A Gollie is a particular hybrid of dog with parents as Golden Retriever and Collie purebreds. It is not known who first cross-bred Collies with Golden Retrievers but they are certainly a popular breed due to their temperament. Both the Collie and Golden Retriever are originally from Scotland. Original Collies were black and white (recognised as Border Collies) and were great at herding, especially sheep, being quick to train and intelligent. Golden Retrievers were bred by Lord Tweedmouth to be calm in the home whilst being a gentle retriever of kills from hunting birds and rabbits for example. Gollies have become popular in America where they are regularly bred from pure-bred parents.
A Gollie is usually a large dog being up to 24 inches (61cm) tall and weighing between 50 and 75 pounds (23 and 34kg). Coat colours are variations of black, brown and cream/white with many variations and shades possible. A Gollies’ coat will either be long or short, and look like a Collie or a Golden Retriever. The coat may be mostly short with neck ruffs, all long or all short depending on the mix. Their coat, whether short or long will benefit from regular grooming (daily) to minimise shedding and keep it in good condition.
Gollies have natural watchdog and herding instincts, so will benefit from daily walks to keep them active and prevent boredom. They make great family pets and will benefit from early training. Great around children and other pets, they are very affectionate and make great companion pets. Gollies love to play games and will usually make great family pets, being especially protective of young children. Gollies’ are loyal and make great watchdogs without excessive barking and will notify owners of an intruder or visitor. Some undesirable traits associated with boredom, may develop if a Gollie is left alone for long periods each day; they like company, stimulation and plenty of exercise.
Gollies have a life expectancy of between 12 and 15 years. They commonly suffer from a few health problems more likely associated with aging or inherited conditions from the parents. Some common issues include; cancer, joint dysplasia, allergies, eye problems and Collie nose. Collie nose is actually an auto-immune disease called Canine Discoid Lupus or discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE). It is basically an inflammatory skin condition confined to the nose and face which may be simply discolouration or ulcers may form. The condition is hypersensitive to sunlight so a sunblock can help; choose a pet friendly one without zinc oxide to prevent poisoning from ingestion.