A Comprehensive Guide to the Rough Collie Dog Breed

Two collies laying outside

Rough Collie Breed Overview

The Rough Collie dog breed is a lovable family pet that’s become well-known over generations. This hard-working dog can run outside for hours, but he’ll pass out soon as he steps indoors. Even though Rough Collie dogs might seem energetic and crazy on the outside, on the inside, they’re soft little sweethearts who want to cuddle with their family. Rough Collie puppies are more complex than some other dog breeds because of how adaptable they are.

This larger breed is very energetic, but these dogs can still happily live in smaller homes or apartments as long as they get their regular amount of daily exercise. Rough Collie puppies are used to relaxing the second they step indoors, so they don’t mind chilling out inside, but they still need to get the required amount of exercise and mental stimulation. When owners don’t meet their dog’s basic needs, they might develop a few different health conditions.

Most Rough Collie puppies are friendly pets that can be great fits for many family types. Even though these dogs are great for families, larger dogs like the Rough Collie are better in homes with older children because dogs of this size might accidentally injure children that are too young. 

Rough Collie puppies are undoubtedly family dogs, but this breed is great in any home as long as the owner is ready to dedicate plenty of time, love, and attention to these pets. 

These dogs really just need someone that’s willing to spend time with them outside and someone willing to lay down and cuddle as soon as they step inside. If you’re looking to rescue a Rough Collie puppy, then you should make sure you have the energy to give them the exercise they need. It’s also just as important to have the energy to provide enough daily mental stimulation for this intelligent breed.

History of the Rough Collie Breed

Rough Collie dogs originally worked as herding dogs in the Scottish highlands. The Scottish highlands are very cold, and this caused these dogs to develop their large and thick coats. This breed had to protect its farmlands from dangerous animals, and people quickly took notice that this breed was going to be a loyal protector type of dog. Rough Collie puppies quickly showed their devotion and faith to their people and families.

Because of their past as herding dogs, Rough Collie puppies may develop a bad habit of nipping at passerby’s ankles. Owners can easily break this habit by stopping them as soon as possible. Even though this dog’s history might have resulted in a few minorly annoying habits, the Rough Collie breed has a rich and loving history that is purely the reason they are such great family pets today. 

Rough Collie Dog Size

These large dogs can weigh anywhere from 50 to 70 pounds, and they stand anywhere from 22 to 26 inches tall at their shoulders. 

Rough Collie dogs are so big that they can accidentally knock over younger or smaller children. Often, it seems as though the bigger a dog is, the less likely they are to understand its size. Unfortunately, that means it might be easier for them to knock over younger kids or any objects they can hit with their tails. 

In order to prevent these accidents, owners should always keep a watchful eye on their dogs around any fragile guests. The best way to avoid a situation like this is to make sure to adopt a dog that will be safe around your children and also teach your children how to interact with animals properly. As for objects, puppy-proofing your house is a good way to ensure nothing dangerous breaks or injures your beloved pet. If you have a family heirloom or a beautiful vase on your living room table, it might be the perfect time to install those shelves you’ve wanted. 

The Temperament of a Rough Collie Puppy

This family pet has a wonderful temperament, which is why they get along so well with children. Rough Collie puppies get along great with all types of people, including single-family homes and older adults. These dogs are great companion animals, and they can get along well with other pets if they’re socialized correctly. Sometimes this breed can be over-friendly, and Rough Collie puppies might jump on any visitors the second they meet someone new. 

Rough Collie puppies know how to calm down, but only if they receive their required amount of exercise. As with all dogs, the Rough Collie puppy’s temperament can change when they don’t get their basic conditions met. If these animals aren’t given enough physical or mental stimulation, they may become destructive and noisy trouble makers. Rough Collie puppies are loud, hyper, and exhausting pets at their worst. At their best, Rough Collie puppies are one of the best friends you could ask for in a dog. 

Rough Collie Breed Intelligence 

People have been breeding dogs for specific tasks for hundreds of years. Usually, dogs that were bred to complete tasks, rather than being bred to be companion animals, are much more intelligent than their companion counterparts. Rough Collies are one of the breeds that have a natural intelligence because of their history. This breed is very smart, and these trainable dogs have completed many different tasks. Not only are they great at competing, but they have also excelled in becoming support animals and service dogs.

Few dog breeds desire to please their owners as much as the Rough Collie breed. Their basic drive to please their owners helps make training sessions easier. But, it’s always best for owners to keep training sessions as short as possible. 

The best way to have successful training sessions is to make these occurrences five minutes long and as consistent as possible. Try to teach your dog at the same time daily, and don’t let the sessions drag on past fifteen minutes maximum. 

By making a consistent and brief schedule, you create a healthy habit with your dog where they regularly receive mental stimulation and bond with you simultaneously. It’s a good idea to never chastise your dog for not completing a command and rather focus on the positive side of training. For example, if you tell your dog to sit and they don’t, it’s best not to keep yelling at them to do it. Instead, it would be best if you tried to do something else that they will do. If your dog does follow your command as soon as you say it, you should give them plenty of verbal praise and a lot of treats to make sure they come to like training sessions.

Associating training sessions with a happy tone, plenty of treats, and good pets is the best way to get your dog to listen to you more. When rescuing a new pet, training can be a vital way of learning to communicate with your new dog. 

Rough Collie Shedding

This dog breed has long hair that comes in a variety of colors, and these coats can be brown, white, black, or tan. Even though these dogs will shed quite a bit, make sure to brush the dogs regularly to help take care of this extra hair. Rough collie puppies don’t need to be brushed more than once or twice a week tops, but owners can brush their dogs more often if they want to. Some owners might want to brush their dog daily during extreme changes in the seasons to take care of all the extra fur during their pet’s heavier shedding periods. It’s a good idea to keep a lint roller around when you own one of these dogs because you’ll likely get a lot of hair stuck to your black pants.

Rough Collie Breed Health Overview

Rough Collie dogs have an average lifespan of 14 to 16 years long. Most of these dogs are healthy their entire lives and will live very long and fulfilling lives, but sometimes health conditions can come up that causes them to have a shorter lifespan. All dogs have their own breed-specific health risks that they’re predisposed to experiencing. 

Rough Collie puppies are genetically predisposed to certain conditions that other dog breeds might not be. Even though these dogs are at risk of experiencing these conditions, not all dogs in the breed will ever develop any physical health conditions.

However, all dogs will experience minor psychological health conditions at some point, such as stress and anxiety. Stress and anxiety are natural responses to the external world and occur most often when dogs are in fearful or unknown situations. Thankfully, because stress and anxiety are such minor and common conditions, there are tons of ways owners can help their Rough Collie through any of these trying issues. 

Common Psychological Health Conditions 


Stress can occur in a dog for a variety of reasons. One of the most common causes of stress in dogs is a result of poor socialization. When dogs don’t receive proper socialization training, they can become incredibly fearful of new situations, people, or animals. 

When Rough Collie puppies experience stress, they might be confused about whatever is going on around them. Many dogs experience stress in response to loud sounds, which is why so many dogs aren’t fans of thunderstorms, emergency vehicle sirens, or fireworks.

Sometimes dogs have experienced trauma in their lives, and more commonly, shelter animals deal with this. When dogs have experienced challenging life traumas like homelessness, abandonment, abuse, or neglect, they are much more likely to struggle with symptoms of stress.

Many owners can help their stressed-out Rough Collie puppies by taking notice of what causes their dogs stress. Over time, you will begin to understand your dog’s body language, which is the way dogs communicate with the world. Stressed-out dogs will show symptoms by putting their tails between their legs or holding their ears back. Some dogs shake like they’re wet or bark, whine or howl when they’re stressed. Sometimes a Rough Collie puppy might hide behind its owner when stressed out or try to be as close to its owners as possible. 

Dog owners can help their dogs deal with stress by using their favorite treats to distract them or by giving them calming supplements during their dog’s panic attacks. 


Many Rough Collie puppies will face anxiety at some point in their life, likely either because of separation anxiety or because their owners aren’t providing for their basic needs. When dogs have pent-up energy or don’t get their daily mental stimulation, their body reacts by giving them anxiety.

Owners can help their anxious Rough Collie puppies in these situations by observing what causes their dog’s anxiety. If you notice your dog freaks out before you leave your house or always trashes your house in your absence, they are definitely suffering from separation anxiety. Other signs a dog suffers from separation anxiety are if they don’t eat in your absence or urinate and defecate even though they’re house-trained. 

If your dog seems to act out randomly during the day or becomes less responsive to your commands, it might not be getting the proper amount of stimulation. A hyper dog is typically a bad dog, but only if their energy is from a lack of exercise. 

There are plenty of ways owners can help their anxious dogs. If your Rough Collie is anxious, try giving them more exercise, to begin with, as this can be a great and healthy way to tire them out. If more exercise doesn’t help, many dog owners give their pets canine CBD or anti-anxiety medications. But it’s always better to try to help your dog get over their anxiety naturally before using supplements to calm them.

Calming Dog Products 

There are many other ways owners help their Rough Collie puppies deal with anxiety. Another popular and successful method is to create a safe space for your pet. Safe spaces are locations dedicated solely to your dog, so your dog has a place to go whenever they want to be alone. These areas are supposed to be away from loud noises or any foot traffic in your home. The spaces typically include a comforting dog bed, some calming treats, and freshwater. Of course, most dog owners pamper their pets, and so they may add a blanket or two, and maybe even a crate. 

Common Physical Health Conditions

Hip Dysplasia

Dog hip dysplasia occurs whenever animals are born with their hip joint misaligned. The situation occurs whenever the ball and socket joint doesn’t fit smoothly in their joint. 

In the long run, this leads to arthritis, maybe a limp, or other pain symptoms related to the joint issue. Often owners can recognize that their dogs might be suffering from hip dysplasia if they develop a strange walk or hop. This walk might appear whenever a Rough Collie puppy tries to skip walking on its back legs. 

Owners often treat their dog’s hip dysplasia by providing plenty of soft areas so they can rest their joints. Other treatment options include anti-inflammation supplements or pain management medicine. 

Elbow Dysplasia

Another common health issue in many dog breeds is elbow dysplasia. Similar to hip dysplasia, this condition occurs when a Rough Collie puppy is born with its elbow joint already displaced. Symptoms of this condition don’t really appear until much later in a dog’s life and are almost always mild. 

Dogs with elbow dysplasia may limp or randomly run on three legs skipping the use of one of their arms. Owners can help their dogs with this condition by providing joint supplements or something similar to dog CBD. Canine CBD is an excellent way to provide anti-inflammatory treatment while also helping your dog with any pain symptoms they may feel. 


Many people don’t know it, but over 50% of adult pet U.S. dogs are overweight. This happens because many pet parents don’t provide their pets with enough daily exercise to support their basic needs. Owners can deduce if their Rough Collie is overweight by doing a rough examination on their sides.

You should be able to feel your dog’s ribs if you put your hand on your side and put slight pressure on your fingertips. If you don’t have to use any pressure to feel your dog’s ribs, they might be malnourished. If you have to use more than a little pressure, you might have an obese pet. 

Owners can best help their Rough Collie puppies prevent obesity by making sure they get the proper amount of exercise daily. It’s also important to make sure you feed your dog an appropriate calorie amount for their size and energy levels. Some owners will give their pets low-calorie treats to help them lose weight. 

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Oral Health in Rough Collie Puppies

Oral health is a common issue in many canines. Owners don’t realize that a dog’s oral health is one of the most important parts of their overall health. Poor oral health can lead to issues like respiratory disease or cardiac disease. 

Dog owners often use oral health treats or supplements to help make sure that they’re taking care of their oral health as best as possible. For the best oral health care possible, owners should brush their dog’s teeth at least once a week, and they should use cleaning products every day to help keep up with their dog’s oral health needs. 

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Rough Collie Breed’s Needs


Most Collie breeds need a lot of exercise to keep up with their iconic energy. These dogs are very high-energy dogs, except this breed is special because even though they have tons of energy, they’re less likely to show it indoors. When these dogs are outdoors, they can run around for hours. These dogs need between 45 to 80 minutes of exercise daily, depending on their age.

Some breeds are more mentally active than others and will need more mental stimulation to stay healthy. Rough Collie puppies will also need more mental stimulation to stay healthy because they are such an intelligent dog breed. Owners can find some easy enrichment activities to partake in with their dogs to keep them healthy.

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A Rough Collie puppy will need anywhere from 1 to 3 cups of food a day. A dog’s daily nutrition depends heavily on their factors, and this means that age, weight, sex, or other health factors, can all determine a dog’s proper nutrition.

The dog’s daily calories should count any treats they get and any dog food they’re going to eat. Your dog’s nutritional needs will change throughout their lives, so if you don’t feel confident that you’re providing the correct amount of calories, you should always feel secure asking your vet. 

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Rough Collie puppies need little grooming. These dogs are very low maintenance and have minimal needs. They typically need to be brushed once a week to keep their coats looking healthy. Owners should keep brushing their pets regularly as it helps increase their bond and also makes them more comfortable with grooming sessions. Owners should also try to make sure that they bathe their dogs at least once a month or anytime they get dirty.

Twice a year, dogs go through extra heavy shedding periods whenever there are significant changes in the seasons. When these significant changes happen, you should brush your dog more than once a week to make sure that all the dead fur is out of their coats.

Top Product Picks for Rough Collie Puppies

When rescuing a new pet, it’s easy to get lost in the excitement of adopting a new best friend. However, it’s easy to forget that dogs get anxious in new situations, especially if they are from a shelter. Your new pet might not be as excited to change homes because they don’t yet know they are going to a better place. Owners can help their new dogs adapt by anticipating this fear and preparing ahead of time to help their dogs feel more comfortable upon arrival. 

When bringing home a new pet, owners should absolutely have a collar, dog food, water bowl, and leash ready at home. New dogs will likely benefit from a cage, dog bed, and possibly pee pads. If you don’t know if your dog is house-trained, you should keep them in a crate when you’re away until you know you can trust them on their own. 

It’s important to give your dog space when you bring them home and let them explore their new home on their own. When you allow your dog this freedom, they might feel safer in their new residence.

Extra prepared owners can purchase things that they might want in the future. Some people like to buy dog food storage containers to keep their pet’s food fresh. Some owners buy dog toys, treats, dog CBD, or even a harness for the dog. You might want to wait to buy a harness until you have your dog, so you know it fits right. 

Owners can get many fun tools and knickknacks to prepare for their new pet. Potential Rough Collie owners should know they need to be ready to help their dogs feel relaxed in their homes. It can be easy to welcome a new pet, as long as you’re patient and kind while your dog adjusts to its wonderful new life. 

Other Resources

  1. Collie Club of America
  2. Collie Health Foundation
  3. Collie Rescue Foundation
  4. The Rough Collie Kennel Club
  5. Collie VCA Animal Hospital Information
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