BORDER COLLIE APPEARANCE: COAT, COLORS & EARS
THE BORDER COLLIE IS, AND SHOULD REMAIN, A NATURAL AND UNSPOILED TRUE WORKING SHEEPDOG.
PRESENTATION Border Collies are subject to seasonal shedding. Movement and structure should be given higher priority than the amount or length of coat; dogs should not be penalized for being “out of coat” due to seasonal shedding. When being shown, it is expected that the dog be presented natu- rally. Feet may be trimmed and hocks may be neatened. Whiskers are left untrimmed. Border Collies should never appear “sculpted.” With proper coat maintenance, little else is needed before ring time. Rough- coated dogs are often wet down and the top coat is blown straight. In the ring, the coat should appear flowing with the movement of the dog. Often, on a heavily coated dog, hair is thinned over the hips so that it does not “flop” to-and-fro and distract from the overall appearance. The Border Collie is, and should remain, a natural and unspoiled true working sheepdog. Although a full complement of healthy teeth with a scissors bite should be presented, broken teeth and other scars incurred in the line of duty are acceptable.
LENGTH OF COAT Border Collies have two coat varieties, rough and smooth. While quite common in dog sports and herding, the smooth variety of Border Collie is still uncommon in the conforma- tion ring. There is currently a renewed interest in presenting the smooth variety on equal footing with the rough coats. Our national specialty will have dedicated classes for the smooth variety and you may see smooth classes at your local shows soon. The breed standard calls for them to be judged equally, but many conformation judges have never seen them in their rings. The gene for smooth coat is the dominant coat variety, so breeding quality conformation dogs should be able to be done within a few generations. Rough and smooth varieties can be born in the same litter. Smooth-coated dogs should still have the double coat described above. The texture of the topcoat is coarse (think Labrador Retriever) and the dog may have furnishings on the legs. There is a lot of variability in the amount and length of rough-coated dogs, with some hav- ing huge coats and others more closely resembling smooths; however, rough coats should never be excessive, and shedding should not be penalized in the show ring. Coat type, color, markings, and length are all secondary to proper movement. EAR SET Ears are of medium size, set well-apart, and carried in any number of ways, including both up, both down, one up and one down, rose or tipped forward or out to the side.
Karen Bell, Board Member at Large, has been in the breed for 38 years. She started showing in 2006, finishing 17 Champions and multiple Grand Champions. Karen has bred 17 Conformation Champions and one Herding Champion. She is an AKC Breeder of Merit Bronze.
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