Short-haired Collie

The short-haired collie, a representative of the herding and driving dogs, is probably not quite as well known as its long-haired relative. The latter has created a clear image in our memory. But the short-haired Collie is also a wonderful companion. It is also often called the Scottish Sheepdog. At least this is the official designation of the FCI. He is considered to be robust and equipped with all known collie abilities. Let us have a look at what can be learned about the Shorthaired Collie.

Character of the Shorthaired Collie

This dog is a diamond in the rough: He does not know nervousness. Aggression, no matter how stressful a situation may be, is not his thing. He wants to please his master / mistress, so he will diligently carry out every command as best he can. This makes him a contemporary, socially acceptable companion. Balanced and playful, cheerful and fond of children, he sneaks into people’s hearts quite unnoticed and thus becomes a welcome family and companion dog.

Even though he knows how to assert himself and work independently due to his former tasks as a herding dog, nothing is further from his mind than to retreat into the circle of his family in the evening. He is extremely affectionate and people-oriented. The thought alone of keeping him in a kennel would be painful for any owner. He should also not be left alone too often. It does not agree with him. As I said, he wants to please. Therefore, he watches his family as often as he is with them and seems to anticipate all commands.

His great intelligence enables him to learn easily.

The historical background of the Shorthaired Collie

It is well known that the Shorthaired Collie belonged to the working dogs. Many people think that the short coat already puts him in the category of working dogs. At times, short-haired dogs were preferred for the protection of herds. But we know that there are many long-haired breeds among herding dogs.

In contrast to his long-haired brother, he has held this status for a long time. The brother, however, became a fashion dog of fine society and later also of families. Since this happened, the Shorthaired Collie has literally lived in the shadow of the “fine” brother. This is one of the reasons why for so long the Shorthaired Collie was only known in his native country, on Scottish farms. It took a long time for him to come out of obscurity and also find his international place.

Even though the short-haired Collie is much better suited as a family and guard dog, the television series “Lassie” has certainly managed to implant the image of this long-haired Collie in people’s minds even today. The short-haired Collie cannot get past this popularity, so that even today it is not strongly represented in terms of quantity.

The colours of the Shorthaired Collie

The Shorthaired Collie has the great advantage over his long-haired brother of having a short coat. This makes it very easy to groom. A comb or a simple brush is sufficient. Only the time of the coat change needs more attention. During this time it is important to remove the undercoat well. Otherwise it can become matted, which would make the care of the coat very difficult. A de-felting brush is advisable here. The undercoat is very important for the Shorthaired Collie, as it gives him protection from rain, wind and cold during the cold months of the year.

According to the standard, there are three different options for the Shorthaired Collie in terms of colour or colour combinations:

  • Blue-merle: The silvery-grey coat is interspersed with black speckles.
  • Tricolour: In this colour combination we find predominantly black and white coat with tan.
  • Sable-white: Also called sable-white: Here we find a light golden tone, which can change to a dark mahogany tone. The latter is called dark-sable.

It is amazing that most Shorthaired Collies, no matter what colour they wear, have white paws. In addition, white markings are allowed.

What are the requirements of the Shorthaired Collie?

This dog needs space, because its urge to move is quite great. A garden should therefore be available. It is also important that he can “work”, i.e. that he is given a dog sporting task. After all, you can’t really expect him to be able to herd flocks and keep order on farms on a large scale today. Certainly he is still up to this task. However, the Shorthaired Collie is rarely used for this purpose anymore.

When it comes to food, the Shorthaired Collie is a little sensitive. As a young dog, it should not be too much protein to prevent rapid growth. As an old dog, the daily ration should be spread over several meals. In addition, it should be severely restricted when the urge to move decreases.

The Shorthaired Collie should always be kept indoors with the family, as he does not like to be alone. Certainly he defies all weather conditions. But an exclusive outdoor keeping is not intended.

If you ask yourself what motto this dog lives by, you will find that it is quite enough for him to please his master / mistress and to receive his / her praise several times a day. So little can make you so happy.

The Shorthaired Collie and its health

In terms of health, the Shorthaired Collie has a clear advantage over the Longhaired Collie. The latter is overbred in certain points, which has led to health problems. The shorthaired brother has been spared from these. Nevertheless, there are some health problems that need to be mentioned:

  • MDR-1 defect: This is a genetic problem that can appear in all Collie species in the world. It is a hypersensitivity or intolerance to certain medications. As the administration of these drugs could be fatal, it is imperative to have your dog tested for this defect.
  • Dermatomyositis: This is a skin-muscle disease.
  • Collie Eye Anomaly: As the name suggests, this is a disease that only affects Collies.

All these diseases are Collie specific. Thus it is possible for breeders to look for a way to drive the individual components further and further back in breeding, so that fewer and fewer puppies have to live with these diseases.

Advantages and disadvantages of the Shorthaired Collie

We have just heard about the disadvantage of the Shorthaired Collie in the chapter about diseases. Even though today there is already the option to get a shorthaired collie that is already free of one or all hereditary diseases, this process is still in full swing, so that one should specifically ask about this when buying the collie.

The Shorthaired Collie is a wonderful companion who wants to obey every command of his master / mistress at all costs. At the same time, however, he wants to have fun with him. So it is not surprising that this dog is cuddly on the one hand and herds the children like his own puppies.

This dog is also suitable for a beginner, making him a great dog and companion for young families. After all, it is also his love for children that makes him so special as a family dog.

The perfect person for a shorthaired collie

  • has thought carefully about taking in a bright dog with a great urge to move and an equally great need for love
  • is happy to be a novice dog owner
  • is enthusiastic about getting a dog to whom nervousness and aggression are foreign words
  • is aware that this dog will be one of the family centres from now on
  • knows that the dog must get plenty of exercise several times a day
  • is looking forward to spending a lot of time outdoors with this dog, especially at the dog park
  • is proud to have a dog that will be both a playmate and a protector for his children
  • is aware that there are not as many short-haired collies as one might have thought.
  • is an outdoor person, like every owner of a big dog.

Buying the Shorthaired Collie puppies

Buying the Shorthaired Collie puppies
Buying the Shorthaired Collie puppies

It is not easy to find the right breeder when you have decided on this dog breed. The breeding dogs have to please. The way the puppies are prepared for their future life in the first weeks at the breeder is also crucial. If the chemistry on the human side is right, it is of course also important to find out whether the dog can be kept without any problems. No, puppies have an unpleasant way of growing and developing into a stately size. Is there really enough space for this big dog?

And anyway: it is already known that a dog with such a pronounced urge to move really has to go outside every day, in wind and weather, doesn’t it?

What about the financial means? Monthly food and liability insurance costs, possible costs for a vet or veterinary practitioner in case of illness.

Sometimes people don’t really think about the responsibility they take on when they get a dog, and such a big, lively dog at that.

Once all these questions have been clarified, you can finally come to an agreement with the breeder. As soon as the litter is ready for viewing, he will contact you so that you can have a first look at the new family member. Because here, too, the chemistry has to be right. It is almost a guarantee that the reputable breeder will provide the owners of his puppies with all the necessary information and will also assist them in word and deed after the adoption. Of course, it is also important to him that the puppies find the best possible home that is available for them.

First equipment for the shorthaired collie

  • Collar for dogs
  • Harness
  • Leash for the dog, in addition possibly a drag line
  • Water and food bowl, if possible easy to clean
  • Bed for the dog / blanket for the resting place
  • Brush
  • Comb / lice comb
  • Dog food
  • possibly toys
  • possibly treats

Dog food for the short-haired collie

It is important that the short-haired collie is fed a food that is adapted to its living conditions. If he is kept as a family dog and does not really have a lot of physical activity, his food ration and the composition of the food must also be adapted.

However, if you jog with him every day and take him to the dog park, you will find that he will not be sufficiently supplied with the pure maintenance food. It may be advisable to seek advice from a vet or specialist feed shop to help him meet this need.


The Shorthaired Collie is the perfect family dog: easy to handle, learns quickly and easily, is suitable for beginners, loves children and is protective of his family. As a reward, regular praise is enough for him.

It is incomprehensible that he does not dare to come out of the shadow of his long-haired brother. For he definitely does not need to hide.

The Shorthaired Collie is also a great companion dog who will do everything in his power to carry out his master’s / mistress’s commands and behave as perfectly as desired. An all-round fantastic dog that is unfortunately much too little appreciated and respected.


How much does a Shorthair Collie cost?

It is of course assumed that the Shorthair Collie is to be purchased from a registered breeder of the VDH. The serious breeder sets a sign of responsibility towards the breed and its health. Of course, this kind of breeding has its justified price. At present, with litters planned for 2021, the price is around £1,300.
If you are interested in cheaper offers, which may be far below £1,000, you should be aware that these are hobby breeders or offers from so-called puppy mills. Here the health of the breeding animals as well as the puppies is in the background. This is an argument to stay away from such offers.

Where does the Shorthaired Collie come from?

The original home of the Shorthaired Collie can be found in Scotland.

How old does the Shorthaired Collie live?

The Shorthaired Collie is a dog with a fairly long life expectancy of 12 to 15 years.

What is the size and weight of the Shorthaired Collie?

In terms of weight, the information given in the standard and the actual measurements drift apart. While the standard specifies a weight of 29 kilograms for males and 25 kilograms for females, in reality it is usually somewhat different. Most males weigh up to 35 kilograms and females up to 30 kilograms.
With a height at the withers of around 56 to 61 centimetres for males and 51 to 56 centimetres for females, these dogs belong to the large dog breeds.

How many puppies does the Short haired Collie have?

The average litter of the Shorthaired Collie consists of 6 – 8 puppies.

Is the Shorthaired Collie a hunting dog?

The Shorthaired Collie used to be an all-rounder, used for the different tasks on his farm. However, little is known about the fact that he was also used as a hunting dog. This is probably due to his lack of aggression. Perhaps he could certainly master this task with flying colours – but exclusively to please his master / mistress.

Is the Shorthaired Collie a family dog?

If you are looking for the perfect family dog, the Shorthaired Collie is the right choice. He is very affectionate towards people and extremely fond of children. As a herding dog, he is the best and at the same time most loving guardian you could wish for your rascals. Nervousness and aggression are foreign words to him. In addition, it is important for him to follow the instructions of his master / mistress. Disobedience will therefore also not occur.
As a family and companion dog, the Shorthaired Collie is a real treasure

Can the Shorthaired Collie be kept in a (city) flat?

The Shorthaired Collie would do anything to be close to its master / mistress and to please. So he would take it upon himself and cope with the cramped quarters of a flat, as long as it is cut big enough that he doesn’t bump into everything. But let’s be honest: In this case, it should actually be possible to go for a big walk several times a day, and preferably a detour to the dog run/meadow or training ground in addition. Let’s not forget that this dog has a strong urge to move. The hustle and bustle of the city will not cause him any problems as long as he has been well socialised and trained. The Shorthaired Collie is balanced enough to be able to face this challenge.

Nevertheless, keeping him in the city is not what is meant by species-appropriate. Of course, it is better if he can be given a good home in the countryside or in a spacious family home with a garden on the outskirts of town. For him, independent exercise in the garden is simply part of controlling “his territory” and knowing that his family is safe.



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