Just about anyone who has been around since the advent of television knows who Lassie is. She is the loyal, intelligent, fearless star of TV and movies and we've been following her adventures for the last sixty years. Lassie is an excellent ambassador for the entire Collie breed, as they are just as intelligent and loyal as the silver screen portrays. Collies are fantastic family dogs, they love to be with people and are highly patient and loving with children.
Collies only require moderate exercise to remain healthy and happy, but are not ideal apartment dogs. Daily walks and weekly runs are a must, as is the opportunity to engage in interesting activities. Collies are intelligent and need mental stimulation as well as physical stimulation. Without proper activity levels, this breed will become anxious and develop destructive behaviors.
Collies are easy to train, though sometimes they can be stubborn. They should always be treated gently, with positive reinforcement and treats. Collies are sensitive animals, and when treated harshly they can become timid and skittish. After mastering basic obedience, Collies should be allowed to move on to more advanced training or participate in agility activities.
Collies are highly intelligent and have been used as service dogs, guard dogs and search and rescue dogs.
Collies attach themselves to the people they love and do not like to be left alone for long periods of time. Companion animals can help, but the Collie prefers the company of people to other dogs. If lonely or bored, Collies will bark excessively and chew destructively.
Shyness is common in Collies and if not properly socialized, can lead to timidity and fearfulness of strangers. Early and frequent socialization is a must so that the dog understands new people and new situations are not to be feared. Positive reinforcement when a Collie is exhibiting confidence can also build their self esteem and keep timidity at bay.
Collies have been a popular breed, thanks to Hollywood's (accurate) depiction of them as intelligent, loyal companions. Because of this, they are a popular breed with puppy mills and other indiscriminate breeders. Those who are considering adopting a Collie should research the breeder before committing, as poorly bred Collies can be very high strung, nervous and prone to health problems.