Collie Breed Magazine - Showsight

q&A collie

our breed. The Standard is very specific about the factors which come into play. All are needed to produce true Collie expression, which is probably my Number 2 trait. It can only be produced by a combination of eye (shape, placement, size and color) round muzzle, slight stop, flat back skull and length of head proportionate to size of the individual. Correct body type for a Collie is the final criterion related to the first, overall symmetry, with cor- rect structure the Collie will move lightly, floating down and back and show a level, rather motionless toppling in side view. RH: The first five traits or virtues I would look for as a breeder or judge would be expression, balance, tempera- ment, structure and movement. 1) Expression being the hallmark of the breed beginning with eye placement, size, color and shape. 2) The balance in head proper- ties dictating eye placement with length of head being a clean cut blunt wedge inclined to lightness divided by a slight, but perceivable stop at mid point between the eyes with the ears carried erect breaking naturally. The head properties are of great importance and difficult to understand until one has observed correct expres- sion. Everything is in balance, head and body creating an impressive proud picture with each part in balance with the other. The Collie presents and impressive proud picture of high intelligence with a regal appearance. 3) A Collie also is not a Collie without correct temperament being friendly and inquisitive their mild manners allow them to interact and adapt to their surroundings. 4) The Collie is a herding dog where structure is of importance being more rectangular than square with the body a bit longer than the height. 5) A Collie should single track moving strong and effortlessly without rolling or pranc- ing, stopping naturally four square. SH: Outline, heads, top line, movement, structure. The head is the hallmark. RJ: When judging any breed, the first thing I look for is bal- ance. Overall balance in the Collie is not just in body, but is very important in the head. The next attribute I look for is expression. Collie expression sets our breed apart from any other. The cleanness of the zygomatic arches on the side of the head is important to keep the head light and not heavy. The skull and depth of head are also very important. I am looking for a sound, single tracking dog with good reach and drive that holds its topline. GK: When the dogs first come into the ring, I look at the lineup from afar, looking for breed type, outline and balance. That first cursory glance is important as it can show whether all the parts fit harmoniously before you even go over the dog. First impressions are very impor- tant! Before taking the dogs around the ring, I go down the line looking closely at head and expression. The ultimate hallmarks of the breed are head, eye and expres- sion. I could be described as a headhunter because in my opinion, without a correct Collie head and beautiful expression, you might as well just have any other breed of dog! Per our standard, one of the most important points is “expression”. It’s something that is very difficult

to describe, but you will know it when you see it! It is the unique combination of a correct, beautifully chiseled head (long, clean on the sides, flat skull, with rounded muzzle and correct stop) with beautiful, properly set eyes, and correctly set and carried ears. You seldom see correct expression on a poor head, so the two are very closely tied together. For me, they are what make the Collie breed so special. With language in our standard like “head properties are of great importance”, “Because of the importance of the head characteristics”, “promi- nent head faults are very severely penalized”, “Expres- sion is one of the most important points”, and “Eye faults are heavily penalized”, a judge can easily see where the emphasis lies in our breed. When taking the dogs around the ring, I look for a level topline as they are moving and nice reach and drive. Collies are a single tracking breed and a lot of judges (and some breeders, for that matter) really don’t under- stand exactly what that means. On the individual down and back, I like to see a dog with correct single tracking movement, coming and going. For some reason many Col- lies seem to be natural pacers and unless it is caught, the dog can look almost crippled in the rear, when he/she is not. Dogs should not move with their head down low to the ground and the rear-end high in the air. The topline should be level. The dog’s tail should never be over the back. Many dogs carry their tails higher when moving, but it should go down into correct position when the dog comes to a standstill. Coat is the crowning glory of the rough Collie and some- times in strong competition; it can make or break a dog’s placement or “winnability” factor! Amount of coat isn’t always better. The coat should be well-fitting with proper texture! Beautiful white markings can really enhance a dog’s appearance, but don’t fall into the trap of only looking for those dogs with big white collars and perfect white markings. Also of great importance is temperament. I like to see a dog showing and animated. I don’t mind a Collie acting up or being a brat, as long as he is friendly and stable. A judge only has so much time to look at each dog and if the entry is afraid of his own shadow, it’s easy to miss an otherwise good dog. On occasion I have penalized very beautiful dogs due to poor temperament, but fortunately you do not see it very often in our breed. Ideally you want it all. Unfortunately no dog has it all so it becomes a task of sorting through the individual dogs, looking for those important breed virtues while balancing the quali- ties with the degree of faults. HM: Firstly, I want a Collie to have a friendly, stable tempera- ment. Then I look for the strong, easy ground covering movement of a herding dog. From the entries which qualify in these regards I will look for the classic clean smooth head with a soft, sweet expression, ears set on and tipped properly, and proper parallel planes. The ultimate hallmark of the breed is the head. MR: Collies should single track. They should be light on their feet. Their gait should be effortless and it should be

t4 )08 4 *()5 . "(";*/& % &$&.#&3 

Powered by