Chapter 2 - Collie Character
The most important criteria in selecting a dog as a family pet is breed character and how well it fits the character of the new family.
The intelligence and sensitivity of the Collie, as well as the spectacular beauty of both varieties, rough and smooth, have been leading factors in the breed’s success as a family dog for a very long time. The Collie’s legendary character has been immortalized in the cherished children's books of Eric Knight’s Lassie Come Home and Albert Payson Terhune’s Lad: A Dog, Gray Dawn, and many others. Through the brilliant use of personification, both authors brought to life the important aspects of Collie character—qualities such as loyalty, devotion, courage, and dignity. These novels helped to popularize the Collie, which gained early notoriety as the breed of millionaires and royalty, and as a family dog. These authors portrayed the Collie as a dog whose intelligence and playfulness made it a wonderful pet for children and adults, as well as a loyal protector and worker capable of heroic deeds and acts of high intelligence.
Interactive and Intelligent
The Collie was originally developed as a herding dog, bred to assist the shepherd in the care and protection of his flock. This required a highly interactive relationship dependent upon man-dog cooperation. The constant communication between shepherd and dog, either verbal or through hand signals, became part of what the Collie is today.
Collies and Their Humans
The breed’s primary focus is people. A Collie is equally happy to run in the woods with its family, walk on a leash in town, or herd a gaggle of geese on the farm. They adapt well to suburban yards or large rural spaces. Whether acquired as puppies or older dogs, Collies bond easily with their families. They have a great sense of humor and are joyfully affectionate and playful. Collies have a well-developed sense of home that revolves around the family, their schedules and routines, and the home’s physical surroundings. In fact, the breed is well known for its intuitive awareness. Collies are popular as service dogs not only because of these instincts, but also because of their adaptability, trainability, and temperament.
Collies and Other Animals
Another benefit of the Collie’s shepherding heritage is the breed’s ability to get along with other dogs and other animals in the home. The Collie’s original job often involved working with multiple dogs to care for the flocks. This translates into a breed that gets along well with other dogs and family pets. The breed is a wonderful choice for those who want their dogs to be fully engaged in their family’s lives.