Guild of Shepherds & Collies

The Lesser Known Collie with Sass

The Smooth Coat Collie is a Collie with Sass

Collies are the epitome of the All-American family dog. Their unique blend of pleasant temperament, high intelligence, awe-inspiring loyalty, and striking coloring make them a great all-around dog. The Smooth Coat Collie, though not as popular or famous as their rough coated counterparts, which resemble “Lassie”, make wonderful canine companions.

The Collie’s Royal History

Originally from the beautiful, mountainous highland regions of Scotland and England, the Smooth Coat Collie has a rich and fascinating history. First bred as sheep herding dogs, Smooth Collies enjoyed the luxury of working alongside their shepherd, unlike their rough coat counterparts who (allegedly) worked solo. The shepherd’s relationship with his dog helped to develop strong bonds of trust, respect and friendship. The Smooth Collie’s claim to fame, though, came when the breed was discovered by Her Majesty Queen Victoria, in the mid 1800’s. Talk about a regal beginning! Ever since the Queen’s love affair with these beauties, their popularity as pets and show dogs has skyrocketed.

Smooth Coated Border Collies: Lookin’ Good

The Smooth Coated Collie sports a beautiful, short, sleek coat which can be a bit course to the touch.

As is typical of the collie breed, the Smooth Collie’s double coat protects them during colder or inclement weather conditions, but during times of extreme cold, don’t hesitate to bundle up your collie with a warm sweater or coat.

Grooming is a breeze for Smooth Coat Collie owners. Since their coat is short, daily brushing year round is simply not necessary. Collies, in general, are known for being a cleaner breed because they don’t give off an odor like many other dog breeds typically do, and their coat is not prone to tangles. Shedding season is a different story altogether, though. Spayed and neutered dogs typically shed once a year during late spring and early summer to ready their bodies for the summer heat. You’d be surprised at just how much fur flies off of that short, sweet coat! At this point, a thorough daily brushing will really help your Smoothie feel more comfortable and less itchy.

With a trio of coat color varieties, there’s a Smooth Coat to fit every taste:

The Sable coloring is a light to medium brown body.

The Tricolor is mostly black with distinguishing brown markings on the head and legs.

The Blue Merle coloring is a mix of gray with black splotches.

Finally, Smooth Coat Collies can be all white.

No matter what color variety of Smooth Coat you fancy, all have the trademark white collar, white chest, white legs and feet, with just a touch of white on the tip of their tail.

The Smooth Collie is considered to be a large dog weighing in at 40 – 55 pounds for females and 50 – 65 pounds for males. Ladies are approximately 20 -24 inches tall at the shoulders whereas the gentlemen are about 22 -26 inches tall.

So, are you looking for a low-maintenance, lovable dog to call your own? The Smooth Coat Collie might just be perfect for you!

A Herding Breed’s Personality is Everything!

Overflowing with personality, Smooth Collies are smart, alert, friendly and sociable, affectionate, playful and faithful furry companions. This lovable breed loves everybody and typically forms strong bonds with everyone in the family. Smooth Coats are the perfect best friend for children - they’re protective without being too aggressive and playful but not too rough.

Inside the house, this sassy, short-haired Collie is easily motivated and ready to learn. So housetraining is almost as easy as a walk in the park. They’re infamous for barking, but with proper exercise and stimulation, you can contain their penchant to speak. They excel at obedience training, learning and performing tricks, and maneuvering and flying through obstacle and agility courses.

Health Matters

Smooth Coated Collies are, for the most part, healthy and hearty dogs, but they can be prone to specific health conditions:

Collie Eye Anomaly or simply CEA, is a birth defect in which the eye does not fully develop. Fortunately though, a genetic test performed as early as 5-8 weeks of age can determine whether your Smooth Coat is healthy, a carrier of the gene, or is affected by this condition.

Drug Reactions: Negative reactions to a variety of drugs seem to plague some herding dog breeds. Some of the most serious adverse reactions are to the drug Ivermectin, a common ingredient in heartworm medications, as well as, some antiparasitic, antidiarrheal medications, and some cancer treatment drugs. Fortunately, you can have your Smooth Collie tested to see if it does possess the drug resistance gene known as MDR1.

Epilepsy: Epileptic seizures occur for a variety of reasons - one of these stems from a reaction to drugs as mentioned above. With medication, your Smoothy can live a normal active life for years to come.

The life span of the Smooth Coated Collie is generally 10-14 years, with some even gracing the lives of their families well into their sixteenth year.

Breed Identity

It’s interesting to note that different countries view the Smooth Coat Collie differently. Some nations, including the United States, believe that both the Rough and Smooth Coat Collies are one breed, but different varieties within that breed. This means that interbreeding among Smooth and Rough varieties can occur. In Europe, Australia and Canada, however, these two distinct varieties are regarded as two distinct and separate breeds and interbreeding between the two has been banned.

The Smooth Coat Collie is an All-Around Great Canine Companion

With a wonderful combination of superior intelligence and trainability, a loving, friendly and loyal demeanor, and an easy to maintain coat, the Smooth Coat Collie is a welcomed addition to any household. Even though these Smoothies do require an active life, with the right exercise and attention, these beauties will live happily ever after wherever you call home - apartment, house, or farm.

Resources and Further Reading:

Article By:
Karen Doll

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