Rough & Smooth Coat Border Collies: What you need to know

Aside from being highly intelligent and famous for their intense herding stare called the “eye,” Border Collies also come in striking colors, two coat types, and more in between.

When talking about this breed, people would think of the traditional look, which is black and white, rough-coated, and medium-length. Now, it’s time to talk about the smooth coat Border Collie.

Rough-Coated VS Smooth-Coated Border Collies

Technically, the Border Collie comes in two types of coats. They can either have a long- or medium-length, rough-coated fur, or a short, smooth coat.

Borders have a double-layered coat, where the outer hair is coarse, and the undercoat is soft.

Long-haired, rough-coated Border Collie

A red Border Collie with white markings and a long, rough coat

The rough variety is medium in length with feathering on their chest, belly, and legs. They can also have a dense, wooly undercoat together with long guard hairs.

Some Border Collies would have very thick coats that grooming can be a challenge. If rough-coated Borders aren’t groomed regularly, their fur will mat around the ears, as well as under their armpits and tail.

Some rough-coated herders look really slick and have limited fringing. Even the hair on their bellies is not very long, which is advantageous for working dogs.

Rough coat Border Collies have a variety in length (medium to long), texture, and thickness.

Short-haired, smooth-coated Border Collie

The smooth variety is coarse and short all over with minimal to no feathering.

a black and white smooth-coated Border Collie lying on the floor

Some smooth-coated Borders may or may not sport a thick undercoat, and they can either have long and wavy or short and straight guard hair.

And when we say a smooth coat, it doesn’t mean it’s as thin as what Doberman Pinschers and Boxers have.

Most ranch and farm owners prefer a smooth coat Border Collie, not to discriminate based on coat types, but because they’re easier to maintain. But generally, these dogs aren’t famous in canine sports such as agility and obedience.

Other Border Collie coat textures and length

You can also find Border Collies, who’s a mixture of the two coat types. They would seem like they have a rough coat because of the feathering around their heads, in their ears, and the length of hair on their tails. But if you look on their body, the hair is short, smooth, and has little to no feathering.

There are Borders who have a rough coat, but they look like a smooth-coated dog because their thick fur is even all over.

Some of the lesser-known coat types of Border Collies are curly-coated and the bearded that’s commonly found in a shade of gray.

Size and appearance of smooth-coated Border Collies

Whether the dog has a smooth coat or a rough one, a Border Collie will always be a Border Collie. This breed stands about 18 to 22 inches (46 to 56 cm) tall and weighs between 30 to 45 pounds (14 to 20 kg). As with all canines, females are a tad smaller than males.

a red and white smooth coated Border Collie on an agility course

Just because they’re on the medium range of canine sizes, it doesn’t mean that they’re suitable for apartment living. In fact, it’s the opposite. They’re more suited for homes that are spacious indoors and outdoors. Border Collies are mostly recommended for owners who have a ranch or farm, but a large yard would suffice.

Both coat types are weather-resistant and can have all the color variations, markings, and patterns. Brown, red and white, red and blue merle, tricolors, and tickled are just some of the beautiful combination of colors that Borders have.

As for AKC or American Kennel Club’s breed standard for Border Collies, the smooth-coated dogs have short hair throughout its body, and some feathering on their ruff, haunches, chest, and legs.

But since performance is what’s essential in this breed, any hue, shade, and amount of white are acceptable.

One can see if a Border Collie puppy will have a rough coat or a smooth coat once they’re around five weeks of age and onwards.

Does the smooth coat Border Collie shed?

A red and white adult Border Collie with smooth coat and some feathering

Smooth-coated Border Collies may have shorter hair, but that doesn’t mean they shed less. Whether they have a smooth or rough coat, Borders are average shedders throughout the year.

During shedding season, you need to brush their hair on a daily basis. It will help get rid of your Border dog’s winter coat and will lessen the chances of it collecting in your furniture. Needless to say, they’re easier to care for or groom.

Their fur dries more quickly after working in the rain, a swim, or a bath. Border Collies with a smooth coat also doesn’t pick up debris, dirt, or burr to the same degree as those with rough coats.

Besides, their smooth and short fur doesn’t need excessive grooming as they don’t mat. A quick brush using a brush can help keep their hair in great condition.

Smooth coat Border Collie’s temperament

Whenever you’re purchasing a Border Collie puppy, make your selection is based on its personality and not its looks. This breed’s ability to work is far more vital than its appearance.

Structural soundness should be priority number one as it’s critical for your Border’s health, as well.

Watch this smooth-coated Border Collie named Lucky, and how much of a good boy he is!


Border Collies are exceptionally bright that they continually keep the #1 spot as the smartest dog breed. They’re also highly energetic that they demand constant physical and mental stimulation.

If the time and training that they require aren’t provided and you let her get bored, the smart herding dog will find an outlet that you wouldn’t like.

They’re loyal companions that are an excellent family pet, even to those who have children and other pets.

The catch is the herding instinct that is bred into them. Borders are loving, but without control, they may chase, herd, and nip anything that moves, such as kids, cats, bicycles, and cars. Other than that, they prefer to be with their own human family. So expect your Border dog to be either shy or standoffish with strangers.

If you enjoy an active lifestyle like the Border Collie, this breed doesn’t only excel in herding trials or canine sports. They can also be trained as search and rescue dogs, scent trackers, and more.

Smooth-coated Border Collie puppies for sale

Since both the rough and smooth coat Border Collie is the same breed, they cost like every other Border dog.

An average price of $600, but it can go up to $4,500 depending on the breeder’s location, the dog’s lineage, or if you’re looking for a pet or working Border Collie.

Border Collie puppies nursing, not yet showing whether they're rough or smooth-coated

Smooth coat Border Collie breeders

Don’t forget to do your research, not only about the breed you want but also the breeders you’re dealing with.

Ensure that you’re buying a Border Collie from a responsible breeder that has complete documentation of their dog’s medical history. This will mean you’re going to be with a pup that’s not predisposed to genetic illnesses.

Let us help you start your search for a smooth-haired Border Collie:

Short-haired, smooth coat Border Collie for adoption

It’s much more affordable to adopt a Border Collie, whether it’s a purebred or a mixed breed. It’s usually just around $300, but if you opt to rescue from breeders, the cost can be anywhere from $700 and up.

Give one of the available Border Collie fur angels a second chance and a new home by visiting these websites:

The smooth Collie and smooth coat Border Collie aren’t the same

There are many kinds of Collies, so it’s best to clarify that Collies are different from Border Collies.

Have you seen the movie, Lassie? That dog’s breed is a Standard Collie that also comes in a smooth or rough coat. The difference between the physical traits of the Border Collie and Standard Collie is noticeable.

Although they’re both from England, Borders hail from the northern part, on the border of Scotland.

Border Collies are more difficult to train compared to Standard Collies because of their herding instinct. They’re also more active and tend to bark a lot.

Rough Collies VS Smooth Collies

The rough Collie is more popular compared to the smooth-coated Collie.

Full-body picture of a red rough Collie dog

Rough Collies are also known as the Lassie dog, long-haired Collie, Scottish Collie, and English Collie. They have a straight and dense outer coat that is coarse, but a furry, soft undercoat.

Smooth Collies or short-haired Collies doesn’t have a coarse outer coat.

A tricolor smooth-coated Collie

Aside from that difference with the length and texture of their hair, they’re pretty much the same with every other personality and trait. They’re excellent family pets, especially if they receive house training early on.

The standard Collie is also active and needs a lot of attention, but they’re excellent at being working and show dogs.

Smooth Coat Border Collies are purebred BC dogs

cute black and white smooth coated Border Collie

Regardless of what type of coat and color a Border Collie has, smooth or rough, long or short, they’re all Border Collies. They just differ in length and texture, and of course, the way to manage their fur.

Each Border Collie is designed for a purpose. Their hair helps them weather different conditions where they must work.

It’s our responsibility as owners to love and care for our pets whether their look is popular or different. We have to do our part to keep their coat healthy and in tip-top shape.

Do you have a short-haired, smooth coat Border Collie? Tell us about your beautiful pooch and share how proud you are of your purebred dog by typing it all in the comment box.

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