To enable the Collie to fulfill a natural bent for
Sheepdog work; its physical structure should be on lines of strength
and activity, free from cloddiness and without any trace of
coarseness. Expression, one of the most important points in
considering relative values, is obtained by the perfect balance and
combination of skull and foreface; size, shape, colour and placement
of eye, correct position and carriage of ears.
The Collie should instantly appeal as a dog of
great beauty, standing with impassive dignity, with no part out of
proportion to the whole.
Head & skull
The head properties are of great importance and
must be considered in proportion to the size of the dog. When viewed
from both front and profile the head bears a general resemblance to
a well-blunted, clean wedge, being smooth in outline. The sides
should taper gradually and smoothly from the ears to the end of the
black nose, without prominent cheek bones or pinched muzzle. Viewed
in profile, the top of the skull and the top of the muzzle lie in
two parallel, straight planes of equal length, divided by a slight,
but perceptible "stop" or break. A mid-point between the inside
corners of the eyes (which is centre of correctly placed "stop") is
centre of balance in length of head. The end of the smooth,
wellrounded muzzle is blunt, but not square. The underjaw is strong,
clean cut and the depth of the skull from brow to the underpart of
the jaw, must never be excessive (deep through). Whatever the colour
of the dog the nose must be black.
These are a very important feature and give a sweet
expression to the dog. They should be of a medium size, set somewhat
obliquely, of almond shape and of dark brown colour except in the
case of blue merles when the eyes are frequently (one or both, or
part of one or both) blue or blue flecked. Expression full of
intelligence, with a quick, alert look when listening.
These should be small and not too close together on
top of the skull, nor too much to the side of the head. When in
repose they should be carried thrown back, but when on the alert
brought forward and carried semi-erect, that is, with approximately
two-thirds of the ear standing erect, the top third tipping forward
naturally, below the horizontal.
The teeth should be of good size, with the lower
incisors fitting closely behind the upper incisors; a very slight
space not to be regarded as a serious fault.
Should be muscular, powerful and of fair length,
and well arched.
The shoulders should be sloped and well angulated.
The forelegs should be straight and muscular, neither in nor out at
elbows, with a moderate amount of bone.
Should be a trifle long compared to the height,
back firm with a slight rise over the loins, rips well-sprung, chest
deep, fairly broad behind the shoulders.
The hindlegs should be muscular at the thighs,
clean and sinewy below, with well-bent stifles. Hocks well let-down
Should be oval in shape with soles well padded,
toes arched and close together. The hind feet slightly less arched.
The tail should be long with the bone reaching at
least to the hock joint. To be carried low when the dog is quiet,
with a slight upward "swirl" at the end. It may be carried gaily
when the dog is excited, but not over the back.
The coat should fit the outline of the dog and be
very dense. The outer coat straight and harsh to the touch, the
under coat soft, furry and very close; so close as to almost hide
the skin. The mane and frill should be very abundant, the mask or
face smooth, also the ears at the tips, but they should carry more
hair towards the base; the forelegs slightly well feathered, the
hindlegs above the hocks profusely so; but smooth below. Hair on the
tail very profuse.
Three recognised colours are sable and white,
tricolour and blue merle.
SABLE: Any shade of light gold to rich mahogany or
shaded sable. Light straw or cream colour is highly undesirable.
TRICOLOUR: Predominantly black with rich tan
markings about the legs and head. A rusty tinge in top coat is
BLUE-MERLE: Predominantly clear, silvery blue,
splashed and marbled with black. Rich tan markings to be preferred,
but their absence should not be counted as a fault. Large black
markings, slate colour, or rusty tinge either of the top or
undercoat are highly undesirable.
WHITE MARKINGS: All the above may carry the typical
white Collie markings to a greater or lesser degree. The followings
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.
Weight & size
Dogs 22 in to 24 in at the shoulders; Bitches 20
in to 22 in.
Dogs 45 lb to 65 lb; Bitches 40 lb to 55 lb.
Length of head apparently out of proportion to the
body; receding skull or unbalanced head to be strongly condemned.
Weak, snipy muzzle; domed skull, high peaked occiput; prominent
cheekbones; dish-faced or Roman nosed; undershot or overshot mouth,
missing teeth; round or light coloured and glassy or staring eyes
are highly objectionable. Body flatsided, short or cobby; straight
shoulder or stifle; out at elbows, crooked forearms; cowhocks,
straight hocks; large, open or hare feet; feet turned in or out;
long, weak pasterns; tail short, kinked or twisted to one side, or
carried over the back; a soft, silky, or wavy coat or insufficient
undercoat; prick ears, low set ears; nervousness.