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.
- 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.
- (See under Characteristics)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The teeth should be sound, strong and evenly spaced,
the lower incisors just behind but touching the upper,
that is a scissor bite.
- The neck is of good length, strong and muscular, slightly
arched and broadening to the shoulders, without throatiness
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Oval in shape, pads deep, strong and sound, toes moderately
arched and close together. Nails short and strong.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- 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
Height: Dogs 48-53 cm (approx. 19-21 ins) at withers
Bitches 46-51 cm (approx. 18-20 ins) at withers
- 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.
Working Dog Group A.N.K.C.
© January 1998