Breeding high quality family & show Rough Collies & Borzois

The Collie is the world’s most beautiful dog breed! A bit of a claim, but not entirely wrong.

Many other dog owners will probably claim that their particular race is the most beautiful, but the Collie has some right to claim this honour. If you read the breed standard for the Collie, it appears that the Collie is a dog of great beauty. It is the only standard, at least in the FCI group 1, which highlights this exactly.

Most people know well the Collie from the movies about Lassie, and it is also true that the collie is a smart dog, but it is fortunately much more than just a movie star.

The Collie is actually born well behaved. It is not a breed that really tests your limits all the time, it is very intelligent and willing to learn and does not own hunting instincts, but needs a role in the family. The Collie is easy to train as it quickly interprets what the owner wants. There is rarely a need to repeat learning many times since the Collie has a great desire to “please”, to be “at your service”.

The Collie is a gentle dog and this must be taken into account in the training. The Collie will thrive very badly if its family is loud and garish. Similarly, training should not be after the “shut up, pace and direction” method. The Collie will totally lose respect for the owner of these methods.

As the Collie is a herding dog, it is very focused on his flock. The Collie remains loyal to his family and any other animals in the household and it is very rare that a collie is running away from home and roam around in the area. The Collie is not linked to a single member of the family but for the whole family and is best when the family is gathered. When the family is together he can afford to relax. The Collie is therefore best suited in a family where you have a calm and friendly tone. You get much further with fellowship, praise and friendly reprimands.

Watching the collie with the big, beautiful coat you perhaps think it must be a really huge job! The answer for this is that of course the coat needs care, but in reality, the collie breed in relation to its size and coat quantity requires absolutely the smallest amount of grooming. The coat needs neither to be cut or trimmed and if you spend half an hour a week for grooming, you will always have a beautiful and well-groomed collie in your house. If you spend this time grooming, you will not see a shedding problem. For naturally the collie sheds! The advantage is that the undercoat works its way out through the outer coat and will be easily collected before it settles around the house. The wool is also easier to gather together than short hair, unlike many other dog breeds whose coats bore into the fabric on furniture and clothes.

The Collie is a hardy dog, he eats in relation to his size, not much food, and is a very healthy dog that usually does not result in large vet bills.

Does the Collie have no errors at all? The answer is really no! The Collie is as mentioned a pleasant and sociable dog, but you can be absolutely sure that he can lie in the path. The Collie will often relax exactly in the middle of the corridor or a place where you often go through or in the doorway between two rooms. There he easily can keep an eye on what is going on and will not move an inch just because you want to pass with something heavy or hot. So be careful not to fall over the dog!

Below is the official description of the Collie, also called the “standard”. It is the “recipe” or “description” of how the perfect collie must be designed.

FCI standard for Collie

FCI Standard Nr. 156 (ORG 08.10.2012) 22.11.2012 (GB)

Utilization: Sheepdog.
FCI-Classification: FCI Group 1, Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs (except Swiss Cattle Dogs). Section 1 (Sheepdogs) Without working trial.
Brief Historical Summary: The rough and the smooth Collie is the same with the exception of coat length. The breed is thought to have evolved from dogs brought originally to Scotland by the Romans which then mated with native types. Purists may point to subtle differences which have appeared as individual breeders selected stock for future breeding, but the fact remains that the two breeds derived very recently from the same stock and, in truth, share lines which can be found in common to this day. The Rough Collie is the somewhat refined version of the original working collie of the Scottish shepherd, from which it has been selected over at least a hundred years. Many of the dogs can still perform satisfactorily at work, offered the chance. The basic message is that for all his beauty, the Collie is a worker.
General Appearance: Appears as a dog of great beauty, standing with impassive dignity, with no part out of proportion to whole. 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.
Behaviour/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: 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. Sides taper gradually and smoothly from ears to end of black nose. Viewed in profile, top of skull and top of muzzle lie in two parallel straight lines of equal length divided by the stop. A mid-point between inside corner of eyes (which is centre of a correctly placed stop) is centre of balance in length of head. Depth of skull from brow to underpart of jaw never excessive (deep through).
Cranial Region:
Scull: Flat.
Stop: Slight, but perceptible.
Facial Region:
Nose: Always black.
Muzzle: End of smooth, well rounded muzzle blunt, never square. Not pinched.
Jaws / Teeth: Jaws strong, under-jaw clean cut. Teeth of good size. A perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.
Cheeks: Cheekbones not prominent.
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.
Neck: Muscular, powerful, of fair length, well arched.
Body: Slightly long compared with height.
Back: Firm.
Loin: Slight rise.
Chest: Deep; fairly broad behind shoulders; ribs well sprung.
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.
Shoulders: Sloping and well angulated.
Elbow: Neither turned in nor out.
Forearm: Forelegs straight and muscular, with moderate amount of round bone.
Forefeet: Oval; soles well padded. Toes arched and close together.
Thigh: Muscular.
Stifle (Knee): Well bent.
Lower thigh: Clean and sinewy.
Hock joint: Well let down and powerful.
Hind feet: Oval; soles well padded. Toes arched and close together. Slightly less arched than forefeet.
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 is highly undesirable. Hind legs from hock joint to ground when viewed from rear to be parallel but not too close; when viewed from side, action is smooth. Hind legs powerful with plenty of drive. A reasonably long stride is desirable and should be light and appear effortless. Absolute soundness essential.
Hair: 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, hind legs above hocks profusely feathered, but smooth below hock joint. Hair on tail very profuse.
Colour: Sable, 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. All white or predominantly white is highly undesirable.
Sable: Any shade of light gold to rich mahogany or shaded sable. Light straw or cream coloured highly undesirable
Sable: Any shade of light gold to rich mahogany or shaded sable. Light straw or cream coloured highly undesirable
Height at the withers: Males: 56 – 61 cms. Females: 51 – 56 cms.
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 and on its ability to perform its traditional work.
Disqualifying faults: Aggressive or overly shy.
Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
N.B.: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

This Standard is approved by FCI 08.10.2012

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