Victorian Era Collie Club of America Standards

Excerpted from The dog book, Volume 1, James Watson – 1906

Head.—Skull flat, moderately wide between the ears and gradually tapering to the eyes. There should be but a very slight prominence of the eyebrows and a very slight depression at the stop.

The proper width of skull necessarily depends upon the combined length of skull and muzzle, for what would be a thick or too broad skull in one dog is not necessarily so in another of the same actual girth but better supported by length of muzzle. It must also be considered in conjunction with the size of the dog, and should incline to lightness, accompanied by cleanness of outline of cheeks and jaws. A heavy-headed dog lacks the bright, alert and full-of-sense look so much to be desired. On the other hand, the attenuated head is most frequently seen with small Terrier eyes, which show no character.

Muzzle should be of fair length and tapering to the nose, which should be black; it must not show weakness or appear snipy. The teeth of good size and even. English standard says, “Mouth the least bit overshot,” but this is by no means desirable, and if at all exaggerated should be treated as a malformation.

Eyes.—There being no “brow” in which to set the eyes, they are necessarily placed obliquely, the upper portion of the muzzle being dropped or chiselled to give them the necessary forward lookout. They should be of medium size, never showing too light in comparison with the colour

of coat nor with a yellow ring. Expression full of intelligence, with a bright and “what-is-it” look when on the alert or listening to orders; this is, of course, largely contributed to by the throwing up of the ears which accompanies the “qui-vive” attitude.

Ears.—The ears can hardly be too small if carried properly; if too small they are apt to be thrown quite erect or prick eared; and if large they either cannot be properly lifted off the head or, if lifted, they show out of proportion. When in repose the ears are folded lengthwise and thrown back into the frill; on the alert they are thrown up and drawn closer together on the top of the skull. They should be carried about three-quarters erect. A prick-eared dog should be penalised. So much attention having of late been given to securing very high carriage of ears, it has resulted in reaching the other extreme in some cases, and that is now necessary to guard against.

Neck.—Should be muscular and of sufficient length to give the dog a fine upstanding appearance and show off the frill, which should be very full.

Body.—Rather long, ribs well rounded, chest deep but of fair breadth behind the shoulders, which should have good slope. Loin slightly arched, showing power.

Legs.—Fore legs straight and muscular, with a fair amount of bone, the fore arm moderately fleshy; pasterns showing flexibility without weakness; the hind legs less fleshy, very sinewy, and hocks and stifles well bent. Feet oval in shape, soles well padded, and the toes arched and close together.

Tail.—Moderately long, carried low when the dog is quiet, the end having upward twist or “swirl,” gayly when excited, but not carried over the back.

Coat.—This is a very important point. The coat, except on the head and legs, should be abundant, the outer coat harsh to the touch, the inner coat soft and furry and very close—so close that it is difficult on parting the hair to see the skin. The mane and frill should be very abundant, the mask or face smooth, the fore legs slightly feathered, the hind legs below the hocks smooth. Hair on tail very profuse, and on hips long and bushy.

Colour.—Immaterial, though a richly coloured or nicely marked dog has undoubtedly ‘a considerable amount of weight with judges—the black-and-tan with white frill and collar or the still more showy sable with perfect white markings will generally win, other things being equal.

Size.—Dogs, 22 to 24 inches at the shoulder; bitches, 20 to 22 inches. Weight—dogs, 45 to 60 pounds; bitches, 40 to 50 pounds.

Expression.—This is one of the most important points in considering the relative value of Collies. “Expression,” like the term “character,” is difficult to define in words. It is not a fixed point as in colour, weight or height, and is something the uninitiated can only properly understand by optical illustration. It is the combined product of the shape of the skull and muzzle, the set, size, shape and colour of the eyes, and the position and carriage of the ears.

General Character.—A lithe, active dog, with no useless timber about him, his deep chest showing strength, his sloping shoulders and well-bent hocks indicating speed and his face high intelligence. As a whole he should present an elegant and pleasing outline, quite distinct from any other breed, and show great strength and activity.

Faults.—Domed skull, high-peaked occipital bone, heavy pendulous ears or the other extreme, prick ears, short tail, or tail curled over the back.

The foregoing description is that of the Collie Club of America, which fixed no scale of points.

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