The Gollie is one of the mixed breeds that have been created in recent decades. Based on the name, it should come as no surprise to learn that it is a mix of the Golden Retriever and the Collie. Something that makes Gollies very well-suited for families. Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about the Gollie:
1. Sometimes Called Golden Collies
Mixed breeds aren’t as well-established as their purebred counterparts. As a result, it is very common for them to have more than one name. For instance, Gollies are sometimes called Golden Collies. Fortunately, mixed breeds tend to have names cobbled together from components of their parent breeds’ names, thus making it very easy to tell what is what.
2. Bred Using Golden Retrievers
One of the breeds that contributed to the Gollie was the Golden Retriever. For those who are unfamiliar, the breed was created because the Scottish elite wanted a retriever that could retrieve downed game from both land and water, which was necessary because marshes made up such a huge proportion of their hunting grounds. The result was a dog that is kind, smart, and confident, thus enabling it to make a smooth transition to being a pet in the present time. Having said that, Golden Retrievers serve well in a wide range of other roles as well, as shown by their popularity as service dogs.
3. Bred Using Collies
The other breed that contributed to the Gollie was the Collie. When people refer to Collies, chances are good that they are referring to Rough Collies because that is the breed that was made famous by Lassie in the 20th century. However, it is worth mentioning that there is a short-coated version called Smooth Collies that may or may not be considered a sub-set of the same breed. In any case, Collies are also a very popular breed, thus explaining much about how they winded up contributing to the Gollie.
4. Has a Soft Mouth
Gollies have inherited the Golden Retriever’s soft mouth. Essentially, this means that a dog tends to carry their quarry in a gentle manner. Something that can be both desirable and undesirable depending on a breed’s intended purpose. For example, soft mouth would not have been a useful characteristic in terriers, which are meant to hunt vermin. In contrast, soft mouth is much more useful for retrievers because they are supposed to bring back downed game in good condition. Conveniently, this trait means that people can play with Gollies with no need to fear that they will be bitten in the process.
5. Not Good Watch Dogs
Apparently, some people have been known to use Gollies as watch dogs. Unfortunately, they are far from being the best breed for said role. After all, Golden Retrievers are too friendly to make good watch dogs. Meanwhile, Collies are better in the sense that they will bark when they see something strange to them but not much more than that. As such, interested individuals shouldn’t expect their Gollies to make good watch dogs, though to be fair, the breed isn’t meant to be good watch dogs.
6. Good Service Dogs
Having said that, the Gollie is a good service dog, which is something that it shares with Golden Retrievers. In part, this is because of their friendliness. However, it should also be mentioned that Gollies are not just smart but also eager to learn, thus enabling them to master various ways to help out their human companions.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Gollies are energetic dogs. As such, they tend to do better in bigger homes because they want space to run around in. However, Gollies can do just fine in smaller homes provided that their dog owners play with them as well as take them out for daily walks. Bored Gollies do as well as other bored dogs, which is to say, not very well. Thanks to this, interested individuals should be absolutely sure that they can meet this mixed breed’s activity requirements. Otherwise, they could very well be making trouble for themselves down the road.
8. Needs Regular Grooming
Gollies need regular grooming. The length of their hairs can see a fair amount of variation. However, it tends to be long. As a rough rule of thumb, Gollies should be groomed on a daily basis so that their shed hairs won’t wind up everywhere in the home. Bath-wise, they should be fine with one every two to three months, but if they are the kind of dog that enjoys running around in the dirt, their dog owners should increase the frequency of baths for obvious reasons.
9. Various Colors
This breed comes in a wide range of colors. Examples include but are not limited to black, brown, gold, cream, and white. What is even more interesting is that Gollies can have coats with two or even three colors, which is something that can make for wonderful combinations.
10. Can Have Various Health Problems
One of the upsides to mixed breeds is that they tend to be healthier than their purebred counterparts. However, it is very important to note that this is true on average, meaning that this is by no means guaranteed to be true for every single individual out there. As such, it is possible for Gollie to suffer various health problems, with those that are common in either one of their parent breeds having the highest chances of showing up. For example, Golden Retrievers are prone to cataracts, epilepsy, and heart disease. Similarly, Collies are prone to arthritis, dermatomyositis, and progressive retinal atrophy. On top of this, both breeds have higher-than-normal chances of getting hip dysplasia, which means a higher chance of joint problems because the ball and socket do not fit properly. Thanks to this, there is a grind rather than a smooth slide, thus making for serious issues in the long run. Regardless, people who want Gollies should inform themselves about the health problems that are common in both Golden Retrievers and Collies. After which, they can keep a watchful eye out for potential signs so that they can visit the veterinarian as soon as possible. Of course, regular visits to the veterinarian are also very helpful because earlier intervention tends to make for better results.