The Collie

Frequently when an owner is walking their Collie in public, strangers will come up and remark on the dog’s beauty.  Whether seeing a Collie in person or in movies or television, people are attracted to Collies not only because of a Collie’s appearance but for the personality that shows through their expression.

The Collie Breed

The Collie breed is divided into two varieties: the Rough Collie and the Smooth Collie.  The Rough Collie is the more well-known with its abundant outercoat, especially the “ruff” around its neck and long bushy hair on its chest and tail.  The Smooth Collie has the same overall structure and markings but its outercoat is short and dense.  Both varieties have an abundant undercoat close to the skin.

There are four recognized colors of Collies:

  • The “Sable and White” color is predominantly sable or light gold to dark mahogany with white markings on the chest, neck, legs, feet and the tip of the tail. 
  • The “Tricolor” is predominantly black with white markings like the “Sable and White” and has tan shadings on and about the head and legs.
  • The “Blue Merle” is a mottled or “marbled” color predominantly blue-grey and black with white markings as in the “Sable and White” and usually has tan shadings as in the “Tri-color.”
  • The “White” is predominantly white with sable, tricolor or blue merle markings.

For information about the breed characteristics (“breed standard”), see the AKC website ( or the Collie Club of America website (