The Rough Collie shares it origins with the Smooth Collie in the working sheepdogs of Scotland. The earliest Collies were smaller than today's dogs and largely black/white or tricolour or black/tan. The first sable, Old Lockie, born in 1868 caused a sensation and from that time the sable/white become the most popular colour. However, the tricolour and the blue merle are still very much evident in the breed.
It was not until 1870 that there were separate classes for “Sheepdogs Rough” and “Sheepdogs Smooth”. The founder of the Kennel Club Mr S.E. Shirley promoted the Rough Collie and Queen Victoria brought some from Balmoral to her Royal Estates including Windsor Castle.
Perhaps it is the “glamour” of the coat which attracted many people to the breed at the expenses of the Smooth Collie and for many years the Smooth was considered the poor relation.
Vulnerable Native Breed
How much exercise?
Up to 1 hour per day
Length of coat
How much grooming?
Supposedly sheds? *
Town or Country
Type of home
Minimum Garden Size
Over 12 Years
* If you are asthmatic or have an allergy, you should consult your medical advisor before considering obtaining a dog. More information can also be found on
the Kennel Club website.
Pastoral Breed Group
The Pastoral Group consists of herding dogs that are associated with working cattle, sheep, reindeer and other cloven footed animals.
Usually this type of dog has a weatherproof double coat to protect it from the elements when working in severe conditions. Breeds such as the Collie family, Old English Sheepdogs and Samoyeds who have been herding reindeer for centuries are but a few included in this group.