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How To Help Your Smooth Collie Overcome Stress

The Smooth Collie stands from 20 to 24 inches and weighs 40 to 66 lbs. It is the short coat version of the Collie known by Lassie fame. They were herding dogs that came from Scotland. The Smooth Collie is very fond of children and makes a fantastic family dog. The Smooth Collie learns well with gentle training. The Smooth Collie is loyal, intelligent, and has a sterling character. The Smooth Collie tends to retain more of its herding dog traits than the Rough Collie. Due to this, it needs more exercise and mental stimulation to stay healthy. 

The Smooth Collie is a sweet, gentle animal. However, they can be prone to be timid without proper socialization. The Smooth Collie is also known to bark excessively if they are left alone often and may suffer from separation anxiety. 

History

The Smooth Collie is native to Scotland, as mentioned previously. They came from the Highland regions of the area. They were called different names, such as Coaly, Coally, Colley, and Collis. It is believed that they were black at the time hence the name. They looked similar to today's Border Collies. They were not bred for looks but simply their ability to herd. Stone Age Nomads brought the dogs to England in its Southern regions. Collies were used to herd pigs, goats, cattle, and sheep. It is thought that the Smooth Collies' ancestors traveled to the British Isles some 2000 years ago by the Romans. 

In 1860, Queen Victoria brought Smooth Collies back from her Scotland Estate to England. She loved them. This made Collies popular in Europe. That same year the dogs were shown under the name Scotch Sheep Dogs. In 1879 the first Collie came to the US. In 1886 the Collie Club of America was founded, making it one of the oldest dog clubs.

Care

The Smooth Collie can live in the city or the country. They do need moderate exercise by getting a walk every day. They would benefit from having a yard as well and may not be suitable for apartment living. They do tend to bark a lot and may suffer from separation anxiety if left alone. While this is annoying, it was how the breed notified the shepherd wolves were in the area and is instinctual to them when they are upset. A quiet command should be a part of Smooth Collies training. They should be included in as many family activities as possible to not be left alone.

Feeding

A Smooth Collie should get 2 to 3 cups of good quality dog food each day in two meals. It may vary depending on your dog's size and level of energy. A high-energy dog may need to eat more than a lazy dog. You'll want to make sure you buy the best dog food you can for your dog. It will go further in feeding them fuel. You can discuss this with your vet to determine what brand is best for you.

Can Smooth Collies Suffer From Stress? 

Just like humans, Smooth Collies can suffer from stress. This is more likely to happen if the Collies were subjected to abuse and cruel acts or if they spent time in a shelter. It is not clear why this happens to shelter pets, but it is thought that their separation from someone they cared for causes them anxiety. However, Smooth Collies of any background can suffer from stress. They are known to suffer from separation anxiety if left alone a lot and may bark excessively due to this. Don't worry, though; there are signs to watch for and things you can do if your dog is suffering from stress. You'll need to do things like pay attention to their body language to determine this. 

What is the difference between Fear and Anxiety in Smooth Collies?

Fear aggression occurs in Smooth Collies due to situations that make them afraid. Almost all aggression is due to fear. Fear is a response to stimuli that is a threat. Anxiety is a response to an anticipated threat. A phobia is an exaggerated fear response that leads to panic. Certainly, you wouldn't want your Smooth Collie to experience fear or anxiety. When stress is affecting your dog, there are signs you can watch for and things you can do. You'll have to pay attention to your pet's behaviors to see if they are suffering from stress and then check the list of solutions we provide. 

Separation Anxiety in Smooth Collies

Separation anxiety is common in Smooth Collies. This occurs when the Smooth Collie is left alone at home due to work, school, or other commitments. This can result in destructive behavior. The Smooth Collie may bark, pace, or defecate in the house. When the dogs are confined, they can destroy kennels, walls, and doors trying to get to their owners. The destruction typically takes place in the first half-hour the dog is alone. Not only is this traumatic for the dog, but it can also be frustrating and expensive for the owner. There are things you can do if your Smooth Collie has separation anxiety. You'll need to pay attention to destructive behavior and nip it in the bud when it occurs. 

Causes of Stress in Smooth Collies

Some things cause stress in Smooth Collies. Here are a few. 

Not Getting Enough Attention

Smooth Collies can be needy when it comes to attention. Your dog should be involved in family activities as much as possible. Not getting enough attention can cause stress in Smooth Collies. You wouldn't want your dog to feel lonely and neglected, so include them when you can. 

Being Left Alone

Being left alone can cause stress in Smooth Collies. They are prone to separation anxiety, and this can cause destructive behavior. It is an expensive problem and troubling for your dog. You'll want to do everything you can so your dog isn't stressed, so try to spend time with them. 

Inconsistency

You need to remain consistent with your Smooth Collie. They should have a routine, including when they sleep, eat, and go on walks. You wouldn't want to stress out your dog simply because you couldn't keep a schedule. That wouldn't be fair to your dog. It could cause your Smooth Collie a good deal of stress if you don't.

Confusing Commands

You need to use consistent, clear commands when speaking to your Smooth Collie. Mix-ups with things like "Give that here" and "Drop it" can confuse your dog because they mean the same thing but are said differently. Furthermore, if you say, "Down," for them to lie down, and "Get down," for them to get off the couch, that can also confuse them because they are similar phrases that mean very different things. You should keep in mind that your Smooth Collie doesn't possess the same grasp of the English language as you do. As such, keep things clear. 

Staring Directly at Your Dog

You'll be looking at your Smooth Collie often simply because they are a member of the family. They are gorgeous animals as well and pleasing to look at. However, you should never stare at your dog. This is seen as aggressive behavior in canines. Instead, look at them from the side. This will relax them and be less likely to stress them out. You wouldn't want to stress your dog out simply by looking at it. That would be unfair. 

Unnecessary Punishment

There are some things that you might think to punish your Smooth Collie for that you shouldn't. Some behaviors are just your Smooth Collie being a dog. This would include rolling in something smelly or stealing your dinner off the counter. Instead, practice situation avoidance and don't let your dog run loose or leave food on the counter. This way you can avoid stressing out your Smooth Collie. You wouldn't want to punish them for simply being a dog. 

Telling Your Dog "It's okay."

In some situations, you might think it best to comfort your dog and tell them, "It's alright." This could include when your Smooth Collie goes to the veterinarian or if there's a storm outside. However, don't do this. Your Smooth Collie might associate those words with extreme fear. Give them treats instead. You shouldn't stress your dog out further simply by trying to comfort it. 

Signs Your Smooth Collie is Suffering From Stress

There are signs your Smooth Collie is suffering from stress. Here are a few. 

Elimination

This would include if your Smooth Collie has urination or bowel movements in the house. This is a frustrating symptom and can signal your dog is suffering from stress. Don't punish them for this as it's not their fault. 

Destruction

Anxiety can cause destructive behaviors such as tearing up the floor and damaging doors and walls. Your dog probably has separation anxiety and is trying to get to you. This can be frustrating and very expensive, but your dog is upset and trying to reach you. 

Excessive Vocalization

This is very common in Smooth Collies with separation anxiety. Barking was how Smooth Collies would let shepherds know wolves were coming. Today it is a frustrated Smooth Collie that is spending too much time alone. Listen to what your dog is telling you. 

Panting

Panting may not always be a signal of stress, but it can be. It will be up to you to be aware of when your dog is panting excessively and noting what is going on at that time. This way you will know if your dog is panting due to stress. 

Pacing

Pacing at mealtime may not be a big deal but if a Smooth Collie paces often it may be stressed out. You'll have to pay attention to your dog's body language. You'll have to determine if this is a stress response. 

Growling

Your Smooth Collie may growl if someone is too close to it, they are eating, or they are in pain. If your Smooth Collie is growling, give them the space they need. Do not punish for growling as that may lead to a bite in the future. 

Body Language

There are a lot of body language traits that can show stress in dogs. These include ears pinned back and tucked tails. You'll need to learn your Smooth Collie's body language so you can interpret when they are stressed out. 

Freezing

Freezing is something you must pay attention to. It shows your dog has shut down due to stressful stimuli. The best thing to do is remove the dog from the stressor or it may bite. 

What We Know About Managing Stress in Humans

You might not know that in humans, as well as Smooth Collies, not all stress is bad. Stress can be a way for nature to keep you safe in dangerous situations. We know that getting enough sleep, enough exercise, and eating well can help treat stress in humans. But did you know you can also take vitamins and supplements if you are stressed? One such supplement is L-Theanine which is an amino acid that is found in tea leaves. You can also get your Smooth Collie L-Theanine with treats. They are called Calming Zen Chews by Calming Dog. They contain Chamomile, L-Theanine, and L-Tryptophan. You might also be interested in the Calming Cuddle Bed and Calming Spray.  

Other Treatments for Stress in Smooth Collies

There are things you can do if your Smooth Collie is suffering from stress. Here are a few. 

Daycare

If your dog is very stressed, you may need to provide daycare while you are away to prevent injury. This would be an extreme case of stress, but you might find it helpful to keep your dog occupied and from hurting itself or damaging your house. 

Control Your Behavior

If your house is loud and chaotic, this can be bad for your Smooth Collie. They can become timid and afraid and suffer from stress. Do your best to remain calm in the household and don't yell at family members or your dog. 

Work WIth a Trainer

You may find that your Smooth Collie needs more training than you can give on your own. If that is the case, you may wish to hire one. However, make sure you do your research and know beforehand that the trainer can work with a stressed dog. You wouldn't want to hire just anyone. 

Learn Body Language 

Your dog might have body language traits that show it is suffering from stress. These can be anything from pinned back ears to a tucked tail. You'll want to learn what your Smooth Collie is telling you with these behaviors. 

Socialization

You want to have a well-rounded, friendly pup. This can be achieved with socialization. You'll want to introduce your dog to new people, places, and things. This will help make sure they react well to stimuli in the future. 

Obedience

It is much easier to socialize an obedient dog. You'll want to make sure your dog listens to you and knows commands. You may need to work with a trainer if you don't know how to train your dog, or you could do some research. 

Exercise

Smooth Collies are herding dogs, so they need lots of exercise to stay healthy. A healthy dog is less likely to suffer from stress. 

Nutrition

In keeping your Smooth Collie healthy, you'll want to focus on nutrition as well. You'll want to feed the best high-quality dog food that you can afford. You'll want to discuss this with your veterinarian. 

Situation Avoidance

While you won't want to change your whole life, there are things you'll want to avoid that stress out your Collie. This might mean not taking them to the dog park if they fear other dogs. Small changes like this can be important for your dog's health. 

Crate Training

Crates can be a dog's safe zone. You'll have to be careful, though, because for some Smooth Collies, crate training stresses them out rather than calms them. You'll have to watch your dog's body language to see if they are stressed in their crate. If so, you can use a baby gate instead. 

Giving Your Dog Jobs

It's important to keep your dog mentally stimulated. You'll want to give them food puzzle toys and take them on new hikes. Give your dog jobs and challenge them as often as you can. 

Conclusion

Smooth Collies have an interesting past and they make a great family dog today. They are sweet-natured and loving. However, this can mean without proper socialization, they can become timid and fearful. You wouldn't want your Smooth Collie to suffer from stress. However, there are signs to watch for like excessive barking and things you can do like hire a trainer. If you show your Smooth Collie love, you'll be rewarded with a sweet, loyal pet for years to come.