Let's talk Smooth Collies

The renowned Smooth Collie makes for a top-notch family dog and excellent companion. Emanating centuries ago from Scotland, this gentle breed is exceptionally intelligent and utterly devoted to family, so in turn makes an excellent watchdog. Medium-to-large, their coat also comes in a rough variety, and their incredibly buoyant manner makes them a breeze to train. A herding history means the Smooth Collie needs an owner who will have as much natural stamina as they do.

Official name: Smooth Collie

Other names: Collie

Origins: Scotland

Black and white portrait of a Smooth Collie
Drooling tendencies Very low Warm weather? Medium
Shedding level Medium Suited to apartment living? Medium
*Energy Level Moderate *Friendly pet? High
Compatibility with other pets Medium *Can stay alone? Low

* We advise against leaving pets alone for long stretches. Companionship can prevent emotional distress and destructive behavior. Speak to your veterinarian for recommendations.

Every pet is different, even within a breed; this snapshot of this breed specifics should be taken as an indication.

For a happy healthy and well-behaved pet, we recommend educating and socializing your pet as well as covering their basic welfare needs (and their social and behavioral needs).

Pets should never be left unsupervised with a child.

Contact your breeder or veterinarian for further advice.

Inline Image 15
Illustration of a Smooth Collie
56 - 61 cm translations.feature.breeds.height
20.5 - 29.5 kg translations.feature.breeds.weight
51 - 56 cm translations.feature.breeds.height
18 - 25 kg translations.feature.breeds.weight


 Baby age  Birth to 2 months
 Puppy age  2 to 12 months
 Adult age  1 to 7 years
 Mature age  7 to 10 years
 Senior age  From 10 years


Get to know the Smooth Collie

All you need to know about the breed

Loyal, graceful, and whip-smart, the Smooth Collie is known to dog lovers near and far for an abundance of keen character traits. Their sister variety - the Rough Collie - put the breed on the map as Lassie, hero dog of mid-Twentieth century American TV and movie fame, with their long sable and white coat and ever-present bravery. (There is no difference between the varieties save for coat length and type.) This prized dog, however, has so much more going for it than mere good looks and talent.

The quintessential herding and droving dog of Scotland has been valued for centuries there - and eventually elsewhere - for their athleticism, agility, and ability to keep the sheep. It’s those characteristics that give the Smooth Collie an always-willing attitude, and turned them into today’s fabulous family pet.

The opposite of aggressive, this is a truly tender dog known for their sensitivity but one who can be timid if not socialised properly. Make sure to introduce friends, both human and canine, early and often.

The Smooth Collie is said to have a sixth sense about them, with an almost uncanny ability to know what their owners want before interaction. That said, the breed’s need for companionship may be slightly higher than that of fellow canine friends. But with their upbeat manner and vibrant outlook, who could leave them for long anyway?


2 facts about Smooth Collies

1. Lassie, come home!

Although the Smooth Collie variety is lesser known, they possess an equally stellar status as the Rough Collie variety, made famous by Lassie. The furry yet valiant fictional canine went from being depicted in a book in 1943 to starring in 12 movies, a hit TV series, 15 TV specials and appearances, a radio show, and 50 additional books! It was canine superstardom status for sure.

2. Timing is everything

When it comes to shedding, the Smooth Collie keeps to a fairly regular routine, oddly enough. Spayed females will shed in large amounts once yearly; intact females will shed three months after their heat cycle; and males will shed around their birthday. Booking groomer’s appointments is easy with a schedule like this!


History of the breed

The Smooth Collie is a working dog from way back, said to have been brought by the Romans to Scotland just over 2,000 years ago and intermingled with local dogs to produce the sheep herding legend we know today.

Firmly planted in the Scottish Highlands by 1800 in their sheep herding capacity, the breed’s name is said to derive from a type of black-faced sheep called a “colley” that Smooth Collies initially guarded. Originally known as the Scotch Collie, their name was eventually shortened to the commonly heard “Collie.”

Queen Victoria took a shine to the breed during stays at Scotland’s Balmoral Castle in the late 19th century. She owned 88 Collies, of the Rough variety, during her lifetime.

The Smooth Collie was recognised by the American Kennel Club in 1885 and by the United Kennel Club in 1914. The Collie Club of America was also established in 1886.

Black and white portrait of a Smooth Collie


From head to tail

Physical characteristics of Smooth Collies

1. Ears

Small ears, set well apart, rounded tips, characteristic top third naturally folded forward.

2. Body

Well-proportioned, strong body, deep chest, and long pointed, noble muzzle.

3. Coat

Double coat: straight, dense, coarse outer coat, soft, furry undercoat.

Smooth Collie sat on short grass


Things to look out for

From specific breed traits to a general health overview, here are some interesting facts about your Smooth Collie
Smooth Collie stood on short grass


Caring for your Smooth Collie

Grooming, training and exercise tips

The coat of the Smooth Collie is short, hard, dense, and flat. Grooming is fairly simple with brushing once a week sufficient. Up that to daily during seasonal shedding.
The breed has minimal natural odour, a boon for dog owners. As with many breeds, bathing should happen only as needed. Brush their teeth often - daily if you can (as long-nosed dogs, they are prone to periodontal disease) - and clean their eyes and ears to avoid infection, and trim their nails frequently as well. A born herder, the Smooth Collie very much enjoys running so will need a good dose of daily exercise; they like to go for long walks, are known for their stamina, and enjoy playing and retrieving (don’t forget to check their paw pads for debris when they come in). The breed excels at dog sports and will thoroughly enjoy performance events. Genial, quite receptive dogs, the Smooth Collie is very easy to train and is particularly known for their gentleness with children, once trained around them. The Smooth Collie can become timid if they’re not properly socialised.


All about Smooth Collies

Although Smooth Collies have a lovely temperament, the breed is not the best for first-time dog owners due to their very high energy and need for training. That’s not to say they’re unruly, just that they’re an active breed, and may be more work than potential owners would think. Smooth Collies require a partner who is just as nonstop as they are.

The Smooth Collie is one of those breeds possessing little-to-no dog odour. That short and hard coat isn’t one to retain smells, and the breed is known to be quite clean - almost fastidious - in the house as well.



1 - Veterinary Centers of America https://vcahospitals.com/ 

2 - Royal Canin Dog Encyclopaedia. Ed 2010 and 2020

3 - Banfield Pet Hospital https://www.banfield.com/

4 - Royal Canin BHN Product Book

5 - American Kennel Club https://www.akc.org/