The BORDER COLLIE

 Australian National Kennel Council 1994
Country of Development - Australia

A Border Collie.

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Click here - document available as a colour pdf file (size 1600KB ) 

These notes are based on personal opinion and were put together for a breed lecture for
local aspirant judges in New South Wales and the A.C.T. I would like to thank Joan Bray
(original notes) Lisa Brack (some/many illustrations) and the NSWSDCBCC inc.

 

General Appearance.

Characteristics.

Head.

Nose&Eyes.

Ears.

Mouth.

Neck.

Forequarters.

Body.

Hindquarters.

Feet.

Tail.

Movement.

Coat.

Colour.

Size.



The Border Collie, is a dog capable of working all types of animals, well known for being able to work anything from school children to Greyhound buses, working long hours in all weather conditions and over all types of terrain.

A dog capable of covering ground at great speed, flexible enough to work while crouching whether stationary for long periods of time, standing eye to eye with sheep or moving gradually working/controlling live stock. From the crouch he is able to turn sharply and quickly or bust forward with speed and control.

They have the ability and flexibility to jump over, crawl under on their belly or turn their body sideways as they jump through fences and be able to land squarely on their feet or continue at a speed necessary for their work.

They are a dog of moderation; their angulation, musculation and apparent strength must be in balance with and proportion to the body as a whole.

Their outline covered, not hidden, by a moderate length, close fitting double coat, which protects them during inclement weather or rough terrain.

Their intelligence denoted by their ability to be able to learn readily as a pup and be able to work on command and often out of sight as an older dog.

 

 

GENERAL APPEARANCE -

Index


The general appearance shall be that of a well-proportioned dog.

The Border Collie is a moderate dog without exaggeration.

Balance is not simply the relationship between fore and hindquarters; balance refers to the whole dog, from the head proportions and carriage to correct set and carriage of tail!  

Height at wither being in proportion to length from the point of shoulder to rear point of buttock 10:9.

The body is moderately long, length being in the length of rib cage (rib cage carried well back) not the loins. The forelegs about half the height of the dog, the length of the head and neck always in balance to the whole of the dog, with correct set of tail and importantly carriage.

The smooth outline showing quality, gracefulness and perfect balance, combined with sufficient substance to ensure that it is capable of enduring long periods of active duty in its intended task as a working sheep dog.
Any tendency to coarseness or weediness is undesirable.

In judging the Border Collie, their function of being capable of enduring long periods of active duty in its intended task as a working sheepdog / herding dog must be given consideration above all else.

The "smooth outline" includes a coat of sufficient length and texture to protect the dog in extremes of climatic conditions at the same time not act as a hindrance in extremes of working conditions. The coat should "outline" not obscure the body.

The smooth outline includes the topline of the dog, flowing gracefully from behind the ears through the obvious withers, the level back, falling away through the croup, the set on of tail to the tip of the tail. This outline is obvious whether standing four square or moving in a smooth and tireless gait. At no time should the top line appear to be broken or disjointed.

"Substance" referring to the well sprung, well ribbed back chest, good, hard musculation and strength of bone which should be oval in shape not round, heavy bones which indicate coarseness or thin, spindly bones which indicate weediness.

"Sufficient" means adequate, ample, satisfactory or enough, NEVER excessive, disproportionate or unnecessary. So substance, bone and strength should be in compass with the size of the dog, the dog never coarse or weedy.

With the smooth outline and sufficient substance; judges should be able to see a muscular and athletic body capable of springing into action. For a well- proportioned dog look for a dog within standard height, a moderately long body, forelegs half the height of the dog, good length of neck, rib cage carried well back, correct set of tail and carriage. The dog should be balanced as a whole with no point more important than any other; when all things are equal do our preferences persuade our judgement, ie. markings, colour, coat length.

 

 

CHARACTERISTICS and TEMPERAMENT -

Index


The Border Collie is highly intelligent, with an instinctive tendency to work and is readily responsive to training. Its keen, alert and eager expression add to its intelligent appearance, whilst its loyal and faithful nature demonstrates that it is at all times kindly disposed towards stock.
Any aspect of structure or temperament foreign to a working dog is uncharacteristic.

Once again the standard emphasises the important aspects of a working dog; the Border Collie is not meant to be an idealised "Porcelain Statue" types of dog for example a pretty picture but lifeless and spiritless!

 Any aspect of structure or temperament foreign to a working dog is uncharacteristic.

*

 

The dog should look at you as you approach,

*

 

Kindly disposed toward stock includes people!
Dogs, which cannot be handled because of fear, timidness or aggression, should be penalised,

*

 

The dog should be "on the alert', checking out what is happening and ready to spring in to action if needed.

The characteristics in the order in which they appear in the standard:

*

 

 Highly intelligent

*

 

Instinctive tendency to work,

*

 

 Readily responsive to training,

*

 

Keen alert and eager expression,

*

 

Loyal and faithful nature,

*

 

At all times kindly disposed towards stock,

*

 

At all times a working dog.

 

 

 

As listed above there are 7 characteristics listed in the standard, don't be tempted to judge a Border Collie only by its apparent 'alert expression' (which is often mistakenly taken to be found in the ears.)

Check for expression in the eyes, are they soft, kind and gentle as well as alert or are they hard, mean, shifty, shuttered or showing the whites. Watch the dog's body language, is it confident at your approach or does it shy away. Does the dog look at you or turn its head away, is the tail held in a gentle curve ready to signal acceptance or is it between the legs or alternatively upright in a display of aggressiveness?

Watch the dogs as they are brought into the ring; ask for the dogs to be moved on a loose lead. Watch the positioning of the head and tail. Check for 'alertness' on the move, is the dog interested in its surroundings or being dragged unwillingly around the ring. Does the dog move with ease and confidence or does it require the constant attention of its owner. Does the dog appear comfortable in the company of other dogs in the ring or show signs of nervousness or aggression?

The display of nervousness may be tolerated (in a young pup/dog) but any display of aggression is uncharacteristic and should be penalised.

The working ability of a Border Collie is best assessed on the move!!

 

 

HEAD -

Index


The skull is broad and flat between the ears, slightly narrowing to the eye, with a pronounced stop, cheeks deep but not prominent. The muzzle tapering to the nose, is strong and the same length as the skull. The lips are tight and clean and the nose is large with open nostrils. The colour in all dogs will be a solid colour with no pink or light pigment and shall complement the background colour of the dog.

Border collie head.

The size of the head and the length of head and neck should always be in balance to the whole of the dog.

The standard is very specific:

*

 

The skull and muzzle should be of equal length and on parallel planes;

*

 

The pronounced stop. The muzzle and skull do not form an unbroken line, instead a noticeable break between the eyes, which is not meant to be exaggerated (into a right angle stop as is sometimes seen) or shallow like a Shetland Sheepdog. It should be noted that the original wording of the standard was 'slight stop' this was changed to 'moderate stop' and now pronounced.

*

 

The skull is broad and flat between the ears. In other words - clean, wedge shaped, flat between the ears (never domed or round) and slightly narrowing to the eye; unfortunately short muzzles and over broad and/or domed skulls are becoming common in the breed, giving the head a blocky and uncharacteristic appearance. Ear placement may also alter the visual shape of the skull.

*

 

Pink or incorrect pigmentation should not be tolerated. (See colour).


Correct balance.
Correct balance.

2little stop.
Too little stop.

2much stop.
Too much stop.

          Domed skull.
    Domed skull & short muzzle.

Snipey and weak. 
Muzzle long, snipey & weak.

The affects of markings:

*

 

A wide blaze may make the head appear broader or coarse;

*

 

A dark face, little or no blaze may make the head appear narrow, the muzzle weak or eyes small;
 

Narrow blaze.
Narrow blaze.

Plain face.
Plain face.

Broad blaze.
Broad blaze.

The muzzle is strong, the same length as the skull, lips tight, nose large with open nostrils, a continuation of the clean wedge shape; not pointed or blunt in shape like the Sharpei. Avoid short muzzles and loose flews.

 

 

EYES and NOSE-

Index


The eyes are set wide apart, oval shaped of moderate size harmonising with the colour of the coat but darker colour preferred, except in the case of chocolate where a lighter colour is permissible and in the case of merles where blue is permissible.
The expression is mild but keen, alert and intelligent.

Oval eye
Oval eye.

 

Eyes set wide apart to allow a better channel of vision, compared to a dog with a narrow set or set to look straight ahead (Staffordshire Bull terrier) which has a narrow line of vision.

The oval shaped, moderate sized eye offers better protection to the eye when working in extreme conditions both weather and terrain. An eye too round tends to protrude, and can soften the expression of the dog.

Colour - This section needs some clarification.

Dogs with black genotype should have black pigment and medium to dark eyes. (ie. black & whites, black tri-colours and black based reds.) Chocolates will have a liver coloured nose and light brown to amber eyes. Blues will have slate coloured noses and lighter eyes. In this breed reds can have either a chocolate or black genotype, therefore some reds may have liver noses and lighter eyes and some can have black noses and darker brown eyes.

The wording of the standard is misleading on eye colour; of course the eyes should be some shade of brown except in the case of blue merles where the eyes may be blue (there is no indication as to whether this may apply to one or both eyes.)

But because of the range in coat colours it is misleading in the extreme to state 'darker eyes preferred' to apply to all dogs, non black based Border Collies will have lighter eyes and should not be penalised for that.

However what is more important in the eye is expression: - 'mild, keen, alert, intelligent' when the dog looks at you, you should see trust, loyalty, intelligence and interest regardless of colour. A mean, hard or vacant expression can be seen in eyes of any colour.

A note on blue merles: - unfortunately, because the reference to blue merle came into the standard without due process or consideration there area some contradictions within the standard and no guidelines eg, some standards that allow blue merle, allow eyes to be either both blue, or one brown one blue, and either pale or flecked. Some allow pink spots on the nose; most are very descriptive on coat colour and patterns. As extensions to the Border Collie standard are under consideration and as yet blue merles are not currently being exhibited in New South Wales, this article will not offer any guideline on blue merles at this time.

 

 

EARS -

Index


The ears should be of medium size and texture, set well apart, carried semi-erect.
They are sensitive in their use, and inside well furnished with hair.

The carriage of the ear in the Border Collie is purely a cosmetic feature and should only become part of judging when all other parts are equal. It is the placing of the ear, which anatomically affects the appearance of the head.

Ears

Semi-erect - the lower lobe portion stands upright (1/3 to 1/2) with the top part dropped or folded forward in the direction of the eye.

Ears 2 high.
Incorrect -
Ears are too high.
Ideal for Collie Rough or Sheltie.

Ears 2 low.
Incorrect -
Heavy or hound type ear.

Be generous in your interpretation with regards to the ears! That the ears are sensitive in their use, indicating that the dog is tuned-in to its surroundings, is probably the main consideration, other wise the ears have little relevance to working ability.

Do not judge the Border Collie on ears alone, there is something terribly wrong with a dog whose ears are always perfectly semi erect. The ears are sensory organs that are designed to swivel, face forward and/or outwards, lie flat or stand erect/semi erect according to the conditions around them.

The buzzer in your hand will not always entertain a mature dog; and on many occasions the dog may be bored with the whole show business, this does not make the dog less intelligent.

To over emphasise the importance of ear set and carriage is to loose sight of the Border Collie as a working dog and may only serve to encourage exhibitors to use any means to achieve the ears which judges seem to favour.

Ears set on too wide or to the side of the head can make a good skull look domed or rounded. The high or close set can make a skull look narrow.

Pricked ears are unsightly, you will not find any nor are any wanted in the show ring.

 

 

MOUTH -

Index


The teeth should be sound, strong and evenly spaced; the lower incisors just behind but touching the upper, that is a scissor bite.

Scissor bite.
Scissor bite.

 

The standard needs no explanation.

Mouths in this breed as usually okay but sometimes teeth are broken or ground down, which is not unexpected in an active working breed.

 

 

NECK -

Index


The neck is of good length, strong and muscular, slightly arched and broadening to the shoulders, without throatiness or coarseness.

The head and neck as a whole must be balanced to the whole body, which is symmetrical and well proportioned. Both the neck and tail should be used to balance the dog on the move.

The reach of neck is important. A short or stuffy neck indicates a fault in the shoulder configuration and angulation. The front feet of the Border Collie when gaiting, should reach to the nose of the dog, a short neck will see a short stepping, a hackneyed gait or a paddling effect.

A strong long neck allows the dog to reach up and view over the surrounding terrain or simply the flock of sheep; a task carried out several/many times in a working day.

Dog crouching.

A very important function of a working Border Collie, when a Border moves whether in a clean gait or when crouching, the dog should be able carry the neck and head at different levels.

 

 

FOREQUARTERS -

Index


The shoulders are long, and well angulated to the upper arm, neither in nor out at elbow.
The forelegs are well boned, straight and parallel when viewed from the front.
Pasterns show flexibility with a slight slope when viewed from the side.


Shoulders are strong and muscular but without loading, they are well laid back but with no weakness or looseness at elbows or shoulders.

Correct shoulders.
Shoulders - anatomically correct.
Oblique shoulders.
Pastern angulation - ideal.

Step shoulders.
Incorrect - Steep front.
Steep shoulder agulation.
Upright, perpendicular or steep pasterns.

Slack shoulders.
Incorrect -
Over/acute angulated shoulders.
Over agulated, weak or let down pasterns.

As the dog on the move, supports 80% of its weight on its front assembly it is important to ensure that the shoulders are well angulated. When standing the withers should be approximately in line with the elbow and wrist, thus ensuring that the dog's body is balanced over the centre of the front pads.

A problem currently seen in the show ring is the lack of defined withers and sternum which indicate poor shoulder angulation.

The pro sternum is visible, well in front of the forelegs. The lack of pro sternum indicates straight shoulder angulation and or short upper arms.

Correct topline.

  •  

 

The correct topline of the dog flows gracefully from behind the ears through the obvious withers, through the level back, loins, then falling gently away through the croup.

  •  

 

The brisket is well developed brisket, of good depth reaching at least to the elbows, yet remaining balanced with the height of the dog.

The bones of the forearm should be straight and strong and approximately equal in length, do not confuse strength with size, as a heavy boned dog will labour under hard working conditions.

Normal front.
Normal, straight front.

Pidgeon toed.
Incorrect - Pigeon toed front.

Narrow front.
Incorrect - Narrow front

Wide Front.
Incorrect - Wide front.

The dog should not be loose in shoulders nor out in elbow. The elbows should be at half the dog's height, the brisket should reach to the elbow and the rib cage should be carried well back into the body.

Pasterns must be flexible

 

 

BODY -

Index


The body is moderately long with well-sprung ribs tapering to a fairly deep and moderately broad chest.
The loins are broad, deep, muscular and only slightly arched, flanks deep and not cut up.

The body not the length of back is moderately long.
The height at wither being in proportion to length from point of shoulder to the rear point of buttock 10:9.
(The length from wither to the rear point of buttock approx equal to height a withers.

As you would expect in any athlete, there is no point out of proportion to any part of the body. The dog should be well muscled but not fat nor overloaded in the shoulders. Barrel chests and/or heavy bone will interfere with the working capabilities/endurance of the dog in the working environment and is evident today in the show ring.


Correct body to length ratio.

Short body.
Incorrect -  Short body.
Apparent length from over angulation.

Long Body.
Incorrect -
Long body.
Too long in length of loin.

Legs short.
Incorrect -
Legs are too short.

Legs long.
Short body created by extra length of leg.

The body is moderately long, length being in the length of rib cage (rib cage carried well back) not the loins. The forelegs about half the height (50-55 %) of the dog, the length of the head and neck always in balance to the whole of the dog.

Backs - Toplines

Correct topline.
Correct topline.
 

Flat back.
Incorrect - Flats or no withers, flat or level back.
Pelvis too flat.

Downhill back.
Incorrect - Running downhill.
Low at withers. Sloping from back to front.

Sway back.
Incorrect - Hollow, dippy, sway, swamp, soft or weak back.

 A long bodied dog indicates several faults currently in the breed:

*

 

The length of back is in a long loin not the rib cage,

*

 

Over long couplings whilst increasing manoeuvrability may result in a weak dippy back

*

 

Short legs possibly through poor angulation, forelegs through straight shoulder angulation and hindquarters through over angulation. The only, thing that allow these dogs to appear to move well, is the length of body.

*

 

Some toplines are flat from neck to the set of tail. There is no obvious wither or croup.

*

 

Good working potential is reduced by shallow short ribbed chests or poor musculation.

 

 

HINDQUARTERS -

Index


The hindquarters are broad and muscular, in profile sloping gracefully to the set on of tail.

The thighs are long, broad, deep and muscular with well-turned stifles and strong hocks, well let down and when viewed from the rear are straight and parallel.

Correct HQ.
Pelvis angulation - anatomically ideal.
 

Steep HQ.
Incorrect- Steep or straight stifle.
 

Loose HQ.
Incorrect - Over angulted stifle.
 

Well bent hock.
Well bent or well angulated hock.

Straight Hock.
Incorrect - Straight hock.

Sickle hock.
Incorrect - Sickle hock.

This is an athletic, very active and agile working dog; the confirmation and demeanour of the dog should be viewed in that light.

*

 

Over angulation will limit drive and manoeuvrability;

*

 

Over musculation will limit endurance and manoeuvrability;

*

 

Both reach and drive will be restricted by short legs or straight stifles;

*

 

Good working potential is reduced by weak broken down pasterns;

*

 

Flat or steep croups strongly suggest poor angulation and will restrict drive and manoeuvrability;

*

 

Incorrect tail set and carriage, spoil the aesthetics/ outline of the dog whether standing or moving;

*

 

Poor feet, thin pads limit endurance and working ability.

All of which can be checked in the show ring.

 

 

FEET -

Index


Oval in shape, pads deep, strong and sound, toes moderately arched and close together.
Nails short and strong.

Self explanatory. A strong working foot able to endure all terrains and working conditions. There should be no weakness at all.

Oval foot

Round or cat foot.

Hare foot.


Wellknit foot.

Correct foot -
oval in shape

Round, compact
or cat foot

Incorrect -
Hare foot.
 

Well knit foot (Left)
Splay foot (Right)

 

 

TAIL -

Index


The tail is moderately long, set on low, well furnished and with an upward swirl towards the end, completing the graceful contour and balance of the dog. The tail may be raised in excitement, but not carried over the back.

It is set as a continuation of the spine; it is likened to the rudder and with the neck should be used to balance the dog on the move.

Well set tail.
Correct tail set, with no line of demarcation.
Gently rounded, a continuation of the backline.
 

Low set tail.
Incorrect - Tail too low set.
Also called a goose rump.
 

Flat croup.
Incorrect - High set tail.
Flat croup.

Steep croup.
Incorrect - Steep croup.
Falling away quickly and early.

 

 

MOVEMENT -

Index


The movement is free, smooth and tireless, with a minimum lift of the feet, conveying the impression of the ability to move with great stealth. The action, viewed from the front, should be straightforward and true, without weakness at shoulders, elbows or pasterns. Viewed from behind the quarters thrust with strength and flexibility, with hocks not close or too far apart. When trotting, the dog's feet tend to come closer together as speed increases, but when the dog comes to rest he should stand four square. Any tendency to stiltedness or to cowhocks or bowhocks is a serious fault.

Movement
Shoulder placement and angulation
in relation to length of stride.

Correct movement - the conformation of all parts being correct, the body being correctly balanced as a whole.

Moving with great stealth is considered to be one of the hallmarks of this breed.
To achieve this the Border Collies reaches with its front feet, not throwing its front feet forward to avoid the drive of the rear feet.

The standard is very detailed and descriptive on movement: 'effortless', 'tireless', 'straight forward and true', 'minimum lift of feet', 'drives with strength and flexibility', 'balances the centre of gravity over the mid-line without weakness at shoulders, elbows, pasterns or hock,' 'without stiltedness, cowhocks, bowed hocks which are serious faults.'

Minimum lift of feet removes the possibility of hackneyed, high lifting or plaiting gait. Importantly it creates a lower centre of gravity and a more stable basis whether moving quickly, in a controlled creep or in a crouching stance.

Action that is straightforward and true, removes the possibility of any weakness at shoulder, elbow or pasterns.

The ability to crouch and move at a creep strongly confirms the correct angulation and musculation of the dog. A dog that lacks in either will have difficulty in moving or working for any period of time.

A dog that moves in a crabbing action is either short in body, over angulated in hindquarters or short stepping (poorly angulated) in forequarters.

When working the Border Collie has three gears it can engage:

A.

 

A slow, low to the ground creep; one foot carefully placed in sequence after the other. This movement is often accompanied by the use of the 'eye' which unfortunately cannot be determined in the show ring.

B.

 

A tireless endurance 'gait' seen as the dog constantly moves from side to side of a flock, gently pushing the flock in the direction required.

C.

 

A quick, sharp burst of speed in any direction; requiring great agility and used to block animals that break away. This is achieved using the galloping movement.

Judges should assess movement very carefully. A working dog does not have to win races! The dog in the ring should never be moved flat out; if the dog cannot be shown at a moderate, tireless endurance pace, then it does not have the correct conformation for a working dog!

IMPORTANT: A dog that reaches well, covering the ground through length of stride not number of strides, can look lazy. Remember that we are after smooth and tireless gait, the ability to move with great stealth. Don't punish a good moving dog because others appear to be moving faster.

Dog gaiting.

1)

 

Have the dog walk out and back; watch that the dog moves straight forward and true, check the positioning of shoulders, elbows and hock; watch for any unnecessary rise over the hindquarters.

2)

 

Have the dog moved at a medium pace around the ring (twice if possible); as the dog moves away the feet should converge under the body; however the hocks should not brush against each other and neither should the dog 'roll'; also check for crabbing.

When viewed in side movement, the dog should show a good length of reach from the shoulder whilst keeping the pads low to the ground; the front legs should not be 'lifted' resulting in a short high stepping movement. At the same time the dog should 'drive off' with its hind feet, with no suggestion of a 'rotary' type action which may occur if the dog is over angulated.

To maintain good balanced movement it is important that as the dog increases in momentum, it extends its head well forward (approximately in a horizontal line with the shoulders) at the same time lowering and extending its tail in a characteristic curve.

The tail should not rise above the topline nor curve to the side. However, the topline - from the withers to the croup - should remain level. Also on the side movement, check the positioning of the feet - the hind feet should not extend beyond the footfall of the front feet. As the dog comes towards you there should not be any suggestion of a 'rolling' or 'in-swinging' action. Whilst converging beneath the body the shoulder-elbow-pastern assembly should maintain a straight line of balance.

3)

 

On return, ask for the dog to be stood naturally. Dogs should stand four square, with the wrist and elbow forming an approximate straight line with the withers and with the heel pad under the pelvic joint. From the front, re-check elbows and shoulders; from the rear check the hocks.

 

 

COAT -

Index


Double coated, with a moderately long, dense, medium textured topcoat while the undercoat is short, soft and dense, making a weather resisting protection, with abundant (sufficient) coat to form mane, breeching and brush. On face, ear tips, forelegs (except for feather), hind legs from hock to ground, the hair is short and smooth.

The coat should be 'double coated', 'weather resistant', 'moderately long and dense', 'medium textured topcoat', 'short soft dense undercoat'.

The description 'abundant' should read as 'sufficient', the length and density of the coat being in moderation. You might expect abundant on a Rough Collie.

Keep in mind that the Border Collie is called upon to work in a variety of terrain and weather conditions. Coat length is variable but should never be so long or profuse as to obscure the outline of the body or to impede the working ability.

The "smooth outline" includes a coat of sufficient length and texture to protect the dog in extremes of climatic conditions at the same time not act as a hindrance in extremes of working conditions. The coat should "outline" not obscure the body.

Coat
Excessive coat obsuring the body line

coat.
Correct female coat.

coat.
Male coat showing a thicker ruff.

It is not natural for a Border Collie to maintain a full coat through summer months, though feathering and ruff will remain obvious. Many judges find that the summer coat offers a cleaner outline and such makes it easier to judge the dog when it moves around the ring.

All other things being equal, a flat straight coat in preferred. An open coat should be penalised.

 

 

COLOUR -

Index


Black and white, blue and white, chocolate and white, red and white blue merle and the tri-colour black, tan and white. In each case the basic body colour must predominate and be the background colour of the dog.

Colours are clearly stated in the standard. Note that no mention is made to the depth of colour or markings; both of which become the judges personal opinion. However it should be kept in mind that neither colour nor makings will have any significant effect on the dog's working ability. If judging this breed correctly, judge firstly for the 'Hallmarks' as outlined at the beginning of these notes and select for soundness and type regardless of colour or markings.

Blues vary from a dark slate/charcoal colour to a light grey and will have slate coloured noses and lighter eyes.

Reds vary from a dark cream to a darkish orange red. Reds can have either a chocolate or black genotype, therefore some reds may have liver noses and lighter eyes and some can have black noses and darker brown eyes.

Chocolates vary from orange brown to a rich dark chocolate colour and will have a liver coloured nose and light brown to amber eyes.

Tri colours are black and white with tan points above the eyes, on the cheeks and around the vent, otherwise separating black from white on the face, legs sometimes other parts of the body. Neither the amount of red markings or the density of colour should be placed before the overall conformation of the dog.

Dogs with black genotype should have black pigment and medium to dark eyes. (ie. black & whites, black tri-colours and black based reds.)

Note that all colours including black are present in a wide range of density from light to dark; all are subject to sun bleaching and seasonal change. Although not specified it is generally accepted that a Border Collie will have a white tip on the tail and some white on all feet otherwise there are no preferred markings.

 

 

SIZE -

Index


Height: Dogs 48 - 53 cm (approx. 19 - 21 in) at withers.
Bitches 46 - 51 cm (approx. 18 - 20 in) at withers.

Many lines will see male dogs grow quickly to 19 - 21 inches by the time they are 9 to 12 months old. The lack of maturity through the chest or lack of coat under the body will make some dogs appear taller than they really are.

At the same time female dogs can grow proportionally and slower and appear smaller than their male counterpart up to 18 months of age.

Even though there is a three-inch difference between the smallest bitch and the tallest dog, all things being equal correct conformation should be preferred. Size is not a disqualifying feature.

 

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.

 

NOTE -

Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

 Index

 

Working Dog Group A.N.K.C. January 1998

(Extension - John Birch 2003)


These notes are based on personal opinion and were put together for a breed lecture for local aspirant judges in New South Wales and the A.C.T. I would like to thank Joan Bray (original notes) Lisa Brack (some/many illustrations) and the NSWSDCBCC inc. 

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