ShowSight Presents The Bearded Collie

then reward the soundness of your typical specimens.” Th at makes type and sound- ness a continuum. Balance and proportion are probably the most important aspects to be de fi ned by any standard. Dogs must be considered as a whole and not as a large assortment of various parts. A dog can score well on individual points and still not be balanced. Our standard spells out a number of cru- cial points on balance and proportion, and your general education and dog knowledge fi lls in others. A Beardie considered to be within the guidelines set down in the standard is an acceptable animal to do the work for which he was intended. When you examine a Bearded Collie in pro fi le, you should immediately discern on a medium-sized frame the 5:4 proportion called for in our standard which contributes to the suppleness and movement of a tireless herding dog. Th at the length of back should come from the ribcage and not the loin helps insure a fi rm, level topline, with no wasted energy expended on twisting or roll- ing. Such a topline connotes both strength and agility. An incorrect croup may cause or exacerbate the exaggerated rear kickup we see all too frequently in our breed. Or it may bring the rear foot too far under the body to allow the necessary balance front to rear to show good typical sidegait. Excessive hock action is undesirable and keeping the hocks well let down avoids this problem. Th e correct slope of pastern is necessary for the quick turns of the herder and acts as an e ff ective shock absorber. Legs and feet that turn neither in nor out, but remain straight even when

fl exed in movement mean maximum thrust, unweakened by joints being out of line. But don’t confuse the relative narrow- ness of correct movement in a lean body with either hockiness or overcloseness. Corresponding and correct angles front and rear maximize reach and drive, and singletracking minimizes the possibility of any fatiguing roll. Good depth of chest with the long uniquely shaped ribcage of a lithe body allows plenty of room for heart and lungs, lending endurance and stamina. Coat texture and length of coat are important to a breed meant to work in harsh weather over unforgiving terrain. A soft or heavy coat cannot shed burrs or turn water readily. And of course, the character- istic beard from which the breed takes its name, should be present and accounted for. Th e head should show plenty of fl at backskull and a corresponding amount of well- fi lled foreface, allowing room for the particularly appealing and expressive eyes to be set wide and obliquely and for the jaws to hold a full complement of teeth. A bright, enquiring expression is a hall- mark of the breed. Bright, however, should not connote feverish or frantic, but rather an innate sense of intelligence and willing- ness to engage in a meaningful partnership with most humans. Ears should be of cor- rect length and carriage, su ffi ciently mobile to facilitate hearing in less-than-optimum conditions. Acceptable color and pigment add to the beauty of the dog. While there are no disquali fi cations in this breed, we do note a number of serious faults, and we would hope that you take

these seriously into consideration. In the end, current grooming practices notwith- standing, most of us would like to keep this a natural and unspoiled breed and we appreciate all the help you can give us. Our standard is, by and large, a good one, I think and the opening paragraph pretty well sums up what I consider to be the essence of the Beardie: “He is hardy and active, with an aura of strength and agility characteristic of a real working dog. Bred for centuries as a companion and servant of man, the Bearded Collie is a devoted and intelli- gent member of the family. He is stable and self-con fi dent, showing no signs of shyness and aggression. Th is is a natural and unspoiled breed.” BIO Cynthia Mahigian Moorhead has owned Bearded Collies since 1972, breeding and showing them under the kennel prefix “Parchment Farm,” and has been licensed to judge them since 1985. She has judged the Bearded Collie Club of America’s National Specialty twice, the first American breeder- judge to do so. She has also judged Beardies in Canada and the UK. In the past she has been BCCA president and BCCA board member, as well as chair of the BCCA Publications Committee, and editor of the “Beardie Bulletin”. She has written numer- ous articles about the breed, its history, and how to most e ff ectively judge it. Currently, she is co-chair of the BCCA’s Judges’ Educa- tion Committee and is owned by two Bear- die boys, Ramsay and Oliver, who herd and run agility.

/eft: 7he Beardie·s PovePent should be strong, yet effortless, with long, low, ground-covering strides, with no wasted motion. Above: :ithout the correct angles in front, undesirable PovePent faults Zill be present. The BCCA’s Illustrated Standard can be ordered from

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