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Scottish Shepherd (Collie)

Scottish Sheepdog (Collie)
Other names: collie , Scottish collie , long-haired collie , English collie , lassie the dog

The Scottish Shepherd (Collie) is a large shepherd dog with an elongated elongated muzzle and a charming sly look. Since the late 90s, it has been bred in two varieties independent of each other – long-haired and short-haired.

Brief information

  • Breed name: Scottish Shepherd (Collie)
  • Country of Origin: UK
  • Time of origin of the breed: XVII century
  • Weight: males 26-34 kg, females 19-26 kg
  • Height (height at the withers): males 56-61 cm, females 51-56 cm
  • Life expectancy: 12-13 years


  • The peak of collie popularity in Russia occurred during the Soviet era, but today's breeders consider Scottish Shepherds to be, if not a live exclusive, then quite rare pets.
  • There are two versions of the origin of the name "collie". According to one of them, it is formed from the English coaly, denoting a coal-black color. The second version is more inclined to the word colleys, which in Britain was dubbed a rare variety of sheep with black wool.
  • The Scottish Shepherd is a favorite of breeders who are oppressed by silence. The animal communicates with its voice often, willingly and often loudly.
  • Glamorous "mantos" of long–haired collies are very practical clothes, although at first glance it does not seem so. It is the dense fluffy coat that helps the dog to easily tolerate low temperatures and even frosts.
  • The best promo video of the breed in the USA was the film "Lassie comes Home", shot in 1943 and had such a resounding success that American film studios stamped stories about the adventures of the restless "Scotsman" until the early 2000s.
  • In the list of breeds with outstanding learning abilities, Scottish Shepherds are assigned the 16th place.
  • Since most four-legged pets no longer exercise in herding, they will have to be introduced to sports disciplines for the sake of physical relaxation. In this regard, frisbee, flyball and agility are ideal for animals.
  • Collie is one of the most peaceful breeds, so if, besides a dog, you want a cat, a hamster and a parrot – feel free to start. A delicate and patient dog will not encroach on them.

Scottish Shepherd is a charming representative of the shepherd collie family, better known among dog lovers in her long-haired hypostasis. Moderately sporty, playful and inquisitive, this cute creature does not require strict control and, due to its good-natured nature, gets along with everyone who does not try to put pressure on him with rigid authority. Fluffy charmers are demanding only one thing – regular and long-term walking, so either buy comfortable sneakers and put up with excursions in any weather, or look for a more passive pet.

Breed characteristics

Aggressiveness ?
Not aggressive ( Rating 1/5)
Activity ?
High ( Rating 4/5)
Training ?
Very easy ( Rating 5/5)
Molt ?
Very high ( Rating 5/5)
Need for care ?
High ( Rating 4/5)
Friendliness ?
Very friendly ( Rating 5/5)
Health ?
Good ( Rating 4/5)
Cost of maintenance ?
Average ( Rating 3/5)
Attitude to Loneliness ?
Short periods ( Rating 2/5)
Intelligence ?
Very smart ( Rating 5/5)
Noise ?
Above Average ( Rating 4/5)
Security qualities ?
Can lick a thief :) ( Rating 1/5)
*Characteristics of the breed Scottish Shepherd (collie) is based on the assessment of experts and reviews of dog owners.

Video: Scottish Shepherd (collie)

History of the breed Scottish Shepherd

Scottish Shepherds began to be formed into a separate breed at the end of the XIX century. Until then, they were referred to a large family of shepherd collies, used as cheap labor when it came to protecting sheep flocks. It is believed that the ticket to life was given to the dogs by Queen Victoria, who settled in her palace kennel first a male collie named Noble, and then several of his relatives. As a result, by 1860, there was a stratification in the clan of shepherd shepherds, during which a variety of larger individuals with thick reddish hair stood out.

Scottish Shepherds acquired their recognizable aristocratic appearance as a result of interbreeding. For example, the elongated muzzles of the collie were inherited from the Russian greyhound, and the reddish-red color of the fur coats was inherited from the Irish setter. The work on the formation of the breed's phenotype stretched over several decades, but since 1885 there have already been "specimens" at European exhibitions that had similarities with modern dogs. One of such stars of the ring was the male Old Coca, considered the great-great-grandfather of today's collies.

At the end of the XIX century, the short-haired and long-haired varieties of Scottish Shepherds were finally separated. And although until the end of the XX century their representatives were crossed among themselves, now dogs with smooth fur and fluffy individuals belong to different breed types. Moreover, shorthair collies continue to be considered a rarer family than their shaggy cousins.

In Russia, Tsar Nicholas II became the first owner of the Scottish Shepherd breed. According to one version, the same Queen Victoria gave the puppy to the imperial family, and according to another story, the monarch himself bought the dogs on a foreign trip. After the October Revolution, the trace of the emperor's wards was lost, but by that time a section of service dog breeding was opened in Leningrad, where they were engaged in breeding and improving the working indicators of collies.

With the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, the four-legged pupils of Leningrad nurseries were called up for service, so that only five purebred individuals survived the blockade of the city on the Neva, from which all the lines of Soviet collies subsequently descended. Like most breeds in the USSR, the "Scots" were bred in complete isolation, without a rush of blood from the outside, so domestic shepherds differed from their European and American counterparts both externally and in terms of temperament. As an example: all Soviet individuals were tall and quite explosive, since in the Soviet Union puppies were initially attached to official activities. It was possible to get a relatively good-natured and smaller livestock only in the early 90s, with the advent of the possibility of importing breeding bitches and males from other countries.

The standard of the breed is the Scottish Shepherd

Collie is a slender aristocrat with a slightly sly expression of a long muzzle and the same sly look. Despite the fact that today's individuals no longer herd stray sheep, a strong build, without a bias in the roughness and dampness of the backbone, remains the defining feature of the breed. As for the dimensions of long-haired sheepdogs, each standard describes them differently. For example, in the opinion of FCI specialists, the growth of an exemplary male collie is 56-61 cm, bitches – 51-56 cm. At the same time, AKC (American Kennel Club) offers its own standards: 61-66 cm for "boys" and 56-61 cm for "girls".

Abundant straight hair, resembling an exquisite mantle, complemented by a fluffy collar and a fluffy tail, is another spectacular attribute of the long–haired variety of the breed. However, it is important to understand that even a record-breaking voluminous and glamorous "outfit" is not able to cover the physical shortcomings of the animal. Simply put: in the rings, the condition, movements and backbone of the collie are evaluated with more meticulousness than the coat. This is because historically the ancestors of Scottish Shepherds were bred as working dogs, which means they were much poorer dressed. At the same time, the luxurious "robes" of today's representatives of the breed are just the result of the persistent desire of breeders for a reference photogenic exterior of pets.


The elongated dry head of the Scottish Shepherd dog should have a blunted wedge–shaped shape, but at the same time not copy the head of one of its ancient ancestors - the greyhound. The skull and cheekbones of the collie are flat, the foot is weakly outlined. The head and muzzle are approximately the same length.


The main sign that you have a Scottish Shepherd in front of you is a cunning look of obliquely set almond–shaped eyes, which Western breeders characterize as "sweet". The most common color of the iris is dark brown. The exception is individuals with marbled hair, for which a blue eye tone is acceptable, as well as heterochromia.

Jaws and teeth

Teeth are large, in a complete set. The jaws are strong, in a scissor-like bow.


The back of the nose of the muzzle is characterized by a slightly rounded shape. The lobe has a rich black tone.


The relatively small ears of the Scottish Shepherd, planted in the area of the crown, are laid back. The ear flap assumes a semi-elevated, forward-facing position only if the dog is interested or concerned about something.


A muscular, balanced collie neck should have a pronounced bend and sufficient length.


The body of the stretched format is an external feature, especially pronounced in bitches. The back of the Scottish Shepherd is strong, slightly raised in the lumbar region. The chest is deep, wide behind the shoulder blades, with elegantly rounded ribs.


The front legs are dry, with oblique shoulder blades, straight forearms and elbows directed strictly backwards. The hind limbs have a muscular femoral part and a sinewy lower one. The hocks give the impression of restrained power and are lowered downwards. The dog moves with a light slow trot, springily pushing off with its hind limbs.


The collie has a long tail, the lower vertebra of which is at the level of the hock joint. A dog in a relaxed state has a tail held down and slightly bent up at the tip. If the animal is excited, the tail rushes merrily, but it is not thrown on its back.


The rich undercoat tightly fits the collie's body, completely hiding the skin. The covering hair is coarse, straight, forming a lush mane and frill on the neck, feathery on all four legs and an exquisite "fan" on the tail. On the ear tips and head, the hair is short and smooth.


The standard fixes no more than three basic suits:

  • sable – all variants from clarified gold to darkened sable, with the exception of light straw and cream;
  • tricolor – jet black with reddish-brown markings;
  • blue merle is silver-blue with black narrow veins and spots, as well as red markings on the upper part of the head and legs (the latter quality is optional).

The preferred addition in color is also the presence of white shirt front, collar, tail tip and white spots on the paws.

Defects and disqualifying vices

Disqualify representatives of the breed for cryptorchidism, anatomical deformities, aggressive attacks or excessive cowardice and malocclusion. Any noticeable deviation from the standard is sufficient to reduce the exhibition rating. For example, dogs with insufficiently filled muzzle, protruding cheekbones and occipital protuberance, as well as incomplete dental formula will not be able to claim the championship. The same fate awaits Scottish Shepherds with a short stocky body, erect ears, soft fur and cow-like limbs.

The character of the Scottish Shepherd

Collie is a charismatic intellectual who knows how to build warm relationships not only with the owner and his family members, but also with fluffy "antagonists" in the form of other dogs and domestic cats. One of the most pleasant and rare qualities of the breed is the absence of extremes in character and temperament. We can say that in the soul the animal carefully weighs the validity of each action, fearing to overdo it, so the right Scottish Shepherd is playful and mobile, but will not arrange a kind of natural disaster in the house; she is eager to contact the owner, but never transforms into a delivery dog, from whose attention she wants to hide in another room.

In relations with strangers, fluffy aristocrats are also extremely diplomatic – despite the natural distrust of an outsider, a long-haired collie will not allow himself to descend to a threatening growl and a display of fangs. That is why the breed is taken as a bodyguard reluctantly, preferring to trust its representatives with search and guard work. With children, shepherds have a permanent partnership, so if your heirs need a patient and inexhaustible nanny, take a closer look at the collie. The only caveat: to achieve maximum effect, you will have to raise the future "baby sitter" yourself – dogs that have not had contact with children until adulthood, alas, are not so child-loving.

The extraordinary talkativeness of the breed is noted by almost all dog handlers. And it's not just about the voice response to intrusion or extraneous sounds – a true "Scotsman" is not averse to chatting with the owner and without a reason. So don't be surprised when in response to a word said to a pet, you hear something grumbling-shrill or howling. In relation to other representatives of the fauna, Scottish Shepherds behave with restraint and peaceably, and medium-sized cattle and poultry are carefully protected from encroachments. The collie is able to present unpleasant surprises only by succumbing to collective euphoria. For example, when a pack of other dogs chases a cat or a feathered one. A four–legged shepherd is likely to join such a fun activity - whatever one may say, but pack instincts still play a significant role in the life of shepherds.

Take into account the fact that there are no dogs that are exact copies of each other both externally and in behavior, so it's pointless to compare the puppy you got and the individual living in a friend's house. Often, differences in the nature of animals are also due to the geography of breeding. For example, dogs from American lines are more temperamental than their European relatives. By the way, in terms of physical activity, Scottish Shepherds, though lively, are quite manageable, which cannot be said about their cousins – shorthair collies, whose internal battery always works at the limit of its capabilities.

Education and training

Intelligent, efficient and incredibly inquisitive collies are among the top most easily trainable breeds. However, it is possible to achieve positive and quick results only if there is a friendly attitude. Remember, the Scottish Shepherd has a vulnerable psyche and categorically does not accept an authoritarian style of communication. Moreover, the home atmosphere plays a huge role for her. If the family communicates in raised tones, this is stress for the pet, which prevents it from delving into the educational process and turns the puppy into a silly, nervous creature.

Don't be afraid that a shaggy friend will misinterpret your loyalty in the course of training and will begin to build a "big boss" of himself. The breed is not prone to dominance in principle and prefers kind mentoring from the owner. Otherwise, Scottish Shepherds are brought up according to the same pattern as most breeds. First – socialization and establishing contacts with family members, then – getting used to the daily routine, then – getting to know the street, new smells and sounds.

At all these stages, it is possible and necessary to attach the puppy to the basic commands. At 2 months old, a four-legged prankster is taught to respond to the call "To me!" and understand the order "Place!". At 3 months old, the pet is introduced to the leash and the commands "Walk!", "Sit!". 4 months is the optimal age to learn the orders "Next!", "Fu!" and "Lie down!". Well, a six-year-old teenager is able to master more complex actions, for example, aportirovku on command and the requirement "Stand!". By the way, about aportirovka: collie is one of the few breeds with a reduced craving for gnawing objects, so any toys from these shepherds live longer.

It is better to engage with the "Scotsman" on the street, and first the puppy is supposed to walk, and then get down to business. In the first lessons, the pet will be distracted by external stimuli, and this is normal. Gradually, the animal will learn to control its own attention and concentrate on the requirements of a person. The main thing is not to overdo it with repetitions of commands and the duration of classes. The time interval during which the Scottish Long–haired Shepherd is able to keep attention on one action is 5-10 minutes.

As for training programs, the breed perfectly copes with UGS and OKD. The international standard for obedience (offending) also passes the majority of individuals. Theoretically, nothing prevents the owner from going with the collie and the ZKS, but this is done more often "for show" – the character of Scottish Shepherds lacks healthy aggression and suspicion, so necessary for a bodyguard dog.

Maintenance and care

Like all historically working breeds, Scottish Shepherds are not afraid of temperature changes and are able to live in a kennel or aviary. However, in practice, relocating a pet to the yard on a permanent basis is not worth it for two reasons. Firstly, because of the contact collie, which requires constant interaction with the owner. And secondly, because of the excessively luxurious wool, which perfectly collects small garbage on itself. Residents of country cottages will have to think about how to provide an animal with a free pass from the street to the house and back. Well, apartment owners should get ready for regular promenades in the company of a pet.


The main problem of the collie is, first of all, wool. Lots of wool. Dogs shed seasonally, in autumn and spring, but this happens with individuals living in the fresh air. Apartment Shepherds shed their hair less spontaneously, but throughout the year. Puppies acquire fluffy fur coats only by the end of the first year of life, and in the process of changing children's "clothes" to an adult, they will have to be helped by combing, and occasionally bathing – so the puppy wool comes off faster. Molting of female individuals is a separate topic. Bitches renew their coat after each birth, and often a new regrown hair is not too spectacular.

Combing a non-straining collie once a week with mandatory moistening of the wool with a spray for untangling. The tail is combed carefully and strictly according to the growth of the coat – there is poor blood supply in this part of the body, so with dead hairs there is a risk of pulling out healthy ones. Do not be afraid if the faded ward resembles a slightly peeling creature – this is normal. Gradually, the renewed undercoat and awn will gain the necessary strength and density. The only caveat is that you won't show up at the exhibition with such an unevenly "dressed" dog.

Useful tools for working out the wool of the Scottish Shepherd – combs with rare and frequent metal teeth, a brush, scissors for trimming the wool behind the ears and on the paws. It is recommended to wash the animal with shampoo for wire-haired dogs, no more than 2-3 times a year. Monthly, the collie is also supposed to do a "pedicure" with a claw cutter for large and medium breeds, and once a week the dog's ear funnel is cleaned of excess sulfur secretions (a cotton cloth and warm water are enough).

Strict supervision is necessary for the eyes of a four-legged friend. And if you can remove dust lumps from the mucosa at home with chamomile broth and a cloth napkin, then with redness and visible inflammation you will have to resort to the services of a veterinarian. Post-workout hygiene is also part of the mandatory care program. After the promenade, you need to wash the dog's paws, periodically feeding the skin of the pads with unrefined vegetable oil or greasy cream. It is better to cut the fur between the fingers – so the paws will get dirty less, and in winter a crust of ice and reagents will not grow on them.

Walking and physical activity

It's great if you have enough time to devote to walking and jogging in the company of a collie from 4 hours a day. However, compromises are also possible. For example, in the morning and in the afternoon it is permissible to take a shepherd dog on a short "toilet" promenade, but in the evening she will have to give compensation in the form of a full two-hour walk. Individuals moving freely around the yard and the backyard are also allowed to slightly shorten the timing of daily excursions. By the way, you can let the collie wander around the fenced yard without unnecessary worries – the breed is not prone to escapes and does not arrange digs to escape into the wild.

If you live in a city where there are training grounds for dogs in sports pasture, it makes sense to enroll a fluffy ward for classes. Exercises with a frisbee disc are considered a good way to warm up. And in winter, you can practice skidjoring – the Alaskan malamute and Labrador collie in this discipline will not eclipse, but will receive physical and emotional discharge, and will provide the owner with fun. Pitch and go is considered a positive and relatively easy sport – the good old aportirovka of objects on command. In the summer, it is recommended to transfer the fun to the shores of reservoirs, that is, to throw an object into the water, from where the collie will get it. Scottish Shepherds like such attractions – the breed swims well and is not averse to refreshing itself on a hot day.

After water procedures, the dog's coat should be doused with slightly warmed running water and soaked with a terry towel, since raw hair is a breeding ground for bacteria that cause an unpleasant odor emanating from the animal. In the slushy off–season, it is more convenient to walk the collie in protective overalls - although the breed's wool has dust-repellent properties, it does not save the bellies of its representatives from liquid dirt.


The easiest way to meet the nutritional needs of a Scottish Shepherd is to feed it with "drying" containing natural meat. As a rule, these are super-premium and holistic-class varieties, selected individually, depending on the activity, health status and age of the individual. A natural menu is no less useful, but its compilation will require efforts from the owner in the selection of products and their processing.

Scottish shepherds eat the same as other dogs, that is, low-fat raw meat, fillets of boiled and raw sea fish, vegetables (pumpkin, squash, carrots), fermented dairy products of reduced fat content. It is useful to give calcined cottage cheese to puppies who have a backbone. Porridge with buckwheat, rice and oatmeal cereals is cooked in milk for kids, and broth for adult animals. Sometimes puppies and teenagers are allowed to be pampered with a flat beef bone, but keep in mind that a young dog should chew it slightly, and not eat it whole. Excessively fat collie is desirable to arrange fasting days, in which only water is offered, but it is better to coordinate pre-therapeutic fasting with a specialist.

Some owners give four-legged wards vitamins that improve the growth and structure of wool. But you should approach the selection of dietary supplements carefully, because such complexes "plant" the liver. It is better to replace ready-made preparations with fish oil and unrefined vegetable oil, although they should be added in very moderate amounts. Seaweed is also a useful dietary supplement, although the iodine contained in it is able to color the animal's fur. Accordingly, if you are raising a show dog that is about to go to the exhibition, it is better to minimize the intake of kelp.

Health and diseases of Scottish Shepherds

On average, collies live for 12-14 years, although exceptions to the rule that meet their own 16th birthday in good health are not so rare. Genetic ailments annoy Scottish Shepherds to a lesser extent than most popular breeds, which is due to the working status in which representatives of this dog clan have been staying for a long time.

The specific hereditary diseases to which the "Scots" are susceptible are most often attributed to the ocular anomaly CEA, which has several degrees of severity and is diagnosed in 5-7-week-old puppies. In adult individuals, it is possible to detect CEA only with the help of DNA tests. Before buying a puppy, find out from the seller whether the producers are the carrier of a defective gene transmitted to offspring, and ask to present the results of the examination.

In animals with blue merle color, congenital deafness is sometimes detected. In addition, some representatives of the breed suffer from degenerative myelopathy, ectopia of the ureters, hip dysplasia and dermatitis. Anomalies in the development of the eyelid are also still taking place, so periodically offspring with inverted or wrapped eyelids, as well as distichiasis, are born.

How to choose a puppy

  • Give preference to monopred nurseries, where they breed exclusively long-haired collies, and do not grow five or more breeds.
  • Become a regular of breed forums and carefully read real reviews about breeders and nurseries – in such places you can find a lot of useful information and check the seller for honesty.
  • Evaluate the appearance of the litter producer. The dog should not look exhausted and have an exhausted look, as, indeed, its offspring.
  • Take the puppy only when you make sure that he knows how to feed himself. To do this, stay in the nursery until the next feeding and see how the kids eat.
  • If the total area of white marks on the body of a collie puppy is 50% or more – get ready to consider it as a pet. The path to the exhibitions of such a shepherd dog will be closed.
  • Those who are taking the first steps in dog training, it is better to choose a "girl". Bitches of Scottish Shepherds are less obstinate and easier to learn.
  • The Collie is a talkative breed, but if at the first acquaintance the puppy barks at you without stopping, choose another baby. In the future, such talkativeness will cause a lot of problems with neighbors.
  • Before visiting the kennel, print out the Fisher and Campbell tests that help determine the puppy's character traits and abilities, and coordinate their conduct with the breeder.

The price of a Scottish Shepherd

Today you can buy a long-haired collie puppy, as well as sign up for the next litter in the Daenerys, Nixend, Eli Evenstar and others kennels. And get ready to travel: some of the breeders live in the regions in the south and north of the country. The approximate price of a Scottish Shepherd puppy with the RKF metric and a decent pedigree ranges from $250 – $400. Offspring with a promising appearance from manufacturers with international diplomas will cost $100 – $200 are more expensive.

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