This highly intelligent dog has many talents as showcased by the famous Lassie.
The Collie is large and strong but lean. The ears are distinctive: they are partly upright but the ends fold forward. There are two coat types, the rough and the smooth. Rough Collies have long, straight hair all over their bodies with a magnificent mane down their neck and chest. They both can come in a large variety of colours including the blue merle.
They were originally bred to herd and protect sheep in Scotland but have also been successfully used in search and rescue and acting as guide dogs for the blind.
They are very intelligent and highly trainable. Although loyal and naturally protective of their family, they are good natured and normally get on well with people and other animals. They need plenty of opportunities to exercise their body and brain.
Both coat types need grooming but the rough coat needs substantially more. They are generally healthy but can be prone to PRA, eye defects and hip problems. Some of them also carry the MDR1 gene which makes them sensitive to some drugs.