Skip to Main Content

Skipped to Main Content

Collies Rough and Smooth

Published on 8 Jul 2021

Rough Collie enjoying snow.

Arguably the most famous dog of all time, the stories of Lassie the Rough Collie have entertained people since a very early short story was written by British writer Elizabeth Gaskell in 1859. Later, English American writer Eric Knight wrote another story about this loyal and loving companion that started the immensely successful Lassie series of films, TV shows and even a cartoon adaptation. Although Lassie, the long-haired Collie is instantly recognisable, the breed actually has two varieties, the Rough or long-haired Collie and a Smooth or short haired variety.

It is believed that the ancestors of the Collie made their way into Britain thousands of years ago, arriving with the Romans during their invasion of England in the 1st Century AD. The herding dogs made their way up to Scotland where the Collies that we have come to know and love today were developed. The Collie were formally recognised in the 1800’s. Collies today can be seen anywhere from still working on farms herding livestock, to giving lots of love and devotion to their family and perhaps even still saving little Timmy from the well!

Collies are medium sized, athletic dogs, weighing around 25 to 35kg and can stand as tall as 65cm at the shoulder. Females tend to be smaller than males. They come in a variety of colours including tricolour, blue merle and white but the most famous colour is the sable and white of Lassie.

Dog Breed Facts & Characteristics


Scotland, 1800’s

Also known as 

Rough Collie: Scotch Colie, Scottie Collie, Long-Haired Collie, English Collie, Lassie dog 

Smooth Collie: Collie (smooth coat) 


Medium; 55 to 65cm tall

Weight Range

22 to 35kgs


Sable and white, tricolour, merles, blue

Life expectancy

12 to 14 years


Rough or smooth; sheds 


Steadfast, adoring, dignified 

Activity levels


Best suited for

Active families 

Apartment friendly

Better suited to larger properties 


The fictional tales of Lassie are surprisingly accurate to the temperament and personality of the Collies. They are renowned for intelligence and being eager to please, a fantastic combination when it comes to trainability. It’s easy to forget that they were bred as working dogs, with high intelligence, energy and stamina so their energy needs to be appropriately channeled, or anxiety can build. These dogs typically do well at sports like agility or fly ball and suit an active household with time for runs and play. They are a popular choice for families with children due to their gentle and protective nature. Apartment life will cramp the Collie’s style, and they are better suited to a home with a yard that they can explore. 


The Rough Collie’s rather glamorous coat needs frequent brushing to avoid matts and to collect loose hairs that shed. The Smooth Collie with a short, smooth double coat needs less frequent brushing especially when they are shedding which is usually seasonally. Flea control all year around is recommend as is tick control if in a tick area. 


When choosing a food for your Collie, select a premium breed dog food appropriate to your dog’s age. Help your fur baby avoid becoming overweight by ensuring that you follow the recommended feeding guides on the food appropriate to your pet’s size. Make sure your dog always has a supply of fresh, clean water available.

Rough collie running portrait.

Common health concerns 

Several of the most common conditions affecting Collies could reflect their active nature and include osteoarthritis, traumatic injuries and eye problems including corneal ulcers. Other common problems include skin conditions like allergic skin disease and gastrointestinal upsets.

The five most common reasons for Collies to visit the vet (excluding routine care visits) according to PetSure data in the 2020 calendar year:

RankConditionAverage cost for single treatment
(average pet insurance claim amount)
Highest cost for single treatment (highest pet insurance claim seen for this condition)
1Osteoarthritis $157$1, 869
2Gastrointestinal conditions, including vomiting and diarrhoea$357$3, 033
3Skin conditions, including allergic skin disease $197$1, 496
4Eye conditions, including conjunctivitis and corneal ulcers $171$724
5Traumatic injuries, including muscular and tail injuries$282$2,458

Disclaimer: Reimbursement for these claims would be subject to limits, such as annual benefit limits or sub-limits, benefit percentage, applicable waiting periods and any applicable excess. Cover is subject to the policy terms and conditions. You should consider the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or policy wording available from the relevant provider


Rough Collie sitting on green grass.

Most popular Collie names (PetSure data 2020)

Most popular names

  1. Akira
  2. Ace
  3. Cooper
  4. Indy
  5. Juno
  6. Molly
  7. Riley
  8. Alex
  9. April
  10. Archie

Most popular female names  

  1. Akira
  2. Indy
  3. Juno
  4. Molly
  5. April
  6. Athena
  7. Bella
  8. Chilli
  9. Coco
  10. Cookie

Most popular male names

  1. Ace
  2. Cooper
  3. Riley
  4. Alex
  5. Archie
  6. Astro
  7. Bear
  8. Billie
  9. Bobby
  10. Charley

Did you know?

Lassie is one of a handful of dogs with a Hollywood Walk of Fame star, along with famous German Shepherd, Rin Tin Tin. 

Where can I get a Collie?

Although they are a pure breed of dog, breed specific rescues may have Collie for adoption. It may also be possible to find a wonderful medium dog for your family at the local shelter or rescue organisation who is looking for a loving home. 


  1. American Kennel Club, Collie, Accessed 09/06/2021
  2. Wikipedia, Smooth Collie, Accessed 09/06/2021
  3. Walk of Fame, Lassie, Accessed 09/06/2021
  4. Wikipedia, Rough Collie, Accessed 09/06/2021 is general insurance issued by the insurer The Hollard Insurance Company Pty Ltd (ABN 78 090 584 473; AFSL 241436) (Hollard); is promoted and distributed by Pet Insurance Pty Ltd (ABN 38 607 160 930; AR 1234944) (PIPL) and PIPL’s authorised distribution partners (including Pet Culture Group Pty Limited ABN: 69 644 613 098; AR 001284860) (PetCulture) and administered by PetSure (Australia) Pty Ltd (ABN 95 075 949 923; AFSL 420183) (PetSure). PIPL and PetCulture are authorised representatives of PetSure. Any advice provided is general only, has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs and may not be right for you. Consequently, before acting on this information, you should consider the appropriateness of this information having regard to your objectives, financial situation and needs. You should obtain and consider the product disclosure statement (PDS) in deciding whether to acquire or continue to hold, Pet Insurance.

Kylie Mitchell

Kylie Mitchell


Kylie Mitchell is a veterinarian with over 17 years experience in animal health and welfare, including in the veterinary and pet insurance industries

She has three rescue cats (Noah, Bei Bei and Meeka), four very old cockatiels and a pond-full of fish.

Kylie Mitchell's Pets

  • MeekaMeeka
  • Bei BeiBei Bei
  • NoahNoah

Sign up to our newsletter

For exclusive offers and promotions, the latest expert pet advice and 15% off your next order (maximum discount of $20)!

We care about keeping your personal data safe. View our Privacy Policy here to learn more.