Smooth Collie

This breed is also known sometimes as the Scotch Collie, when it is being treated as the same breed as the Rough Collie. It is sometimes given the full name of Smooth-coated Collie.


Through recent events, actively encouraged cross-breeding and a great similarity in type, it is often assumed that the Rough and Smooth Collies are two varieties of the same breed and that they have been so since early development. It is, however, far more likely that the Smooth began life as a drover’s dog, its forefathers being much less like the forefathers of the Rough than is generally assumed.

Certainly illustrations of early Smooth Collies suggest a rather more “cloddy” dog than the present-day Smooth Collie, with less height and a heavier head. It is highly probable that when dog shows began to increase in popularity, and competition took place between the various herding breeds, that it was felt by some breeders that an infusion of Rough Collie blood would enhance the Smooth in some respects and give them more of a chance in the show ring. So, for many years the two breeds were inter-bred until such time as there were few major differences other than coat. Today the Smooth’s ears are larger and wider-based than those of the Rough, and its pasterns need to be rather flexible. In other respects, the requirements of the breed are much the same as those of its Rough cousin.

While never enjoying the widespread popularity of the Rough (who knows what would have happened had “Lassie” been a Smooth?), the Smooth retains a loyal band of fanciers who have managed to maintain quality in the breed on an international level. Furthermore, the Smooth has proved itself in Obedience and Agility competition, being very much an allpurpose working dog.

In the 20th century, with dog shows growing ever more important, the Rough Collie, with its impressively luxuriant coat, gradually overshadowed its short-haired relative. Indeed, on several occasions the Smooth Collie was on the verge of disappearing altogether, especially after World Wars I and II, but somehow it managed to survive, thanks to the work of a group of devoted enthusiasts. Despite their efforts, however, it never managed to catch up with its glamorous cousin. By the end of the century, for every Smooth-coated registration at the Kennel Club, there were 50 Rough-coated.


As with Roughs, hereditary eye problems can occur, and so breeding stock should always be thoroughly researched. This apart, the Smooth tends to be a hardy and resilient breed, free of major defects.

Special Care and Training

The Smooth has less coat to manage than its Rough cousin, but the breed still needs regular grooming to maintain overall good condition. It responds well to all kinds of obedience tracking and many Smooth Collies have acquitted themselves well in the competitive Obedience and Agility rings.


The Smooth is a versatile and social breed. While it will happily live in a group with other dogs, it will be equally happy to share its life with a human family. Being fundamentally a large working dog, it will need regular exercise regardless of where it is housed.


Apart from having rather larger ears and specifically flexible pasterns, the Smooth shares its main essentials with the Rough Collie.

Gallery of Smooth Collie