Jason, Polo, Ailsa

Collie (Rough)

Overall satisfaction


Acquired: Breeder (professional),
Bred dog myself,
Other (stray, given dog by friend etc.)

Gender: N/A

Training: Previous owner, I haven't learned care / training techniques, Attended conferences / shows, Books

Quick to learn and train


Emotionally stable


Family oriented


Child safety


Safe with small pets


Doesn’t bark a lot




Easy to groom


Great watch dog


Great guard dog


Lassie dogs - Not just for film stars



United Kingdom

Posted June 5, 2013

When you tell anyone that you have a Rough Collie, they generally say, "The Lassie dog?" Yeah, that one. The one I grew up with was just like Lassie, the golden color is called Sable. I now have 2 Blue Merles, grey-toned ones.

Like other Collie types, the Rough is an affectionate and very (VERY) loyal dog. When I was growing up, I had no fear if Jason was with me. He was placid to the point of surrendering to complete stranger dogs but if he thought any human was threatening me, he suddenly turned into Jaws, all snarling and warning. Then, once he was sure there was no danger, he would put his big friendly smile back on and no hard feelings.

He was friendly with strangers - human and dog - but ever so slightly snooty. These can be a one-person dog, although they will attach strongly to a whole family as well.

We had 2 cats while Jason was alive and he got on fine with them. The dogs we have now aren't so keen on cats, but probably because they've never lived with any.

The dogs we have now are very special, mother and son. They get on well - the Mom keeps her son in order even in her old age. She's 16 and still going strong.

She was actually my husband's dog and, when he left us a few years ago, she took offence. When he visited she would deliberately sit with her back to him, and then come and sit with me to comfort me! She's over it now and will greet him fairly pleasantly, but not for long.

I used to have a white, which is very rare here in the UK, where whites aren't recognized by the Kennel Club. They say it is because they can have hearing and vision problems but my Polo was fine. Well a bit daft but never ill.

I would recommend the Rough Collie to singles, couples, and families where the children are well behaved. These are a herding breed. Herders nip the feet of the sheep who are stepping out of line - they won't hesitate to do that to a naughty child! We trained our own children to be pack leaders early on, though, so didn't have any problems. They weren't allowed to be silly around the dogs, pull them or be too loud indoors - outdoors it was all bedlam, shouting, running, barking, and playing with water togeth!

Polo once took a nip at my daughter when she stepped over him and accidentally stepped on him (she was a bit of a klutz when she was little). We'd trained her, so she raised herself up to her fully 2ft height and said, "DON'T snap at me!" Polo was full of apologies and nuzzled up to her for forgiveness.

Now for the bad stuff. The noise. These are vocal dogs. They like to chat. They see nothing wrong with joining in conversations. We have been through some tough financial times since my divorce and we have a family chorus when the post arrives and there are no bills, we all shout, "No bad post!". Finn joins in with a musical "How-ow-owwwwl" in time with the chorus!

Of course, that's more of a problem when he wants to join in conversations when adults are trying to talk. He gets offended if he's left out.

All-in-all, though, these are an amazing breed and one I'd never want to be without.

(The photo is of Jason and me, aged 5. He had gone missing after we moved house and he was found miles away, following every little girl of my age that he could find. The story got lots of local interest and we appeared in the town newspaper.)

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