Scotch Collie: Breed Guide, Facts, Temperament, Price & More

Scotch Collie

Did you know that there’s a remarkable dog breed known as the Scotch Collie? These intelligent and loyal canines have captured the hearts of many dog lovers, but how much do you know about them?

Scotch Collie, also called Scottish Collie, is a Scottish sheepdog renowned for its striking coats, intelligence, and working abilities. Due to their versatility, these dogs have been utilized for various tasks, from herding livestock on farms to excelling in obedience trials.

One distinguishing feature of the breed is its exceptional herding instincts. These dogs possess a natural talent for guiding and managing livestock, making them indispensable on farms. In addition to their herding ability, puppies are also known for their affectionate, gentle temperament, making them excellent pets for families. The bonds they create with their owners are unmatched, creating deep bonds that will last a lifetime.

But there’s much more to learn about the breed. The following sections explore their origin, appearance, temperament, and health considerations. So, without further ado, let’s embark on an exciting journey into the world of Scotch Collies, guided by the expertise of renowned dog trainers and breeders.

Scottish Collie Puppy Origin and History

Scotch Collies became a distinct breed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They were highly regarded for their working abilities and were often seen in agriculture. However, with the advent of industrialization and changes in farming practices, the demand for working dogs decreased, leading to a decline in the breed’s population.

Over the years, Scotch Collies have changed their appearance and working capabilities over the years. Their development can be attributed to the influence of several other breeds, including the Border Collie and the English Shepherd. This crossbreeding aimed to enhance specific traits, such as herding instincts and intelligence, to create an efficient and adaptable working dog.

Scotch Collies trace their origins back to Scotland, where they were primarily bred as working dogs on farms. It was highly valued for its herding abilities and versatility on the farm. Intruders were often kept at bay by using them to handle livestock, such as sheep and cattle.

Scotch Collie Features   

Height19 inches – 24 inches
Weight40 lbs. – 70 lbs.
Lifespan12 to 14 years
Coat TypeLong Coat, Rough Coat, Dense , Short Coat
TemperamentIntelligent, Alert, Graceful, Sweet, Loyal, Sensitive, etc.
Breed GroupHerding
Breed SizeMedium
Energy LevelActive
ColorsWhite, Black, Tricolor, Sable, Tan, Merle,
Suitable ForHouse Dog, Excellent with small children, Affectionate, Families with children,  
OtherEasy to Train, Loyal,  Friendly, Hardworking, Playful,

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What Does a Scotch Collie Look Like?

Scotch Collie Size & Life Span

Scottish Collie

Scotch Collies are medium-sized dogs known for their elegance and grace. While the size may vary slightly depending on individual genetics, the average height of a Scotch Collie ranges between 19 and 24 inches at the shoulder.

In terms of weight, these dogs typically weigh between 40 and 70 pounds. It’s important to note that males tend to be slightly larger than females.

On average, they live between 12 and 14 years. However, some puppies have lived well into their late teens with proper care, nutrition, and regular exercise.

Scottish Collie Coat and Color

The Scotch Collie is renowned for its beautiful coat and various color variations. Regarding their coats, Scotch Collies can have either a rough or smooth type. The rough coat, which is the most common, is dense, thick, and weather-resistant, featuring a straight or slightly wavy outer layer and a soft undercoat. On the other hand, the smooth coat, although less common, is shorter, with dense, flat-lying fur that requires less grooming.

Scottish Collie

As for their color variations, sable is the predominant color in Scotch Collies, ranging from light golden to deep mahogany, often displaying darker tips on the fur. Another popular color pattern is the tri-color, with a base of black and tan or fawn markings on the legs, face, and chest, creating a striking contrast. Additionally, there is the beautiful blue merle Scotch Collies, characterized by a marbled or mottled coat in shades of gray or blue-gray, often accompanied by patches or specks of black. Finally, the sable merle combines the sable and merle patterns, creating a unique blend of sable and blue merle markings.

Scotch Collie Facial Features

Scotch Collies are admired for their captivating and expressive eyes. Their almond-shaped eyes are medium-sized and set apart, giving them an alert and intelligent look. Brown, amber, and blue eye colors are common in this breed.

Scotch Collie

The ears of Scotch Collies are one of their defining features. They are medium-sized, erect, and set high on the head. The well-placed ears contribute to their keen sense of hearing, which is vital for their herding instincts. Puppies have excellent auditory perception, allowing them to respond to commands and detect subtle sounds in their environment.

Puppies possess a strong and well-proportioned muzzle. Their nose is typically black, though, in some individuals, it may be brown or liver-colored. The nose is a distinguishing feature and serves a crucial purpose. With their acute sense of smell, Scotch Collies excel in tracking scents, making them proficient in search and rescue operations.

The head of a breed is broad and well-balanced, demonstrating its intelligence and strength. There is a well-defined stop (the indentation between the forehead and muzzle) between the skull and the muzzle. This characteristic head shape enhances their visual perception and facilitates problem-solving abilities.

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Scotch Collie Temperament

Scotch Collies are highly intelligent dogs known for their keen problem-solving abilities and quick learning. They are naturally eager to please their owners, which makes training them a rewarding experience. With consistent positive reinforcement and proper guidance, Scotch Collies can excel in various activities, including obedience, agility, and herding trials.

Scotch Collie

One of the standout traits of the Scotch Collie is their unwavering loyalty and devotion to their family. They form strong bonds with their owners and are always eager to please. Whether protecting their loved ones or providing companionship, puppies are known for their dedication and loyalty.

Scotch Collies are known for their natural affinity towards children and friendly demeanor with other pets. Their gentle and patient nature makes them great playmates for kids, while their herding instincts ensure they are attentive and protective. Dr. Jessica Parker, a respected veterinarian, states, “Scotch Collies are known for their exceptional tolerance and adaptability, making them a perfect addition to families with children or multiple pets.”

Puppies possess strong loyalty and protective instincts toward their families. They are known to be watchful and attentive, making them excellent guard dogs. Renowned dog behaviorist, Mark Roberts, advises, “With their keen senses and protective nature, Scotch Collies make reliable watchdogs, alerting their owners to any potential threats while maintaining a calm and composed demeanor.”

What are Common Health Problems of Scottish Collie?


Despite its beauty and unique personality, Scotch Collies are susceptible to certain health conditions.

  1. Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA)
  2. Epilepsy
  3. Bloat
  4. Hip dysplasia
  5. MDR1 Sensitivity

CEA is a congenital eye condition characterized by abnormalities in the development of the retina and other ocular structures. Dr. Sarah Johnson, a renowned veterinary ophthalmologist, stresses the significance of CEA screening in breeding programs to prevent the transmission of the condition to future generations. Prompt diagnosis and, if necessary, specialized treatment can help manage the effects of CEA and maintain good eye health in Scotch Collies.

PRA is an inherited eye disorder that leads to progressive vision loss and, in severe cases, blindness. A respected veterinary ophthalmologist, Dr. James Anderson, recommends regular eye examinations and genetic testing to identify PRA carriers. While PRA has no cure, certain dietary supplements and specialized care can slow its progression and enhance the dog’s remaining vision.

One of the primary health concerns in Scotch Collies is hip dysplasia. This condition occurs when the hip joint doesn’t develop properly, causing the femur to fit poorly into the hip socket. Eventually, it can lead to arthritis, discomfort, and lameness. Ensure a balanced diet with appropriate levels of essential nutrients. Avoid excessive exercise, especially during the rapid growth phase. A regular vet check-up and hip dysplasia screening are recommended.

How to Take Care of Scotch Collie?

Scotch Collies are active and energetic dogs that require regular exercise to keep them mentally and physically stimulated. Exercise daily, such as walking briskly, running, playing fetch, or engaging in interactive games.

Consider activities that tap into their herding instincts, such as agility training or herding trials. Their intelligent minds need stimulation, such as puzzle toys and training sessions.

Routine veterinary care is crucial for your Scotch Collie’s well-being. Keep their vaccinations up to date to protect them from common diseases. Preventative care and comprehensive health checkups should be scheduled regularly at the veterinarian.

Scotch Collie Grooming

Do Scotch Collie Shed?

Yes, Scotch Collies do shed. A soft, dense undercoat is under the cat’s longer, coarser outer coat. The undercoat helps to insulate the dog and protect them from various weather conditions, while the outer coat provides additional protection from dirt and moisture.

Scotch Collies typically shed moderately throughout the year, with heavier shedding occurring during seasonal transitions, commonly known as “blowing coat.” During this time, which usually happens twice a year, Scotch Collies shed their undercoat to prepare for the change in weather. This shedding phase can last a few weeks to a couple of months.

How to Brush Scotch Collie?

Brushing your Scotch Collie regularly is essential for maintaining a healthy coat and keeping your dog looking their best. Here are some steps to follow when brushing your Scotch Collie:

Scotch Collie Grooming
  1. Scotch Collies have a double coat with a soft undercoat and a longer, coarser outer coat. Use a slicker or pin brush to brush their fur effectively. These brushes are designed to penetrate the dense coat and remove loose hair and debris.
  2. Before you start brushing, inspect your puppy’s coat for a few moments. Look for tangles, mats, or foreign objects like burrs or twigs. This step is important to identify potential issues requiring special attention.
  3. Begin brushing near the skin at the base of your Scotch Collie’s coat. Gently work your way through the fur using long, sweeping motions. Be sure to pay attention to areas with mats or tangles. Use your fingers or a mat comb to loosen any you find before brushing.
  4. To ensure thorough brushing, divide your puppy’s coat into sections. Work on one section at a time, brushing from the roots to the tips. This approach helps prevent tangling and ensures that you cover the entire coat.
  5. Puppies have a dense undercoat that requires special attention. Ensure that loose hair is removed and mats are prevented using an undercoat rake or slicker brush. Be gentle when brushing the undercoat to avoid irritating your dog’s skin.
  6. Some areas of your Scotch Collie’s body may be more sensitive than others. Take extra care when brushing around the ears, belly, and tail. Don’t pull on the fur in these areas; use a softer touch.
  7. After brushing, reward your breed with praise, a treat, or a play session. This positive reinforcement helps create a pleasant grooming experience for your dog.

How to Bath Scotch Collie?

Bathing your Scotch Collie is an important part of their grooming routine. While puppies have a weather-resistant coat that doesn’t require frequent bathing, occasional baths help keep them clean and free from dirt and odors. Here’s a step-by-step guide to bathing your Scotch Collie:

Scotch Collie in bath
  1. Before you begin, gather all your supplies, including dog shampoo, towels, a brush, and a non-slip mat or surface for your dog to stand on in the bath.
  2. Choose a suitable location for the bath, such as a bathtub or a large sink. The bottom of the tub or sink should be covered with a non-slip mat or towel.
  3. Use lukewarm water to wet your puppy’s coat thoroughly. Work your way down from the neck, avoiding the head and ears.
  4. Dilute the dog shampoo as per the manufacturer’s instructions, if necessary. Gently massage the shampoo into your Scotch Collie’s coat, focusing on the areas that are most soiled or have an odor. Avoid getting shampoo in their eyes, ears, or mouth.
  5. Rinse your puppy’s coat thoroughly, ensuring no shampoo residue remains. Pour water over their body with the showerhead or a cup. Rinse the undercoat thoroughly, as leftover shampoo can irritate the skin.
  6. After rinsing, use towels to gently pat your Scotch Collie’s coat and remove excess water. The lowest heat setting on a pet-specific blow dryer will keep it away from your dog’s skin and speed up drying.

How to Trimming Nails & Ear Clean?

Trimming your pet’s nails may seem daunting, but with the right approach and tools, it can be a stress-free experience for you and your furry friend. Follow these steps to trim your pet’s nails safely:

Scotch Collie NaTrimming
  1. Use a pair of dog nail clippers or a dog nail grinder specifically designed for trimming dog nails. Do not use human nail clippers on your Scotch Collie.
  2. Choose a well-lit area with good visibility to trim your dog’s nails. Make sure both you and your Scotch Collie are in a comfortable position.
  3. Take care not to cut into the quick, as it can cause bleeding and discomfort. The nail should be trimmed in small sections.
  4. Hold your puppy’s paw firmly but gently. To avoid cutting into the quick, trim just before this point.
  5. If your Scotch Collie becomes anxious or restless during nail-trimming, take breaks to calm them down.

Proper ear cleaning prevents infections and maintains your pet’s aural health. Here’s a step-by-step guide to cleaning your pet’s ears effectively:

  1. Prepare a dog-specific ear cleaner recommended by your veterinarian, cotton balls or pads, and treats for rewarding your Scotch Collie.
  2. Find a quiet and calm area to clean your dog’s ears. During the process, this will make them feel more relaxed.
  3. Before cleaning, examine your puppy’s ears for signs of redness, inflammation, discharge, or foul odor. If you notice any concerning symptoms, consult your veterinarian before cleaning.
  4. Apply a few drops of the cleaner to the ear canal after gently lifting the ear flap. Distribute the cleaner by massaging it into the base of the ear.
  5. Take a cotton ball or pad and gently wipe the visible part of the ear canal. Avoid inserting anything deep into the ear canal to prevent injury.

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What does Scotch Collie Eat?

Feeding your Scotch Collie a high-quality commercial dog food is an excellent choice. Look for reputable brands that offer formulas for medium to large-breed dogs. Choose options with real meat, such as chicken, beef, or fish, as the primary ingredient. For muscle growth and maintenance, these proteins provide essential amino acids.

Scotch Collie puppy

A puppy’s diet can be supplemented with vitamins and minerals, including fruits and vegetables. Add dog-safe fruits and vegetables like carrots, spinach, blueberries, or apples. However, avoid feeding them toxic foods like onions, grapes, or chocolate, as these can harm dogs.

Certain foods can be toxic to dogs and should be strictly avoided. Examples include chocolate, onions, grapes, raisins, caffeine, alcohol, and artificial sweeteners. Serious health issues these substances can cause are digestive problems and organ damage.

How Much Should You Feed a Scotch Collie?

Feed your Scotch Collie appropriate portions based on age, weight, activity level, and overall health. Obesity can be caused by overfeeding, while nutritional deficiencies can be caused by underfeeding. Dividing their daily food intake into two or three meals is generally recommended to maintain a consistent eating schedule.

For adult puppies, feeding them two meals per day is generally recommended. This helps maintain a consistent eating schedule and prevents long gaps between meals. Ideally, space the meals approximately 12 hours apart, such as breakfast and dinner. This frequency provides a steady supply of nutrients and energy throughout the day.

Including healthy fats in your puppy’s diet promotes a healthy coat and skin. Omega-3-rich foods include salmon, sardines, or flaxseed oil. These fats also contribute to brain function and joint health.

Overfeeding your puppies can lead to various health issues, including obesity. Avoid excessive treats or table scraps, which can contribute to weight gain. Stick to the recommended portion sizes and monitor your dog’s weight regularly.

Is a Scotch Collie Right for You?

A Scotch Collie might be the perfect companion for you. These intelligent and loyal dogs have a rich history and a range of qualities, making them a great choice for many households. Before bringing home a Scotch Collie, it’s important to understand its characteristics and needs to ensure a happy and fulfilling life together.

However, it’s important to do thorough research, connect with reputable breeders or rescue organizations, and spend time with the breed to ensure that a Scotch Collie is the right choice for you.

Pros and Cons of Scotch Collie

Before bringing a Scotch Collie into your life, ensure all the pros and cons are considered for having such an intelligent breed.

Ideal PetHealth issues
Affectionate and friendlyAllergies
Easy to groomExpensive

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Scotch Collie Price

The price of a Scotch Collie can vary depending on factors such as breeder reputation, pedigree, age, and training. The average price range for a Scotch Collie is between $600 – $800.

Scotch Collie

Finding a reputable breeder who prioritizes a dog’s health and well-being is essential when looking for a Scotch Collie. While it can be tempting to opt for a cheaper option, it’s crucial to remember that quality breeders invest time, effort, and resources into breeding healthy and well-socialized Scotch Collies. Your new companion comes from a responsible and caring environment by choosing a reputable breeder.

Additional Expenses 

Scotch Collie’s health depends on regular veterinary checkups, vaccinations, and preventative treatments. Budget for annual examinations, vaccinations, flea and tick prevention, heartworm prevention, and any unexpected medical expenses that may arise.

Scotch Collies require a balanced diet to maintain their overall health. Quality dog food formulated for their specific nutritional needs is important. Treats for training and rewards are also necessary, so consider the ongoing cost of providing them with proper nutrition.

Consider enrolling your Scotch Collie in obedience classes or working with a professional dog trainer. These expenses will contribute to developing your dog’s skills and behavior.

Considering the potential medical costs of caring for your puppies, obtaining pet insurance can provide financial peace of mind. Pet insurance plans can cover unexpected veterinary expenses, ensuring your dog receives the necessary care without breaking the bank.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a Scotch Collie the same as a Rough Collie?

The Scotch Collie and the Rough Collie are two distinct breeds of dogs with some similarities but notable differences.

Was Lassie a Scotch Collie?

Lassie, the famous fictional collie character, was often portrayed as a Rough Collie in popular culture, but her breed lineage is not explicitly defined.

Is Scotch Collie an AKC breed?

The Scotch Collie is not recognized as a distinct breed by the American Kennel Club (AKC) or other major kennel clubs such as the Kennel Club (UK) or the Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI).

Are Scotch Collies rare?

Scotch Collies, also known as Scottish Collies or Farm Collies, is considered a relatively rare breed.

What are the characteristics of the old-time Scotch Collie?

The old-time Scotch Collie, also known as the Scottish Collie or Farm Collie, is a breed of herding dog that originated in Scotland.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the Scotch Collie is an exceptional breed that combines intelligence, loyalty, and beauty. Throughout this blog, we have explored the history, characteristics, and care requirements of the Scotch Collie, shedding light on why they make such fantastic companions.

With their remarkable herding abilities and friendly nature, puppies are perfect for families, active individuals, and those who appreciate a devoted and affectionate four-legged friend. Whether you’re looking for a working partner or a loving pet, the Scotch Collie’s versatility makes them an excellent choice.

Remember, proper training and socialization are essential for a puppy’s well-being and to harness its full potential. An active and mentally stimulated Scotch Collie and a balanced diet are essential for his happiness and health.

Contact reputable breeders or rescue organizations to find a Scotch Collie that suits your lifestyle if you’re considering adding one to your family. The best way to care for these intelligent and sensitive dogs is to provide them with a loving and nurturing environment.

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