The Smooth Collie (or simply “Collie” in the United States) is a short-haired variety of the collie sheepdog that originated in Scotland in the 1800s. It is a strong, active and natural working dog that stands naturally straight and firm. It has a moderately wide chest, sloping shoulders and well-bent hocks. The tapered head shows a clean and smooth outline that resembles a lean wedge. The eyebrows are slightly prominent which complements the flat skull and a very slight stop. It has a smooth, well-rounded muzzle, strong and clean-cut underjaw, and a scissors bite set of good-sized teeth. The obliquely placed almond-shaped eyes of the Smooth Collie gives a forward outlook especially when viewed in the front. The eye colour matches that of the coat except for blue merles where the eyes are dark brown. At rest, the ears are folded lengthwise and folded back into the ruffle. A fairly long and muscular neck supports the head to the equally muscular body. The back is level, supported by muscular hips and thighs. The front legs are straight and well-built. The hind legs are also muscular with well-bent hocks and stifles. The tail is carried low with an upward swirl at the end but carried brightly but not over the back when the dog is excited or in motion.
The undercoat is soft, woolly and abundant while the outer coat is short (one to two inches long), hard, dense and flat with good texture. The longer hairs appear mainly in a ruff around the neck and also at the back of the thighs. Acceptable colours are sable (light gold to deep mahogany), tri-colour (black with tan and white markings), blue merle (silvery gray with specks of black and tan) and white. There are also sable merle in colours.
Male Smooth Collies stand between 56 to 61 cm from the withers and can weigh between 27 to 34 kg. Females stand between 51 to 56 cm at the shoulder and weigh between 23 to 30 kg.
All dog breeds have different levels of intellect. Some dog breeds; working dogs in particular, are very independent thinkers and have been evolved to be very intelligent. Typically, a highly intelligent dog does well in obedience training and other activities. A highly intelligent dog can be very demanding and do require lots of physical and mental stimulation. If you’re looking for a relatively laid-back dog, that doesn’t require lots of mental and physical stimulation, then you must fully understand the level of intelligence of your dog breed of choice.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, you must fully understand their intellect levels and their specific levels of energy. To keep your dog well-balanced and happy, their needs must be met and maintained.
All dog breeds have different needs when it comes to the level of exercise they require. For the high energy dogs; which are your typical working dogs, they have a lot of energy and require lots of daily exercise along with plenty of mental stimulation. A highly energetic dog breed would suit an individual or family that is equally as active and loves the outdoors. There are also breeds that have relatively low exercise needs, such as toy dog breeds. Although they require daily exercise and mental stimulation, they’re just as happy chilling at home with their loved ones. This type of dog breed would suit an individual or family that prefers the peace and quiet and relaxation.
Before deciding on your chosen dog breed, Mypetzilla recommends that you research the exercise needs and whether you’re well equipped before committing to buying or adopting a particular dog breed.
There are several dog breeds that are known and potentially predisposed to developing health related conditions. Sensible breeding can help prevent the onset of health related conditions and this should always be taken into condition when researching your dog breed of choice. Before committing to a dog, you should speak to the breeder about any health related conditions that may affect the dog you’re looking to buy or adopt. You can also request to see any test results from genetic testing.
There are many dog breeds that tolerate children really well and are not affected by the constant noise and need for play-time. However, there are some dog breeds that don’t do very well with children and can become frustrated and snappy. That being said, all children should be shown how to handle and care for a dog in their home and should always be supervised when playing. As much as a dog can become annoyed and snappy with a younger child, the child can also become less tolerant and misbehaved towards the dog.
Mypetzilla recommends that you always supervise play-time between your children and dog. Children need to respect the boundaries and feeding time for the dog and likewise for the child. We also strongly advise that play-time doesn’t get out of control and too rough which can cause injury to both child and dog.
There are lots of dog breeds that are well suited to living in an apartment. It’s worthwhile noting that you need to check that you’re allowed dogs in your building before committing to bringing one home. If you do decide to own a dog and are living in an apartment, then you must make sure that they have plenty of room to roam around and frequent walks outside to prevent them from becoming bored and depressed.
Mypetzilla recommends that you check as to whether you’re allowed dogs in your apartment building and to fully ensure your apartment is dog proof before committing fully to bringing a dog home.
All dog breeds shed to some extent, some more than others. With this, all potential dog owners should be aware of this, as it will be a matter of putting up with some hair or lots of hair being left around the house. Depending on the dog breed, there are certain times during the year where some dog breeds shed the most and this is typically around spring and autumn. However, there are some dog breeds that shed all year round.
If you’re very house-proud, they you may want to choose a dog breed that sheds very little. Mypetzilla strongly recommends that you fully research your dog breed of choice and their shedding levels before committing.
All dog breeds require different levels of grooming. Some dog breeds are easier to maintain than others and only require a weekly brush to help keep their coat in good condition. There are some dog breeds that require regular trips to the grooming parlour and this can come at a huge cost. Either way, all dog breeds require their coat and nails to be maintained and cared for.
Mypetzilla strongly advices that potential owners research the grooming needs and associated costs with their desired dog breed before fully committing.
Barking is a necessity for your dog to communicate. However, it can also be a nuisance to yourself and fellow neighbours if it’s not kept under control. If you live in an apartment, then you’re better off choosing a dog breed that doesn’t bark as much. If you live further out and far from civilisation, then it’s worthwhile looking into a dog breed that does bark and will bark to alert you of any other company on your property.
Mypetzilla advices that you research the behaviours of your dog breed of choice and whether this would work for you and your family. It’s worth noting that dogs can be trained to bark less and this will take a lot of effort and training from the owner.
Majority dog breeds form very close relationships with their owners and as a result can become very stressed when left alone for a period of time. If a dog is suffering with separation anxiety then they’re very likely to become destructive around the home as a way of dealing with their anxieties. Dog breeds that do form strong bonds with their owners are better accustomed to a household where one member of the family remains home, whilst the others are out, this is to help avoid further anxieties and destructive behaviours.
Mypetzilla recommends that all potential owners research their dog breed of choice on their bonding abilities and how well-adjusted they are to being left alone at home. It’s also worth noting that you should never leave your dog for longer than 4 hours alone at home.
There are certain dogs breeds that have very high intellect and therefore easier to train than other dog breeds. There is also a downside to this; as fast as they learn the new trick or command, they can easily pick up bad habits just as quick. Other dog breeds that don’t rank as high on the intellect scale require patience and plenty of reward treats from their owners during training.
Before committing to a certain dog breed, Mypetzilla advices you to fully research your dog breed of choice and their level of training needs.
All dog breeds have different energy levels. The working dog breed has one of the highest energy levels in comparison to the low-energy dog’s breeds such as the Toy dog breed group. To keep a dog truly happy, healthy and well-balanced, their energy levels must be met.
High-energy dog breeds need lots of exercise and mental stimulation. High energy dog breeds would suit an active family or person. Dog breeds that are considered as low-energy, love to spend the majority of their time relaxing and sleeping in their favourite, comfy spot. A low-energy dog breed would suit an individual that equally loves the quiet life and relaxing lifestyle. Of course, low-energy dogs still need their daily walks and mental stimulation, just not as much as a high-energy dog breed.
Mypetzilla recommends that potential owner research fully on the type of dog breed that would suit their existing lifestyle and to also take into consideration the dog breeds energy levels and exercise requirements.
Before you decide on what dog breed would be suitable for you and your family, you must consider whether they’re a friendly dog breed and if you already have other pets within the household. For homes that already have dogs and other domestic pets, then it’s wise to choose a dog breed that has a friendly personality and temperament.
There are some dog breeds that mix well with other dog breeds and there are others that don’t suit one another and this could potentially cause issues later on down the line.
Another important point to consider is whether the dog breed of choice is friendly towards people and children.
Mypetzilla recommends to research fully on the right dog breed for your family and to also consider their temperament and characteristics.
The Smooth Collie descended from generations of local herding dogs from Scotland and Wales brought here by the Romans more than 2,000 years ago. The variety from Scotland was large and aggressive and was used primarily to herd sheep. The variety from Wales was smaller, agile and friendly and also herded sheep and goats. These varieties were then interbred with local English sheepdogs producing a long-haired collie and a short-haired variety but with broader heads and shorter muzzles that are smaller than today’s Collies. Because the original Collies were predominantly black, some suggest that the name “collie” might have come from the old Ango-Saxxon word “coll” which means black. Others say that the name probably came from the Scottish black-faced sheep called the “colley” which the dogs frequently herd. Another theory is that the word “collie” might have come from the Gaelic word “càilean” (Irish: cóilean) which means dog.
These early Collies were then crossed with the Borzoi or Russian wolfhound which produced a breed with a longer muzzle and taller stature.
The breed became popular when in the 1860s, Queen Victoria saw and acquired a Smooth Collie when she visited Balmoral Castle in Scotland. She immediately fell in love with the breed’s gentle temperament and good looks and brought it to England where it became a fad.
Like many sheepdogs, a Smooth Collie has a tendency to bark a lot but it can be easily trained not to do otherwise especially if it’s trained at an early age as a puppy. Some collies tend to be bossy while others are calmer and gentle. It makes a wonderful guardian of the farm and flock especially during winter since it can stand the coldest of temperatures. It is a breed that is highly trainable, flexible, loyal, agile and graceful – all important traits of a quality herding breed and perfect family companion.
The Smooth Collie is a highly intelligent breed, eager to learn and responds well to gentle training. They can be trained easily to compete in dog sports such as agility contests, obedience, conformation, Flyball, tracking and herding trials. It can also be trained as a search and rescue dog and has been known as a therapy dog and guide dog.
Weekly brushing is recommended to keep the hair healthy. Brushing also promotes blood circulation which promotes good skin health free from allergies. Bathe or dry shampoo only when necessary. The Smooth Collie is an average shedder.
While a Smooth Collie is generally a tough and healthy breed, there are some health issues that can affect the dog, including:
Smooth Collies may also be sensitive to the anti-parasitic medication Ivermectin and related drugs which can cause neurological problems and even death if overdosed.
The Smooth Collie is a medium to large-sized breed and needs a considerable amount of exercise to stay healthy. Daily long walk or an hour of play outside is an idyllic daily activity. A small apartment is not an ideal home for this breed. It is relatively inactive indoors and will do well in a house with an average-sized yard. The natural home of the Collie is the cold Highlands of Scotland so do not let the dog run or play under the heat or it may suffer.
A Smooth Collie is neither aggressive nor shy and is typically excellent with children and other animals. However, it must be socialized properly as early as a puppy to prevent shyness. It is naturally protective of small children and makes an excellent guard dog.