Rough Collie

Rough Collie

Rough Collies are medium/large dogs of dignity and beauty with sweet, expressive looks. They have abundant coats that come in sable, sable and white, tricolour and blue merle, and elongated, chiselled heads. Adult males measure 56-61cm and weigh 27-34kg, and adult females stand at 51-56cms and weigh 23-30kg.

Rough Collie
  • Category size: Large
  • Grooming requirements: Daily
Rough Collie
  • Shedding: Moderate
  • Allergies: No
  • Noise: Vocal
  • Dog Group Kennel Club: Pastoral
Rough Collie
  • Alone: Less than 1 hour
  • Other pets: High
  • Stability as a guard: Medium


It is believed the Rough Collie dog breed is descended from dogs that accompanied the Roman invaders in 50BC and native Scottish dogs. They probably take their name from a type of black sheep, Colleys, bred in the lowlands of Scotland. In the 1860s Queen Victoria became entranced with these dogs when she visited her Scottish estate at Balmoral and took some back with her to Windsor Castle. Known at that time as the Scottish Sheepdog, the Rough Collie first entered the show ring at the Birmingham Dog Society Show and was soon highly sought after.


Rough Collies have friendly dispositions with minimal traces of nervousness or aggression. They are happy dogs who bond very closely with their families. Very protective of their home environment, they will warmly receive invited friends. Rough Collies learn very quickly and thrive when given new training challenges.


As with many dog breeds the Rough Collie can suffer from various hereditary eye disorders, and hip dysplasia (a condition that can lead to mobility problems). Eye testing and hip scoring of dogs prior to breeding is therefore important.


Surprisingly enough, Rough Collies do not demand too much exercise and will easily adapt to family circumstances. However, free-running should be given, allowing them time to play with and retrieve a ball. For an adult, one hour's daily exercise should be given, though he will happily accept more if you can offer it.


Large breed dogs, as well as having large appetites, benefit from a different balance of nutrients including minerals and vitamins compared to smaller-breed dogs. Rough Collies may be prone to bloating and stomach problems; smaller, more frequent meals can help minimise this risk.


With their abundant double coats, Rough Collies need weekly brushing to prevent serious matting. The undercoat is soft and furry, sitting close to the skin, while the outer coat is harsh and straight. During moulting, daily brushing is beneficial. Occasional trimming will keep the feathering on the front legs and tail in check.

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Is this the right dog breed for you?

All dogs have their own, unique personality, but some instincts and behaviours they’re born with. Try our breed selector and find out which dog breeds better match your preferences and lifestyle. If you and your dog enjoy similar things, you will be more likely to live a happy, fulfilling life together.


What to Consider next


It is incredibly fulfilling to adopt a dog from an animal shelter or rescue organization. It often means offering them a second chance in life. There are many dogs waiting for a loving family, a forever home. Reputable centers will be very careful about matching the right people with the right dogs. Staff learns all they can about the dogs they take in, and will spend time getting to know you, your family and your lifestyle, before they match you with any of their dogs. They’ll also be happy to give you advice and answer any questions you might have before and after the adoption.

Finding a good breeder

If your heart is set on a pedigree puppy, then your best bet is to find a reputable breeder. Contact The Kennel Club or a breed-club secretary who may have a list of litters available, or should be able to put you in contact with breeders in your area. Try to choose a breeder who is part of the Kennel Club’s assured breeder scheme.Visit dog shows to meet breeders in person and inquire about availability of pups of your chosen breed.

Welcoming your dog home

Whether you’re bringing home a tiny puppy or rehoming an adult dog, this is a hugely exciting time for everyone. While you’re waiting for the big day you might need to distract yourself, so luckily there are a few things you need to sort out before you welcome your new arrival. Click here for more information