Jump to content
BC Boards

Smooth vs. Rough coat?

Recommended Posts

I'm just wondering what everyone's general opinions are on the smooth border collie vs. the rough border collie.


Too many people have told me that my dog is in fact not actually a Border Collie. It gets a bit frustrating that people believe they can only have one coat type.

I've also been told by numerous people that they'd never purchase a BC puppy with short hair, because then it clearly wasn't a purebred.


Does anyone else get these things said about their smooth coat?




For those of you who have kept up with this topic:

I am sorry for asking what seemed to be an uneducated question. I assure you I do know that border collies have different coat lengths, and this was not me questioning them or anything of the sort. I also know that border collies looks have nothing to do with their ability to work, it was not a question of which coat length can work better, it was a question of simply which one you prefer the care/looks of.


I also apologize for editing the OP so much, it will remain the same from now on to avoid confusion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 125
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Specifically when it comes to smooth coats, yes there are smooth coated border collies, probably the best place to send anyone that does not believe it is here http://www.bordercolliemuseum.org/BCLooks/CoatType/CoatType.html



There are way more important considerations when selecting breeding pairs then coat type and who is willing to purchase based on coat type. I would suggest reading and researching more about the breed, purpose and what makes a dog worthy of breeding. Coat doesn't have much to do with working ability, aside from when the coats get so heavy and dense that they interfere with the dogs ability to carry out their jobs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Everyone has a different opinion....


I love smoothies because they're so much easier to keep clean. My rough coated dog is a gorgeous burr magnet.


Oddly enough, most people have either guessed that my smoothies were BCs or taken my word for it. My current one is pretty traditionally marked so that helps. But even with my split faced tri I never really got a lot of comments. Basically a "what type of dog is that?" followed by "Oh - I didn't know they came like that"

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I have actually referred people to that link before, sadly some of them think it's a kind of hoax.


It makes me sad that people pick up this breed based solely on looks.

I myself am a breeder, and I breed for working ability.

My dogs coat length (being a smooth coat) has definitely not made her worse at what she does.



Yeah, they definitely are easier to clean up. Mine is traditionally marked too, so I'd think that was a giveaway, but I guess not haha.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You are going to get people questioning the parentage of your border collie if it is not a rough coated, prick eared, classically marked dog with the right amount of white and blue eyes.


People tend to think my BC is a lab mix. She may or may not be purebred, but she sure as heck is absolutely 3/4 BC and I think all BC at this point (dad was either PB or half ACD - Having seen pictures of the BC museum I think he was just a ticked, smooth coat BC).

I don't deal with it from strangers anymore. She's a smooth coated, lanky, wonky eared, not-quite- enough white (according to them) dog. They ask me what she is, I misunderstand and tell them her name. They ask seriously/know me/I will interact with them frequently I will bother to educate them. If they argue with me about that education, I shrug, leave them with some google search terms and MOVE ON.


Life's too short.

(Though I admit I've been tempted to take pictures of her crouching, staring, and stalking to ask if they know lots of labs who do that. Or 30lb labs, for that matter).

As for preferences, my original preference was for a 'classic' BC - rough coat, prick ears, etc. At this point I find some dogs prettier than others, but mostly just don't care.


And the ease of care with a short coat dog makes me happy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No, I don't get that said about mine.


I have had people double check about the pup which is at the weird skinny dog on stilts stage and I quite understand why one person asked if he was a lurcher a few weeks ago. Mostly people ask "Is he a sheepdog / collie?" They don't tell me he isn't. Even a kid of about 8 got it right.


I don't expect the doubt to continue once he is grown up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This takes me back to when we have heelers, I recall being insistent that any dog with a Bentley mark splash on their forehead had to be ACD or crossed with ACD. I insisted because that is what I had been told and I believed the people who told me that, they were the experts for pete sake (akc people at the time). A number of years later we found ourselves working with border collies, there are quite a few border collies that have that type of marking on their forehead, and they are registered dogs, solid lines and their work clearly indicated that they were bone fide border collies.


Anyway, in many cases people hold on tight to what they believe is true and unless they want to know the truth and understand why it is true they will continue to insist that they are right. Can't do much about it. All you can do is stay true to yourself and focus on what is important to you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I suspect the doubt/questioning comes from two sources:


People who don't know BC at all/have exposure to many at all


People who are willing to engage strangers/near strangers in extended conversations.


Admittedly, not a single agility person has questioned the parentage of my dog. And by that I mean people who are in agility for more than a foundations class or so. MOST people who remark will still say 'Oh! I didn't know they could have short hair'. I do still run into the occasional patronizing creep who is very opinionated, very sure they are right, and also very ignorant.

And in fairness if they weren't being jerks about my dog's supposed breed, they would be remarking and arguing with me about something else. Like the people who insist I'm crocheting when I'm holding knitting needles, or vice versa. Like... maybe, maybe I got the breed of my dog wrong/am lying for status/being scammed. But how can I not know what craft I'm engaged in and what would the point in lying about it be?

People just get... stubborn about what they think they know.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I completely agree with life being too short to argue about the breed of my dog.

One person insisted on telling me she wasn't a true BC, I referred her to that coat type link, and she told me I probably designed that to try to prove a point. I ended up just agreeing with her, as long as I know she's a BC I figured there's no point.

It's just interesting to me that someone will fight that your dog isn't purebred even with the registration papers in hand.


I also used to prefer the traditional rough look, but now I find my girl so adorable that it's hard to have a preference.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you. Why Bentley?

Can’t vouch for the site, but it says this:


One dog of the pure Hall strain became well known as being beautifully built and an incredible worker was owned by Tom Bentley. Known only by the name of "Bentley's Dog," he was used widely used as a stud to retain the outstanding qualities he possessed. It is said then that the white blaze on the forehead of all Australian Cattle Dogs is the "Bentley Mark" and can be attributed to Tom Bentley's dog.


From: http://thinkytees.com/CattleDogHistory.html

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...