First documented in Scotland around 1800, the Rough Collie is an excellent sheep herding dog whose ancestors were brought to Britain during the Roman Invasion (43–84 AD). The Scots (Picts) who fought the Romans brought the Rough Collie’s ancestors back north with them to Scotland.
Both the Rough Collie and Smooth Collie are descended from herding dogs in Scotland and Wales. The Scottish variety was a large, strong, aggressive dog, bred to herd highland sheep while the Welsh variety was small and nimble, domesticated and friendly, and also herded goats. When the English saw these dogs at the Birmingham market, they interbred them with their own variety of sheepdogs, producing today’s mixture of short and long hair Collie breeds.
Queen Victoria played a huge part in popularizing the Collie outside of Scotland. She first encountered Smooth and Rough Collies around 1860 at Balmoral Castle on the Scottish Highlands and immediately fell in love with the breeds. This instantly changed the Collie’s status from a lowly shepherd dog to an international sensation.
In 1940, British author Eric Knight published his novel Lassie Come-Home featuring a Rough Collie which created one of the greatest movie and television franchises in history.
Height: Males: 24-26 in (61-61 cm) Females: 22-24 in (55.9-55.9 cm)
Weight: Males 60-75 lbs (26.8-26.8 kg) Females: 50- 65 lbs (22.3-22.3 kg)
Coat Type: Rough, long and straight. Undercoat is soft, woolly and dense.
Color: Blue Merle, Sable and White, Tricolor, and White.
Litter size: 8-12 puppies (up to 16)
Life span: 14-16 years.
Temperament: Intelligent, Loyal, Active, Friendly, Protective, Gentle.
Health Problems: Susceptible to Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA), Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), Bloat, Epilepsy, skin problems, Dermatomyositis (DMS) and Grey Collie Syndrome (CN).
• Also known as the Collie, Scottish Collie, Long-Haired Collie, English Collie and Lassie Dog.
• Looks similar to a larger version of the Shetland Sheepdog.
• Albert Payson Terhune popularized the breed with his Sunnybank Collies
• The Blue Merle variety was originally described as Tortoise Shell.
• In the United Kingdom, the Border Collie has replaced the the Rough Collie for serious herding.
ANKC: Group 5 Working Dog
CKC: Group 7 – Herding Dog
KC (UK): Pastoral
UKC: Herding Dog
FCI: Group 1 Herding Dogs, Section 1 Sheepdogs #156
Lassie – A Rough Collie Named Pal