Collie Breed Magazine - Showsight


were getting too small and short-legged but that seems to improving. The eyes are still too small and poorly placed. LC: I do not feel that their traits that are becoming exagger- ated, however, with the drop in breeder and exhibitor numbers, champions are easier to make and it opens the way for regionalism. I find that often when judging and after class placements, when the Specials enter the ring I can easily spot the origin of the faults. I think that many of the Collies I see in the ring today are better than when I started judging. We are fortunate in this breed that there are still excellent breeders all across the country who are turning out Collies that we all can be proud of. TC: Exaggerated, not really, but there are a few areas that need more attention. Specifically, overall balance and eye set. Without correct set and placement of the eyes you cannot have the “sweet, intelligent, alert expression” that makes a Collie, a Collie. We are seeing more Collies that are wide between the eyes and this gives them a foreign look that is undesirable. There were some good dogs in the past and now. When I think of the dogs who helped me from my template of “ideal” they are the great ones of the past, dogs who possessed incredible beauty and naturally elegant carriage. Good type is timeless. SF: The breed generally is probably “prettier”, but “cute” is not to be found in the Standard. Tendency to shortlegged- ness or just undersize Collies. I think it was over-reaction to the rather rangy type prevalent in the breed when I came in. Also, maybe many dogs of the mid-century lacked coat, but it was correct texture, not like too many poofy, over-groomed and trimmed fluffies today. The Col- lie has always been a natural breed and should be shown with a minimum of tidying. Ears today are too artificial, being put up in braces before puppy teeth are even in. This prevents the softness which is a natural frame for the face. Coloring, coat enhancers and scissoring are as common in the Collie ring as down the line in Poodles. RH: They are better in some ways but not in the areas I feel are most important in maintaining the breed type in head detail. Often the breed is balanced and presented well but many do not have correct expression and new breed- ers don’t seek out long time successful breeder men- tors and do not base selection upon expression. Maybe expression is less understood because it’s the most dif- ficult to define without example. With correct expression being the hallmark of the Collie, the expression seen and often awarded, in my opinion is not correct in many Col- lies being exhibited. GK: The breed is always evolving and there will always be trends! Depending on what families of dogs are influenc- ing the breed at any particular time, the breed will start taking on those characteristics of the popular, prominent

families—for good and bad. Currently there are quite a few dogs being shown with excessive width between the eyes. Another trait becoming exaggerated is a short upper arm. If a dog looks as though he is standing down in the front end, with a higher rear end, that’s generally what is going on. Sometimes excessive coat on the rump will give this impression, but all that takes is a hands-on examination. Usually moving the dog will confirm a short upper arm because they almost always will appear like a wheel barrel when moving. Some of the Collies in certain parts of the country are becoming quite small. MR: I feel there is too much trimming. Eyes have gotten too small and wide set. Collies are more correct now than in the early 70s. I feel breeders have bred for better heads and expression is also softer. LR: I think that the breed has made significant improvement in movement. This can be seen in the number or Collies that are placing in the Herding Group, the RBIS and BIS. I think eyes were getting too small but I think breeders realize this is a fault and are striving to correct it. HS: No, I hope they never will. Some of the Collie virtues that were cherished in years past have been lost or sacri- ficed by our breeders in exchange for winning. 3. Do you find a difference in conformation or quality between Smooths and Roughs? WB: The smooths have better skulls than the roughs, but many are too square. SF: Probably the overall average quality in Smooths brought into the ring today is higher but body type is worse, toplines in particular. There are many quality Smooths but with the point system you can finish anything. LR: I do not think there is a difference. They both have the same standard. I find that it is easier to judge the smooth, as the rough coat and skillful grooming can disguise a fault until you put your hands on the dog. 4. Anything else you’d like to add? WB: I admire judges who find outstanding young dogs and carry them to high awards before they become well- known to everyone. I think new judges to our breed are sometimes not able to get away from being overly influ- enced by coat and presentation. I do see them take some time to evaluate the expression but I have never seen them bring two or three together to compare. LC: We are fortunate in this breed that we still have clubs that put on Specialties, which are a learning experience for all involved. Unfortunately, club membership is declining. TC: The Collie must be judged as a total but the distinguish- ing quality has always been the head and expression.


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