Karla has always raised Collies. When she was a young child, her family had a couple of collies, George and Ginger, that roamed freely around the neighborhood and would protect the kids from snakes and other hazards. Karla was always impressed at the intelligence that the dogs displayed and as a teenager she had a tri-color female named Nina. When Nina passed away Karla got another tri-color female named Gilda. Karla has kept other breeds of course, but she always returns to her collies.
About these Collies
Collies are most associated in the public concience with Lassie but the breed has more depth than that. Here are some collie facts:
- Collies come in two coat varieties: Rough and Smooth - long hair and short hair. Rough coat is what most people are familiar with but smooth coated collies have gained in popularity over the last few decades. Smooth collies are easier to maintain and the personality of the dog is identical to the rough coats.
- Collies come in four colors: Sable, Tri-Color, Blue Merle, and White. There are variations on those categories. For instance, Lassie is usually played by a Mahogony Sable. The Tri-Color will always be predominantly black, but the Blue Merle can range drastically. White is least common and never (never?) solid white.
- Contrary to what many think, there is no miniature collie. Shetland Sheepdogs, aka. Shelties, are not related to collies. At all. They just look similar. If you have a collie, you have a large dog.
- Collies are smart and easy to train. They are social animals (all dogs are) and benefit by having lots to do. A bored collie will just get into trouble. This trainability is part of what makes collies good herding dogs.
- Collies, like other herding dogs, will herd animals instinctively. If you take an 8-week old collie puppy and drop him in a pen with ducks or geese, he will run the outside perimeter and group the animals up toward the trainer. Older collies are tested with sheep.