Did you know?
During the world wars, the military tried to train Collies as attack dogs.
More than 90% failed. They are just too friendly!
A Collie has the brains of a man, and the ways of a woman. – Scottish Proverb
The Collie’s past is mysterious and may go back to the Roman herding dogs that were brought to Britain during the Roman Empire. Whatever the truth, by the 18th century the Collie called the highlands of Scotland home, as it had been used there for centuries as a sheepdog. The dogs were bred to herd and guard their flock.
Both varieties of Collie are native to Scotland and Northern England where they worked herding black-faced mountain sheep called ‘colleys’. It is believed that these dogs became known as ‘colley dogs’. However, the exact origin of the name is unclear. Some believe it may come from the Scottish word for “coal”. The name has been spelled many different ways: Coll, Colley, Coally and Coaly. Most historians accept the origin of the word as “Coll” meaning “black” in Anglo-Saxon.
Smooth Collies were used mostly to drive sheep to market. Today, they are often used as guide dogs to the blind.
Photos displayed courtesy of Karen Duncan, Whiskeyjack, Saskatchewan
The Smooth Collie is less common than the showier Rough Collie, but he is identical in every way except for coat length.
The Smooth Collie stands up to 26 inches (67 cm) tall at the shoulder. He weighs in at 60 to 75 pounds (27-34 kg). He has a short, dense, straight outer coat and a furry undercoat for warmth. The coat comes in five colour varieties. He may be white (with any other colours on approximately 20% of the body), sable and white (all shades of brown ranging from lemon yellow through orange and red to dark mahogany, always with white markings), sable merle and white (similar to the sable and white,with a lighter sable colouring and darker sable mottling or spotting through the coat, often with grey tipping on the ears, and always with white markings), blue merle and white(grey mottled colour, ranging from a clear, silvery blue to a darker matte grey, with black merling or spotting distributed throughout), or tri-coloured (black with tan markings). Grooming is minimal.
A hard-working, loyal, kindly, obedient, and responsive nature makes the Smooth Collie an excellent family pet. He is very attached to people and needs the companionship of family life. He gets along beautifully with children and is usually fine with other pets. He is naturally protective and will make a good watchdog.
The Smooth Collie is intelligent and quick to learn. He is easily trained and becomes housebroken fairly quickly. Early obedience training is best. The Smooth Collie will respond to his owner’s tone of voice. Heavy-handed training techniques are not necessary. A hard worker, the Collie needs daily outdoor activity including free exercise. He does best in an environment where he has access to a large fenced yard.