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Posted on Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Collies love to herd, run and play with friends

History of the Collie

Sweet and loyal, Collies make great herders – and great canine friends.

British heritage

With origins in England and Scotland, Collies may have been named after the Scottish black-faced sheep they herded: the Colley, according to GlobalAnimal.org. The dogs were used for herding, guiding cows and sheep to market, for guarding flocks and for water rescue, throughout the British Isles.

What is known for sure is that around the time of the American Civil War, Queen Victoria visited the Scottish Highlands and fell in love with the Collies, which she kept at Balmoral Castle. As a result, the Collie became an extremely popular breed of the time.

Legacy of Lassie

Perhaps the most popular Collie of all was Lassie, but families seeking to replicate the gentle, faithful and intelligent dog of the movie found that Collies in general are wonderful pets. Natural herders, they’re friendly with humans and other pets, and, says the AKC, devoted family dogs, protective of small children and eager to please. As any Collie owner knows, the puppies attempt to herd humans, and they can also be trained without much trouble.

Socializing Collie pups
Socialization is extremely important to keep the puppies from distrusting strangers. According to PetCareRx, socialization training teaches them to accept other people, sights, sounds and animals without fear, and enrolling them in a training class helps with both socialization and basic puppy behavior.

What makes Collies easy to train is that they are attuned to their owners and to what the owners want. Given that fact, PetCareRx recommends positive reinforcement for training the Collie. With a mix of praise, dog treats and positive interaction, a Collie learns to repeat the desired behavior on command. If the dog makes a mistake, simply hold onto the treat until he gets it right.

Living with a Collie

Dogster calls the Collie an unusually low-maintenance pet whose demands are few and is generally pleasant and even-tempered. These fun-loving dogs will turn into guard dogs if they sense the family is in danger, but they generally prefer to run and play with their two-footed friends.  A large yard and a job to do will have a positive impact on the Collie’s health and happiness.

They enjoy walks and active exercise but don’t need as much as dogs like labs and sometimes prefer the role of couch potato.

This content post is provided by the pet experts at Hartz.