It is believed that the Smooth Collie was originally bred as a herding and droving dog, in particular for taking sheep, geese and cattle to market. In order to do this, they had to have intelligence and great stamina, being capable of covering many miles in a day for many days at a time. They are thought to originate in the Scottish Borders and North East England and are essentially the same breed as the Rough Collie (which developed a longer coat to protect it in the Scottish Highlands), they have not been allowed to interbreed in the UK since 1994, though Rough Collies born from Smooth Collie parents can now be registered as Rough Collies.
An extremely versatile breed, the modern Smooth Collie can be found competing in agility, rally-obedience, flyball and heelwork to music. Their willingness to learn and the bonds they form with people is also apparent in the work some Smooth Collies carry out as Pets As Therapy Dogs, Medical Detection Dogs, assistance dogs and in Search and Rescue.