase the suffering of these dogs and their offspring.
Where does the Long Haired Collie come from?
The original home of the Longhaired Collie is Scotland. There, this dog was kept as a guard and herding dog.
How old does the Longhaired Collie live to be?
The Longhaired Collie has a long life ahead of it, usually reaching an age of 14 to 16 years without any problems. Of course, this presupposes good, species-appropriate husbandry.
What is the size and weight of the Long Haired Collie?
In the males of the British line we find a height at the withers of 56 centimetres to 61 centimetres. The females have a height of 51 centimetres to 56 centimetres. The animals of the American line can grow up to 6 centimetres taller.
It depends on the size, which weight the individual animal shows. The weight given by the standard for the British line ranges between 18 kilograms and 25 kilograms. The animals of the American line also show more weight due to their larger and more compact build. They weigh up to 34 kilograms.
How many puppies does the Longhair Collie have?
The average litter size of the Longhaired Collie gives birth to 5 – 8 puppies.
Is the Longhaired Collie a hunting dog?
No, the Longhaired Collie, descended from generations of herding and driving dogs, is far too docile to face the demands of a hunt or the associated training.
Is the Longhaired Collie a family dog?
If there is an ideal family dog, it is the Long haired Collie. It is almost a “personal concern” for them to be subordinate in the family circle.
They love living together with humans and are reluctant to leave “their” humans alone. Surely they can learn it, but they do not like it! In addition to their attachment, they are very loyal and extremely good-natured. Add to this a great love for children. And finished is the optimal family dog.
The Long haired Collie has a kind of seventh sense. They are so empathic that they quickly pick up on the moods of their family members and act accordingly. Those who know of themselves that they are afflicted by uncontrolled moods or sometimes react with exaggerated harshness should not get involved with the Longhaired Collie. He would not be able to bear this. But it is not only in this respect that this dog is extremely sensitive. Being alone for long periods of time and being kept in a kennel are absolute no-goes!
Because of his love for humans, he can only be used as a guard dog to a limited extent or not at all. Nevertheless, there is an appropriate reserve towards strangers. No, they would not put the burglar to flight. But they would bravely stand by their beloved humans to sort out the situation together with them.
As Long haired Collies can and will learn very quickly due to their intelligence, this dog is a great joy for the family to work with as they will take commands from all family members.
Can the Long haired Collie be kept in a (city) flat?
Unfortunately, the Long haired Collie is not a dog to be kept in a city flat. This is true even if there is a garden, many employment opportunities and exercise options available. The city with its many attractions and people, the entire urban hustle and bustle would simply overwhelm the Longhaired Collie. In addition, he is quite a large dog and would not be able to cope with the confinement of the city in the long run. It would literally hit him in the head.
Lassie” is still the epitome of a family dog, the best friend of all children. No matter what task you give him, he wants to do it to please his human.
This dog is so uncomplicated that it seems striking. But he is really like that. Anyone who makes friends with a longhaired collie should know that they are entering into a friendship for life.