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The Smooth Collie is believed to have descended from the shepherd dogs that Romans brought with them to Scotland in the 5th century. It is a high-energy dog that is hardworking, loyal and smart. Not as popular as its Rough cousin, the Smooth Collie is on The KC’s vulnerable native breeds list.
Ready to welcome a Smooth Collie into your home? Here is a brief background of this hardworking dog with a dignified appearance.
The Smooth Collie, along with its cousin the Rough Collie, is believed to have originated from the shepherd dogs that Romans brought to Scotland during the 5th century. Some say the name Collie comes from Scottish sheep with black faces called the Colley, while others argue it referred to the dark colour or coaly coat of the early shepherd dogs.
Queen Victoria became a huge fan of Collies and had her own kennel of both Smooth and Rough Collies during the 1860s. Because of this, owning these shepherd dogs were particularly fashionable and became sought-after show ring dogs, family pets and companions. The Smooth Collie was recognised by The Kennel Club in 1994. Unfortunately, the Smooth didn’t enjoy the same popularity of its Rough cousin and its numbers severely dropped and is now included on the vulnerable native breeds list.
The Smooth Collie is a well-balanced medium dog that has a noble and dignified appearance. Standing 51 to 61 centimetres at the withers and weighing 45 to 65 pounds, it is slightly longer than it is tall, having a level back and a deep chest. It has a well-proportioned head with a flat skull and a wedge-shaped muzzle that tapers to its black or brown nose. It has a slight stop, a strong jaw with a perfect scissor bite, almond-shaped dark brown eyes (blue for merle coats) that are set obliquely, and moderately wide ears worn back when relaxed and forward when excited.
The Smooth Collie has a flat, short and harsh outer coat paired with a thick undercoat. The accepted colours are sable & white, tricolour and blue merle. Since its coat is close lying, it is low maintenance in the grooming department. A weekly brush and wipe with chamois leather will suffice. However, during shedding seasons (spring and autumn), brushing needs to be done more frequently to remove dead hair. To complete its easy grooming regimen, brush its teeth daily or at least three times a day, trim its nails regularly and clean its ears to remove wax as it can harbour infection-causing bacteria.
The Smooth Collie is an alert, loyal and hardworking breed. It is not suitable for first-time owners and families with young kids since it can sometimes be snappy. It thrives in a family of experienced dog owners that lead active, outdoor lives. It is important to start training and socialisation as soon as the puppy arrives at home and gradually set out the rules. Once it knows its place in the pack, it tends to become more obedient.
This breed loves the sound of its voice so it is easy to bark when it feels strangers are about. This, along with the fact that it is naturally suspicious of strangers, makes it a good guard dog and watchdog but can be a problem for the neighbours when it becomes excessive. It gets on well with other animals it grows up with but considers other people’s pets as fair game. It is better to avoid introducing smaller animals to an adult Smooth Collie altogether.
Because the Smooth Collie is such an intelligent breed that easily learns new things, it is highly trainable especially in the right hands. It is also quick to pick up bad behaviour so it is important to be firm. Trainings should be kept short and interesting so it does not get bored and disobedient. It will be a good idea to include canine sports to training since this breed impressively excels at them.
A typical serving for an adult Smooth Collie is 1.5 to 2.5 cups of excellent quality dry dog food per day. Take note that the amount of food and feeding frequency depend on your dog’s age, physique, size, activity level, and metabolism. Talking to your veterinarian about your dog’s nutritional needs is very important. Typical calorie needs of adult Smooth Collie per day:
Provide the Smooth Collie with a diet rich in protein from beef, lamb, chicken, and fish, and pair it with complex carbohydrates like sweet potato, oats and rice. Its food intake needs to be boosted during days of heavy work. That being said, owners must avoid giving it heavy meals right before or after an exhausting physical activity. Measure its food and avoid free-feeding because overfeeding can be as problematic as underfeeding.
The Smooth Collie is generally healthy and potential owners will be glad to know that its lifespan can actually reach 15 years. However, there are certain health issues it can be predisposed to that are worth knowing, including eye problems like Collie Eye, Cataracts and Progressive Retinal Atrophy. It can also develop bloat, multi-drug sensitivity, allergies, Epilepsy, Hip Dysplasia, and Patent Ductus Arteriosus.
When it comes to exercise, the Smooth Collie is an active dog that needs 40 to 60 minutes of physically and mentally challenging activities. It will gladly accompany you while jogging or hiking or perform canine sports such as flyball, agility and obedience. It must also be allowed to roam freely in a securely fenced area.
Before getting too excited in getting a Smooth Collie, it is worth knowing that only a few puppies are registered with The Kennel Club each year. This means that obtaining a well-bred pedigree puppy is not as easy as with other popular breeds. Interested people need to be on a waitlist. Expect to pay over £500 to purchase a Smooth Collie puppy.
Other major expenses in caring for a Smooth Collie include pet insurance (£20 and up per month, depending on the provider, your location and the dog’s health), food (£40 a month), veterinary costs (as much as £1,000 a year for vaccinations, check-ups and other preventive care), and basic equipment (initial cost of about £200).
Are you sure the Smooth Collie is the best breed for you? Take the Pet Breed Selector Quiz to find your perfect breed match.Dog Breed Selector Quiz
Would you like to check out other pastoral breeds? Take our Pet Finder to see which breeds suit you perfectly.
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