There is only one breed of collie; however, the collie breed has 10 different color variations and four markings as well as two different types of coats. The two different types of coats refer to the outer coat, which can be either smooth or rough.
The smooth coat includes hard and flat fur that is short while the rough coat has straight but long fur. The rough coat also has much more hair than the smooth coat. The famous collie, Lassie, was a rough coat type. Both the smooth and the flat coat types have a soft fur undercoat.
According to the American Kennel Club, or AKC, the four types of markings that can be found on the collie are black and tan markings, blue merle markings, sable markings and sable merle markings. These markings appear around and throughout the collie's face. The collie has 10 different colors that occur in both the rough and smooth coats. As reported by the AKC, these colors are black, white and tan; blue merle; blue merle and white; blue merle, white and tan; sable; sable and white; sable merle; sable, merle and white; white and white merle.
Collies are sometimes also referred to as the "Scottish Collie" and were originally bred to herd sheep for farmers and livestock owners. The breed originated in the 1800s and today is still used for herding purposes, but is also often chosen purely for a family pet.