The Breed Standard

GENERAL APPEARANCE: Well proportioned, smooth outline showing quality, gracefulness and perfect balance, combined with sufficient substance to give impression of endurance. Any tendency to courseness or weediness undesirable.

CHARACTERISTICS: Tenacious, hardworking sheepdog, of great tractability.

TEMPERAMENT: Keen, alert, responsive and intelligent. Neither nervous nor aggressive.

HEAD & 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 wide apart, oval shaped, of moderate size, brown in colour except in merles where one or both or part of one or both may be blue. Expression mild, keen, alert and intelligent.

EARS: Medium sized and texture, well set apart. Carried erect or semi-erect and sensitive in use.

MOUTH: Teeth and jaws strong with a perfect, regular 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.

FOREQUARTERS: Front legs parallel when viewed from front, pasterns slightly sloping when viewed from side. Bone strong, but not heavy. Shoulders well laid back, elbows close to body.

BODY: Athletic in apperance, 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, in profile sloping gracefully to set on 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 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 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 coated variety, abundant coat forms mane, breeching and brush. On face, ears, forelegs (except for feather), hind legs from hock to ground, hair should be short and smooth.

COLOUR: Variety of colours permissable. White should never predominate.

SIZE: Ideal height: Dogs 53cms (21ins); 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 be in exact proportion to its degree.

NOTE: Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

Breed Standard © Copyright Kennel Club

About us

The inaugural meeting of the Border Collie Club of Great Britain took place on the 6th August, 1973. 40 years on, the club remains the premier Border Collie breed club in the UK.