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Your Pet, Our Passion.

Collie (Smooth)

A medium/large breed, well proportioned and dignified-looking, the Smooth Collie should look as if he's capable of a day's work. Adult males stand at 56-61cm and weigh 20.5-29.5kg, and females are 51-56cm and 18-25kg. The short, flat coat is harsh to the touch, and comes in sable and white, tricolour (black with tan and white markings) and blue merle (silver-blue with black).

The need-to-know
  • Dogs suitable for experienced owners
  • Extra training required
  • Generally healthy breed
  • Enjoys vigorous walks
  • Enjoys one to two hours of walking a day
  • Large dog
  • Minimum drool
  • Requires grooming once a week
  • Chatty and vocal dog
  • Barks and alerts to visitors/anything unusual
  • Could have issues with unknown dogs but gets along with known dogs
  • May need additional training to live with other pets
  • May need additional supervision to live with children
  • Needs a large garden
  • Can live in semi-rural areas
  • Can be left occasionally with training
Generally healthy breed

This breed can suffer from:
- Hip Dysplasia
- Collie eye anomaly which is an inherited condition where the eye does not develop properly and can potentially lead to blindness.
- Retinal pigment epithelial dystrophy which is where deposits form in the eye which can cause damage to the eye and blindness in dim light.
- Multi drug resistance gene which is an inherited condition that makes a dog sensitive to particular drugs.

Priority Kennel Club health schemes and testing: 
- Eye screening scheme 

Key Facts

Lifespan: 12 – 15 years
Weight:  18 – 29.5kg 
Height:  51 – 61cm
Colours:  Sable and white, tricolour, and blue merle
Size:  Large
UK Kennel Club Groups: Pastoral


Family-friendly: 4/5
Exercise needs: 3/5
Easy to train: 4/5
Tolerates being alone: 2/5
Likes other pets: 4/5
Energy level: 3/5
Grooming needs: 3/5
Shedding: 5/5
Smooth haired collie in the forest


Friendly and good tempered, the Smooth Collie is alert and active, needing plenty of mental stimulation and entertainment to make a good family dog. They enjoy training and can reach very high standards of canine competition if that is what you enjoy, but as long as you enjoy working them in some form, they won’t mind if they bring home rosettes or not! They can be sensitive and prone to excessive barking, and so need gentle, calm handling and consistent training. 

Collie with smooth hair lying

History and Origins

Country of Origin: Scotland 
The Smooth Collie is in effect, a Rough Collie without that heavy and protective long coat. Bred to work the sheep of the Scottish Lowlands, the Smooth Collie had no need of a heavy coat, as the weather is milder and the ground less exposed than in the Highlands.   

Sheepdogs of this type have existed in Scotland for almost as long as man has kept sheep, but as these dogs were bred according to their working talent and not their looks, appearances varied a great deal through the years and in different areas. The Smooth Collie as a recognisable breed has however existed for over 200 years, and they have been refined by outcrossing to Greyhounds and back to Rough Collies during that time.  

The breed owes much to Queen Victoria who noticed these dogs during her visits to Balmoral in the early 1860’s. So impressed by them, she took some back to Windsor and this dramatically increased their popularity as a pet and show dog. However the breed remains rare, having lost out in popularity as a show dog to the more glamorous - and film star - Rough Collie. 

Did you know?

Did you know?

  • Queen Victoria’s favourite Smooth Collie was a dog named ‘Sharp’, and he often featured in pictures with her. His grave is at Windsor Castle and is marked with a bronze statue. 

  • Queen Victoria’s love of the Smooth Collie actually benefited both Smooth and Rough Collies, as they were often described simply as ‘Collies’ and with few photographs at the time, many assumed it was the Rough Collie she favoured.  

  • Despite being wonderful pets, they’re currently on The Kennel Club’s list of vulnerable native breeds

  • It’s thought that they got their name from ‘Colley sheep’ which they herded, whereas others believe that the name comes from the Anglo-Saxon term meaning ‘useful’.