Nearly every youngster wants to own Lassie, the wonder Collie . Unfortunately, if the child genuinely expects one dog to be that incredible, a puppy may be a bit of a disappointment. After all, in real life, Lassie is really played by several hard working dogs.
The Collie dog was originally bred to herd sheep and still has a strong protective instinct, which makes the breed an outstanding choice for a family dog. Of course, not every one is a highly intelligent, diligent guardian.
Some of these dogs are highly strung and nervous, but most are wonderful with children. The American Kennel Club classifies the Collie as part of the Herding Group. These dogs weigh 55 to 80 pounds and stand 22 to 26 inches tall.
The dog is strong and graceful and has plenty of stamina. This dog's almond shaped eyes seem to sparkle with intelligence, whether they are brown or blue in color. The Collie's prick ears give it an alert appearance.
The breed can be rough or smooth coated. The rough coat is longer and fuller than the smooth coat. This breed can come in sable and white, tricolor, or blue merle colors.
It enjoys living in the midst of an active family. This breed is not a good choice for apartment living, since it loves to spend time outside. A home with a large yard is ideal for the Collie breed.
Although it is friendly and outgoing, this dog is protective of its family and takes its duties as a watchdog seriously. Your dog will bark at intruders, whether they are people, cats, squirrels, or pieces of trash blowing around the yard.
As a puppy it can be very headstrong and can get into quite a lot of mischief. You should consider attending puppy obedience classes with your dog, since it is easier to train a small Collie puppy who hasn't developed bad habits than a sixty pound dog that has.
Also, be sure to be firm with your puppy about staying on the floor if you do not want hair on all of your furniture. Once you allow your dog on the furniture, he will feel that he has a right to be there any time you leave the room.
The Collie breed has very few health problems. Eye diseases and PRA are the most common problems these dogs face. In fact, you are much more likely to take your puppy to the veterinarian because he has injured himself while jumping from a moving vehicle or exploring his surroundings than you will for a health problem.
Collies are quite happy to pack away plenty of food. These dogs have a tendency to overeat, so it is best to give them three small meals a day. If your dog develops a bulge around his middle, talk to your veterinarian about switching to a food that promotes weight loss.
Although a rough coated Collie has long hair, it does not need extensive grooming. Brush through your dog's coat several times a week to avoid mats, paying close attention to the hair around his face, behind his ears, and around his legs.
The Collie is an intelligent family dog. If you want a dog who will protect your family and will play with the kids, this may just be the perfect pet for you.