The Collie is a large, lean, strong dog. The top of the skull is flat and the eyebrows are arched. The medium sized eyes are almond shaped. Eye colour is dark brown except for blue merles, where the eyes may be blue or have one of each colour. The small ears are 3/4 erect with the tips folding forward. The tail is moderately long with an upward twist or swirl at the end and is carried low. There are two coat varieties, the rough and smooth. The rough coat is long and abundant all over the body but is shorter on the head and legs and the coat forms a mane around the neck and chest. The outer coat is straight and harsh to the touch, and the undercoat is soft and tight. The smooth coat variety has a short one-inch coat all over the body. Coat colours on both the rough and smooth variety include sable and white, tri colour of black, white and tan, blue merle or predominantly white with sable, tri-colour or blue merle markings.
The exact origin of the collie is unknown, but it was descended from generations of hard-working herding dogs. In the past, the Smooth Collie was adept at driving cattle in the North of England.
The Collie is a highly intelligent dog. Sensitive, mild-mannered, sweet, easy to train and loyal. Faithful, playful, docile and protective of their family members and good with children. Collies have an uncanny sense of direction. They are good-natured, friendly dogs.
The Collie needs plenty of exercise, which includes a daily, long walk. In addition, they would enjoy some romps off the leash in a safe area. The stiff coat sheds dirt readily and a thorough weekly brushing will keep it in good condition. Take extra care when the soft dense undercoat is being shed. The Smooth variety has a one-inch coat and should be brushed every one to two weeks.