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 coarseness or weediness is undesirable.
CHARACTERISTICS - 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.
TEMPERAMENT - (See under Characteristics)
HEAD - 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 nose colour in all dogs will be a solid colour with no pink or light pigment, and shall complement the background 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 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.
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 coarseness.
FOREQUARTERS - 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.
BODY - 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.
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.
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 stealth. 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 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 stiltiness or to cowhocks or bowhocks is a serious fault.
COAT - 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 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.
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 the basic body colour must predominate and be the background colour of the dog.
SIZE - Height: Dogs 48-53 cm (approx. 19-21 ins) at withers
Bitches 46-51 cm (approx. 18-20 ins) 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 proportion to its degree.
NOTE - Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
The American Standard
The Border Collie is a well balanced, medium-sized dog of athletic appearance, displaying grace and agility in equal measure with substance and stamina.
His hard, muscular body has a smooth outline which conveys the impression of effortless movement and endless endurance... characteristics which have made him the world's premier sheep herding dog. He is energetic, alert and eager. Intelligence is his hallmark.
SIZE, PROPORTION, SUBSTANCE
The height at the withers varies from 19'' to 22'' for males, 18'' to 21'' for females. The body, from point of shoulder to buttocks, is slightly longer than the height at the shoulders. bone must be strong, not excessive, always in proportion to size. Overall balance between height, length, weight and bone is crucial and is more important than any absolute measurement. Excess body weight is not to be mistaken for muscle or substance. Any single feature of size appearing out of proportion should be considered a fault.
Expression is intelligent, alert, eager and full of interest. Eyes are set well apart, of moderated size, oval in shape. The color encompasses the full range of brown eyes; dogs having primary body colors other than black may have noticeably lighter eye color. Lack of eye rim pigmentation is a fault. Blue eyes are a fault except in merles, where one or both, or part of one or both eyes may be blue. Ears are of medium size, set well apart, carried erect and/or semi-erect. The tips may fall forward or outward to the side. Ears are sensitive and mobile. Skull and foreface approximately equal in length. Stop moderate, but distinct.
Muzzle moderately short, strong and blunt, tapering to nose. The underjaw is strong and well-developed. Nose color matches the primary body color. Nostrils are well developed. A snipy muzzle is a fault. Bite: Teeth and jaws are strong, meeting in scissors bite.
NECK, TOPLINE, BODY
Neck is of good length, strong and muscular, slightly arched and broadening to shoulders. Topline is level, with slight arch over the loins. Body is athletic in appearance. Chest is deep, moderately broad, showing great lung capacity. Brisket reaching to the point of the elbow. Rib cage well sprung. Loins moderately deep, muscular, slightly arched with no tuck-up. Croup gradually sloped downward. Tail is set low. It is moderately long, bone reaching at least to the hock. It may have an upward swirl to the tip. While concentrating at a given task, the tail is carried low and used for balance. In excitement it may rise level with the back. A gay tail is a fault.
Forelegs well-boned and parallel when viewed from front, pasterns slightly sloping when viewed from side. The shoulders are long and well-angulated to the upper arm. The elbows are neither in nor out. Dewclaws may be removed. Feet are compact, oval in shape, pads deep and strong, toes moderately arched and close together.
Broad and muscular, in profile sloping gracefully to set of tail. The thighs are long, broad, deep and muscular, with well-turned stifles and strong hocks, well let down. When viewed from the rear, hind legs are well-boned, straight and parallel or are very slightly cowhocked. Dewclaws may be removed. Feet are compact, oval in shape, pads deep and strong, toes moderately arched and close together. Nails are short and strong.
Two varieties are permissible, both having soft, dense, weather resistant double coat. In puppies, the coat is short, soft, dense and water resistant, becoming the undercoat in adult dogs. The rough coat is medium to long, texture from flat to slightly wavy. Short and smooth coat on face. Forelegs feathered. Rear pasterns may have wavy and are not faulted. The smooth coat is short over entire body. May have feathering on forelegs and fuller coat on chest.
The Border Collie appears in many colors, with various combinations of patterns and markings. The most common color is black with or without the traditional white blaze, collar, stockings and tail tip, with or without tan points. However, a variety of primary body colors is permissible. The sole exception being all white. Solid color, bi-color, tri-color, merle and sable dogs are judged equally with dogs having traditional markings. Color and markings are always secondary to physical evalutation and gait.
The Border Collie is an agile dog, able to suddenly change speed and direction without loss of balance and grace. Endurance is his trademark. His trotting gait is free, smooth and tireless, with minimum lift of feet. The topline does not shift as he conveys and effortless glide. He moves with great stealth, strength and stamina. When viewed from the side, the stride should cover maximum ground, with minimum speed. viewed from the front, the action is forward and true, without weakness in shoulders, elbows or pasterns. Viewed from behind, the quarters thrust with drive and flexibility, with hocks moving close together but never touching. Any deviation from a sound-moving dog is a fault. In final asessment, gait is an essential factor, confirming physical evaluation.
The Border Collie is intelligent, alert and responsive. Affectionate towards friends, he may be sensibly reserved towards strangers and therefore makes an excellent watchdog. An intensive worker while herding, he is eager to learn and to please, and thrives on human companionship. Any tendencies toward viciousness or extreme shyness are serious faults.
Any deviation from the foregoing should be considered a fault, the seriousness of the fault depending upon the extent of the deviation.
FCI Standard No. 297
ORIGIN: Great Britain
DATE OF PUBLICATION OF THE VALID STANDARD: 24.08.1988.
CLASSIFICATION FCI: Group 1. Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs (except Swiss Cattle Dogs)
Section 1. Sheepdogs
Without working trial
GENERAL APPEARANCE: Well proportioned, smooth outline showing quality, gracefulness and perfect balance, combined with sufficient substance to give impression of endurance. Any tendency to coarseness or weediness undesirable.
CHARACTERISTICS: Tenacious, hard-working sheepdog, of great tractability.
TEMPERAMENT: Keen, alert, responsive and intelligent. Neither nervous nor aggressive.
HEAD AND SKULL: Skull fairly broad, occiput not pronounced. Cheeks not full or rounded. Muzzle, tapering to nose, moderately short and strong. Skull and foreface approximately equal in length. Stop very distinct. Nose black, except in brown or chocolate colour when it may be brown, in blues nose should be slate colour. Nostrils well developed.
EYES: Set well apart, oval shaped, of moderated size, brown colour except merles where one or part of one or both may be blue. Expression mild, keen, alert and intelligent.
EARS: Medium size and texture, set well apart. Carried erect or semi-erect and sensitive in use.
MOUTH: Teeth and jaws strong, with a perfect and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.
NECK: Of good length, strong and muscular, slightly arched and broadening to shoulders. Topline is level, with slight arch over the loins. Body is athletic in appearance.
FOREQUARTERS: Front legs parallel when viewed from front, pasterns slightly sloping when viewed from the side.Bone strong but not heavy. Shoulders well laid back, elbows close to body.
BODY: Athletic in appearance, ribs well sprung, chest deep and rather broad, loins deep and muscular, but not tucked up. Body slightly longer than height at shoulder.
HINDQUARTERS: Broad, muscular and in profile sloping gracefully to set of tail. Thighs long, deep and muscular with well turned stifles and strong well let down hocks.From hock to ground, hind legs well boned and parallel when viewed from the rear.
FEET: Oval in shape, pads deep, strong and sound, toes arched and close together. Nails short and strong.
TAIL: Moderately long, the bone reaching at least to the hock, set on low, well furnished and with an upward swirl towards the end, completing graceful contour and balance of dog. Tail may be raised in excitement, never carried over back.
GAIT/MOVEMENT: Free, smooth and tireless, with minimum lift of feet, conveying impression of ability to move with great stealth and speed.
COAT: Two varieties: 1) Moderately long; 2) Smooth. In both, topcoat dense, and medium textured, undercoat soft and dense giving good weather resistance. In moderately long coat variety, abundant coat forms mane, breeching and brush. On face, ears, forelegs (except for feather), hindlegs from hock to ground, hair should be short and smooth.
COLOUR: Variety of colours permissible. White should never predominate.
SIZE: Ideal height: dogs 53 cms (21'' ); bitches slightly less.
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.
NB: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.