If you’ve read my blog for a while, you already know which breed I’d celebrate on Purebred Dog Day!
For me, Purebred Dog Day is a perfect occasion to celebrate the Collie. It’s by far my favorite breed.
Specifically, I mean the Rough Collie, the dog known around the globe because of the Lassie franchise. There are several types of Collies. I’ve always had Rough Collies, the long-haired variety. A Smooth Collie is just like the Rough except that it has very short hair.
The Border Collie, believed to be the smartest of all dog breeds, is a smaller dog that has a lot more energy and needs tasks to perform or it gets bored very easily.
The Shetland Sheepdog is sometimes called a miniature Collie because they resemble a Rough Collie that has been shrunken down to about a third the size of a typical Rough.
And a Bearded Collie looks more like the classic Sheepdog.
My first dog was a Rough Collie
It’s inevitable: whenever I take my dog to the vet or the pet store or anywhere else, someone will approach with a look of happiness on their face and tell me they grew up with a Collie just like that.
It’s amazing how many people grew up with a Collie. (That’s if I am really supposed to believe that so many did.) But as great a companion as a Collie is, I have to wonder why, if so many apparently grew up with such a great dog, they don’t still have Collies.
Collies belong to the herding group and my first and third Collies grew up on working farms. Those two dogs had mothers who actually worked with other animals and so they had a very strong herding instinct.
My first Collie, who my parents brought home for Christmas the year I turned one year old, thought of me as her “puppy,” so she protected me from anything that didn’t pass muster by herding me away from it.
My third Collie would run out ahead of the other dogs at the dog park and then turn in front of them and herd them back towards the middle of the park. He loved doing that and the other dogs either didn’t realize they were being herded or just played along.
My current Collie is a couch potato. He loves to play and he loves his walks outside. But he thinks the couch was purchased just for him. Fortunately, he allows me space on it.
Collies are very loyal to their families and make a strong bond. My current Collie bonded with me in about 10 seconds when I first held him at the breeder’s home. I’ve never had a dog bond with me as fast as he did.
The downside of owning a Collie, I must admit, is dog hair. There’s a lot of it.
Seriously: there’s a lot of dog hair.
For me, though, that’s a small price to pay.