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Smooth Collie: Pictures, Info, Temperament & Traits

Jeff Weishaupt

By Jeff Weishaupt

Smooth Collie

Height: 24 to 26 inches
Weight: 60 to 75 pounds
Lifespan: 12 to 14 years
Colors: Black, white & tan; blue merle; blue merle & white; blue merle, white & tan; sable; sable & white; sable merle; white; sable merle & white; white merle
Suitable for: Adult-only homes, active families with older children
Temperament: Loyal, friendly, and active

Although Collies were a favorite of Queen Victoria, the Smooth Collie has often been overshadowed by its Border Collie and Rough Collie cousins. As a result, many are returned to shelters because the owner didn’t do their research and prepare beforehand.

If you want to read more about this underappreciated Collie breed, you’re at the right place. Keep reading to learn all about this breed’s temperament, traits, care requirements, and fun facts.

It’s believed that Smooth Collies originated in the 19th century when Rough Collies were bred with smooth Sheepdogs, resulting in a nearly identical litter except for the short coat. Soon, the breed was “discovered” by Queen Victoria, who owned two collies named Noble and Sharp.

At the time, Smooth Collies were known as Scotch Collies and Old English Sheepdogs. Soon, it was recognized as a standard breed by the AKC in 1885 and popularized by an American breeder in the 20th century.

While Smooth Collies were quite famous during Queen Victoria’s reign, they’re often overshadowed by the Rough Collie and Border Collie. Today, they’re on The Kennel Club’s list of vulnerable native breeds as their registration numbers are significantly declining.

Smooth Collie Breed Characteristics


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Smooth Collie Puppies

Before adopting a Smooth Collie puppy, we recommend taking preventive measures and requesting proof that the breeder completes all required veterinary vaccinations and examinations for the breed.

Smooth Collies generally do not have many severe health conditions, but it’s still crucial to follow breeding rules to ensure the puppy develops without defects. Even if it’s less affordable, buying from responsible breeders who abide by breeding guidelines is always better. They must also be willing to provide the required documentation to prove their responsibility.

Some irresponsible breeders tend to prioritize quantity over quality. Since Smooth Collie registration numbers are pretty low, you won’t have to face such issues while buying a puppy. Still, we recommend gauging the dog’s environment and the breeder’s behavior toward the dog to make the right decision.

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Temperament & Intelligence of the Smooth Collie

The Smooth Collie is friendly and easy to train, making it the ideal family dog. The best part is that they’re not an aggressive breed at all, but they’re still alert and vocal when needed. This makes them excellent watchdogs as long as you train them well.

Other than that, Smooth Collies are also incredibly agile and active, so they need at least 2 hours of daily activity. Training a Smooth Collie is typically a breeze since this breed is brilliant and eager to please its owners. You must remember to acquaint them with a light touch as they don’t react well to harsh treatment; gentle correction works well for these dogs.

Smooth Collies tend to get along with children and other dogs, but they fit better in adult-only homes. They’re the ideal family pet but thrive in obedience competitions, herding trials, agility training, and other dog sports. Due to their origins as working sheepdogs, Smooth Collies always prefer a task at hand.

Are These Dogs Good for Families? 👪

Yes, the Smooth Collie is a great family dog, especially if you want to stay active with your furry friend. They have a friendly nature and are generally open to strangers, so they’re great pets for larger families looking for high-energy dogs to keep up with their hectic lifestyles.

Since Smooth Collies have high exercise requirements, it’s crucial to consider whether their daily 2 hours of activity will fit into your schedule and lifestyle. They’re not fit for owners planning to leave their dogs alone for long periods since they can quickly develop separation anxiety and depression.

Additionally, Smooth Collies can become destructive and unruly if they don’t fulfill their daily activity requirements and mental stimulation needs. Since these dogs were bred to work, they feel at ease when they have a task at hand instead of napping all day.

Do Smooth Collies Get Along With Other Pets?

Along with all their positive traits, Smooth Collies also tend to have jealous tendencies, which is why they prefer to be the only dog in their home. They may get along with other breeds in public settings, such as the dog park, but they prefer to be the center of attention at home.

Still, these dogs are not aggressive, so you’ll only have to deal with a bit of sulking and sass when they’re around a dog they don’t like. As long as you and other dogs respect the Collie’s personal space, they’ll maintain their cool-as-a-cucumber composure.

By socializing your Smooth Collie from a young age, you’ll ensure that it develops friendships with a small circle of dogs while maintaining its introverted nature in front of strangers.

Smooth Collie
Image Credit By: klevers, Shutterstock

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Things to Know When Owning a Smooth Collie

Here’s everything you will need to know about a Smooth Collie’s diet, exercise, training, grooming, and health before you own one.

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

The dietary requirements of a Smooth Collie aren’t too complicated, as long as you ensure their diet is balanced, which comes from most commercially made dog foods.

Smooth Collies have various food-related allergies, which is crucial when speaking to your vet about their diet. By feeding your Smooth Collie a balanced diet free from potential allergens, you’ll find that you won’t need to visit the vet as often.

Exercise 🐕

There’s no doubt that the Smooth Collie is a highly active and energetic dog. They need at least 2 hours of daily exercise to burn off all their energy, alongside mental stimulation.

If your home has a fenced yard for your Smooth Collie to run and play in, it may be the ideal setting for this breed. Other than supervised time in the fence, you can also teach your Collie to play fetch or take them on a quick daily walk to get some fresh air.

Training 🎾

Training a Smooth Collie is typically a breeze since these dogs were initially bred to work and have an eagerness to please their owners. Their high intelligence will allow them to thrive in puppy classes for training and early socialization.

Other than that, you must also provide some one-on-one training, as it makes for the perfect bonding opportunity with your pup. It’s worth noting that this breed thrives on positive teaching methods, such as gentle correction and reward systems, instead of harsh punishments.

Additionally, these dogs excel in herding, barn hunting, lure coursing, obedience, agility training, and all other dog sports you can arrange for them. Finding your Collie’s favorite sport is actually more exciting and fun than you may think.

Grooming ✂️

Luckily, Smooth Collies have short hair, which means they don’t become dirty easily. But their double coat still requires regular grooming, so you’ll need to brush its undercoat a lot more often when shedding season comes around. We recommend paying special attention in areas like behind the ears and elbows to get rid of loose fur.

When shedding season is over, you may brush down their fur once a week to maintain a lush and healthy coat. If your female Smooth Collie is spayed, she may shed a lot once a year. If not, she’ll begin shedding after approximately 3 months from her heat cycle.

Health & Conditions 🏥

With the help of the Collie Health Foundation, it’s a lot easier to identify common health issues in a Smooth Collie. If you’re curious about the details of the symptoms and remedies for each condition, we recommend visiting their website for more information.

Minor Conditions
Serious Conditions
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Multidrug Sensitivity (MDR1
  • Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (Bloat
  • Cyclic Neutropenia (CN

Male vs. Female

When it comes to the Smooth Collie, there’s not much difference between the two sexes, so choosing one won’t be a make-or-break decision for you. Both sexes act pretty similarly, and their appearances aren’t too distinct either.

Of course, the male Smooth Collie may be a bit larger and heavier, but the difference isn’t too noticeable. Those looking for a smaller and lighter dog may consider the female Smooth Collie, but they can still grow to be quite large.

Other than that, male Smooth Collies showcase more sex-specific behaviors, such as urine marking, which isn’t an issue for their female counterparts. Since Smooth Collie registration numbers are low, adopting one based on its sex will only make it harder for you to find a pet.

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3 Little-Known Facts About the Smooth Collie

1. Smooth Collies Are a Royal Favorite

Smooth Collies were actually one of Queen Victoria’s favorite breeds, and she even owned one named Sharp. In fact, Sharp was actually Queen Victoria’s favorite amongst her collection of pets, which is why he’s featured in endless pictures with her.

Her Smooth Collie is buried at Windsor Castle and honored with his own bronze statue. Due to the Queen’s love for both Collies, Smooth Collies were able to temporarily escape their Rough Collie counterpart’s shadow. As pictures of the Queen and her Collies were released, it became the newest fad to buy Smooth and Rough Collies as pets.

Queen Victoria also deeply loved Scotland, which contributed to the recognition of Smooth Collies in the long run. During an extended stay at the Balmoral Castle in the Scottish Highlands, she took a liking to this local herding breed and popularized it amongst her subjects in the 1800s. Due to her love for Collies, they went from being a humble shepherd dog breed to a canine superstar on a worldwide basis.

2. Smooth Collies Have a Scottish Origin

Although Queen Victoria was the one to popularize Smooth Collies in the 1800s, their origins date back 2,000 years in Scotland. After conquering Britain in the 1st century of the Common Era, the Romans brought the ancestors of this breed to Scotland.

During their centuries-long stay in the country, the Roman dog breed was commonly interbred with local sheepdogs. The result was the working Collie, soon divided into Border, Rough, and Smooth Collies.

3. Smooth Collies Are Seen in 10 Color Variations

Smooth Collies are typically seen in tricolor (black, white, and tan) variations, but 10 of their color variations are recognized today. Sable is one of the most common colors for a Collie, as this can range from light gold to deep mahogany.

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The majestic Smooth Collie has spent years as a popular favorite amongst royals, which is why it’s a recognized and beloved dog breed today. While it is often overshadowed by its Rough Collie cousin, the Smooth Collie has its own unique traits and characteristics.

Standing somewhere between 22 to 26 inches tall, the Smooth Collie is a large breed known for its lithe herding skills since its origins. Its beautiful double coat is definitely a sight to behold, and it’s seen in 10 different color variations recognized by the AKC.

If you’re a fan of the elegant wedge-shaped head of the Smooth Collie, their almond eyes and mobile ears are a few other characteristics you’ll love. Those looking for an active, loyal, and intelligent family pet should look no further than a Smooth Collie, which thrives in high-energy adult-only environments.

Featured Image Credit: Harald Kreuzer, Shutterstock

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