R is for ROUGH COLLIE | #AtoZChallenge

29 Comments#AtoZChallenge 2016, Blogfests, Dogs, Writing/Blogging
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Welcome everyone, to the #AtoZChallenge Blogging Extravaganza, where hundreds of bloggers publish 26 posts in 30 days, one for each letter of the alphabet, covering a myriad of topics! “Dog Breeds & Anecdotes” is my theme. Click HERE to see all posts and HERE to view the participants. Please support our efforts by visiting, sharing and commenting. We have all worked long and hard on this project. Have fun and thanks for reading!
#AtoZchallenge Day 18: R is for ROUGH COLLIE
Day 18, April 21


#AtoZChallenge: R is for ROUGH COLLIEThe Rough Collie (also known as the ‘Long-Haired Collie’) is a long coated breed of medium to large size dog that in its original form was a type of collie used and bred for herding in Scotland. Originating in the 1800s, it is now well known through the works of author Albert Payson Terhune, and through the Lassie novel, movies, and television shows. There is also a smooth-coated variety; some breed organisations, including both the American and the Canadian Kennel Clubs, consider the smooth-coat and rough-coat dogs to be variations of the same breed. Rough Collies generally come in shades of sable, merles, and tri-coloured. This breed is very similar to the smaller Shetland Sheepdog which is partly descended from the Rough Collie. – WIKIPEDIA [photo credit]


This is a breed that enjoyed immense popularity for decades, thanks to the “Lassie” books, movies and TV shows. That popularity has waned over the years, but I have known a few of these beauties.

Fergus was adopted at the age of 4 a couple of years ago from a rescue organization. He appeared neurotic for the first few visits, constantly pacing in the house. Since then, he’s become more serene, thanks to the loving care of his owners. His “mum” has a charming Scottish brogue. One thing he’s not serene about is squirrels! He yanks a bit to get to them, but the bigger problem is the barking – loud and long! Good thing Fergus can’t see them in the dark, otherwise, that late-night potty break could be cause for complaint with the neighbours.

#AtoZChallenge: ROUGH COLLIE


Freja and Ronja were littermates who came over from Sweden when their Dad was transferred by his company. They stuck together at all times and were not interested in the other dogs. Such a sweet and docile pair!

#AtoZChallenge: R is for Rough Collie


My very first Rough Collie house guest; a real sweetheart:

#AtoZChallenge: R is for Rough Collie


Did you watch the”Lassie” movies or TV show? Here’s a revelation: Although Lassie was supposed to be a girl, males dogs were used exclusively. From lassieweb.org:

All the dogs portraying Lassie have been male. A female collie was hired to play the lead in Lassie Come Home, but when an opportunity came to film “Lassie” negotiating some rapids, the female reportedly would have nothing to do with the rushing water. Rudd Weatherwax’s collie “Pal” was substituted, and not only stole the stunt but won the role. Weatherwax continued to use male collies in the role for a good reason: both sexes shed in the summer (when most movies and television shows traditionally film most of their episodes), an event called “blowing coat,” but since the male has thicker fur, he wouldn’t look so scrawny during filming. Also, fans tend to think of Lassie as a “big heroic dog.” Female collies are usually 10-15 pounds lighter than their male counterparts, therefore a male dog playing Lassie would look more impressive. Female collies were not ignored because they are any less intelligent; in fact, some of Lassie’s stunt doubles have been females.

Are you surprised?
Could you deal with dogs who “blow their coats”?

Looking forward to your comments!


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Debbie D.
Canine Innkeeper in suburban Toronto, Canada, known as "The Doglady". Writer/website owner, photographer, animal lover, music fanatic, inveterate traveller. History, literature and cinema buff. Eternal "hippie/rockchick". Binational, German/Canadian and multilingual. Looking for the next adventure!
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29 thoughts on “R is for ROUGH COLLIE | #AtoZChallenge

  1. When I saw the pictures of the long-haired collie, the first collie that I thought about was Lassie. The Lassie tv show was one of my favorites. I didn’t know they were called the Rough Collie. They are sweet dogs.

    Visiting from the A to Z Blog Challenge.

    Patricia @ EverythingMustChange

    1. I used the formal name to differentiate from smooth collies, border collies and bearded collies. The Lassie franchise probably increased interest in this breed the same way Disney did for Dalmatians.

  2. The first dog in my memory is a collie, just like this. We got her when she was old. I think her owner passed. Now I am frustrated because I cannot recall her name. I will think on it…

  3. They are beautiful dogs and yes, I watched the tv show but haven’t seen this show since I was a kid. I did watch the film, with Roddy McDowall and I cry every single time. It breaks my heart each time. We had a collie when I was young, her name wa Nappy. Nappy was great except for one thing….she would go to both our neighbours and get into the hen house and kill a chicken and bring it back to us. We had to say she was a good girl and my mom tried to train her not to do this but she did until the neighbours came to us not too happy. My mom told my brother and me (I??) that Nappy took off. She took us out looking for Nappy but we felt she ran away. My mom didn’t tell us until many years later that she had no choice but to give Nappy away because of her chicken killing ways.

    1. It’s been decades since I’ve seen that movie, but Lassie does come home, yes? Too bad Nappy couldn’t be dissuaded from killing the chickens. Your mom should have told you the truth, though, instead of going out searching for nothing.

    1. The blowing coats would definitely be a trade off. The collies I’ve had here didn’t seem to shed too badly though. Thanks for visiting and have a good week. 🙂

  4. I think Collies have always been my favorite dog–all kinds of collies. They are so intelligent and perceptive. My neighbor has a pair of Border Collies and he lets them play in the cemetery out back. They are just beautiful to watch.

    Meet My Imaginary Friends

    1. Border collies are said to be the most intelligent of all breeds and I believe it. 🙂 Yes, collies of all types are lovely. I used to walk a bearded collie and she was a sweetie.

  5. I always thought the dog was called simply, Collie.
    Yes, I used to watch Lassie, but I don’t recall much about it. I was so young when it was on.
    According to my mother, when Lassie was over, I used to cry.
    But again, I don’t recall that.

    1. Yes, this breed is commonly called “Collie” here in North America, but I used the formal name to avoid confusion with other collies, like the smooth coated one and border collies (plus I was otherwise stuck for the “R” post 😉 ). Could have gone with Rhodesian Ridgeback as I have met a couple, but no story (uneventful walking clients) or photos to go along with it.

  6. I think the most interesting thing about Lassie was the fact that she was a he! 🙂
    One of my neighbors has a beautiful Rough Collie, and I’ve never, ever seen her walk him, except in the yard to do his business. I’ve always thought that odd. Don’t all dogs desire a walk once in a while?

    1. Yes, thank goodness for the long fur, so nobody knew! 🙂

      Dogs LOVE to go for walks. It’s probably the highlight of their day. How sad to keep them confined to the yard! 🙁

  7. I always loved Lassie as a small child, but began to rather dislike the films as I grew older – no idea why 🙂 I suppose with a dog with such a long coat using male dogs to play female ones was not an issue :).
    Tasha’s Thinkings (70) | Wittegen Press (72) | FB3X (AC) (73)

  8. Watching Lassie, I always wanted a Collie when I grew up. The first dog I got after leaving home was a Shetland Sheep Dog (Sheltie) who looked like a miniature Collie. I have had so many dogs and always want to say ‘they were the best’ but each one really was the best and my Sheltie was no exception.

    She had a liter of pups, we kept one and when she was a year old, the mail man ran her over and NEVER EVEN STOPPED. I was heart broken as it happened in front of my eyes.

    Now, the two rescues we have are miniature Dachshunds with the same shape face — I’m a sucker for pointed noses.

    1. Shelties are lovely little “mini me” versions of Collies. That’s so sad about your pup getting run over. 🙁 What a heartless bastard that mailman must have been! I love those cute little “foxy” faces too. Apologies for the late response.

    1. Yes; rough coat, smooth coat, bearded collies and border collies, as well as Shetland sheepdogs, who used to be called collies as well. 🙂

  9. Hi, Debbie the Doglady!

    How can anyone not love a Collie? My eyes literally teared up as I gazed at these beautiful animals and read their names and your stories about them. Someone like you should be familiar with this feeling I have about dogs. I can tell you this. When I was a boy I wouldn’t have minded having a pet Collie that blew its coat, but my neat freak mom would have blown her top! 🙂

    I watched the family TV series Jeff’s Collie which became Lassie with a cast change. I never knew Lassie was played by a string of male Collies. (Seems like the glass ceiling exists in the canine world, too.) I enjoyed the video. The Collie offers everything a pet owner could want. It is a beautiful, intelligent, problem solving dog that is a loyal, faithful friend and protects the family and its property.

    Thank you for enabling me to learn more about the Rough Collie, dear friend Debbie!

    1. Thanks for following all my A-Z posts and leaving such lovely comments, Shady. 🙂 Apologies for always being late with my responses, but this is one tough challenge. 😛 I’m sure there was a run on Collies back in the day, similar to Disney’s influence on Dalmatian popularity. Glad you enjoyed the post!

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