FCI-Standard N° 156
ORIGIN: Great Britain.
DATE OF PUBLICATION OF THE OFFICIAL VALID
FCI-CLASSIFICATION: Group 1 Sheepdogs and Cattle
Dogs (except Swiss
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).
Stop: Slight, but perceptible.
Nose: Always black.
Muzzle: End of smooth, well rounded muzzle blunt, never square.
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 blueflecked. Expression full of intelligence, with quick, alert look when
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.
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.
Shoulder: Sloping and well angulated.
Elbow: Neither turned in nor out.
Forearm: Forelegs straight and muscular, with moderate amount of
Forefeet: Oval; soles well padded. Toes arched and close together.
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
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
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
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.
• Aggressive or overly shy.
• Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities.
• Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully
descended into the scrotum.
• Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with breed typical
conformation, should be used for breeding.
The latest amendments are in bold characters.