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Border Collie Breed Standard


Group: Group 5 (Working Dogs)



General Appearance:  The general appearance shall be that of a well-proportioned dog, 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 courseness or weediness is undesirable.


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


Temperament: ( see under Characteristics )


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


Eyes:  The eyes are set wide apart, oval shaped of moderate size

harmonising with the colour of the coat but darker colour prefered, 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.


Ears:  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.


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


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


Forequarters:  The shoulders are long and well angulated to the upper arm, neither is 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.


Body:  The body is moderatly 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.


Hindquarters:  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.


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


Tail:  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.


Gait/Movement:  The movement is free, smooth and tireless, with a minimum lift of the feet, conveying the impression of the ability to move with great strength. The action viewed from the front, should be straight forward and true, without weakness at shoulders, elbows or pasterns. Viewed from behind the quarters thrust with strength and flexibility, with hocks not close nor to far apart. When trotting the dogs 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 cow hocks or bow hocks is a serious fault.


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


Colour:  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 basic body colour must predominate and be the backround colour of the dog.


Sizes:  Height:


Dogs 48-53 cm  (approx. 19-21 inch) at witheres


Bitches 46-51 cm (approx. 18-20 inch) at withers


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 proportons to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.


Notes:  Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully decended into the scrotum.




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