Collie Varieties

Collies come in 2 varieties, smooth and rough.

A “rough coated” collie has a dense under coat that acts as insulation in both summer and winter with a harsh, outer coat of longer, draping hair.  The hair is shorter on the legs and face. In correct texture, the outer coat will feel somewhat rough to the touch, and will repel dirt and mud naturally.

A smooth collie can be thought of as the more familiar “rough” without the heavy coat, often referred to a “wash and wear” collie.  Smooth collies have a coat type more like that of a Labrador retriever, thick and dense but short in overall length.

Both varieties do shed their coats seasonally.

Collie Colors

Smooth and Rough Collies come in 4 recognized coat colors: sable, tri color, blue merle and white. 

A sable, tri color or blue merle collie will all have some measure of white, usually on the neck, chest, legs and tail tip, ranging from very little to a full white collar, white body spots and even a white patch on the face. 

Sable collies have shades of brown ranging from a rich orange hue to a dark mahogany accented by some black fringing running through the brown. 

Tri color collies are primarily black in color with brown on their legs and face.  

Blue merle collies can be anywhere from a light silvery color to a blue - grey and will include black body spots that range from very little to quite large patches.  They have brown on their faces and legs in a similar pattern to the tri colors. 

White collies have a body color that is primarily to completely white with the head color of either a sable, tri or blue merle.  They can also have body spots of color that correspond to the color pattern of their head.  White collies are not to be confused with a “double dilute” which has had both the color genes diluted and will usually have an appearance similar to that of an albino where there is little or no color on the collie at all.

Sable Collie

Stormy, Adopted 2013

Tri-Color Collie

Scotty, Adopted 2012


Blue Merle Collie

Zach, Adopted 2012

White Collie

Wynter, Adopted 2013


Grooming and maintaining the smooth coat is undeniably easier, as they do not have the length of coat that requires more time with a brush.  A rough coated collie can be kept in good shape with 30 minutes of grooming (with the proper tools) two to three times a week.  For both a smooth and a rough collie, an excellent pin brush and a good “soft” slicker brush are a must for keeping the dogs in proper condition.   Whether smooth or rough, brushing is a nice way to keep the coat and skin of your dog in top condition and can be an excellent bonding experience for both of you.

Collies should have their teeth cleaned and their nails trimmed regularly for optimum health as well.  Depending on your comfort level with these tasks you may seek the help of your veterinarian for this.

For more information please call us at 1-800-296-3265 or email us a