Throughout our website, you may see mention of several different types of Collies, as well as different colors or markings. There are two main types of Collies :: Rough and Smooth, although there are others.
As many people use Lassie as a point of reference when they think “Collie”, Rough Collies are probably the more commonly recognized of the two. Both types of Collies are known for their sweet temperaments, loyalty, and their high intelligence. They are easily trained and, as herding dogs, are often wonderful, protective companions to children.
The main difference between the two is the length and thickness of their coats … Rough Collies have a long coat of hair, while Smooth Collies have two short layers. Learn more about smooth Collies.
There are four general colors / markings of Collies. All four are attributes of both the Smooth and the Rough types of Collies.
Sable— Sable is a brownish color that can range from a very light golden color to a very dark reddish brown. It is often mixed with white as in Reese’s photo above.
Tri-Color — Just as it sounds. Tri-color Collies have three different colors in their coat: black, white, and tan/brown. The photo of Cole above is an example of a Tri-Color Smooth Collie.
Blue Merle — Blue Merle is used to describe the markings of a silvery gray dog (it sometimes almost looks spotted), usually mixed with white, black, or a brown. The photo of Crystal (top, right) is an example of a Blue Merle Rough Collie.
Sable Merle — The Sable Merle is used to describe a dog that is generally Sable in marking, but has blue or “merled” eyes. The photo pf Mac (top, left) is an example of a Sable Merle Rough Collie.