Rough Collie

Lifestyle Needs

Rough Collie

The ancestors of the Rough Collie were Scottish working sheep dogs and although the modern version is very much a glamorous show dog, he retains his instinct to herd.  With this drive he makes a good obedience or agility dog.  The Rough Collie’s glamorous, thick coat makes grooming hard work and he should be groomed every day.  He needs plenty of exercise every day as well as some mental challenges.

Inbreeding Coefficient - COI
(Should be as low as possible)

The UK Kennel Club breed average COI is 14.3% - see 'A Beginners Guide to COI'

Effective Population Size - EPS


EPS is a measure of how many individuals are contributing genetically to a breed population. It is a measure of the size of the gene pool in a breed. Lower than 100 is considered critical by conservationists and below 50 brings a breed close to extinction. For more information see the Kennel Club article.

Health and Welfare Problems due to Conformation
(Body shape and physical characteristics)

The Rough Collie’s longish, thick coat means that he will be susceptible to the heat and uncomfortable in hot weather.

BVA/KC Health Schemes:

  • Hip dysplasia (malformation of the hip joints causinf pain and disability):  breed mean score 9.2 (parents should be lower)
  • Elbow dysplasia (malformation of the elbow joint causing pain andn disability):  score ideally O:O
  • Eye Disease: Multifocal retinal dysplasia (MRD) (severe MRD will cause visual impairment) (litter screening); Collie eye anomaly (CEA) (a lesion or pale patch on the eye) (litter screening); Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) (leads to blindness) (annual testing); Retinal pigment epithelial dystrophy (RPED) (annual testing)

Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) are now available for Hip Dysplasia and Elbow Dysplasia:

DNA Tests Available

  • Collie Eye Anomaly/Choroidal hypoplasia (CEA/CH)
  • Multi-Drug Resistance (MDR1)
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA prcd2)
  • Degenerative Myelopathy (DM)
  • Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis (NCL)
  • Canine Cyclic Neutropenia (stem cell disorder – very serious disease with multiple symptoms and death at a very young age)
  • Merle gene

Unofficial (Breed Club) Schemes

None known

Ask the breeder to show you the certificates for the above tests/screening for both parents. If any of the above tests have not been considered necessary by the breeder (and there may be good reasons), ask her to explain why.

Other Diseases Reported
(For which there are currently no genetic or screening tests for sire or dam)

  • Dermatitis (various forms)
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Drug reactions (Ivermectin)
  • Pancreatitis (abdominal tenderness/pain)
  • Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (chronic inadequate digestion, weight loss, hunger, diarrhoea)
  • Haemophilia A (bleeding disorder)
  • Carpal hyperextension syndrome (malfunction of ligaments in wrist – causes pain and lameness)
  • Cancer (Skin, Stomach)
  • Idiopathic Epilepsy (fear and discomfort before and after a seizure)
  • Corneal dystrophy (displacement of the cornea)
  • Entropion (inward turning of eyelids)
  • Renal Amyloidosis (kidney disease)
  • Pyometra (serious womb infection in older entire females)
  • Cutaneous lupus erythematosis (autoimmune disease,causing inflammation and scaling on dog’s face, loss of nose pigment)

Ask the breeder about the medical history of the parents, grandparents and great grandparents.  Consider carefully whether to purchase a puppy if some of these or other diseases are in the family line.

Ask about the breeder’s policy in cases of serious genetic diseases occurring to your puppy in later life. Good breeders will request to be informed of such events in order to improve future breeding decisions. Some breeders will also agree to contribute towards medical costs or refund purchase price.

You are strongly advised to buy from a breeder who uses (or is prepared to use) the RSPCA / BVA AWF Puppy Contract and Puppy Information Pack (PIP):

You are also advised to buy from a breeder who follows the Dog Breeding Reform Group’s (DBRG) Standard for Dog Breeding:

Or the Kennel Club’s Assured Breeders Scheme Standard and Guidance:
Standard PDF | Guidance PDF

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