The collie is a large, handsome dog originally bred to herd sheep and cattle. The collie stands about 24 inches tall at the shoulder and weighs between 50 and 75 pounds. It has a strong, slender body and a deep chest. Its head is long and narrow, and its ears are erect, but curl slightly forward at the tips. The collie's long coat is rough and heavy and forms a thick mane on the shoulders, neck, and chest. The tail is bushy, and the legs are feathered. A collie's coat is usually golden-brown with white markings, but may also be black, tan and white, or blue merle.
The collie's ancestors were brought to the British Isles in the 1st century B.C. by invading Romans and were bred with dogs native to Britain. As sheep and cattle raising became important, collies were specially developed for herding. They were brought to America during the early colonial period. The most commonly known collie, the narrow-headed streamlined variety, is bred for its showy appearance. The American farm shepherd and the English border collie have more compact bodies and broader heads.