If you are thinking about buying a Rough or Smooth Collie puppy take your time, and read as much information as you can before you start contacting breeders and visiting puppies.

There is potential for disaster if you take a wrong turn with this important choice, and of course the potential for many wonderful years of pleasure and fun if you get this decision right.

Are you sure a Rough or Smooth Collie is the breed for you?

The Rough Collie is the same as the Smooth Collie with the exception of coat length.

Although Rough and Smooth Collies have a working heritage, they don't need to live somewhere with acres of garden and only need moderate exercise. However, Smooth Collies, in general, are more energetic than Roughs. They are more athletic and agile, more outgoing, and retain more working instincts. Collies have a soft, sweet personality, they are generally good with other pets and polite with strangers.

Despite the Rough Collie’s immense coat, there is a misconception that they require daily brushing and regular bathing. However, they only need to be brushed about once a week with the hair trimmed from around their feet and hocks every month or so. The need for brushing may increase during moulting - once a year for males, and after a season for females. Collies are also a very clean breed and are noted for not having a doggie odour.

Like any other breed, Collies need exercise, they should have a minimum daily walk of at least 30 minutes, and access to a secure garden. Puppies and bitches will wee on your grass and this may make brown patches on your lawn, some puppies are extremely fond of digging amd this should be considered if you are a keen gardener and have a manicured garden.

Collies need to be taught manners, they should learn not to jump on people, barge toddlers over, snatch, bite or generally behave unacceptably, and like all dogs they must be trained to come when they are called. 

Feeding

All dogs cost money,  and small dogs may eat proportionately more food per pound of body weight.   However,  there is no doubt that it costs more to feed a 25kg Collie than it does to feed a 5kg Poodle.

Veterinary costs these days can be horrific and for any dog, you will need to budget for veterinary insurance.    The cost of certain accessories,  leads, beds etc,  are all usually higher in larger sizes.

Grooming

If you are in any doubt as to the grooming needs, or need any help, please speak to any breeder who will be able to help, or see a list of breeders in your area that are willing to help with hands on experience - CLICK HERE

There are also some useful grooming videos online - CLICK HERE

Finding a breeder

All reputable breeders will provide information and follow up care and advice for puppy buyers. You will have lots of questions you will want to ask and be prepared for the breeder to ask questions of you too.

Questions the breeder may ask you before buying one of their puppies
Questions you may want to ask the breeder

A truly responsible breeder cares where their puppies will grow up.

They will keep any puppies they cannot place in suitable homes and will question prospective buyers closely to determine if this buyer really deserves one of their precious puppies.

A good breeder is trying to find the best homes for the puppies, and want to ensure that you are going to be a responsible, intelligent owner.

They will evaluate you as carefully as you evaluate them.

Some typical questions you may be asked...

Do you have any dogs at present, if so, what are their ages, and breed?

What is your experience with this breed, and what are your expectations on the temperament and behaviour?

Do you work, if so, how many hours a day are you out of the house?

Do you have a secure garden?

What type of boundary does your garden have?

Do you have children or visiting relatives/friends children and what are their ages?

Do you have any other pets?

Is the puppy going to be a family pet, or do you plan to do obedience/show?

Do you intend to breed from this pet in the future at any time?

Have you given any thought as to what would happen to the dog if you were no longer able to look after it - all puppies bought from a reputable breeder will be returnable to them at any stage in their life, for whatever reason.

Rough Collies need to be groomed weekly, although the grooming isnt as onerous as people believe it to be, and can be done in 30 minutes with the right tools and equipment - are you able to commit to keeping the puppy's coat well maintained?




Can I see the puppies mum? - Be aware that a bitch that has just whelped a litter of puppies may not be looking her best but you will be able to see her temperament and how she interacts with the breeder and her puppies.

How long have you been in the breed. Are you involved in other breeds as well? - You probably want to avoid anyone who has switched breeds every couple of years, from popular breed to popular breed. Looks for someone that has experience with the breed in which you are interested. Be wary of people who have multiple breeds. It is not uncommon to find breeders with several breeds, but a breeder producing litters of many different breeds of dog is generally not going to be your best source of help and advice.

Will the breeder take the dog back at any time, for any reason, if you cannot keep it - This is the hallmark of responsible breeding.

How old is the puppies mom and has she had a litter before?

When were the puppies wormed?

Do you provide a diet sheet, and food to take home for first few days?

Is the puppy KC Registered?

Will the puppies be eye tested?

Ask where the puppies are kept - For example, is this inside the house in a busy kitchen where lots of people come and go and interact with the puppies?

You may want to see the puppies sire, but this is not always possible if the breeder doesnt own him, but it doesnt stop you asking questions about the sire, finding out what other puppies he has sired and contacting the sire's owner.

How often do you breed and how often has this bitch been bred - Breeding every heat cycle is too often and may indicate that profit is the primary motive for the breeding.

When you visit the litter do not be offended if the breeder does not allow people before four weeks of age to see them. Please tell the breeder if you have been around an ill dog as they may wish to defer the visit to avoid germs being passed on and you may be asked to remove shoes and wash your hands before handling the puppies.

Note if the puppies surroundings are clean, are they bright eyed and look fit and healthy.

DO NOT buy a puppy from a pet shop, anywhere advertising for sale more than three different breeds or if you have any doubts about the breeder or situation – even if you want to rescue it.

You may also be asked to leave a deposit for the puppy of your choice if he/she is not ready to leave the rest of the litter (which is usually around 8 weeks of age).

You should be wary of any breeder having many different breeds of dog and having litters from a bitch on every season. A good breeder will not own too many dogs and dogs housed in kennels will have a good relationship with the breeder and family and will spend time interacting with humans on a daily basis, and possibly in the show ring too.

A good breeder offers a lifetime of support to puppy buyers and will take a puppy back at any time in the future if you find yourself unable to care for it.

Once you have found a Breeder who has puppies available, you will want to go and visit. Most breeders will not allow visitors until the puppies are four or five weeks old. Don't be put off if you are not given a choice, some breeders may want to keep a puppy for themself, and may not choose which one to keep until they are at least 8 weeks of age.

You can find Puppies for sale and Rough and Smooth Collie Breeders and more information about the Rough and Smooth Collie HERE.

You can download a copy of a Rough and Smooth Collie puppy guide HERE