Smooth Collie is a graceful, docile pet with striking looks and a pleasant temperament. Collies are known to be quite sensitive, making it imperative for trainers or owners to exhibit tremendous patience and calm when interacting with this breed. They can become irritable and prove to be quite a nuisance when they don’t receive regular personal attention.
Going by popular belief, Collies are descendants of the shepherd dogs that accompanied Romans into Scotland during the 5th century. Basically reared as a herding dog to guide, guard or rescue lost sheep or cattle in England and Scotland, the early smaller and rougher collies were probably named after the black-faced sheep (Collie) they managed. Collies have become fashionable pets ever since they managed to catch the attention of royals and elites, such as Queen Elizabeth (as early as 1860) and J.P Morgan. Cross-breeding Collies with the Borzoi, introduced them to show business. Smooth Collie with shorter hair is the breed popular in the UK, whereas Rough Collie with longer tresses is widely prevalent in the US.
Collies are basically mild mannered and obedient. They respond to trainers and their masters, provided they are treated well. Collies are highly sensitive and can easily sense and react to panic vibes, changes in tone and noise levels. All they need is calm and gentle vocal instructions, a slack leash to guide them, and tasty rewards to celebrate their accomplishments.
A caring and attentive owner may have no complaints. However, bored Collies can get into chewing or barking sprees. Socialising Collies is a must for them to mingle confidently with other pets and humans and tone down their innate herding tendencies. They may actually try to herd humans or other pets when not dealt with a strong hand.
Smooth Collies are by nature agile, active, energetic, less aggressive and fun to be with. They can be highly vocal if the need arises, making them good watch dogs as well. Their ability to remember routes come in handy for guiding and rescue work.
Male dogs can grow up 26” in height and weigh up to 34 kg, while female Collies are a couple inches shorter and weigh around 5 kg lesser than the males. Characteristic wedge-shaped chiselled head, glossy coat, long neck and almond-shaped black, brown or blue eyes make this breed a true beauty in show business. Coat colours usually vary between white and tan, white and sable, blue merle, or tricolour black. Smooth Collie has a short one inch coat throughout the body.
Health and Care
The average life span of the Smooth Collie is about 14-16 years, but the breed is prone to hip and eye problems, including Progressive Retinal Atrophy. They are also sensitive to direct sunlight (sun blocks are advisable). The Smooth Collie is a moderate shedder and requires regular grooming to keep the coat in good shape. The breed is also prone to drug sensitivity and seizures.
Smooth Collies are not difficult to train. As noted earlier, raised voices and tight or jerky leashing can provoke stubborn reactions. Moderate exercising and sufficient outdoor space for the dog to romp around is often sufficient to keep the Collie active and happy.
Herding, guiding and companionship are innate tendencies of this good-looking breed. In the hands of genuinely concerned owners and trainers, Collies can prove to be the best pet, playful, yet responsive to the slightest disturbance in the environment.
Smooth Collies with short coats may not compete with Rough Collies when it comes to show business; but an elegant, graceful and well-trained pet is always a pleasure!