Smooth Collie: dog breed appearance, character, training, care, health

Among the characteristics of the Smooth collie , or short-haired collie, stands out its sociable, affectionate and calm character . Its appearance is that of a large, balanced and elegant dog. At Petlifey, we explain everything about the Smooth Collie breed.

Character of the Smooth Collie breed

As a family dog, the short-haired collie is perfect, as it has a calm, friendly and affectionate character. Its peculiar behaviour makes them devoted to Its masters, tolerant, sweet with children and old people.

One of the great virtues of this animal is that it is not a single master dog. On the contrary, thanks to its peculiar temperament, this dog considers the entire family as its own group.

Despite being a breed of shepherd dog, it is not a nervous animal, although it manifests a reserved attitude towards strangers, it immediately gains confidence with the people who come to the house, and is affectionate, attentive and cordial with the friends of the family.

Another of its qualities is that it is also a good watchdog. Always aware of what is happening around them and ready to warn of the presence of any stranger.

As a good shepherd dog, it is attentive to everything that happens around them and develops a strong protective instinct towards Its family and Its territory.

Except in very isolated cases, its temperament means that it is not an aggressive or shy dog. So Its tendency is to show a jovial and affectionate attitude with all those who are part of Its family or are integrated into it.

The sweetness of its character and the ability to share its affection with many people have meant that in some countries, especially the Scandinavians and Australia, smooth has been integrated among the breeds destined for therapeutic assistance.

The smooth is the most sensitive of the collie dogs. Due to the strong attachment it develops towards the people around them, it is not appropriate to leave them alone for a long time.

On the one hand, loneliness could cause the development of destructive behaviors due more to boredom than to a desire for revenge, on the other, it is clinically proven to be one of the breeds most prone to suffer from the “separation anxiety” syndrome.

This can lead to the appearance of an insecure and distrustful temperament, and make love and attention towards your master become a real obsession with the fear of being abandoned.

This sensitivity of the Scottish short-haired shepherd also makes it necessary to treat them with special care and delicacy. Does not like loud or unexpected screams and noises.

Of course, as a good sheepdog, it can sometimes use its bark with some insistence. Something that can be corrected with a good education or training from a young age.

How do you behave with children?

It is especially gentle and careful with children and the elderly. Beyond just keeping company, you can even stay in the care of people who need special help to integrate into the world and in today’s society.

It loves to be caressed and pampered by them, and their care is simple. It has a special weakness for children, whom it manages to watch with special attention and care, as if they were Its herd under Its care.

Can it be kept with other pets?

It is an extremely sociable breed that enjoys human company and also makes very good friends with other dogs, whether they are of the same breed, of different species, age, weight and size.

In the case of living with other types of pets (cats, birds, rabbits, etc.), as a general rule there is no problem, although it is convenient to accustom them to their presence from a young age.

Is a dog suitable for an apartment?

Of course, the Shorthaired Collie adapts to living in any type of home as long as it has contact with its family members. It is not a pet to be left alone for many hours.

Any active family looking for a cheerful, attentive and caring companion dog will find the smooth collie an ideal breed, whether they live in the city or in the country.

It can be integrated into a myriad of activities that guarantee the daily doses of exercise you need, not very large in this case, and that also provide you with an essential mental balance.

The smooth collie does not need to practice as much exercise as other breeds of shepherd dog, so it can live without any problem in an urban environment, as long as it has a garden or a park where it can run around outdoors. In fact, sometimes it is necessary to force them to go out for a walk, because it loves to loiter around the house.

Is it the right dog for me?

Endowed with intelligence, liveliness and activity, the short-haired collie’s temperament is cheerful and affectionate, never shy or aggressive, and is highly skilled for work.

You need to exercise daily, not as much as other breeds, to maintain a perfect mental and physical balance. So it is not the ideal canine pet for very sedentary families.

This is the summary so you can know if it suits you and vice versa:

  • Energy: Medium / high level. It is a dog with great spirit, trained to practice sports. You need to get regular exercise.
  • Temperament: It is a cheerful and affectionate dog, faithful to its master and very skilled at work.
  • Adaptability: It adapts well to city life, although it prefers open spaces. It must be taught not to bark, as it can be a noisy animal.
  • Sociability: Very high. It has a great family instinct. It watches over children zealously and distrusts strangers.
  • Health: You may suffer from any of the diseases typical of the collie family.
  • Longevity: Low / medium. You can live for about 10 years in good health.
  • Utility: Very versatile. It is trained to practice as a shepherd dog, police dog, guide dog or guard dog; in rescue, tracking or rescue tasks, or in obedience and agility.
  • Use: grazing and storage.

Characteristics of the Smooth Collie

The short-haired collie is a large dog, but at the same time elegant and graceful more than powerful. Something that makes it a favourite of many animal lovers.

Speaking exclusively of its general appearance, this canine pet stands tall with dignity as a result of a perfect anatomical structure in which each part is in proportion to the whole.

Its physical structure shows strength and activity, without signs of heaviness or coarseness, and it is an animal of great expressiveness.

This dog has great balance and a perfect combination of the skull and muzzle, the size, shape, color and location of the eyes, as well as the correct position and bearing of the ears.

Physical characteristics of the Smooth Collie

Regarding the physical properties of the short-haired collie, the length of its body is greater than the height at the withers. It is therefore a dog with a rectangular structure, proportionate, strong, balanced and with a very distinguished bearing.

The head has a wedge shape and very clean and well defined lines. The skull is flat and the stop is very slight. The head tapers from the skull to the nose, which is always black.

Their eyes are medium in size, almond-shaped and dark in color, except in blue-black dogs, in which they can be blue or mottled blue. They are positioned obliquely.

The ears are wide-based and set high, neither too close together nor too far apart. On alert it wears them semi-erect, with the last third falling naturally.

Their feet are oval in shape and are provided with strong plantar pads and fairly arched toes (slightly less the hindquarters).

It has a fairly long tail, as it reaches the hock. The dog usually carries it low, with the tip slightly curved, but in movement it raises it a little.

As for its coat, the undercoat or undercoat is very dense, while the outer coat is smooth, short and rough in texture, with three possible colorations: sable, tricolor and blackbird blue . Let’s see it in more detail:

Smooth collie colors

The short-haired collie is a breed of sheepdog that occurs under three basic cloaks. These are:

  1. Blackbird blue: with a light silver blue base, speckled and mottled with black and, in some specimens, with markings of an intense tan color.
  2. Tricolor: where the black color predominates with intense tan spots on the extremities and the head.
  3. Sable color: which includes any shade ranging from light gold to dark mahogany.

In addition, like all collies, the smooth also has the characteristic white spots of the collie breed on the collar, chest, limbs, tip of the tail and feet.

Differences between the short-haired and long-haired Collie

Intelligent, submissive, affectionate and sociable, the smooth collie is much less well known and popular than its brother, the rough collie, from which it differs basically by its coat: in effect, the smooth is the “short-haired collie”. Traditionally, their specific functions have also been different.

Although the two were developed in the Highlands, the Highlands of Scotland, as sheepdogs, while the smooth was dedicated to moving herds to markets, the rough, instead, specialized in surveillance tasks in the field.

Endowed with a perfect anatomical structure, the smooth collie is a hard-working, tireless and faithful dog.

Let’s now see in more detail what the short-haired collie is like and the breed standard:

Smooth Collie breed standard

  • General Appearance: Anatomically, they have a perfect build from which they emanate great strength and a very good sense of rhythm. No aspect of this dog can be considered rough or heavy. It conveys a feeling of liveliness and intelligence.
  • Size: large.
  • Height at the withers: between 56 and 61 cm for males and between 51 and 56 cm for females.
  • Weight: between 20 and 29 kg for males and between 18 and 25 kg for females.
  • Origin: United Kingdom.
  • Other names: Collie Smooth / Colley á poil court / Kurzhaariger Schottischer Schaferhund.
  • Body: it is slightly long in relation to the height.
  • Head: it is proportionate to the size of the dog. Viewed from the front or side, it resembles a truncated wedge, smooth in outline and well drawn.
  • Skull: it is flattened. The sides gradually and smoothly taper from the ears to the tip of the nose, and the cheeks are not prominent.
  • Muzzle: smooth and rounded, with a truncated end.
  • Nose: it is black.
  • Eyes: they are a very important characteristic of this breed, which give it a sweet expression. Medium in size, set somewhat obliquely, almond-shaped and dark brown in color. Blue-blackbird specimens may have one or both eyes that are blue or mottled blue. The dog has an expression full of intelligence, with a lively and alert look when it is attentive.
  • Ears: moderately large, they are wider at the base and are set high, neither too close nor too far apart. When the dog is at rest, it carries them backwards, but when it is alert it brings them forward and carries them semi-erect, with the upper third naturally falling forward.
  • Nose-frontal depression (stop): it is moderate.
  • Jaws: the jaws are strong and endowed with a healthy and complete set of teeth of good size. The bite is regular and scissors.
  • Neck: muscular and strong, has a good length and is well arched.
  • Back: straight and firm, slightly raised to the level of the kidneys. Chest: Deep and quite broad, with well sprung ribs.
  • Forelimbs: they are straight and muscular. The shoulders are oblique, well angulated. Both the forearms and the upper arms are muscular but flexible.
  • Hind limbs: they are straight and well poised. The legs are defined and very solid. Its knees are well angled. The hocks are powerful and well lowered.
  • Feet: oval, they have strong pads and arched toes close together.
  • Tail: quite long, reaches the hocks. When the dog is at rest, it carries it low, but twists it slightly upwards at the tip. If it is in action, it can be worn happily, but never on the back.
  • Skin: it is well adhered to the body.
  • Hair: the coat is short and smooth. Double-layered, the outer is rough in texture, and the inner, very dense.
  • Color: This breed of dog has three main colors. These are sable, blue blackbird, and tricolor.
  • Movement: Movement is a distinctive feature of this breed. When the dog moves, the front feet walk relatively close together and, seen from behind, the hind legs, from the hocks to the ground, move in parallel, though not very close together. From the sides, the movement seems united, driven by the power of the hind limbs. The stride is long, light and effortless.
  • FCI classification: FCI nº 296. GROUP 1 – Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs (except Swiss Cattle Dogs). Section 1 – Sheepdogs.

Shorthair Collie Puppies

If you are looking for information on the smooth collie, it may be because you want to adopt or buy a short-haired collie puppy. If so, then we explain certain aspects that you should know before to know if it is the right choice for you.

The smooth collie is one of the easiest and most fun dogs to live with. It adores the people around them and needs to coexist with them. It goes without saying that when they are little this is accentuated.

If you decide to buy it, we recommend that you go to a licensed shorthair collie breeder. That it meets all the legal requirements and that it can show you all the documentation.

As for the price of smooth collie puppies, it can vary greatly depending on the country ( Spain , Mexico, Colombia, Argentina …). But above all, you should avoid excessively cheap prices, as it can be a sign of something “strange”. Remember that we are talking about a living being.

It is important to start the education and socialization of the pet from an early age. With the authorization of the veterinarian, you must take them to different places, where they can have contact with other people, dogs and noise. This way it will not be a fearful or nervous dog in the future.

Puppies are adorable. Its elegant appearance and sweet expression may be misleading, but in reality, it is a tough and rustic breed, as befits any farm worker.

Since they are little, their beautiful coat is strong and resistant, and needs little aesthetic care beyond a good brushing, since a clean and shiny coat is the best letter of introduction to a healthy and well-fed dog.

Nor will it need large spaces to live or very high doses of exercise, it may be enough to take long walks on a leash, although it is also convenient to let them run freely in a safe space from time to time.

It should not be left to its own devices, as it can become a lazy, insecure, shy and aggressive dog, which would detract from the true character of this extraordinary breed.

It is a very healthy pet. It is an excellent animal, hardworking and versatile, that has been somewhat overshadowed by its brother, the rough collie. However, the fact of not being so well known has benefited this breed, because the breeding lines have been much more cared for and, therefore, the specimens are very healthy and balanced.

Smooth Collie education and training

Versatile and ductile, the smooth collie can be used for multiple jobs as long as it is subjected to appropriate training for its characteristics and character.

It works wonders with positive reinforcement techniques, that is, rewarding them when it does it well instead of punishing when it does it badly.

And it is that it does not tolerate screaming or loud and sudden noises, and it is very common for it to lead to stressful situations that can ruin all the work previously developed.

Therefore you need a sensitive guide, capable of transmitting orders in a calm way; it is much better to seek complicity over blind obedience, knowing that this will end up being obtained in the end as long as the training is not abruptly broken.

Generally a balanced and calm dog, it can be very barking if kept idle. Almost all herding breeds tend to use their “voice” regularly and as a work tool: it is the way of making themselves seen and understood by both the shepherd and the animals of the herd.

This quality is cleverly stimulated in some cases, such as with shepherd dogs trained for guarding and protection ( German shepherd or Belgian shepherd ), but in the case of family pets this tendency must be corrected if you do not want to have problems with neighbours. or with the family itself, since a smooth collie that is a persistent barker can turn into a real nightmare.

It is an intelligent dog, although not too intuitive; Perhaps that is why it has always dedicated themselves to accompanying the cattle and not to herding them. This means that it can sometimes be submissive, but these character traits should not be confused with shyness or insecurity.

Sometimes this herding instinct must be restrained, because in the same way as they would with the sheep of a hypothetical herd, some smooths tend to nibble and herd children, other animals and, what is more serious, strange people , bicycles and other vehicles, which can be a danger to your own integrity and that of other individuals.

All these tendencies can be corrected with good training, but it must be done constantly and starting at a very young age, since, despite what it may seem, it is an animal with a certain propensity for stubbornness, and then it is very difficult to correct acquired vices.

Working races, like this one, need to feel useful, to be busy with something, to think that they have earned a place in the human family with which they live, and to know that they fulfill a specific function within it; otherwise they become nervous and stressed dogs.

In fact, some of the characteristics that are least liked in a smooth (it is noisy, barking, nibbling, etc.) are due to its genetic and temperamental heritage, since they are, in reality, necessary tools for its work.

But, given that it is an extraordinarily malleable dog, it is the mission of its owners to find alternative occupations in which to use up its physical and psychic energy, enhance its more positive characters and try to avoid those that may be annoying.

Smooth Collie diet

It is necessary to guarantee a quality diet, but in moderate and sufficient quantities to maintain its adequate body weight, since, as it is not the typical nervous and moved shepherd dog, its energy requirements are not very high.

Therefore, the animal must be prevented from becoming obese or overweight, as this will not be beneficial for them.

The dog food should contain quality proteins and healthy fats (omega 6 and omega 3) your body needs.

Most of the big manufacturers of kibble or dog food have a line of products specially designed for the peculiarities of the short-haired collie.

You can feed them Its ration once a day. But if you notice that it eats too eagerly, you can divide it into two daily servings to avoid Its voracity.

In the same way, you must ensure that your furry pet always has clean and fresh water at its disposal. This becomes much more important in the warmer months.

Smooth Collie health and diseases

Like the other collies, the short-haired is a generally healthy breed, with the exception of some characteristic or typical diseases that can be controlled through responsible breeding.

Some of these inherited diseases of the short-haired smooth colllie are:

  • Distichiasis: abnormal appearance of hairs on the edge of the eyelids.
  • CEA – Collie Eye Anomaly: Also known as Choroidal Hypoplsia (CH).
  • Deafness.
  • Gastric torsion.

On the other hand, you should take your canid pet to the vet at least twice a year to properly monitor its health and growth.

The veterinarian will also be the appropriate professional to apply the schedule of vaccinations and deworming, both external and internal.

By having semi-pricked ears, the breed does not present particularly important dirt or infection problems. You can keep your ears very clean just by checking them every time you bathe or brush to keep the ear canal clear of excess hair.

Specific care of the Smooth Collie breed

The smooth collie is a dog that is very easy to maintain, as its coat hardly needs care. It is short, hard and with a dense undercoat that protects it from inclement weather.

How to care for the hair of the Smooth Collie


To keep it in condition, an occasional brushing is enough, which should be more frequent during the shedding period, since this, contrary to what its short and straight hair might indicate, is very large, so it has to be brush almost daily at that time if you don’t want to have a house full of hair.

A first brushing with a rake helps to remove the dead hair and to work the undercoat, and then it can be finished using a metal bristle card.

In the area of ​​the face, the hair is very fine and extraordinarily short, so it is enough to wipe it with a cloth or a leather cloth to remove some dead hairs and give the whole luster and shine.


This dog only needs a bath when it is really dirty, although, like the rough collie, its coat sometimes has large areas of very striking white fur that may require special treatment or washing if they have turned more yellow over time.

To do this, you should use a shampoo with the appropriate pH, not very moisturizing, and it is very important to rinse the hair well so that no soap remains remain and preserve the strong texture of its covering mantle.

In addition, as the hair is short and smooth, it is almost impossible for knots to appear, which makes the use of a conditioner unnecessary. Finally, drying is easy, as you do not need a dryer unless the weather is very cold.

Other care for the Smooth Collie breed

Nail cutting

In any case, it is interesting to take advantage of the moments of the bath to cut the nails well, taking care not to reach the fleshy part so as not to cause damage and avoid possible bleeding.

Foot, mouth, eye and ear care

As for the feet, the excess interdigital hair should be emptied periodically so that the feet and hands have the proper shape and the support is correct.

The condition of the mouth, eyes and ears should also be monitored. The latter sometimes generate excess earwax, which can be removed externally using wipes designed for such use.

If the dirt is a little deeper, it is useful to use a special cleaning liquid available on the market, which is applied together with a gentle massage in the area.

In addition, it is also advisable to trim excess hair in the ear canal to keep it clean and clear.

Apart from these hygiene routines, this breed does not require much more cosmetic maintenance. And it is that well cared for, with a healthy diet and above all with the affection of Its family, this dog is a faithful, affectionate companion and with whom it can approach any activity.

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