The Collie Smooth
|Weight||18 - 30 Kg (approx)|
|Life Span||12 - 14 Years (approx)|
There are three colours recognised in Australia for the Smooth Collie. These are: Sable (varying shades of gold, from light gold to dark mahogany), Tri-colour (predominantly black, with tan markings on the face and legs); and Blue Merle (a marbled silvery blue, with tan markings on the face and legs). All Collies have white markings on their chest, neck, legs and tip of the tail. Some may have white face markings (e.g. blaze).
In the 18th century, the collie’s natural home was in the highlands of Scotland, deep in the hills and the mountains, where he had been used for centuries as a sheepdog. It is possible that the Romans brought sheepdogs with them when they invaded Britain and that these dogs then interbred with the local dogs and thus are the ancestors of today’s collies.
Eventually two types of collies developed from these common ancestors - the Rough Collie, the long-haired variety that worked directly with the flocks; and the Smooth Collie, the short-haired variety that was used primarily as a drover dog to drive livestock to market.
The origin of the word ‘collie’ is also open to speculation. It has been spelled many different ways: Coll, Colley, Coally and Coaly. Coll is the Anglo-Saxon word for black and one theory holds that ‘Collie’ comes from the black-faced Colley sheep and therefore the dogs responsible for their well-being became known as "colley dogs". Another theory suggests that the original working dog was black and therefore was called "Coallies." Whatever the origins, around 1875, the name Collie was firmly in place.
Bred for centuries for their working ability rather than the status of their pedigree, their exact origins have been lost. The farmers who relied on these dogs were totally dependent on their pastoral pursuits, so the dogs were bred for strength, endurance, intelligence, devotion and loyalty. In old writings it's said that the Smooth Collie originated from crossbreedings between old fashioned black and white Collies and British greyhounds, in order to get fast runners (that also could be used as hunting dogs).
It is believed, the first smooth-coated stock dogs arrived in Botany Bay, Australia on ships from England in 1788 - The First Fleet. At that time all working dogs in the south of England were smooth-coated. About 100 years later, about 1870, two blue-merle Smooths were imported from Scotland as working dogs. It is said they were bred with the Dingo to create the Australian Cattle Dog, while two black and tan short haired Collies were imported in 1870. They are reported to be the original ancestors of the Australian Kelpie.
The Smooth Collie is a true working dog which has been purposely bred with a short, flat, harsh textured cost.The most famous Collie (smooth) owner was Queen Victoria, who was a passionate dog lover and possessed no less than three short-haired collies. The first was “Sharp”, a black & white dog born in 1854, who was the Queen’s pet for 15 years. His statue still stands over his grave in Windsor Castle and he appears in many of the Queen’s portraits
The Smooth Collie is a highly intelligent breed with an eagerness to learn. They love a job to do. These traits make them very easy to train for many things: herding, tracking, obedience, agility, search & rescue just to name a few.
Smooth Collies are excellent family companions, they are gentle, loving and devoted. They are good with children and older folk alike. Smooths are very sociable, enjoying human company and also that of other dogs.
Smooth Collies are alert, which means they notice things around them. They are protective of their family and let them know if there is something important going on.
Smooth collies have a short double coat which can be easily groomed and this should be done weekly. Although they do shed, a bath at this time along with a couple of grooming sessions with a steel toothed comb will remove the loose hairs.
Generally healthy however good nutrition is important. Some collies are affected by CEA (Collie Eye Anomaly) but breeders are working to eradicate this and screen puppies and breeding stock.