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OK, where to begin... I have a 16month old Smooth Coolie, sable coloured. We named him, maybe unusually, Vince. I've got to say, he's probably the best dog I have ever come across. The first thing that strike you about the smooth collie is the look. As pups, admittedly, dogs don't necessarily have their all their breed characteristics. But you still looked at him and thought he was a good looking dog. However, as he's grown, the looks have become more striking. The smooth Collie sits very proud, with the crest of hair along the breast prominent as they sit. The long nose, and the fact that the head is naturally held high, adds to this proud effect. The tail isn't too long, nor are the legs. The dog looks very well proportioned and very 'handsome'. Size-wise, the dog is perfect. But that's only my opinion. Vince at the moment weighs in at a steady 17 kg. Not too big. The smooth Collie is a good size to have around kids as well; not too heavy and not towering over them. The size contributes to the gentle impression of the dog. The is not over-bearing, and doesn't easily knock anyone off balance. Plus, unlike small breeds, he doesn't get under your feet! Charateristics, though, are an important aspect of the smooth Collie. They are natural hearders, and like to keep the family together. As an example, I was round my parents house, and we were sitting in the front room. My girlfriend walked out into the hall to take a call, and Vince was moving to and fro between the two groups. Only when my girlfriend returned did he settle down. They are also quite inquisitive, and Vince likes to know what's going on. However, this doesn't amount to pestering. And he never begs for food. As for the protective aspect of the dog, if there is something really unusual, he'll give a bark. But he doesn't bark at anything; only what he sees as a 'threat'. By the way, the bark is nice and deep, but not too loud. Smooth Collies are very easy to train. But they need training, as any dog does. The dog is naturally very intelligent, and takes to training very well. When he was a pup, he learn't to do his 'business' on the training mats we laid down, and it was only about 6 weeks before he was scratching at the door to go outside and do his 'business'. Be aware though, they aren't low maintainence. Sure, they aren't high maintenance. Vince is quite happy to have a lazy day, but he needs a decent walk every other day. And whenever possible, a nice run around a local park. He's so freindly with other people, that he won't cause a nuiscance. Hair is an issue, if you have an allergy. Regular brushing and baths go a long way. Overall, the smooth Collie is a great dog. Loyal, good looking, intelligent and packed with character. I alway wanted a German Shepherd, but now, I don't weant anything but a smooth Collie. They really are the greatest dogs about! Plus, they are classed as a rare breed in the UK, so it'll help keep the population going (with the responsibility of breeding for the good of the breed).
~~~~~~~~~~ Introduction ~~~~~~~~~~ I'm not sure where my adorable Collie-Cross, Moses, fits into the collie family tree. He looks like a Smooth Collie as opposed to the rough haired Lassie-types, I am certainly right in saying that he is at least 50% Border Collie and so therefore must half qualify to be 'reviewed. He is a rescue dog, and we are unsure of the other 50% of his gene-pool, although I suspect it might be whippet. However, he certainly demonstrates all the wonderful traits exhibited by the Boarder-collie bits. When I first introduced him (then 10 weeks old) to my Yorkie, Mollie, she totally ignored him; he in turn began herding her and for many weeks, she could not go anywhere without Moses guiding her to where he thought she should go. Mollie, bless her, didn't seem too phased by it and obeyed without fuss. Like all dogs, when puppies, they need proper training appropriate to their nature. Moses was no exception, and because until then, I had only handled the Yorkie and Cocker Spaniel breeds, was unsure of the nature and needs of Collies, and therefore consulted a dog trainer, who took us through a series of socialising and training techniques - yes, I also needed training. One of the interesting tests, designed to discover how he would react to a sudden frightening situation, whilst off the lead, was when the trainer led out an enormous St. Bernard. Moses jumped back a few yards but did not run off with his tail between his legs, which were an encouraging sign. I then approached and stroked the St Bernard; Moses followed soon after and made friends, obviously needing my guidance until he could judge for himself. Moses, was very quick to learn, and it became obvious to both myself and the trainer, that he would be exceptionally obedient; his only desire was to please. However, he needed, like a child, to find out what he was allowed to do - by experience. A stern word and he would look apologetic and modify his behaviour. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The qualities and needs of a Collie ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Most dogs can be described as loyal, some are loyal AND independent, in that they will wander off and amuse themselves, not needing the owner to play with them all the time. Collies are more dependent on their owners for company and entertainment. They are working dogs, first and foremost, so playing in the parks with their owner or other animals (in the pack) is, to them a form of work. Collies get a tremendous boost by pleasing their owners, whether by play or work. They have an enormous amount of energy and so do need more exercise than some breeds, which prefer strolling to running. In the puppy stages, in particular, when bored, they will chew the nearest item available; I lost two remote controls, three pairs of slippers, and one mobile phone, to Moses' moments of boredom. Thankfully, he now knows that that sort of behaviour does not 'please.' and so has long since ceased to be destructive. The Collie is gentle, sweet natured and loving. I used to think Moses a wimp when he stood behind me as people or other dogs approached, he was certainly cautious. But one day a gorgeous puppy Retriever - the size of a small pony, came bounding towards us. Moses, instead of cowering behind me, stepped out and stood between the approaching pup, and me his lips curled up in a snarl. - how is that for loyalty then - The pup halted before it reached me, so Moses is no longer considered a wimp. As far as food is concerned, Moses is not as greedy as some breeds such as Spaniels. He eats two medium sized meals per day, sometimes less. I feed him on James Wellbeloved Wheat free complete food with a small amount of Caesar complete meat. I have found that Moses is intolerant of fat, which could be a trait from the other, none-collie, part of his gene pool. A trait, which I believe, is found in greyhounds and Whippets. ~~~~~~~~~ Conclusion ~~~~~~~~~ In summary, Collies are sweet, gentle, loving and exceptionally loyal dogs, who need a lot of love and kindness in return plus plenty of vigorous exercise. They are intelligent, obedient and willing to protect its owner with its own life if the need ever occurred. Otherwise certainly not aggressive in any other way. They shed hair like confetti, so need regular grooming. Punishment to a Collie is lack of praise. Reward is praise and cuddles galore. Come to think of it, that would apply to all breeds of dog. Unless you work from home, or can take a dog with you. do not consider owning a Collie, it would be cruel. They need company and work/play. They are extremely intelligent dogs. Mollie accepted Moses soon after his arrival and he no longer tries to herd her. Both are adorable in their own right.
Everyone is familiar with the glamorous and intelligent Rough Collie - if only from watching the various incarnations of Lassie. But relatively few have come across its perhaps less glamorous but equally intelligent and striking cousin the Smooth Collie. This is a shame as the Smooth Collie makes an ideal family pet and is much easier in the coat care department than the Rough. The Smooth Collie is exactly the same dog as the Rough - just without the long coat. Instead he has a coarse short outer coat over a soft and warm undercoat - so all he needs in terms of grooming is the occasional run over with a brush. He is an intelligent and very trainable breed who loves to work. Smooth Collies compete in obedience and agility and have been used as army dogs and search and rescue dogs. But, unlike some more popular collie breeds, they are not at all "manic" workers and will happily just hang out with the family. Smooth Collies are very elegant and striking dogs. In the UK they come in three colours: sable and white (a rich chestnut colour), tricolour (black, white and tan markings) and blue merle (a mottled mix of silvery blue, black, tan and white). They are medium sized - like a Rough Collie - a little taller than a Border collie. They are very loyal to their families, affectionate and playful - and they generally get on well with other dogs. They are not guard dogs and are not aggressive but they do make good watch dogs and will raise the alarm if there is someone at your home. I think these are one of the most underrated pedigree breeds there is. The Smooth Collie is easy to care for, easy to train, good natured, robust enough for a family but small enough to be manageable, and very striking and distinctive to look at, yet they are currently on the endangered breed list with the UK Kennel Club. This is a shame as they are fantastic family dogs that deserve to be more popular.