Standard of Breed

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Standard of Breed

Post  Olivia on Wed Jun 18, 2008 4:14 pm



General Appearance
Appears as dog of great beauty, standing with impassive dignity, with no part out of proportion to whole.

Characteristics
Physical structure on lines of strength and activity, free from cloddiness and with no trace of coarseness. Expression most important. In considering relative values it is obtained by perfect balance and combination of skull and foreface, size, shape, colour and placement of eyes, correct position and carriage of ears.

Temperament
Friendly disposition with no trace of nervousness or aggressiveness. A great companion dog, friendly, happy and active, good with children and other dogs.

Head and Skull
Head properties of great importance, must be considered in proportion to size of dog. Viewed from front or side, head resembles a well-blunted clean wedge, being smooth in outline. Skull flat. Sides taper gradually and smoothly from ears to end of black nose, without prominent cheek bones or pinched muzzle. Viewed in profile, top of skull and top of muzzle lie in two parallel straight lines of equal length divided by a slight, but perceptible stop or break. A mid-point between inside corner of eyes (which is centre of a correctly placed stop) is centre of balance in length of head. End of smooth, well rounded muzzle blunt, never square. Under jaw strong, clean cut. Depth of skull from brow to underpart of jaw never excessive (deep through). Nose always black.

Eyes
Very important feature giving sweet expression. Medium size (never very small) set somewhat obliquely, of almond-shape and dark brown colour, except in the case of blue merles when eyes are frequently (one or both, or part of one or both) blue or blue-flecked. Expression full of intelligence, with quick, alert look when listening.

Ears
Small, not too close together on top of skull, nor too far apart. In repose carried thrown back, but on alert brought forward and carried semi-erect, that is, with approximately two-thirds of ear standing erect, top third tipping forward naturally, below horizontal.

Mouth
Teeth of good size. Jaws strong with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.

Neck
Muscular, powerful, of fair length, well arched.

Forequarters
Shoulders sloping and well angulated. Forelegs straight and muscular, neither in nor out at elbows, with moderate amount of round bone.

Body
Slightly long compared with height, back firm with a slight rise over loins; ribs well sprung, chest deep, fairly broad behind shoulders.

Hindquarters
Hindlegs muscular at thighs, clean and sinewy below, with well bent stifles. Hocks well let down and powerful.

Feet
Oval; soles well padded. Toes arched and close together. Hind feet slightly less arched.

Tail
Long with bone reaching at least to hock joint. Carried low when quiet but with slight upward swirl at tip. May be carried gaily when excited, but never over back.

Gait/Movement
Distinctly characteristic in this breed. A sound dog is never out at the elbow, yet moves with front feet comparatively close together. Plaiting, crossing or rolling are highly undesirable. Hindlegs from hock joint to ground when viewed from rear to be parallel but not too close; when viewed from side, action is smooth. Hindlegs powerful with plenty of drive. A reasonably long stride is desirable and should be light and appear effortless.

Coat
Fits outline of body, very dense. Outer coat straight and harsh to touch, undercoat soft, furry and very close almost hiding the skin; mane and frill very abundant, mask and face smooth, ears smooth at tips, but carrying more hair towards base, front legs well feathered, hindlegs above hocks profusely feathered, but smooth below hock joint. Hair on tail very profuse.

Colour
Sable, Sable and white, Tricolour and Blue Merle.
Sable: any shade of light gold to rich mahogany or shaded sable. Light straw or cream coloured highly undesirable.
Tricolour: predominantly black with rich tan markings about legs and head. A rusty tinge in top coat highly undesirable.
Blue Merle: predominantly clear, silvery blue, splashed and marbled with black. Rich tan markings preferred, but absence should not be penalised. Large black markings, slate colour, or rusty tinge either of top or undercoat are highly undesirable.
All should carry typical white Collie markings to a greater or lesser degree. Following markings are favourable white collar, full or part, white shirt, legs and feet, white tail tip. A blaze may be carried on muzzle or skull, or both.

Size
Height: dogs: 56-61 cms (22-24 ins) at shoulder; bitches: 51-56 cms (20-22 ins).

Faults
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.

Note
Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
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AKC Collie (rough and smooth) Breed Standard

Post  Spiritwind82 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 1:23 am

I thought it would also be of interest to post the breed standard for Collies in America.... the Canadian standard is the same, except they actually list Sable Merles as an acceptable color... sable merles are not mentions in the AKC standard, but there have been many nice sable merle champions finished in the US!..






General Character

The Collie is a lithe, strong, responsive, active dog, carrying no useless timber, standing naturally straight and firm. The deep, moderately wide chest shows strength, the sloping shoulders and well-bent hocks indicate speed and grace, and the face shows high intelligence. The Collie presents an impressive, proud picture of true balance, each part being in harmonious proportion to every other part and to the whole. Except for the technical description that is essential to this Standard and without which no Standard for the guidance of breeders and judges is adequate, it could be stated simply that no part of the Collie ever seems to be out of proportion to any other part. Timidity, frailness, sullenness, viciousness, lack of animation, cumbersome appearance and lack of over-all balance impair the general character.

Head
The head properties are of great importance. When considered in proportion to the size of the dog the head is inclined to lightness and never appears massive. A heavy-headed dog lacks the necessary bright, alert, full-of-sense look that contributes so greatly to expression. Both in front and profile view the head bears a general resemblance to a well-blunted lean wedge, being smooth and clean in outline and nicely balanced in proportion. On the sides it tapers gradually and smoothly from the ears to the end of the black nose, without being flared out in backskull (cheeky) or pinched in muzzle (snipy). In profile view the top of the backskull and the top of the muzzle lie in two approximately parallel, straight planes of equal length, divided by a very slight but perceptible stop or break. A mid-point between the inside corners of the eyes (which is the center of a correctly placed stop) is the center of balance in length of head.

The end of the smooth, well-rounded muzzle is blunt but not square. The underjaw is strong, clean-cut and the depth of skull from the brow to the under part of the jaw is not excessive. The teeth are of good size, meeting in a scissors bite. Overshot or undershot jaws are undesirable, the latter being more severely penalized. There is a very slight prominence of the eyebrows. The backskull is flat, without receding either laterally or backward and the occipital bone is not highly peaked. The proper width of backskull necessarily depends upon the combined length of skull and muzzle and the width of the backskull is less than its length. Thus the correct width varies with the individual and is dependent upon the extent to which it is supported by length of muzzle. Because of the importance of the head characteristics, prominent head faults are very severely penalized.

Eyes
Because of the combination of the flat skull, the arched eyebrows, the slight stop and the rounded muzzle, the foreface must be chiseled to form a receptacle for the eyes and they are necessarily placed obliquely to give them the required forward outlook. Except for the blue merles, they are required to be matched in color. They are almond-shaped, of medium size and never properly appear to be large or prominent. The color is dark and the eye does not show a yellow ring or a sufficiently prominent haw to affect the dog's expression. The eyes have a clear, bright appearance, expressing intelligent inquisitiveness, particularly when the ears are drawn up and the dog is on the alert. In blue merles, dark brown eyes are preferable, but either or both eyes may be merle or china in color without specific penalty. A large, round, full eye seriously detracts from the desired sweet expression. Eye faults are heavily penalized.

Ears
The ears are in proportion to the size of the head and, if they are carried properly and unquestionably break naturally, are seldom too small. Large ears usually cannot be lifted correctly off the head, and even if lifted, they will be out of proportion to the size of the head. When in repose the ears are folded lengthwise and thrown back into the frill. On the alert they are drawn well up on the backskull and are carried about three-quarters erect, with about one-fourth of the ear tipping or breaking forward. A dog with prick ears or low ears cannot show true expression and is penalized accordingly.

Neck
The neck is firm, clean, muscular, sinewy and heavily frilled. It is fairly long, carried upright with a slight arch at the nape and imparts a proud, upstanding appearance showing off the frill.

Body
The body is firm, hard and muscular, a trifle long in proportion to the height. The ribs are well-rounded behind the well-sloped shoulders and the chest is deep, extending to the elbows. The back is strong and level, supported by powerful hips and thighs and the croup is sloped to give a well-rounded finish. The loin is powerful and slightly arched. Noticeably fat dogs, or dogs in poor flesh, or with skin disease, or with no undercoat are out of condition and are moderately penalized accordingly.

Legs
The forelegs are straight and muscular, with a fair amount of bone considering the size of the dog. A cumbersome appearance is undesirable. Both narrow and wide placement are penalized. The forearm is moderately fleshy and the pasterns are flexible but without weakness. The hind legs are less fleshy, muscular at the thighs, very sinewy and the hocks and stifles are well bent. A cowhocked dog or a dog with straight stifles is penalized. The comparatively small feet are approximately oval in shape. The soles are well padded and tough, and the toes are well arched and close together. When the Collie is not in motion the legs and feet are judged by allowing the dog to come to a natural stop in a standing position so that both the forelegs and the hind legs are placed well apart, with the feet extending straight forward. Excessive "posing"is undesirable.

Gait
Gait is sound. When the dog is moved at a slow trot toward an observer its straight front legs track comparatively close together at the ground. The front legs are not out at the elbows, do not "crossover," nor does the dog move with a choppy, pacing or rolling gait. When viewed from the rear the hind legs are straight, tracking comparatively close together at the ground. At a moderate trot the hind legs are powerful and propelling. Viewed from the side the reasonably long, "reaching" stride is smooth and even, keeping the back line firm and level.

As the speed of the gait is increased the Collie single tracks, bringing the front legs inward in a straight line from the shoulder toward the center line of the body and the hind legs inward in a straight line from the hip toward the center line of the body. The gait suggests effortless speed combined with the dog's herding heritage, requiring it to be capable of changing its direction of travel almost instantaneously.

Tail
The tail is moderately long, the bone reaching to the hock joint or below. It is carried low when the dog is quiet, the end having an upward twist or swirl. When gaited or when the dog is excited it is carried gaily but not over the back.

Coat
The well-fitting, proper-textured coat is the crowning glory of the rough variety of Collie. It is abundant except on the head and legs. The outer coat is straight and harsh to the touch. A soft, open outer coat or a curly outer coat, regardless of quantity is penalized. The undercoat, however, is soft, furry and so close together that it is difficult to see the skin when the hair is parted. The coat is very abundant on the mane and frill. The face or mask is smooth. The forelegs are smooth and well feathered to the back of the pasterns. The hind legs are smooth below the hock joints. Any feathering below the hocks is removed for the show ring. The hair on the tail is very profuse and on the hips it is long and bushy. The texture, quantity and the extent to which the coat "fits the dog" are important points.

Color
The four recognized colors are "Sable and White," "Tri-color," "Blue Merle" and "White." There is no preference among them. The "Sable and White" is predominantly sable (a fawn sable color of varying shades from light gold to dark mahogany) with white markings usually on the chest, neck, legs, feet and the tip of the tail. A blaze may appear on the foreface or backskull or both. The "Tri-color" is predominantly black, carrying white markings as in a "Sable and White" and has tan shadings on and about the head and legs. The "Blue Merle" is a mottled or "marbled" color predominantly blue-grey and black with white markings as in the "Sable and White" and usually has tan shadings as in the "Tri-color." The "White" is predominantly white, preferably with sable, tri-color or blue merle markings.

Size
Dogs are from 24 to 26 inches at the shoulder and weigh from 60 to 75 pounds. Bitches are from 22 to 24 inches at the shoulder, weighing from 50 to 65 pounds. An undersize or an oversize Collie is penalized according to the extent to which the dog appears to be undersize or oversize.

Expression
Expression is one of the most important points in considering the relative value of Collies. Expression, like the term character is difficult to define in words. It is not a fixed point as in color, weight or height and it is something the uninitiated can properly understand only by optical illustration. In general, however, it may be said to be the combined product of the shape and balance of the skull and muzzle, the placement, size, shape and color of the eye and the position, size and carriage of the ears. An expression that shows sullenness or which is suggestive of any other breed is entirely foreign. The Collie cannot be judged properly until its expression has been carefully evaluated.

Smooth

The Smooth Variety of Collie is judged by the same Standard as the Rough Variety, except that the references to the quantity and distribution of the coat are not applicable to the Smooth Variety, which has a short, hard, dense, flat coat of good texture, with an abundance of undercoat.

Approved May 10, 1977
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Re: Standard of Breed

Post  Evenstar on Thu Jun 19, 2008 8:12 am

I really loved the american standard, it can be also used to a european collie except some specific features.
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Re: Standard of Breed

Post  Spiritwind82 on Thu Jun 19, 2008 5:49 pm

Evenstar wrote:I really loved the american standard, it can be also used to a european collie except some specific features.

I agree! Actually when you compare the two standards there isn't a huge amount of difference between them... yes some of the wording is different, and there are a couple different things (ie. the size standard) but for the most part it says the samething, they aren't two totally different standards..
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Re: Standard of Breed

Post  moka on Sun Jun 22, 2008 12:12 am

Nevertheless, the dogs DO look different. It is a situations encountered to many breeds, not just the collie
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Re: Standard of Breed

Post  Spiritwind82 on Sun Jun 22, 2008 1:46 am

moka wrote:Nevertheless, the dogs DO look different. It is a situations encountered to many breeds, not just the collie

Yes they do look different, and I am well aware that a lot of breeds are like this, not just collies.... but like Evenstar said you can still use the the American Standard for the European dog...... and you could also use the FCI standard for American dogs... as the two standards don't have a lot of huge differences.... the differences between any breed of dog, even dogs within the same country are because different people interpret the standards differently.... which is why you get different looks in different families of dogs.... even if they are all English bred, or American Bred or Russian bred.... whatever... doesn't matter..
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Re: Standard of Breed

Post  brian on Tue Jun 23, 2009 8:57 pm

Hi
Interesting topic.
I would be very carefull when forming impressions of dogs from pictures both old and new. Already many dogs whose publicity on the internet is impressive. have been found wanting in real life.
Old photos did not have the benefit of todays technology. Also hearsay and rumours can cloud impressions and judgements.
What happens with a breed does not always depend on the judges, some breeders have their own ideas and stay with them.
Interesting the remark about the American standard altering the look of other breeds.
Why do the Americans feel it is necessary to alter from the standard of the origin.
Could it be that they could not breed to the original standard or was it their desire to breed to what their judges wanted.
Shetland Sheepdogs is a good example.
On the otherside maybe if you decide to mix both American and European collies you will get the ideal.
The question is what is the ideal, and if you get it will it breed itself or some of both.
Also which are we going to blame if a hereditary fault occurs within the first 3 generations.
I wish whoever embarks on this the best of luck.
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Re: Standard of Breed

Post  Spiritwind82 on Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:30 pm

brian wrote:
Interesting the remark about the American standard altering the look of other breeds.
Why do the Americans feel it is necessary to alter from the standard of the origin.
Could it be that they could not breed to the original standard or was it their desire to breed to what their judges wanted

That's an interesting statement seeing that the AKC Rough and Smooth Collie standard hasn't been changed since May 10, 1977. The FCI Rough standard was last changed/updated January 2009. The FCI Smooth standard was last updated/changed September 2000. It doesn't appear the American standard has been changed in over 30 yrs, apparently that cannot be said true for the FCI standards.

Besides the differences between the two standards really aren't THAT much different, aside from height/weight.

If you ask me, based on old historic photos and film clips I've seen, as well as photos in old collie books and magazines... the European rough collie in the mid 1900's (1940-1970's) looked more like todays American Rough than the current European Roughs.

brian wrote:Shetland Sheepdogs is a good example.

How is the sheltie a good example???


brian wrote:On the otherside maybe if you decide to mix both American and European collies you will get the ideal.
The question is what is the ideal, and if you get it will it breed itself or some of both.
Also which are we going to blame if a hereditary fault occurs within the first 3 generations.
I wish whoever embarks on this the best of luck.

Why does everyone always want to blame something on someone?? Unless you have several generations of DNA testing to know whats behind the dogs, regardless of what MIGHT happen, you cannot blame one side over the other. Recessive genes can be carried for generations and generations without popping up. And if something does pop up, people are always in a rush to blame it on one side or the other.
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Re: Standard of Breed

Post  Olivia on Mon Jun 29, 2009 12:08 am

Brian, that's a lovely dog in your avatar, is it Conquistador by any means? Very Happy
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Re: Standard of Breed

Post  brian on Mon Jun 29, 2009 3:22 pm

Hi
Yes you are right. Heis just 2 yrs old now
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Re: Standard of Breed

Post  Olivia on Mon Jun 29, 2009 11:29 pm

Thank you for your reply and a BIG WELCOME on this little forum. It's an honour to have you here! sunny
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Re: Standard of Breed

Post  brian on Thu Jul 02, 2009 12:55 am

Thanks nice to be on here, i was interested in peoples thoughts on where we are heading with the breed. You know many of the concerns and discussions are no different than in the 70s when i started.
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Re: Standard of Breed

Post  Olivia on Thu Jul 02, 2009 1:05 am

Well, thank you for your interest and honestly, I'd love to hear more of your opinion concerning the direction the nowaday Collie is heading to, personal prefferences and also some positive and negative influences of the actual Collie in the whole history of the breed.... It would really be interesting to hear that from a person that has got the chance of breeding Collies for so many years and also still be involved in the present day...
Personally, I'd like to obtain the perfect mixture of the "old type of Collie" (if there is any) and the "modern one". I'd love to say more but I think I'll try this tomorrow at a more normal hour Very Happy (it is 2 o'clock in the morning here and my mind is already playing with me).
Thank you again for spending your time here and I do look forward to hearing more...
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