Collie.jpg
Breed Group Group 10: Pastoral and Stock Dog Breeds
Sub-group 10-B: Large Pastoral Dogs
Origin Country Great Britain
Weight Males: 45-75 pounds. Females: 40-65 pounds.
Height Males: 22-26 inches. Females: 20-24 inches.
Other Name(s) Collie, Rough, Rough Collie, Scotch Collie, Scottish Collie
Breed Type Pure
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Collie

Breed Group Group 10: Pastoral and Stock Dog Breeds
Sub-group 10-B: Large Pastoral Dogs
Origin Country Great Britain
Weight Males: 45-75 pounds. Females: 40-65 pounds.
Height Males: 22-26 inches. Females: 20-24 inches.
Other Name(s) Collie, Rough, Rough Collie, Scotch Collie, Scottish Collie
Breed Type Pure
click here for FULL BREED STANDARD

Origins

Well before the establishment of dog breeds, the areas of Scotland, Northern England, and Wales were known for centuries for their herding dogs. Throughout the centuries, these dogs were simply known as shepherd dogs, not belonging to any individual breed. They varied from county to county, with different areas having their own preferred strains. The name “Collie” can be traced back to the 1650s, and it is believed to be derived from the English word “coaly,” meaning “coal black.” This term was used to describe the color of certain animals of the time, such as the “colley sheep,” which were sheep with black faces, or the “col-fox,” which was a fox with black tipped ears and tails. The shepherds’ colley dogs were often coal-black in color with white tips. In short, the name remains one of the biggest mysteries about the breed.

The dogs known as “Scotch Collies” were originally a landrace of canines that served as shepherd dogs to farmers of Scottland. These dogs were indistinguishable in appearance from the ancestors of other Collies of the area, such as Border Collies. All dogs worked to earn their keep in their families during this time, and those that didn’t work were culled off. Appearance meant nothing to shepherds, so long as the dog has eyes to see, ears to hear, legs to run, and a brain to perform its duties. For centuries, shepherds bred their hard-working dogs to meet these criteria alone, without exaggeration, since exaggeration detracts from function.

During the 1860s, Queen Victoria visited Scotland and felt an appreciation for the Scotch Collies. Upon her return to England, she brought with her several Scotch Collie dogs. Thanks in part to the queen’s affinity for the dogs, they became an instant hit with English dignitaries. However, the dignitaries weren’t completely satisfied with such a common-looking dog, and they were reported to have crossed the Scotch Collie with the Borzoi and Gordon Setter to create a dog that seemed far more impressive and regal in appearance—one that would be much more spectacular in the show ring. Shortly after this, the standard was set and the desired breed type outlined. Eventually, the breed made its way to the United States, initially recognized as the “Scotch Collie.” However, “Scotch” was dropped from the name several years later to differentiate the refined Collies from the commoners’ Scottish Collies. The working lines continued to be known as true “Scotch Collies,” with the fanciful, refined dogs being known as “Collies,” “Smooth Collies,” or “Rough Collies.” The breed’s popularity was further cemented in American society by the 1950s and 1960s television show and movie series Lassie, which starred a Rough Collie.

Breed Characteristics

Head: Dolichocephalic skull-type, being long and relatively narrow in comparison to the length. It is moderate in size, elongated, and in proportion to the rest of the body. The head tapers to form an elongated wedge shape when viewed from the front, top, or in profile. The topskull is long and flat in profile. It tapers evenly and smoothly from the base of the ears toward the muzzle in clean lines. It is never excessively wide, or domed. The head is smooth, clean, and dry, without heaviness, coarseness, or appearing weak or snipy.
Eyes: Somewhat small to medium in size and proportionate to the head. They are set high on the skull and somewhat close together. When alert, the ears are semi-erect, with the top 1/3 of the ear naturally breaking forward. The ears are never long, overly large, or broken.
Ears: Compact, solid, and good substance. The body is never racy or refined. Width at forequarters is fairly broad and approximately equal to the width at the hindquarters.
Muzzle: Strongly developed, somewhat full and broad in comparison to the overall head length, full, and gently tapering to form an elongated wedge with a rounded, blunt end. Upper and lower jaws have good bone substance and never appear snippy or weak.
Nose: The cheeks should be smooth, without prominent cheekbones.
Neck: Deep, broad, but never wider than deep. The brisket extends to the point of the elbows.
Chest: Long, well-sprung, well-laid-back, oval-shaped, never barrel-chested or slab-sided.
Body: The neck is fairly long to allow for proud head carriage. It is well-muscled, clean, and well-arched. The neck tapers smoothly from the deeper and broader body toward the head. It is clean-cut and without excess skin, throatiness, or dewlap.
Feet: Oval to round, compact, with well-arched toes and tough pads.
Tail: Set low on the croup, thick at the base and tapering toward the tip. The tail may be straight, straight with a slight curve at the end, or form a gentle curve. When resting or in repose, the tail is held downward in a neutral position (never tucked). When moving, the tail may be carried upward, but never over the back. The tail is left at a long, natural length. The tip of the last vertebrae extends to the hock joints when held down.
Movement: The Collie breed is an efficient and powerful mover. When observed at a slow trot, the movement is smooth, energetic, efficient, sound, balanced, and harmonious. The characteristics of healthy structure are evident: when moving away, the forelegs and rear pasterns should remain parallel to one another. When viewing movement from the front, the forelegs should remain parallel, with elbows and paws neither moving in nor out. From the rear, the back pads should be visible when the rear legs are extended. As speed increases, the forelimbs and hindlimbs will converge to the center line of gravity. From the side, the topline should remain firm and level. Good reach of movement in the front allows the forepaw to extend out in a line with the nose. The width between the forefeet when extended should be approximately equal to the width between the hindfeet when extended, indicating balance, good reach, and good drive. Dogs that exhibit any sign of breathing or locomotive difficulty shall be disqualified from the show ring.
Temperament: The Collie exhibits a sound temperament, happy disposition, and high level of intelligence. He also excels at various tasks, including tracking and article search, obedience, agility, and conformation showing. They are well-known to be good with children and get along well with other dogs, making for wonderful companions. Regular daily exercise is a must, since they are a large and lively breed. Otherwise, they can be quite content just being near their people. Any unprovoked aggressive or fearful behavior toward people is incorrect for this breed.
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Breed Standard

BREED GROUP 10: Pastoral and Stock Dog Breeds

Proportions: Off-square to slightly rectangular in proportions, with length of the body, measured from the point of the forechest to the point of the rump being just slightly greater than the height at the withers. The ideal body height to length ratio is between 5:4 and 10:9. The body is well-put together, with sturdy substance and medium bone.
The body is well-put together, with sturdy substance, and medium bone. The Collie should be neither coarse and heavy nor light and racy.

Head

General Appearance: Dolichocephalic skull-type, being long and relatively narrow in comparison to the length. It is moderate in size, elongated, and in proportion to the rest of the body. The head tapers to form an elongated wedge shape when viewed from the front, top, or in profile. The topskull is long and flat in profile. It tapers evenly and smoothly from the base of the ears toward the muzzle in clean lines. It is never excessively wide, or domed. The head is smooth, clean, and dry, without heaviness, coarseness, or appearing weak or snipy.
Expression: The expression is regal, self-composed, intelligent, inquisitive, engaged, and gentle.
Stop: The ideal muzzle-to-skull ratio is 1:1, with the topskull being equal in length to that of the muzzle.
The ideal muzzle-to-skull axis is parallel.
Skull: Strongly developed, somewhat full and broad in comparison to the overall head length, full, and gently tapering to form an elongated wedge with a rounded, blunt end. Upper and lower jaws have good bone substance and never appear snipy or weak.
Muzzle: Strongly developed, somewhat full and broad in comparison to the overall head length, full, and gently tapering to form an elongated wedge with a rounded, blunt end. Upper and lower jaws have good bone substance and never appear snippy or weak.
Lips or Flews: The nose is well-pigmented and black, or self-colored according to the coat in non-standard color varieties. The nostrils are well-opened.
Nose: The cheeks should be smooth, without prominent cheekbones.
Cheeks: Forty-two strong, clean, white teeth. Bite may be level or scissor. Contact must be made between the top and bottom incisors. Missing or broken teeth as a result of routine work is not to be penalized.
Dentition and Bite: Moderate in size, oval to almond in shape, and set somewhat obliquely. They may range in color from medium to dark brown in color. Merle dogs may have blue eyes, bicolored eyes (heterochromia, flecked, or marbled). Non-standard colored dogs may also exhibit green, hazel, or amber colored eyes. The eye rims are well-fitted and well-pigmented. The eyes are never bulging. There should be sufficient bone in the surrounding orbital sockets to protect the eyes. There should be no sign of looseness, or exposed eye whites or haw.
Eyes: Somewhat small to medium in size and proportionate to the head. They are set high on the skull and somewhat close together. When alert, the ears are semi-erect, with the top 1/3 of the ear naturally breaking forward. The ears are never long, overly large, or broken.
Ears: Compact, solid, and good substance. The body is never racy or refined. Width at forequarters is fairly broad and approximately equal to the width at the hindquarters.

Body and Tail

General Description: The neck is fairly long to allow for proud head carriage. It is well-muscled, clean, and well-arched. The neck tapers smoothly from the deeper and broader body toward the head. It is clean-cut and without excess skin, throatiness, or dewlap.
Neck: Deep, broad, but never wider than deep. The brisket extends to the point of the elbows.
Chest: Long, well-sprung, well-laid-back, oval-shaped, never barrel-chested or slab-sided.
Topline: Level from slightly prominent withers to croup. The back is broad, strongly muscled, and straight, yet supple. The loin is taut, flat and level, or slightly arched, yet supportive. The back is never swayed or roached.
Croup: Gently sloped.
Underline: Slight tuck up present. The underline is taut and firm, without any indication of sagging or excess weight.
Ribs: Long, well-sprung, well-laid-back, oval-shaped, never barrel-chested or slab-sided.
Tail: Set low on the croup, thick at the base and tapering toward the tip. The tail may be straight, straight with a slight curve at the end, or form a gentle curve. When resting or in repose, the tail is held downward in a neutral position (never tucked). When moving, the tail may be carried upward, but never over the back. The tail is left at a long, natural length. The tip of the last vertebrae extends to the hock joints when held down.

Forequarters and Hindquarters

Forequarters: Forequarters are always in balance with the hindquarters. Forequarters are well angulated with well laid back shoulder blades. Shoulder blades are approximately equal in length to the upper arm and forearm.
Elbows: Elbows are close to the body. The point of the elbows is approximately half the dog’s height at the withers.
Forelegs: Frontal View: Straight, of good muscle, moderate bone, and parallel to one another.
Side View: The forelimbs appear straight with strong pasterns.
Pasterns: Never weak or broken.
Hindquarters: Upper thigh and lower thigh are equal in length, strong, sturdy, of moderate bone, and well-muscled.
Rear View: When viewed from the rear, the rear pasterns are parallel to one another.
Side View: Good angulation will allow the rear toes to align with the point of the rump or within one to two paw-lengths behind the point of the rump, with the rear pasterns remaining perpendicular to the ground and parallel to one another.
Stifle Joint: Well-angulated with a good bend to well-let-down rear pasterns.
Angulations: Angulation of hindquarters is always in balance with angulation of forequarters.
Feet: Oval to round, compact, with well-arched toes and tough pads.

Coat

Skin: Well-fitted, yet supple. The skin should never obstruct the outline of the dog.
Coat Type: The Collie comes in two coat varieties: the smooth coat and the rough coat.
Smooth coat variety: Short, hard, dense, flat, harsh outer coat with dense, soft undercoat.
Rough coat variety: Short on the head and front of the forelimbs and hindlimbs. With a longer, harsh, straight outer coat and soft, furry, close undercoat. There is abundant feathering on the back of the legs, underline, plumed tail, with profuse mane, and frill.
Coat Color or Pattern: CKC recognizes two color varieties of the Collie breed: the standard color and nonstandard color. Large patches or amounts of white indicating homogenous merle genotype/phenotype are undesirable.
Standard Coat Color Variety: There are four color patterns recognized as standard colors:
Sable: Various shades of sable or agouti, all with white Irish markings.
Tricolor: Black with tan points, creeping tan, running tan, or black saddle (all referred to as tri-color), all with white
rish markings.
Merle: Either sable, agouti, or tricolor with merle; referred to as sable merle or blue-merle, all with white Irish markings.
White Irish markings are described as occurring on the chest, neck, lower legs, feet and the tip of the tail. A blaze may appear on the foreface, topskull, or both. White on the body is not permissible.
White: White dogs are described exhibiting more white than what is found in traditional Irish white markings, occurring in various amounts on the above listed color patterns;
Pied - white exceeds the Irish spotting pattern with white patches found on the body.
Color-headed-white - Body primarily white, with color restricted to the head or up to two patches on the body.
Large patches or amounts of white indicating homogenous merle genotype/phenotype are undesirable.
Non-Standard Coat Color Variety: Non-standard colors include
Solids: Solid sable or agouti, solid black, solid blue merle, solid sable merle, solid liver, solid liver-red merle, solid liver sable merle, solid black and tan (black with tan points, creeping tan, running tan) or solid black saddle (black with saddle marking); solid liver and tan (liver with tan points, creeping tan, running tan), or solid liver saddle (liver with saddle marking)
Bicolors: Black and white, blue (merle) and white, liver and white, liver red (merle) and white.
Tricolors: Liver and tan, creeping tan, running tan, or saddle with traditional white Irish markings.
Merle modifiers - Cryptic merles, minimal merles, harlequins, tweeds
White: White dogs are described exhibiting more white than what is found in traditional Irish white markings, occurring in various amounts on the above listed color patterns;
Pied - white exceeds the Irish spotting pattern with white patches found on the body.
Color-headed-white - Body primarily white with color restricted to the head or up to two patches on the body.
Large patches or amounts of white indicating homogenous merle genotype/phenotype are undesirable.

Movement

The Collie breed is an efficient and powerful mover. When observed at a slow trot, the movement is smooth, energetic, efficient, sound, balanced, and harmonious. The characteristics of healthy structure are evident: when moving away, the forelegs and rear pasterns should remain parallel to one another. When viewing movement from the front, the forelegs should remain parallel, with elbows and paws neither moving in nor out. From the rear, the back pads should be visible when the rear legs are extended. As speed increases, the forelimbs and hindlimbs will converge to the center line of gravity. From the side, the topline should remain firm and level. Good reach of movement in the front allows the forepaw to extend out in a line with the nose. The width between the forefeet when extended should be approximately equal to the width between the hindfeet when extended, indicating balance, good reach, and good drive. Dogs that exhibit any sign of breathing or locomotive difficulty shall be disqualified from the show ring.

Temperament

The Collie exhibits a sound temperament, happy disposition, and high level of intelligence. He also excels at various tasks, including tracking and article search, obedience, agility, and conformation showing. They are well-known to be good with children and get along well with other dogs, making for wonderful companions. Regular daily exercise is a must, since they are a large and lively breed. Otherwise, they can be quite content just being near their people. Any unprovoked aggressive or fearful behavior toward people is incorrect for this breed.

Faults

All dogs should be in proper healthy condition, free from disease or defect. Any departure from this description is considered a fault. Unless altered, all male dogs should have two fully descended testicles.