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Is Rough Collie a Good Family Dog? (Answered!)



Reviewed By: Dr. Joel Robertson

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There’s no doubt that the Rough Collie is a beautiful dog. With their long, flowing coats and sweet dispositions, it’s easy to see why they are often chosen as family pets.

However, is the Rough Collie really the best choice for a family dog? Let’s take a closer look at this breed and find out.

Key Takeaway

  • Rough Collies are considered excellent family dogs due to their loyalty, affection, adaptability, and fondness for children, making them a great choice for families with members of all ages.
  • While Rough Collies are known for their friendliness, intelligence, and trainability, they can be high maintenance in terms of grooming and exercise needs, making them a viable but slightly challenging choice for first-time dog owners.
  • Raising a Rough Collie puppy involves a commitment to regular socialization, obedience training, exercise, and grooming, along with providing a balanced diet and regular veterinary care to ensure they grow into a healthy, well-adjusted adult.
  • The Rough Collie, renowned for its intelligence, loyalty, and stunning double coat, is a medium to large-sized breed of herding dog that was originally bred in Scotland and is now popular worldwide as a family pet and show dog.

Is Rough Collie a Good Family Dog?

Rough Collies make excellent family dogs due to their gentle nature, intelligence, and loyalty.

Rough Collies, known for their striking looks and friendly demeanor, are often a great fit for families.

They are extremely intelligent, which makes them highly trainable and adaptable to various household environments. Their loyalty and protective instincts make them excellent companions and watchdogs.

In my experience as a veterinarian, I’ve observed that Rough Collies are usually very patient with children and get along well with other pets, making them a good choice for multi-pet households. They love being part of family activities and thrive on attention and interaction.

However, they do require regular exercise to keep them physically and mentally stimulated. They also have a thick double coat that requires frequent grooming. Potential owners should be prepared for this commitment to ensure their Rough Collie stays happy and healthy.

As with any breed, it’s important to remember that every dog is an individual. While Rough Collies generally make great family pets, the suitability of any dog will also depend on the specific dynamics and lifestyle of your family.

Always spend time with a dog before bringing them into your home to ensure they’re a good fit for your family.

Are Rough Collies Good For First-Time Dog Owners?

Rough Collies can be a good choice for first-time dog owners due to their friendly demeanor, trainability, and adaptability.

In my experience as a veterinarian, I’ve found that Rough Collies are generally easygoing and adaptable dogs that can fit well into a variety of homes.

They are known for their intelligence, which makes them responsive to training. This can be a great advantage for first-time dog owners who might be unfamiliar with training techniques.

Rough Collies are also typically very friendly and sociable. They tend to get along well with other pets and are usually good with children, making them a good choice for families.

However, potential owners should be aware that Rough Collies do require regular exercise to keep them physically and mentally stimulated. Their beautiful, thick coat also needs regular grooming to keep it in good condition.

Finally, like any breed, Rough Collies have their own unique traits and quirks. First-time dog owners should take the time to understand the breed’s characteristics and needs to ensure they can provide a suitable home.

It’s also a good idea to spend some time with the breed if possible before deciding to bring one into your home says HillsPet.

Raising a Rough Collie Puppy

Raising a Rough Collie puppy involves providing ample outdoor activity, consistent training with patience and respect, and plenty of positive reinforcement.

Outdoor Activity

Rough Collie puppies are energetic and require at least 30-45 minutes of outdoor activity each day. As a veterinarian, I often remind new owners that these pups need the opportunity to burn off their pent-up energy, which can be achieved through walks, playtime, or even agility training. This exercise is not only vital for their physical health but also for their mental stimulation and overall happiness.


Training a Rough Collie puppy requires patience, firmness, and fairness. These dogs are intelligent and eager to please, but they also have a sensitive nature, so harsh training methods are not recommended. From my experience, it is crucial to establish a respectful relationship with your puppy from the start. This includes setting clear boundaries, being consistent with commands, and offering gentle corrections when necessary.

Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement plays a significant role in training Rough Collies. This breed responds well to rewards such as treats, praise, and positive interaction. In my practice, I’ve seen how using these positive methods not only promotes good behavior but also strengthens the bond between the puppy and its owner.


Another important aspect of raising a Rough Collie puppy is socialization. Introducing your puppy to a variety of people, animals, and environments at a young age can help them grow into a well-adjusted adult dog. However, it’s essential to ensure these interactions are positive and that any play, especially with other dogs, does not become too rough says ColliesChatter.

Rough Collie Breed Overview

The Rough Collie is a highly intelligent breed known for its striking appearance, rich history, and friendly, loyal temperament.

History of the Rough Collie

The Rough Collie’s roots trace back to Scotland and northern England, where they were originally bred as sheepdogs. Despite their working background, these dogs gained significant popularity in the 19th century when Queen Victoria took an interest in the breed during a visit to Scotland.

However, it was the character “Lassie” from Eric Knight’s novel and subsequent TV series and films that truly catapulted the Rough Collie to stardom. As a veterinarian, I’ve often heard owners say that they were drawn to the breed because of Lassie, and it’s easy to understand why!

Appearance of the Rough Collie

The Rough Collie is a medium to large-sized dog, known for its distinct, elegant appearance. They have a well-proportioned body covered in a thick, rough coat that comes in various colors, including sable, black, blue merle, and white.

Their head is light, with a slight muzzle and ears that are partially erect with tips that fold forward. One of the most distinctive features of the Rough Collie is its expressive, almond-shaped eyes that often give the impression of intelligence and gentleness.

Temperament of the Rough Collie

Rough Collies are known for their friendly and intelligent nature. They are typically very good with families, children, and other pets, making them an excellent choice for a family pet. They are also known for their loyalty and protective nature, which can make them good watchdogs.

However, they are not typically aggressive and are generally very approachable. In my experience as a vet, I’ve found Rough Collies to be one of the most patient and gentle breeds, always eager to please their owners and quick to learn new commands or tricks says Dog.com.

What Are The Negatives of Rough Collies?

While Rough Collies are generally known for their many positive traits, there are a few potential negatives, such as their grooming needs, their tendency to bark, and health issues that the breed is predisposed to.

Grooming Needs

Rough Collies have a beautiful, long, and thick double coat that requires regular grooming. From my experience as a veterinarian, I can tell you that this is not a breed for those who don’t have the time or inclination for regular brushing. Their undercoat sheds heavily, particularly during the spring and fall, so daily brushing may be necessary during these times to prevent matting and keep their coat looking its best.

Tendency to Bark

Rough Collies are known for their vocal nature. They were bred to be herding dogs, and part of their job was to alert the shepherd of any problems, so they had a natural tendency to bark. While this can make them good watchdogs, it can also lead to excessive barking if not properly managed. It’s important to train them from a young age to understand when barking is appropriate and when it’s not.

Health Issues

Like all breeds, Rough Collies are prone to certain health conditions. These include Collie Eye Anomaly, a genetic condition that affects the eyes and can lead to blindness, and hip dysplasia, a condition that affects the hip joint and can cause arthritis.

In my practice, I always advise potential Rough Collie owners to find a reputable breeder who tests their breeding dogs for these and other genetic conditions to ensure the healthiest possible puppy says AKC.

Are Rough Collies Destructive?

Is Rough Collie a Good Family Dog

Rough Collies are not typically destructive, but like any dog, they can exhibit such behavior if bored or not properly trained.

Having worked with numerous Rough Collies in my veterinary practice, I’ve found them to be generally well-behaved and less prone to destructive behaviors compared to some other breeds.

However, it’s crucial to remember that any dog, regardless of breed, can resort to destructive habits like chewing or digging if they’re bored, anxious, or not receiving enough mental and physical stimulation.

Rough Collies are intelligent and active dogs. They need regular exercise and mental stimulation to stay content. If these needs are not met, they might resort to destructive behaviors as an outlet for their energy or as a way to alleviate boredom.

Training from a young age is essential to prevent destructive behaviors. Teaching a Rough Collie appropriate behavior, providing plenty of toys and activities, and ensuring they get enough exercise will generally result in a well-adjusted, non-destructive pet says Rover.

Are Rough Collies Safe With Kids?

Is Rough Collie a Good Family Dog

Rough Collies are generally safe with kids, and renowned for their patience, gentleness, and protective nature.

In my years as a veterinarian, I’ve found Rough Collies to be particularly good with children. They are known for their gentle and patient demeanor, which makes them an excellent choice for families with kids.

Additionally, Rough Collies are very protective and often form strong bonds with the children in their family, acting as loyal companions and guardians.

However, it’s important to note that no matter how gentle a breed is known to be, all interactions between dogs and young children should be supervised.

Children should also be taught how to approach and touch dogs appropriately, respecting their space and not engaging in behavior that could be perceived as threatening or irritating to the dog.

While Rough Collies are generally safe with kids, each dog is an individual with its own temperament and tolerance levels. Therefore, it’s crucial to spend time observing any dog with your children before deciding to bring them into your family.

Do Rough Collies Bite?

Is Rough Collie a Good Family Dog

Rough Collies, like any breed, have the potential to bite, but with proper training and socialization, they are generally known for their gentle and friendly nature.

Drawing from my experience as a veterinarian, Rough Collies are not typically aggressive or prone to biting.

They are a herding breed, and while they might occasionally show this instinct by trying to ‘herd’ people or other pets using their mouths, this is usually not done with the intention to harm. It’s important to remember that any dog can bite if provoked, scared, or feeling threatened.

The key to preventing biting and other undesirable behaviors lies in early socialization and consistent, positive reinforcement training.

Teaching a Rough Collie puppy bite inhibition, exposing them to a variety of people, environments, and situations, and rewarding good behavior are all crucial steps in raising a well-behaved, well-adjusted dog.

It’s also important to never leave a young child unsupervised with any dog, regardless of the breed. Children should be taught how to interact with dogs respectfully and safely, to avoid unintentionally provoking a bite.

Is Rough Collie Good With Other Pets at Home?

Is Rough Collie a Good Family Dog

Rough Collies are generally good with other pets at home, displaying a sociable and adaptable nature that allows them to coexist peacefully with other animals.

As a veterinarian, I’ve seen many Rough Collies that get along splendidly with other pets. They are a sociable breed that usually enjoys the company of other dogs, and their gentle and tolerant nature can make them good companions for cats and other animals as well.

However, it’s worth noting that they have a herding instinct, which might lead to them trying to ‘herd’ other pets. This is typically harmless and more amusing than problematic, but it’s something to be aware of if you have smaller or timid pets.

That said, individual temperaments can vary, and not every Rough Collie will necessarily get along with every other pet. It’s important to ensure proper introductions and supervise interactions until you’re confident that all pets are comfortable with each other.

Additionally, early socialization can greatly help in ensuring that a Rough Collie learns to behave appropriately around other animals.


Q: What is a Rough Collie?

A: Rough Collie is a dog breed that is known for its herding abilities. They originated in Scotland and are closely related to the Smooth Collie and Border Collie.

Q: Are Rough Collies affectionate?

A: Yes, Rough Collies are known to be very affectionate dogs. They form strong bonds with their owners and enjoy being part of a loving family.

Q: Can Rough Collies participate in dog sports?

A: Yes, Rough Collies can participate in various dog sports such as agility and obedience. Their intelligence and willingness to please make them excellent candidates for such activities.

Q: Are Rough Collies good with children?

A: Yes, Rough Collies are generally good with children. They are known to be gentle and patient, making them suitable companions for kids.

Q: Do Rough Collies need a lot of grooming?

A: Yes, Rough Collies have a long coat that requires regular brushing to prevent mats and tangles. Grooming sessions should be done at least once a week to keep their coat in good condition.

Q: Are Rough Collies suitable as therapy dogs?

A: Yes, Rough Collies can excel as therapy dogs due to their calm and gentle nature. They provide comfort and emotional support to people in need.

Q: Are Rough Collies intelligent dogs?

A: Yes, Rough Collies are highly intelligent dogs. They are quick to learn and respond well to training. This intelligence makes them versatile in various activities.

Q: How can I find the right Rough Collie puppy?

A: To find the right Rough Collie puppy, you can contact reputable breeders or organizations such as the American Kennel Club. They can provide you with reliable information and help you connect with responsible breeders.

Q: Do Rough Collies require a lot of exercise?

A: Rough Collies are a large breed and do require regular exercise to keep them physically and mentally stimulated. Daily walks, playtime, and opportunities to run in a secure area are important for their overall well-being.

Conclusion and final thoughts

In conclusion, the Rough Collie is undeniably a great family dog.

Its gentle and loyal nature makes it ideal for families with children, while its high intelligence and trainability make it a joy to have as a pet.

It’s important to note that every dog, regardless of breed, requires proper care, love, and attention in order to thrive as a family member.

With the right training, socialization, and care, the Rough Collie can be a fantastic addition to any family.

Please take the time and leave a comment below if this article helped you, or you have any additional questions.

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