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Short-Haired Border Collies: Unveiling Their Unique Charm and Care Tips - PawSafe

Short-Haired Border Collies: Unveiling Their Unique Charm and Care Tips

Photo of Tamsin De La Harpe

Written by Tamsin De La Harpe

short haired Border Collies

Short-haired Border Collies stand out among the various types of the renowned Border Collie breed. Recognized for their intelligence and agility, they are the same breed as their long-haired counterparts, but with a distinct difference in coat length. It’s crucial to understand that this variation doesn’t affect their herding abilities or their high energy levels, which require plenty of exercise and mental stimulation.

If you’re considering adding Short-haired Border Collie puppies to your family, it’s important to contemplate their care requirements and ensure that you can meet their needs for an active and enriching life. So, we’ve referred to Border Collie expert, and dog trainer and behaviorist, Barbara Sykes in her works on Understanding Border Collies.

Contents show

It’s essential to understand that regardless of the coat length, Border Collies have the same behavioral attributes and needs. They are intelligent and energetic dogs requiring plenty of mental and physical stimulation.

If you want a short-haired Border Collie puppy, try reputable breeders. You can also check rescue centers for available ones. Their dynamic nature and intelligence are consistent across all variations. Be ready for an active companion!

What Makes the Short Haired Border Collie Different From Other Types

Short Haired Border Collie having fun side view sky background

Collie expert, Barbara Sykes shares interesting insights about the variety and behavior of Border Collies, especially those with short coats:

  • Shepherds often prefer short-coated collies for working in different weathers and terrains. These collies have a coat that repels water and doesn’t get muddy easily. They usually have a lot of stamina and a strong focus.
  • These short-coated dogs can be very energetic and challenging to keep up with, both mentally and physically.
  • The short-coated Collie with darker eyes might be more shy or nervous, and could become very submissive if scared. But if they eat too much or get too excited, they can become overly active and behave in unpredictable ways.
  • The texture of their coat and their coloring can also affect their personality. Short-coated dogs with softer fur might be more timid, while those with a bit of tri-color in their coat could either be less nervous or more stubborn, depending on other traits.
  • A tri-colored, amber-eyed, short-coated Border Collie is usually protective of its space, doesn’t like being stared at, can hear very well, and is quite sensitive. Some dogs also have blue eyes.

Overall, Sykes emphasizes that the physical traits of Border Collies, especially those with short coats, can have a big impact on their behavior and temperament.

General Tips & Advice

According to Barbara Sykes, here’s a simpler way to understand some facts about Border Collies with short coats:

  • Chasing isn’t something Border Collies naturally do. If they start chasing a lot because they’re allowed to, it can become a problem.
  • When Border Collies play with children, they’re not trying to herd them like sheep. They’re just playing like they would with other dogs.
  • These dogs don’t need to exercise for hours. What’s more important is a good amount of exercise, a diet that keeps them calm, and having company.
  • Border Collies aren’t always super active. But if they play too much, especially games like constant ball-throwing, they can get too excited and hyperactive.
  • These dogs are tough but also very sensitive. If something stresses them out, it can bother them for a long time.
  • Border Collies love to be around people and communicate. They enjoy challenging games that make them think. But too much excitement, both mentally and physically, can cause them problems, especially if they’re left alone afterwards to calm down.
  • They are great pets and don’t always need to be busy with activities.
  • Border Collies know how to switch from being active to resting quickly. However, if they’re always busy and never learn to relax, they might become restless.

Origin and History

When you think of Border Collies, you often picture the intelligent and agile herding dogs known for their work ethic. Let’s explore where they come from and how they’ve become the breed you’re familiar with today.

Geographical Roots

The Border Collie traces its roots to the hilly border country between Scotland and England, an area known for its rugged landscape and sheep farming. It’s important to note that while “collie” might simply mean ‘useful’ in old Scottish dialect, these dogs proved to be much more than that, embodying a vital part of shepherd life.

Breed Development

The lineage of the Border Collie is a tale of skill and refinement. Shepherds developed a dog with precise traits for herding livestock. They did this through centuries of selective breeding.

  • Herding Ability: Border Collies are cherished for their exceptional talent in controlling the movement of sheep.
  • Physical Attributes: The shorter coat of the short-haired Border Collie made them well-suited to working in the variable climates of their geographical origin. This is why you find this type of coat more often in working and herding dogs than pet or showing dogs. The gene that is responsible for coat length in dogs is the FGF5 gene. So Collies with shorter coats simply have a natural genetic mutation common in many breeds.

This pragmatic approach to breeding resulted in a dog that could not only manage the rough terrain of Scotland and England, but also adapt to various herding tasks with intelligence and ease.

Physical Characteristics

close up portrait of liver short haired Border Collie with amber eyes

Short-haired Border Collies are known for their agile build and sleek coats. They’re the kind of dogs that turn heads at dog parks, thanks to their distinct look and athletic nature. You’ll recognize them by their smooth coats and various color patterns.

Size and Build

Your Short-haired Border Collie is quite the athlete — medium-sized but muscular. Adult males typically weigh between 14 to 20 kilograms (30 to 44 pounds) and stand at about 48 to 56 centimeters (19 to 22 inches) tall at the shoulder.

Females are a bit smaller, usually weighing 12 to 19 kilograms (26 to 42 pounds) and measuring 46 to 53 centimeters (18 to 21 inches) in height.

Coat and Appearance

4 Short and long-haired Border Collies different colors red merle, blue blue merle, black and white

The defining feature of your Short-haired Border Collie is, of course, their short, smooth coat. This coat type is easier to maintain than the fluffy coats of their rough-haired cousins. This dog has a sleek appearance with a close-fitting coat. This gives them a streamlined look which is perfect for herding or agility work.

Recognized Colors

Smooth coat Border Collies come in a rainbow of colors! The most common colors you’ll see are:

  • Black & White: A solid, deep black that’s often paired with white markings.
  • White: Crisp and clean, white often complements other colors in unique patterns.
  • Blue: A rare, steel-gray color that can be both subtle and striking.
  • Tricolor: A beautiful combo of three colors, usually black, white, and tan.
  • Red: From a rich, rust-like hue to a lighter ginger, red is a head-turner.

They may also show up in rarer colors and patterns like sable, brindle, merle (red & blue) or even lilac. Their eyes can be dark, amber, or blue.

Each Collie is unique, with coat patterns and color mixes that add to their charm. Whether they’re at work or play, these dogs have a look that’s as functional as it is beautiful.

Temperament and Behavior

smooth coat or short coat Border Collie puppy

When you think about a short-haired Border Collie, it’s important to know that their personality and actions are affected by things like genetics and how they were raised. These herding dogs are known for being intelligent, energetic, and affectionate. As a result, you will need to give them lots of stimulation and love.

Personality Traits

Your Border Collie wth short fur is going to be intelligent and alert. They will often anticipate your next command or action. They also bond deeply with family members, showing strong affection and loyalty. It’s common for this breed to be extremely energetic, thriving on exercise and mental challenges to stay happy and healthy.

Herding Instinct

Built into their DNA, the herding instinct is strong in short-haired Border Collies. This trait makes them superb at activities like agility and herding trials, where they can channel their high energy. Even without sheep to herd, they may try to gently corral young children or other pets at home. To keep this instinct in check, early training and socialization are key.

Compatibility with Families

Short-haired Border Collies can make excellent family pets given the right circumstances. Their energetic nature matches well with active families who have ample time for engagement. Early socialization will help your Collie learn to be supportive and gentle. If your family includes young children or other pets, it’s important. Consistent training and exercise are crucial for maintaining balance and harmony at home. Remember to prioritize them.

Training and Exercise

black and white smooth coat short hair Border Collie dog

To keep your dog happy and healthy, both physical and mental stimulation are crucial.

Training Requirements

Your Collie is an intelligent dog that usually finds training to be rewarding and easy with the right approach. “Sit”, “stay”, and “come” will likely be just the beginning for this quick learner. Positive reinforcement methods are most effective. You will discover that using treats, praises, and playtime as rewards promotes obedience.

Consider these points for training:

  • Consistency is key. Regular sessions will help reinforce learned behaviors.
  • Complex commands can keep their active minds engaged. They’re capable of learning tricky commands due to their intelligence.

Also, be mindful to start training early to head off any stubbornness and ensure your Border Collie understands you’re in charge.

Exercise Needs

With a high energy level, your short-haired Border Collie will need plenty of exercise. These dogs enjoy activities that stimulate their bodies and minds. They don’t just take leisurely strolls around the block.

Aim for:

  • At least 60 minutes of active exercise daily.
  • Activities that fulfill the breed’s herding instincts, like fetch or agility training.

Mental stimulation is as important as physical activity. Interactive toys and regular training sessions will help keep your Border Collie’s mind sharp and focused. If your dog lacks exercise and mental stimulation, it may exhibit undesirable behaviors. These behaviors are a result of releasing pent-up energy.

Health and Care

When it comes to the health and care of your short-haired Border Collie, there are specific areas you need to pay attention to. Keeping your dog healthy and happy requires regular maintenance and understanding. This includes addressing known health issues, grooming needs, and dietary considerations.

Common Health Issues

Short-haired Border Collies are generally healthy, but like all breeds, they can have certain health issues. It’s important to be aware of these so you can spot any early signs.

  • Epilepsy: Unfortunately, epilepsy is a common neurological disorder in Border Collies, which can cause seizures.
  • Hip Dysplasia: This is a genetic condition where the thigh bone doesn’t fit snugly into the hip joint, which can lead to arthritis or lameness.
  • Progressive Retinal Atrophy: This is an eye condition that gradually causes blindness from the loss of photoreceptors at the back of the eye.

Regular check-ups with your vet can help catch these issues early on.

Grooming Needs

Your Border Collie’s short hair makes grooming less demanding. However, it’s crucial to stay diligent, especially during shedding season.

  • Border Collies shed throughout the year. They shed heavily during seasonal changes. To manage shedding:
    • Brush your dog’s coat at least once a week to remove loose fur and prevent matting.
    • Use a de-shedding tool during peak shedding seasons for better control of the fur around your house.

Dietary Considerations

An active Border Collie will require specific nutrition to maintain energy and health. These needs must be met throughout their entire life.

  • Include high-quality dog food that supports their activity level.
  • Ensure they get the right balance of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals.
  • Be cautious of overfeeding to prevent obesity, which can exacerbate issues like hip dysplasia.

Remember to provide fresh water and maintain a consistent feeding schedule.

Breed-Specific Considerations

Liver and white short coat Border Collie on leash

When considering a smooth Border Collie, it’s crucial to understand that they’re not just any pet. They’re intelligent working dogs that thrive on activity and duty.

Suitability as Working Dogs

Short-haired Border Collies are a top pick for herding livestock, specifically sheep. They excel in interpreting animal behavior. This skill makes them exceptional at herding. Their sleek fur enables them to move easily through bushes and thick vegetation. This makes them nimble and prepared for any situation. If you need a dog for work that involves managing livestock, they fit the bill perfectly. Additionally, because they’re so intelligent and loyal, they often excel in agility competitions.

Activity Requirements and Destructive Behavior

Short-haired Border Collies have high energy levels, so they need plenty of exercise. Without enough activity, they might channel their energy into destructive behavior. Keep your Border Collie busy with jobs, toys, or involve them in sports to keep their minds and bodies active. A busy Border Collie is a content Border Collie. Being proactive can prevent unwanted behaviors. An inactive dog might chew or dig to release energy.

Purchasing and Adoption

Understanding the responsibilities is crucial when adding a Border Collie with shorter coat to your family. Whether you purchase or adopt, the decision is yours. However, your choices will affect not only your future pet’s well-being but also your satisfaction as a dog owner.

Finding a Reputable Breeder

To ensure you’re getting a healthy purebred puppy, it’s essential to find a reputable breeder. A trustworthy breeder will know a lot about the breed. They will also be open about the puppy’s health, deworming schedule, and vaccinations. They should give you the full history of the puppy’s lineage. You can also meet the puppy’s parents, the sire and dam. Here’s what to look for:

  • Health clearances: Verifiable documentation that the puppy’s parents have been tested for common genetic diseases.
  • Living conditions: Puppies should be raised in a clean, safe environment and show signs of socialization.
  • Breeder’s reputation: Seek feedback from previous customers and check for affiliations with kennel clubs.

Initial Costs and Ownership

The costs of bringing a short-haired Border Collie into your home go beyond the purchase price. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Purchase Price: Ranges from $300 to $1,000, depending on breeder and lineage.
  • Feeding: Expect to spend $30 to $50 per month on high-quality dog food.
  • Initial Medical Expenses: Including vaccinations and deworming, can run up to $200 – $300 in the first year.

Remember, owning a dog is a long-term commitment and being financially prepared is just as important as falling in love with a puppy’s cute face.

Were to Adopt A Smooth Coat Border Collie

If you’re looking to adopt a Smooth Coat Border Collie, you have several options to find your new furry friend. Here’s how you can start:

  • Check your local animal shelters: Many shelters have Border Collies and mixes available for adoption. They might just have a smooth-coated one waiting for you!
  • Search online databases: Websites like Petfinder and Adopt-a-Pet let you filter your search by breed, so you can look specifically for smooth coat Border Collies that need homes.

Reach out to breed-specific rescues: Border Collie rescues specialize in the breed and can help match you with the perfect dog.

Here’s a quick guide to what you should do:

  1. Research Border Collie rescues by looking at reviews and adoption policies.
  2. Fill out an application with as much detail as possible about what you’re looking for.
  3. Be patient — it might take time to find the right match.
  4. Prepare your home for a high-energy, intelligent dog.

If you’re not sure where to start, Border Collie Rescues often have a network of foster homes where dogs are cared for until they are adopted. This gives you a great chance to learn about your potential pet’s personality and needs.

Find Border Collie rescues:

Remember, adopting a dog is a big commitment, so make sure you’re ready to provide a loving home for many years to come!

Living with a Short-Haired Border Collie

Living with a Border Collie means joining an active lifestyle. Let’s take a look.

Daily Routine

Your smooth coat Border Collie will thrive on a consistent daily routine packed with plenty of activities. Morning is the prime time for exercise, and your Collie will eagerly look forward to a brisk run rather than leisurely strolls. To meet their high energy levels, include activities like fetching or agility training. These exercises can also provide mental stimulation.

  • Early Morning: Start the day with a run or high-intensity game.
  • Midday: Short training sessions or puzzles can keep them occupied.
  • Evening: Wind down with another round of physical activity, maintaining the same level of intensity as in the morning.

Keep in mind, your smooth-coated Border Collie needs more than just a big yard. They require your active engagement in their exercise regimen.

Socialization and Environment

For your Border Collie to become a well-adjusted family pet, early socialization is crucial. Expose them to different people, pets, and environments. This can prevent undesirable behaviors. It ensures they are approachable and friendly.

  • Introduce them to various environments: Parks, busy streets, and nature trails.
  • Encourage interactions: Organize playdates with other socialized dogs.

Creating a supportive environment is crucial for Border Collie’s well-being. It should promote their activity and sociability. All Collies need physical activities. They also need mental challenges. These prevent issues like excessive barking or chewing.

Integrate these guides into your life. Live with a short-haired Border Collie. It can be a rewarding and affection-filled journey.

Breed Recognition

When you think about Border Collies, the image of a smart, agile dog often comes to mind. This section will guide you through recognizing the short-haired variety of this breed. It focuses on kennel club standards and the world of show dogs.

Kennel Club Standards

The American Kennel Club (AKC) sets the standard for the purebred short-haired Border Collie. The AKC defines the traits and characteristics that are benchmarked. The Border Collie has a rough coat that contrasts with its smooth coat. The smooth coat is shorter and finer, and it sheds seasonally.

The AKC standards specify that both coat types should have dense and weather-resistant double coats. The smooth coat variety lacks the feathering found on long-haired dogs. This feathering is typically found on their legs, chest, and abdomen.

To view the complete set of standards, you can refer to the official breed standard document. The document describes the preferred physical traits of the breed. It includes acceptable markings and specific patterns.

Show Dog Expectations

Short-haired Border Collies in the world of dog shows have to meet the breed’s standards. They must embody them both physically and temperamentally. Show dogs are evaluated according to specific standards. These standards include their appearance and movement. In the ring, a smooth coat Border Collie is expected. It should have the right coat texture and short length. The body should be mostly short, with a little feathering.

The judges search for specific characteristics in different breeds. These include a keen expression, athleticism, various coat colors, and patterns. These attributes sum up the essence of what makes a short-haired Border Collie standout as a show dog.

Best Names for A Short-Haired Border Collie

Consider your short-haired Border Collie’s personality and athletic nature when choosing a name. You might want a name as energetic and lively as they are. Check out some ideas that fit their traits:

Dash (for their speed)

Bree (light air)

Jet (for their sleek fur)

Zoe (life, energy)

Blaze (for their fiery spirit)

Sage (wise, like their herding instincts)

If your puppy has a sable coat, a combination of light brown and gold, you can choose a name that emphasizes this beautiful trait.

  • Sable (it’s direct and to the point!)
  • Copper (for that shiny, reddish coat)

Border Collies are known for their affectionate nature. Consider names that reflect your new friend’s loyal and loving personality.

  • Buddy (for a male)
  • Bella (which means beautiful)

If you admire their athletic skills and elegance, strong and agile names may be ideal.

  • Ace (top-notch)
  • Sky (boundless energy)

Choosing a name is no small task, but it’s also lots of fun. Your Border Collie is unique, so take your time and pick a name that reflects the wonderful dog they are! Take loads of pictures with your cutie once you decide on the right name. Don’t forget, your Border Collie’s name will stay with them for life. Make it count!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do Short-Haired Border Collies Shed A Lot?

Short or smooth-haired Border Collies do shed. They shed less than long-haired Border Collies. You’ll still find some hair around your home, especially during seasonal changes.

What is the typical behavior of short-haired Border Collies?

Short-haired Border Collies are known for their high energy levels and intelligence. They’re agile, trainable, and require regular mental and physical stimulation.

How can one identify a red short-haired Border Collie?

A red Border Collie with a shorter coat has a distinct rich, reddish-brown coat. Look for striking amber eyes and watch for the characteristic white markings on the face, neck, and paws.

What should be expected when raising short-haired Border Collie puppies?

When you raise short coat Border Collie puppies, be prepared to dedicate time to training them. Additionally, make sure to focus on socializing them and providing plenty of exercise. They are quick learners but need guidance and structure.

What are the differences between rough coat and smooth coat Border Collies?

Rough (or long) coat Border Collies have a long, bushy outer coat. Smooth coat Border Collies have a shorter and denser outer coat. The smooth coat is easier to maintain.

What grooming needs do short-haired Border Collies have?

Short-haired Border Collies require regular brushing to control shedding and occasional baths. Their coat is easier to maintain compared to long-haired breeds.

Are short-coated Border Collies hypoallergenic?

No, short-coated Border Collies are not hypoallergenic. They produce dander and shed fur, which can trigger allergies.

How long do short-haired Border Collies typically live?

Short-haired Border Collies typically live for 10 to 17 years. This lifespan can be achieved with proper care and regular vet visits.

Do Smooth-Coated Border Collies Bark A Lot?

Smooth-Coated Border Collies can be vocal, especially if they’re not sufficiently stimulated. Training and activity can help manage their barking.

Final Thoughts

When you think about getting a short-haired Border Collie, remember that their grooming needs are not as intensive. This is compared to their long-haired counterparts. Brushing once a week is typically enough to maintain their coat. Border Collies are intelligent and energetic dogs that require mental and physical exercise.

  • Exercise: Aim for at least an hour of activity every day.
  • Training: Early socialization and positive reinforcement are key.

Remember, like all dogs, they thrive on companionship. So, make time for playing, learning, and just being together. Having a routine helps them feel secure and happy.

Your short-haired Border Collie may also have a natural instinct for herding. It’s essential to channel that drive into a positive outlet like agility training or herding sports. These activities can prevent the development of undesirable behaviors from boredom.

If you want a dog who’s quick to learn and always ready for adventure, you’re on the right track. These dogs can excel in various dog sports and are known for their remarkable work ethic. They can make extraordinary companions for an active household with proper care and training.


Meet Your Experts

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Tamsin De La Harpe


Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions. Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.

Tamsin de la Harpe has nearly two decades of experience with dogs in rescue, training, and behavior modification with fearful and aggressive dogs. She has worked closely with veterinarians and various kennels, building up extensive medical knowledge and an understanding of canine health and physiology. She also spent two years in the animal sciences as a canine nutrition researcher, focusing on longevity and holistic healthcare for our four-legged companions. Tamsin currently keeps a busy homestead with an assortment of rescue dogs and three Bullmastiffs.