Rough Collie Vs German Shepherd Which One Is Better?

Rough Collie Vs German Shepherd! Quite a challenging task to choose in between, Right?

If you have found yourself in this dilemma on which dog to take home then worry not as I got you covered.

I will provide you with each of these 2 fascinating dog breeds histories, physical appearance, nutritional requirements, temperament, and grooming needs to help you understand them in detail.

 I will also walk you through a comprehensive summary that captures the differences between these 2 dog breeds.

And I am optimistic that by the end of this article, you will be able to confidently choose which dog best complements your personality.

AttributesGerman ShepherdRough Collie
Good For First Time OwnersYesNo
Good Guard DogYesWith Enough Training
Apartment FriendlyYesYes
Good Family DogWith TrainingYes
Barking And HowlingModerate To HighHigh
Height22-26 inches (55-65 cm) 22-26 inches (55-65 cm)
Average Life Expectancy9-13 Years12-14 Years


Rough Collie – Dog Breed Information

Also known as the Collie, English Collie, long-haired Collie, Scottish Collie.


Ranking at the top 50 most popular dog breeds in the USA, the Rough Collie’s origins can be traced back to Scotland.

These dogs are a descendant of herding dogs.

The Rough Collie was first recognized as a breed by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1914.

Physical Appearance

Rough Collies are unarguably beautiful and sassy dog breeds.

These hounds are of 2 variations: the long hair (which is the true rough Collie) and the Short-haired Collie (also known as the Smooth Collie, this breed variation is quite rare).

Their double dense coat may come in shades of white, sable, sable white, blue merle, sable, white or tricolor.

These obedient and intelligent dogs can grow to a height of 22-26 inches long and weigh around 50-75 pounds (23-34 kgs).

The Collies have beautiful medium-sized dark brown or blue eye(rare) colors.

Sometimes, these hounds can have different eye colors due to a normal medical eye condition known as heterochromia.

Their angular-shaped heads, long tapering noses, and elongated muzzles give this industrious dog breed their distinctive physical appearance that makes it easy to differentiate them from the other types of Collies.

Lifespan And Health Conditions

The long-haired Rough Collies tend to live a dog life of 12-14 years or more as long as they are provided with proper dog food and adequate physical exercise.

However, Rough Collies are susceptible to eye anomalies, Gray Collie syndrome (a very severe and fatal hereditary disease that causes abnormalities in a Rough Collie’s hair pigmentation, hip dysplasia, and progressive retinal atrophy.

Nutritional Requirements

RoughCollies thrive best with diets that are rich in carbohydrates.

Consider feeding your Collie brown gluten-free rice, sea meat (tilapia to be specific), and chicken meat (the thigh part).

Be sure to engage your dog in daily physical exercises since a diet rich in Carbs can easily make your dog be susceptible to both canine diabetes and obesity.

Grooming And Maintenance

3 times a week brushing is ideal for maintaining a mat-free and lustrous coat in your Rough Collie.

Once a month, bathe is enough to make your Collie stay clean and smelling fresh throughout.

Ensure that you dry your long-haired Collies thoroughly by using a dog-safe hairdryer.


These dogs are a true definition of beauty with brains as they ace at obeying and grasping commands very fast when compared to other dog breeds.

They really love attention and also will go to any extent to please you if they feel you are worth it!

These hounds are also protective, extremely outgoing, non-aggressive, and a bit independent.

Collies may, at times, be very vocal and aggressive.

This usually occurs when your canine buddy feels bored, is in pain, or is experiencing separation anxiety.

German Shepherd – Dog Breed Information

Also known as the Alsatian, German Shepherd Dog, Berger Allemand, Deutscher Schaferhund.


Previously known as the Alsatian Wolf Dog from 1914-1977, the German Shepherd’s origins can be traced back to 1899 in Germany.

These hounds were bred to herd sheep and protect them from predators.

American Kennel Club first recognized this sturdy dog in 1908.

And the first German Shepherd’s club was founded by Max Von Stephanitz and Arthur Meyer in 1899.

Physical Appearance

These easy-to-train hounds can grow to a height of 22-26 inches long and may weigh approximately 50-90 pounds (23-41 kg) as adults.

The males are usually dominate both in height and weight. The German Shepherd’s dome-shaped head, long neck, long square-shaped muzzle, and powerful jaw give this breed its mighty classical look.

Their medium-sized and almond brown eyes give this working dog breed a kind and an alert look.

Typically, the pups have floppy ears, and by the age of 16 months, their ears permanently assume a permanent erect/pointed position.

These obedient dogs have a double dense coat that may be short (very common) or long (rarely occurs).

This dog breed has at least 15 different coat colors, with black and tan, solid black, red and black, sable and grey being the most common coat colors.

Lifespan And Health Conditions

German Shepherds have a life expectancy of 9-13 years.

The most common health issues that affect a large percentage of the German Shepherd dog breed include;

Adrenal gland disorders, Allergic reactions, Chronic diarrhea, Canine diabetes, Epilepsy, Heart diseases, nail disorders, and Retinal dysplasia.

Nutritional Requirements

German Shepherd thrives in foods with high protein content and low-fat content.

You can either feed them with dry or wet foods as these dogs rarely have any dental issues.

You should at least feed your hound 2 meals in a day.

However, its activity level, size, age, and health condition also play a role in how many times you should feed these vibrant hounds.

Grooming And Maintenance

Brushing its hair 2 times a week is beneficial as it helps maintain a mat-free coat.

It would be best if you also consider bathing your hound once every 2-3 months.

Pro-tip; NEVER shave your German Shepherd’s coat.


German Shepherds are famous for their bold, loyal, alert, watchful, obedient, affectionate, kid, and pet-friendly nature.

However, these sharp-witted dogs can quickly become stubborn and untamable when inadequately trained to follow commands.

So be sure to adopt an ‘Alpha character’ when your hound is still in its infancy stage.

Rough Collie Vs German Shepherd – What’s Their Difference?

Rough Collie German Shepherd

Place/Country Of Origin

The Rough Collie’s country of origin is Scotland, whereas the German Shepherd Country of origin is Germany (just like the name suggests).

Disease Susceptibility

German Shepherds are more susceptible to both acquired and hereditary diseases than Rough Collies.

However, regular vet visits, proper nutrition, and enough physical exercise can reduce your German Shepherd’s susceptibility to debilitating medical conditions.


Rough Collie has a life expectancy of 12-14 years, whereas German Shepherds have a life expectancy of 9-13 years.

This means that Rough Collie tends to live longer than the German Shepherds.

Temperature Tolerance

Rough Collies can comfortably tolerate extremely low temperatures of 13°F (-10°C) unlike the German Shepherd dog breeds, which can only tolerate temperatures of 20°F (-6.66°C) and above.

Shedding Potential

Rough Collies shed way more than the German Shepherds.

Consider adopting a German Shepherd if you are hyperallergic to dog hair and dander.

Drooling Potential

Rough Collies tend to have a very low drooling potential. German Shepherds, on the other hand, have a medium drooling potential.

You can lower your German Shepherds drooling potential by ensuring you help it maintain a top-notch oral hygiene and give it lots of bones or canine-safe dental chews to chew on.

Independence And Aggressiveness

Rough Collies are more independent and less aggressive when compared to the German Shepherds who dislike being left alone and may sometimes become aggressive even with the slightest provocation.


German Shepherds are a bit stronger when compared to the Rough Collies.

This physical attribute makes the German Shepherd a good fit if you are looking forward to adopting a guard or watchdog.

Coat Length And Texture

A Rough Collie’s coat is long and rough, whereas a German Shepherd’s coat is short and smooth.

Both have double coats.

Guarding And Herding skills

The German Shepherd makes a better guard dog when compared to the Rough Collie.

However, the Rough Collie still makes a good watchdog.

Grooming Needs

Rough Collies have more grooming needs when compared to the German Shepherd.

When it comes to coat maintenance, the Rough Collie’s hold the number one tittle for needing more time in order for their coats to be adequately brushed and untangled.

Rough Collie Vs German Shepherd – Which One Is Better?

Rough Collie Vs German Shepherd both make excellent pets for both newbies and veteran dog parents.

Both dogs have the same height of 22-26 inches tall, are kid and pet friendly, sharp-witted, protective, and very outgoing.

These focused and alert dogs can also adapt to living indoors and in small apartments, provided that they are allowed to physically stimulate themselves in the outdoors every day for an hour or so.

The Rough Collies have more grooming needs when compared to the German Shepherds.

German Shepherds are more dependent, a bit aggressive (when provoked or bored), and drool more than the long-haired Rough Collies.

German Shepherds also have a shorter life expectancy when compared with the English Collie.

Note what you feed your hound directly affects its life expectancy. In terms of nutritional requirements, ensure that you feed your Collie at least 2 times a day with a diet rich in carbohydrates.

If you choose to adopt a German Shepherd, be sure to provide it with a diet rich in protein.

Ensure that the number of times you feed this agile dog breed correlates with its age, health related issues, activity level, and size.

Authored By

Madeline Wright

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