Care of Your Collie

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The Collie is well known as a versatile dog, that can be equally as happy in the home with a family, as he is in the fields herding sheep. The Collie is a loving and loyal family pet. They are an intelligent breed that are easily trained to show in conformation, obedience, herding trials, and other fun loving events such as agility and fly ball. The Collie is also well known as a star, in the "Lassie" movies, and was revered by Albert Payson Terhune, through his writings, and many accounts of the Collie.

The Collie comes in two varieties and five colors - the Rough Collie with a long profuse coat, and the Smooth Collie with a short dense coat. The five colors recognized by the Canadian Kennel Club standard of the breed are; Sable and white, tricolor, blue merle, white, and the sable merle.

Collies are a medium sized dog, ranging from 22" to 24" (females) and 24" to 26" (males) when mature, and weigh between 45 and 80 lbs.

Collie males will shed their coats yearly, usually in the early summer. Females will however "blow" their coats after each season, usually twice a year. They need regular brushing, and a full grooming at least once a month. The more frequently you groom your Collie the less time it will take, on average it takes an hour to do a complete grooming job. A warm bath at the time they are shedding will help loosen the coat and speed up the shedding process. Make sure his nails are trimmed and his teeth are cleaned. Your collie will quickly learn to enjoy being pampered.

Collies are generally out going people dogs, and will be a protector and a pal to the whole family. However, they seem to have an extra special love for children, and will tolerate them pulling, and tugging on their coats. When a child appears, the attention of your collie will be lost to them. I showed my first collie in obedience, and at my first trial when I was doing the heel of lead, the audience started laughing, and I soon realized that my collie had gone into the crowd, to play with the kids.

Collies need a regular amount of exercise to maintain a healthy body and mind. While they do not need acres of land to run on, a good romp about keeps them in shape. A walk at least once a day if one does not have a good-sized fenced yard should keep them happy. He will make a great jogging companion. When a collie gets bored he tends to bark and this is not always good if one lives in an area with neighbors, if he has toys to play with he is less likely to be bored.

Collies love the outdoors in winter and in summer, but will need shelter from the elements. The extreme heat in summer is as difficult for them to withstand as the cold in winter. Make sure they have shelter from the sun and heat and a well-insolated doghouse in the winter, if they are not living in the house.

Make sure your collie has a good supply of fresh water at all times, this is as important as his food. Feed him once or twice a day, either method is okay as long as it is a regular routine and he receives a well balanced diet. Most commercial dog foods will supply them with all the nutrition they need to say healthy and happy.

Your dog should be spayed, or neutered at about ten months of age, or when your veterinarian recommends. After which time, he will most likely only need to be taken to the vet yearly for his booster shoots and health exams.

Collies ask for very little; a little food, a little water, a little grooming, and a little exercise. However, they do require from you a LARGE amount of LOVE. Your love for your Collie will only be surpassed by his love for you and your family.