Collie Breed Magazine - Showsight

q&A collie

That’s what I was looking for. In 1982 I obtained 2 bitches from a litter sired by this kennel’s top dog. One was for show and they ‘threw the other one in’ because they didn’t want the other pup to be lonely. The throw in-pup was the one that finished and became my foundation bitch. I didn’t choose my kennel name until 1987. I wanted a short kennel name—something that would fit with other names and could be used easily. Society Collies was born. It has proven to be the easy to use name that I had hoped for. After 1987, I became very involved in breeding and show- ing. I had a full time job, so I never had more than 6 adult Collies at one time. I decided from the beginning to keep just one pup from a litter. I never had more than one litter a year. Once a dog had finished and was no longer used in the breeding program, I would place them in a family being the only dog sleeping on someone’s couch. This enabled me con- tinue to have litters without ending up with too many dogs. I never bred a litter that I didn’t want something from. That’s not to say they all turned out—there were definitely some that didn’t turn out as I had planned. I also didn’t have ‘brood bitches’ unless they were also show bitches. I didn’t have room to keep dogs I couldn’t or wouldn’t show. My desire was to have success at local specialties and the National Spe- cialty. I did go to all-breeds, but as time went on, I concen- trated on specialties. Several of my homebred Collies were winners at the Collie National. Winners Dog, Best Opp Sex to Best of Variety, Best of Variety and on to Best Opp Sex to Best of Breed, and over a dozen Award of Merits. One of my favorite males was ranked in the CCA ranking system one year. Ch. Society Niteridge Hot Topic was #6 in the Hawkins System, which is based on specialty wins with larger entries. Since my dogs were all owner handled until the last 5 years, I was quite proud that we accomplished it attending only local specialties. The thing I’m most proud of is ‘The Blues Brothers’. I had bred my smooth bitch to a lovely blue rough dog. The result- ing litter was outstanding. Two of the boys—a blue rough and blue smooth were especially outstanding. The stud owner took the smooth boy and friend of hers took the rough. Since she was Collie and sheltie handler, she attended a lot more dog shows than I did. In 2005 these boys ended the year as the #1 rough and #1 smooth Collies—breed system and Hawkins System. Never has two littermate rough and smooth Collies both been number 1 in their variety in the same year. Ch. Edenrock The Mask of Society ROM and Ch. Society Edenrock Artic Sky were two boys I was very proud of. As I slowed my breeding program and quit showing, I became a judge in 2005. I truly enjoy judging. The first thing I look for is balance. The Collie standard is long and detailed, but it is explicit on what a Collie should be. Much is up to interpretation which is what makes us all different. Expres- sion is the next thing that a Collie must have. I must be able to look into their soul and feel they are looking into mine. The eyes are obliquely set and must look back at you. The head of the Collie gets a lot of emphasis in the standard. Two par- allel planes when looking from the profile, a relatively long smooth head on the sides that is a blunt wedge. There is defi- nitely no depth to the head and the throat should be cut back

showing the lightness of the head. It has been said that one part should flow gently into the next. When viewing a Collie, nothing should appear like it doesn’t fit. That takes you back to the importance of balance. LILY RUSSELL I saw my first Collie at the age of 6, I was 13 when my dad brought home a Collie puppy. I chose my kennel name, Tango, in honor of my mother and father who would dance the Tango on New Year’s Eve at midnight. My family is from Ecuador, South America. I purchased a Collie for our children the spring of 1985, and I took her to a local dog show in 1987. I had never been to a dog show prior to that day, and had no idea of what to do. From then on I tried to learn as much as possible about canine movement and structure. I also went to handling seminars when I could so that I could handle my own dog in the ring. I live in Keokuk, IA, I have worked at Keokuk Area Hospital since 1978, and I retired as Hematology Supervisor after 30+ years on November 20, 2015. I joined the Collie Club of America in 1989 and in that year I also pur- chased a rough bitch from Debonair Collies in St. Louis, MO. I showed sporadically, as our two sons were young. Our first litter was whelped in 1994. I kept a dog from that litter “Mag- num”; he did not finish but had several major reserves. In 1997 I leased a smooth sable bitch, and bred her to “Magnum”. This litter produced two very nice dogs Ch. Tango’s G.I. Jane, ROM “Janie” and Ch. Tango’s Wings of Chance “Phoenix”. Both of these dogs won the Herding Group and “Phoenix” had sev- eral Group placements. I am an avid gardener and “Phoenix” was named after the hybrid daylily “Wings of Chance” which is one of my favorites. As far as highlights in this sport, I have a lot of wonderful memories with several dogs. I would have to say the two that I think about most often and relive in my mind are showing a young tri smooth dog, “Ace” Ch. Tango’s Lynmar Jackpot to an Award of Merit at the Collie Club of America Nation- al Specialty. Just to clarify, this young dog put me through “the wringer” that day, but what I came away with from that show, is that you need to keep a sense of humor when show- ing dogs. My other highlight, showing Ch, Tango’ She’s Got the Look, “Sophia”, in 2008, qualifying for the invitation to Westminster and winning the variety there 2009. That is one trip and a show that I will always remember! 1. What five traits do you look for, in order, when judging Collies? What do you consider the ultimate hallmark of the breed? WB: The Collie is a head breed and must have a long, clean head without coarseness or traits suggesting any other breed. The standard emphasizes the importance of evaluating the expression and comparing one animal to another. It should be sweet, rather quizzical and alert. The Collie should not appear under or over-sized and must move freely. SF: I look first for general outline: symmetry and balance that say COLLIE! Head type is very important in

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