Lassie was average – for a Collie

Ask anyone who lives with a Collie and they will agree – Lassie was pretty average – for a Collie.  Collies in general, Rough or Smooth, are lovely companions, devoted to their families, willing to go anywhere and do almost anything with you.

Lassie and Timmy

Fortunately, most families do not have children like little Timmy, who every week could be counted on to find a new way to test Lassie’s devotion and willingness to, yet once again, get an adult to come to Timmy’s aid. Collies, developed as herding dogs, are usually content to transfer their loyalty to shepherding and protecting a flock of sheep, to a child or children. So if you have a small or large flock of children, a Collie will help you watch over them.

Mahagony Sable and White Rough Collie puppy

While Collie puppies are so adorable they practically hurt your eyes, this is a great breed to consider adopting as young adults, mature dogs, and seniors. Like really good wine and stinky cheese, Collies just get better with age.

I would argue that a Collie’s training also improves with age. Unlike some breeds that are quick to pick up everything and also fall all over themselves to please people (okay, I am thinking of Retrievers here) Collies remind me of C students. They’re willing to do the work, they may take a little longer to remember it than the A students, they are just as willing to leave class early and don’t generally feel cheated out of their education if you let them play longer and work a little less – but over time what they learn sticks with them and can be counted on as a solid base of knowledge.

Jenny smiling; she is a Mahogany Sable and White Rough Collie

I adopted Jenny through a Collie rescue contact. Jenny had spent the first two years of her life as a show dog, a life she was not thrilled with. She came from a kennel where there were a number of same-age, same-gender Collies and the breeder didn’t have time to campaign them all. Shortly after I adopted Jenny the breeder regretted her decision and would have taken Jenny back (I think she wanted me to consider a trade) – but I had been quick to spay Jenny. Thus Jenny was spared the life of a breeding kennel Collie, getting out younger than most potential breeding Collies do. I would however, just as happily adopt her today, now that she is age seven or eight, as I did back then (I never did get her papers, so I don’t know her actual birthdate/year.)

Blue Merle, Tri-color, Sable and White Rough Collie puppies

Jenny has won over a number of people who were not previously Collie people; sometimes people just see hair and don’t realize the great package that is inside the furry body.
Like most Collies, Jenny is gentle, reasonably obedient, a sweet soul who wants to get along with everyone and is willing to tolerate all other life forms. She likes children, herds cats, and provides warning when something is seriously out of place; she was the only animal I live with who bothered to wake me up when the neighbor’s house caught on fire one night.


Smooth Tri-Colored Collie


Aside from being a fine looking canine, Collies do well as family members with all kinds of families. They can be calm with elderly and very small children. They can be active joggers, walkers, or agility dogs. They also look good sitting on the seat in your car, truck, or mini-van. They’ll fit in a Mini-Cooper or look right at home in a Cadillac. A Collie can dress up any car, or make anyone look a little more rugged and willing to head into the outdoors.

Blue Merle Smooth Collie

Blue Merle Rough Collie

Collies will love everyone in the family. If you enjoy brushing then get a rough collie; enjoy less brushing,  then the same great temperament, and range of colors, are available in the smooth variety.

Ruby – the amazing Collie mix

 Collies are so great in fact, that even when they’re mixed in with other breeds – like my friend Ruby – you still get a fantastic dog. If you prefer your Collies with a little something else mixed in, just check out Petfinder for your next potential family member. Ruby was adopted from a shelter.

Shelters, purebred rescues, private citizens rehoming — all possible ways to locate your own wonderful Collie.

When I was growing up my childhood companion was adopted from a farm, a Collie-Border Collie mix. Champ always looked out for me (when he wasn’t out patrolling the large route he had to make every morning) and he was a very patient listener. I could even cry into his fur, hug him around the neck, or complain about school – he was steadfast in his affection and support.

Tri-Colored Rough Collie

 Collies like to walk, they need some brushing, they don’t shed any more than a Labrador in my opinion (actually, Jenny sheds less than Lil her little Lab sister), they will help with any herding chores you may have, and they will look good while doing so.

Jenny – again :-)

One does have to be a little more careful with the meds they are given – for example, many have an inherited predisposition to being poisoned by certain wormers/heartworm preventions – however there are alternatives available in the same locations you buy other heartworm prevention. (Check out MRD1 online – multiple drug resistance.) You can now have your Collie tested for MRD1.

Smooth Sable Collie

Finally, a little trivia for you.

Lassie, in TV and film, was always played by boys. The producers and trainers preferred the larger, fuller roughed male collies for theatrical purposes.
No wonder they always barked their heads off when anyone asked, “What is it girl?!”

As always, I welcome other people’s stories about life with Collies, wonderful Collies they’ve met, favorite Lassie TV moment, pictures….

If you need assistance posting pictures, forward them to me at

TV’s Lassie, little Timmy and parents

Favorite Lassie Spoof from Glossynews
“Upset: Lassie Leaves Timmy Down the Well”

From Glossynews Oct. 2010

“Through an interpreter (the Dog Whisperer), Lassie has informed local police the she has no plans to tell them which well Timmy is stuck in. The famous collie, who has saved the boy from multiple wells, caves, fires, storms, lions, wolves, bears, snakes, wells, collapsing buildings, and several other life threatening situations, has said that she has had enough.”

Of course, this is only a spoof – Lassie never stopped saving Timmy.

Talk about patient, forgiving, and persistent.

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