The Collie’s coat needs to be brushed daily when they are shedding, or once a week otherwise.
The Collie is a devoted family dog, especially with children. Although they require daily walks, they can also be couch potatoes. Despite the Rough Collie’s immense coat, they only need to be brushed about once a week, although the need for brushing may increase in shedding season. Collies are also a very clean breed and are noted for not having a doggie odor.
Well-fed or well nourished? Male Collies stand 24-26 inches at the shoulder weighing 60 to 75 pounds; females stand 22-24 inches at the shoulder weighing 50 to 65 pounds. While most Collies are easy keepers, the amount of food your dog consumes will depend upon their size, weight, age, and activity level.When selecting a food, chose a quality product. Unlike humans, your Collie does not need presentation nor food dyes to stimulate its appetite. When selecting a food, rely on a recommendation from its breeder and become a label reader. Look for high quality, digestible, meat-based protein as close to the top of the list as possible.
Avoid foods requiring even a 75 pound adult Collie of average activity level to consume 5-7 cups of food a day. Be wary of unnecessary fillers. Dogs are basically carnivores. They do not nutritionally require carbohydrates nor grains to sustain health or life; they don’t need corn, wheat or gluten. Look for foods that list one or more meat meals as the first ingredients as these are a more concentrated source of animal protein. Fresh, clean water in a clean dish or bucket is a necessity throughout the day and year round. A quality diet will cultivate healthy skin, a luxurious coat, bright shiny eyes, an alert disposition, and overall health.
While a well groomed Collie is breathtaking, a common misconception is that Collies require daily brushing or frequent bathing. Simple routine grooming includes brushing, nail trimming, bathing, and teeth and ear cleaning. Actual coat care depends upon the amount of coat a dog carries and the time of year. Brush a Collie using a pin brush. Hold it at an angle to the skin and “back” brush from head to tail in the opposite direction from which hair grows. Then brush with the growth to smooth it out. Collies in full coat should be brushed once every week or two. Hair behind the ears of a rough may mat easily, so remember to brush there. Trim hair between the foot pads so it does not become matted. A dog that is out of coat or in &quot;summer coat&quot; requires less grooming. Smooth Collies have a short dense coat requiring less brushing proportionately. Both varieties shed. The Collie is generally clean and odor-free. When requiring a bath, use only shampoo intended for dogs. Human products can cause dry, flaky, irritated skin. Always rinse until the water runs clean; towel or blow dry thoroughly. Nails should neither protrude over the pad nor touch the ground when standing. Clicking nails when your Collie walks also indicates a nail trim. Trim at an angle about 2mm away from the quick. Trim the dew claw hidden in the rough coat. When needed use a cotton ball moistened in rubbing alcohol to gently clean the inside ear flap. A quality knuckle bone or weekly brushing keep teeth healthy.
As a herding dog, Collies need moderate amounts of exercise. Both exercise and play helps keep your dog happy, healthy and mentally alert. It keeps their weight in check and tones their muscles. Being a social animal devoted to its family, this is an easily accomplished task. Your Collie is easily trained and will enjoy walking, jogging or running with you. Collies are highly intelligent and enjoy games ranging from fetch to Frisbee catch. They can also excel in performance, herding, and tracking. Many Collies get all the exercise they need from playing with the children in their yard. Microchip and register your Collie to help ensure its safe return if lost.
The Collie is a healthy, sturdy breed with an average life expectancy of 12 years. Quality food, regular exercise, routine grooming and an annual health exam will help keep your Collie in peak health. Your Collie’s annual health check-up should include parasite control, dental exam, heartworm screening, and every third year a distemper/parvo vaccine. Rabies vaccine needs to be administered every one to three years depending on state laws. All Collies should have a preliminary eye check by a registered canine ophthalmologist to test for Collie Eye Anomaly. Examined dogs have a certificate from the eye specialist describing that dog’s vision.
While PRA, progressive retinal atrophy, is quite uncommon today; genetic testing clears parents. Speak with you breeder for more information. Some Collies are sensitive to certain drugs, such as Ivermectin, found in some heartworm preventatives, and also some over-the-counter drugs like Imodium. Always consult your vet before administering drugs to your dog. For more information about drug sensitivity in Collies, visit Washington State University’s website: www.vetmed.wsu.edu/depts-VCPL. For additional information and educational materials about proper care, treatment, health, development, and training of Collies visit the Collie Health Foundation, Inc., www.colliehealth.org.