We’ve all seen Lassie, and many people have hoped to have a Collie after seeing just how loyal she is. The thick coat can be a deterrent for some people, though! But, did you know that the Collie comes in a smooth-coated variety as well? The Smooth Collie has a shorter coat than the Rough Collie, making it more manageable for many people. Read on for more info on the Smooth Collie.
Black, white, tan, blue merle, sable merle, sable
Active families with children, active people who want an exercise companion, people with dog experience
Loyal, gentle, good-natured, active, sensitive
Smooth Collies aren’t a particularly popular dog breed, even though the breed has a slew of positive qualities. They tend to be very active dogs that can become noisy and destructive if bored. They need lots of space to move and a consistent training regimen. Some of these qualities can make them difficult for some people to handle. They make great family dogs, though, and they’re energetic companions that are usually up for adventures!
Smooth Collie Characteristics
Smooth Collie Puppies
If you’re in the market for a Smooth Collie, be prepared to travel to a breeder to get one. This breed can be difficult to come by, and the odds of finding one in a shelter are low. However, you may be able to get a Smooth Collie through a rescue, especially a breed-specific rescue organization.
As puppies, Smooth Collies are fast learners that are eager to please. They are quite sensitive, though, and may be prone to barking excessively, so these traits should be accounted for, especially during training.
Temperament & Intelligence of the Smooth Collie
The Smooth Collie is a very intelligent and intuitive dog. They are highly trainable, not to mention their tendency to pick up on training quickly. They’re eager to please and love spending time with their people.
Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪
Smooth Collies are not only good for families, but Collies in general are known for their love of children. They can be protective but don’t tend to be overprotective, although you can expect your Smooth Collie to shadow your children. Their high energy level and desire for exercise and activities can make Smooth Collies a great pick for homes with active children who spend a lot of time outside.
Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?
This breed can be standoffish with other dogs, especially when first meeting them. Proper introductions and early socialization are key to helping a Smooth Collie succeed in interactions with other pets.
This is a herding breed, which means that chasing or herding other animals is not uncommon. You may experience your Smooth Collie herding (or attempting to herd) your cats, as well as other dogs and even kids. This behavior should be discouraged through positive reinforcement and training, but it is instinctual and may be a difficult habit to break.
Things to Know When Owning a Smooth Collie:
Food & Diet Requirements 🦴
Your Smooth Collie will need to eat a high-quality dog food, with top foods being those that meet WSAVA standards. If your Smooth Collie is more active than the average dog, like if they are used for herding work or long daily runs or hikes, then you should look into getting your dog on a high-energy dog food. These foods aren’t suitable for every dog, especially if they have a normal energy and activity level, but dogs that burn a lot of calories daily often need the extra nutritional support provided by these foods.
Smooth Collies aren’t always on the go, but they are quite an active breed. Without exercise, they may become bored. A bored Smooth Collie may be destructive or bark excessively, so finding ways to entertain your dog every day is necessary. Puzzles and games are a great way to tire your dog out when the weather isn’t nice, but these dogs do best with plenty of outdoor activity and space. They can excel at dog sports, but if you’re just looking for an active companion, a Smooth Collie will be happy to go on your daily run or hike with you.
This is a trainable and intelligent dog breed, but training needs to be consistent. Positive reinforcement and other positive training methods are recommended. Due to their sensitive temperament, Smooth Collies can become extremely stressed through punitive and negative training methods. Aim to spend at least 10 minutes every day working with your Smooth Collie on their obedience and other skills. You may need to exercise your dog a little bit before a training session. Just enough to garner their focus, but not so much that they’re left tired afterward.
Although their coat is lower maintenance than the Rough Collie’s coat, Smooth Collies still require routine grooming. They have a thick double coat that needs routine brushing to maintain. During shedding periods, they will need frequent brushing to help release the undercoat. Keep them brushed in places like behind the ears and elbows, as these areas are prone to getting small mats. Keep your Smooth Collie’s toenails trimmed to an appropriate level and consider working on dental hygiene at home through frequent teeth brushing and dental treats.
Health and Conditions 🏥
Male vs Female
Spayed female Smooth Collies typically shed heavily once every year, while intact females are likely to shed a couple of months after each heat cycle. Male Collies typically shed around their birthday every year.
Shedding aside, there are few differences between male and female Smooth Collies. Male dogs may be more loving, while females may be more independent. They usually are both loving dogs, though, and you can count on loyalty from both. Females may be somewhat easier to train as puppies, while males may mature more slowly, making training take a little bit longer.
3 Little-Known Facts About The Smooth Collie
1. They’ve Been Around for a Long Time
Although the exact time that the Smooth Collie breed came to be, there are some historical indications that their ancestors were brought to modern-day Scotland from ancient Rome, around 2,000 years ago. Over time, the Roman herding dogs interbred with the local Scottish dogs, leading to the development of the Smooth and Rough Collies.
2. Queen Victoria Was a Fan
Queen Victoria was very outspoken about her love for Collies. She popularized the breed, elevating it beyond a simple herding dog. Even though Queen Victoria popularized the breed, Collies were first mentioned in historical records around 1800. It wasn’t until later in the 17th century that Queen Victoria shared her love of the breed with anyone who would listen. Queen Victoria spent quite a bit of time at Balmoral in Scotland, which allowed her plenty of encounters with the resident Collies, growing her love for the breed.
3. The 20th Century Was Good to Collies
During the early 1900s, Albert Payson wrote about the adventures of the Sunnybank Collies, whose descendants are still alive and in breeding programs today. The stories of these dogs were particularly loved by children. In 1940, Eric Knight released Lassie Come-Home, which began the pop culture phenomenon that was everything Lassie. Lassie had books, movies, a TV series, and all kinds of merchandise. People were especially drawn to Lassie’s undying loyalty to her boy, as well as her intelligence and charm.
Although not over the top with energy, the Smooth Collie is an active dog that needs daily activity. They are intelligent dogs that may become stressed and destructive or noisy if bored, so keeping them entertained and trained are important aspects of Smooth Collie ownership. They usually love children, making them great family dogs, and they don’t tend to be overprotective, so you won’t have to worry about whether your kid can have friends over.
Featured Image Credit: Golland, Shutterstock