Smooth Collie

Updated: June 21, 2018
Smooth Collie

The short-haired collie, or smooth collie, is practically the same as the long-haired collie, the only difference being the length of the coat. This dog is not as well known as its longhair counterpart.

The difference in the coat presents a perfect adoption option for people who love Collies but don’t have enough time to care for a dog’s coat. Are you wanting to adopt a smooth Collie? perfect! In this AnimalWised breed file we will cover everything you need to know about this dog breed, including its origin characteristic, physical appearance, care and health.

  • Europe
  • United Kingdom
FCI classification
  • Group I
Physical characteristics
  • 5-14
  • 14-18
  • 18-22
  • 22-27
  • 27-31
  • More than 31
Adult weight
  • 2-7
  • 7-22
  • 22-55
  • 55-100
  • 100-220
Life expectancy
  • 8-10
  • 10-12
  • 12-14
  • 15-20
Recommended physical activity
  • Low
  • Meidum
  • High
  • Muzzle
  • Harness
Recommended climate
Type of hair
  1. Origin
  2. Physical Characteristics
  3. Character
  4. Education
  5. Care
  6. Health


These dogs originated in the highlands of Scotland, along with the long-haired collie. In those mountains, they fulfilled the functions of shepherd dogs. With time they also became highly prized pets, but never reached the popularity of their long-haired relatives.

These dogs grew popularity in 1860, when Queen Victoria, showed interest in these dogs while visiting Scotland. She became and incredible fan of the breed, which influenced a lot of people to adopt smooth collies not only as working dogs, but as companions. This breed also then became popular in the dog-show industry.

Today, long-haired and the short-haired collies are recognized as a single breed of dogs by the American Kennel Club, but are considered different dog breeds by the International Cynological Federation (FCI). Unfortunately, due to the lack of popularity of this breed, they were recently place on the Kennel Club’s list of vulnerable native breeds.

Physical Characteristics

The body of this collie is athletic, slightly longer than its height carrying a deep chest. Their legs are strong and muscular, but not thick.

This dog has a thin and wedge-shaped head. Its snout, although thin, is not pointed. The color of this snout is black. It has smooth almond-shaped, medium-sized, dark brown eyes. However, in blackbird colored collies, one or both eyes may be of a lighter or blue color. They have moderately long ears which bend back when they rest. When they are attentive and aware, their ears are semi-erect pointing forward.

It has a long tail which hands when the smooth collie is resting, however, the end of the tail is always slightly lifted. While it is moving or ‘‘in action’’, its tail is carried facing upwards. It has short hair with flattened fur. Its outer layer has a hard texture while the inner layer is softer and denser. Smooth collies are recognized in these following colors;

  • Cibeline with white (shades from light gold to dark mahogany, with white parts)
  • Tricolor (black, fire and white)
  • Blue blackbird (predominantly light blue, splashed and mottled black)

Its height at the withers of males varies between 56 and 61 centimeters. The height at the cross of females varies between 51 and 56 centimeters. The ideal weight for males ranges from 20.5 to 29.5 kilograms, while females ranges from 18 to 25 kilograms.


Smooth Collies are friendly, gentle and sensitive. These dogs share their excellent temperament of the long-haired collie. They are also very intelligent and active dogs that need a lot of exercise and company. They are not usually aggressive.

Short-haired collies need to be socialized just like any other dog. However, they have a natural tendency to be friendly towards people, dogs and other animals, therefore the socialization process of this breed is easy. Naturally, collies who have not received adequate socialization can be shy and reserved with strangers.


They respond to canine training as well as their long-haired collie brothers and sisters.They can also adapt well to different training styles. However, because they are sensitive dogs, traditional training can cause conflict and damage the relationship between this dog and its owner. It is better to use positive training methods, such as clicker training. A dog will always internalize a command much better when it is reinforced that it has done a good job. This will, in addition, stimulate its desire to continue learning.

Because of their sociable nature, these dogs are usually excellent pets. However, they need to be given enough opportunity at both physical and mental exercise. They also tend to have very strong bonds with their owners and family. They are extremely loyal to their families.


Unlike long-haired collies, short-haired ones do not need as much hair care. They lose their hair regularly but even more during the two annual molting seasons. It is sufficient to brush these dogs once or twice a week to keep their coats in good condition. It is also not advisable to bathe these dogs very often, only when necessary.

Short-haired collies are shepherd dogs and, as such, need a lot of exercise and companionship. This breed requires playtime and long walks daily. It is also recommended that they practice some dog sports, such as herding (herding), agility or canine freestyle.

These dogs can get used to living in the apartment if they are given enough physical and mental exercise. However, it is better if they live in a house or an apartment, as they need space to release some energy. This dog however loves to spend time inside with its family, therefore, the garden would only be for physical activities.


Short-haired collies are prone to some hereditary pathologies, including:

A smooth collie can be an increibly healthy dog as long as they follow a periodic veterinary deworming and vaccine schedule. In addition, if you notice any sudden change in the behavior oh physicality of your collie, we suggest consulting a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Smooth Collie photos

Related articles

Upload a picture of your Smooth Collie

Upload your pet's picture
Write a comment
Add an image
Click to attach a photo related to your comment
How would you rate this breed?
1 comment
Sherry Hall- gangloff
I'm interested in disagree for my daughter who has Down syndrome she's nonverbal she's 16 and she's lonely I have a 18 year old that in college locally that will take care of the physical needs of this breed very much look like to adopt one preferably a puppy but also would like help training to be a companion to my daughter so that she would have more Independence site other 16 year olds do to her ability if anyone can help me guide me I appreciate it thank you very much
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Sherry,

Intelligent dogs like Collies are great companion animals and can be great for people with certain learning difficulties. In fact, many people with learning difficulties get a dog as a service animal. If your daughter is good around animals and the dog will have their needs met by an adequate support network, then it could be a great idea.

We will say that if you rely on your other daughter to look after the dog, then it may not be ideal. If someone is going to college, they are looking for opportunities and these will require time and effort your daughter may not have in the near future. You should only get a dog if you have a stable enough home environment to look after them. It may not be fair to ask your daughter to look after a dog at a time when she should be exploring new avenues. Also, she may be great at helping the dog train early on, but dogs need constant reaffirmation throughout their lives to maintain appropriate behavior.

We don't have much other context for your situation, so it is up to you to weigh the pros and cons. We are certainly not trying to dissuade you from getting a dog, we just want to help you make the right considerations. Good luck and let us know what you think!
Photo uploaded by John Corsbie:Lucy, our 3-month-old Scotch Smooth Collie. She's a sweetheart but has no facial expressions and very little tail wagging. But we know she's happy!
Photo uploaded by snoopdawg:not quite 6 months old 23.5 pounds. Somebody threw him out of a truck.
1 of 8
Smooth Collie