short haired collie

Introduction to Short Haired Collies

The Short Haired Collie, also known as the Smooth Collie, is a charming and intelligent breed that originated in Scotland. They share their lineage with Rough Collies but have a shorter, more practical coat that requires less maintenance. Known for their herding abilities and gentle nature, Short Haired Collies have become popular companions worldwide for their loyalty and adaptability.

History and Origin

The history of the Short Haired Collie dates back to the 18th century in Scotland, where they were developed alongside Rough Collies to herd sheep and cattle. The breed’s intelligence, agility, and strong work ethic made them invaluable on Scottish farms, where they helped manage livestock in harsh terrain and challenging weather conditions.

Over time, breeders selectively bred Collies with shorter coats to create the Smooth Collie variant, which retained all the working abilities of its longer-haired counterpart but with a coat that was easier to maintain. This adaptation allowed Short Haired Collies to thrive not only in rural settings but also in urban environments as beloved family pets.

Physical Characteristics

Short Haired Collies are medium-sized dogs with a well-proportioned body and a graceful appearance. They typically stand between 22 to 24 inches at the shoulder and weigh anywhere from 45 to 75 pounds, with males generally being larger than females. One of their most distinctive features is their smooth, short coat that lies close to the body, which can come in various colors such as sable and white, tricolor, blue merle, and white.

Their head is well-balanced, with a slightly tapered muzzle and expressive almond-shaped eyes that convey intelligence and sensitivity. The ears are typically erect or semi-erect, adding to their alert and attentive expression. Overall, Short Haired Collies have a dignified yet friendly demeanor that reflects their gentle nature and keen intelligence.

Temperament and Behavior

Short Haired Collies are renowned for their friendly and affectionate temperament, making them excellent companions for families and individuals alike. They are known to be gentle, loyal, and eager to please, which contributes to their reputation as great family pets. Their intelligence and willingness to learn also make them highly trainable, whether for obedience, agility, or other dog sports.

Due to their herding background, Short Haired Collies may display natural instincts to herd family members or other pets. This behavior can manifest as nipping or circling, especially in younger dogs or when they are excited. Early socialization and training are crucial to channel these instincts appropriately and ensure they develop into well-behaved and confident dogs.

Care and Grooming

Grooming Needs

Despite their shorter coat, Short Haired Collies require regular grooming to keep their coat healthy and free of mats. Weekly brushing with a slicker brush or grooming mitt helps remove loose hair and prevents tangles. Pay particular attention to areas prone to matting, such as behind the ears, under the legs, and around the neck.

Bathing should be done as needed using a mild dog shampoo to maintain the natural oils in their skin and coat. Regular grooming sessions also provide an opportunity to check for any signs of skin issues, ticks, or parasites, ensuring early detection and treatment.

Exercise Requirements

Short Haired Collies are moderately active dogs that benefit from regular exercise to maintain their physical and mental well-being. Aim for at least 60 minutes of exercise each day, which can include brisk walks, jogging, hiking, or interactive play sessions. Engaging them in activities that stimulate their mind, such as puzzle toys or obedience training, helps prevent boredom and destructive behaviors.

Health Considerations

Common Health Issues

While generally a healthy breed, Short Haired Collies may be prone to certain genetic health conditions, including:

  • Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA): A congenital eye condition that can affect vision.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): A degenerative eye disorder leading to blindness.
  • Hip Dysplasia: A common joint condition that can affect mobility and comfort.

Regular veterinary check-ups are essential to monitor their health and detect any potential issues early. Genetic testing for CEA and PRA can help identify dogs at risk, allowing breeders to make informed decisions to reduce the incidence of these conditions.

Nutritional Needs

Providing a balanced and nutritious diet is crucial for the overall health and well-being of Short Haired Collies. Choose a high-quality dog food that is appropriate for their age, size, and activity level. Look for formulas that list meat or fish as the primary ingredient, as well as essential vitamins, minerals, and omega fatty acids for coat health.

Monitor their weight and adjust portion sizes as needed to prevent obesity, which can exacerbate joint issues such as hip dysplasia. Fresh water should always be available to keep them hydrated and support their overall health.

Training Tips

Positive Reinforcement

Short Haired Collies respond well to positive reinforcement training methods, which involve rewarding desired behaviors with treats, praise, or playtime. Start training early to establish good manners and basic obedience commands, such as sit, stay, and come. Consistency and patience are key to reinforcing positive behaviors and building a strong bond with your dog.


Early socialization is essential for Short Haired Collies to become well-adjusted and confident around people, animals, and different environments. Expose them to various sights, sounds, and experiences from a young age, ensuring these interactions are positive and rewarding. Socialization helps prevent fearfulness or aggression and promotes a friendly and outgoing temperament.

Living with a Short Haired Collie

Suitable Living Environment

Short Haired Collies are adaptable dogs that can thrive in a variety of living situations, including apartments, suburban homes, or rural settings. They enjoy being close to their families and should have access to a comfortable indoor space, as well as opportunities for outdoor exercise and play. A securely fenced yard is ideal for them to safely explore and burn off energy.

Family Dynamics

As natural companions, Short Haired Collies form strong bonds with their families and enjoy participating in daily activities. They are known for their patience and gentle demeanor, making them well-suited for households with children. Teach children how to interact respectfully with the dog and supervise their interactions to ensure everyone’s safety and comfort.


In conclusion, Short Haired Collies are versatile and affectionate dogs that make wonderful companions for families and individuals alike. By understanding their history, physical characteristics, temperament, care needs, health considerations, training tips, and living requirements, you can provide them with a loving and fulfilling life as cherished members of your household.

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