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Smooth Collie Breed Description

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Breed Organization

Collie Club of America

Native Country
Great Britain

Other Names
Collie, Scotch Collie, Rough Collie

Life Expectancy
Approximately 13-15 Years

Litter Size
Average 6-10 Puppies

Breed Group

General Description

Collies are generally medium-sized dogs of about 22 to 55 lb and light to medium-boned. Cattle-herding types are more stocky. The fur may be short, flat, or long, and the tail may be smooth, feathered, or bushy. Collies can have both naturally long or naturally bobbed tails. Some breed clubs historically dock the tail. The tail can be carried low with an upward swirl or twist or high over the back. The tail never curls at the base or touches the back. Each breed can vary in coloration, with the usual base colors being black, black-and-tan, red, red-and-tan, or sable. They often have white along with the main color, usually under the belly and chest, over the shoulders, and on parts of the face and legs, but sometimes leaving only the head colored – or white may be absent or limited to the chest and toes (as in the Australian Kelpie). Merle coloration may also be present over any of the other color combinations, even in landrace types. The most widespread patterns include sable, black-and-white, and tricolor (black-and-tan and white) also known also known as black sable.

Breed Standard

Head: Long, clean, wedge-shaped. Size in proportion to body. Flat skull. Slight stop.
Ears: Medium size, fairly wide set. Carried forward and semi-erect.
Eyes: Medium size, almond, set obliquely in the skull. Dark brown color, except blue merles that often have blue or blue flecked eyes.
Body: Medium size, longer than tall. Powerful neck. Deep chest. Ribs well sprung. Straight back with a slightly arched loin.
Tail: Long, reaching the hocks. Generally carried low. Profuse covering of hair.
Hair: Smooth Collie: straight, harsh, long, and dense; soft, dense undercoat; abundant on the mane and frill; feathering on the legs. Smooth Collie: flat and harsh; dense undercoat.
Coat: Three colors are accepted: Sable – from light gold to dark mahogany. Tricolor – predominantly black with tan shadings on the head and legs, and white markings. Blue merle (marbled) – blue-gray marbled or mottled with black.
Size: Dog: 56 to 61 cm. Bitch: 51 to 56 cm.
Weight: Dog: 20 to 29 kg.Bitch: 18 to 25 kg.


The Collie is descended from Scottish herding dogs. When the Romans invaded, their dogs were crossed with native Scottish dogs. Early shepherds began crossing the short-tailed and long-tailed shepherd dogs, and the result was the superb animal with an aristocratic bearing that we know today. The origin of this breed's name is disputed. Some believe the name comes from the word (colley), an early variety of Scottish sheep with a black mask and tail. Others believe the breed is named for its beautiful collar. The Smooth Collie is much more popular than the smooth Collie. The smooth Collie is more popular in Great Britain than it is in the United States, but is gaining some popularity in the States. The smooth Collie is the same as the Smooth Collie, but without the long coat. The AKC considers the rough and smooth Collies as variations on the same breed and they are judged by the same standard with the exception of the coat.


This active, lively dog is typically well-balanced, but can be anxious and timid. This gentle, sensitive Lassie dog is a faithful companion. The Collie is reserved toward strangers, but not aggressive. He should receive firm, but gentle training.

One of his greatest assets is his natural love of children. Even when not raised with children, the Collie can be charming, playful and protective with most well behaved kids. Stories have abounded for years of children guarded and protected by the family Collie.

The Collie can live in the city but he will be happier with a yard and space to run. Regular exercise is required. Brushing two times per week is adequate.


Sheepdog, Guide Dog, Pet.


Some collie breeds (especially the Smooth Collie and the Smooth Collie) are affected by a genetic defect, a mutation within the MDR1 gene. Affected dogs are very sensitive to some drugs, such as Ivermectin, as well as to some antibiotics, opioids and steroids – over 100 drugs in total. Affected dogs also show a lower cortisol concentration than normal. Collies may have a genetic disease, canine cyclic neutropenia, or Grey Collie Syndrome. This is a stem cell disorder. Puppies with this disorder are quite often mistaken as healthy Blue Merles, even though their color is a silver grey. Affected puppies rarely live more than 6 months of age. For a puppy to be affected, both the sire and the dam have to be carriers of the disorder. This is generally a very healthy breed.

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The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA®) was the first humane society to be established in North America and is, today, one of the largest in the world.

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The ASPCA’s mission, as stated by founder Henry Bergh in 1866, is “to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.”

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