Judges Education


The neck is firm, clean, muscular, sinewy and heavily frilled. It is fairly long, carried upright with a slight arch at the nape and imparts a proud, upstanding appearance showing off the frill.

The body is firm, hard and muscular, a trifle long in proportion to the height. The ribs are well-rounded behind the well-sloped shoulders and the chest is deep, extending to the elbows. The back is strong and level, supported by powerful hips and thighs and the croup is sloped to give a well-rounded finish. The loin is powerful and slightly arched.

The forelegs are straight and muscular, with a fair amount of bone considering the size of the dog. A cumbersome appearance is undesirable. Both narrow and wide placement are penalized. The forearm is moderately fleshy and the pasterns are flexible but without weakness. The hind legs are less fleshy, muscular at the thighs, very sinewy and the hocks and stifles are well bent. The comparatively small feet are approximately oval in shape.

“In judging, it never really becomes a question of type versus soundness as the two are so closely related. The skeletal structure, which serves as the framework of the dog, determines the angles and proportions that create both the silhouette and movement. A correct structural foundation is fundamental to both type and soundness. The ideal Collie silhouette, with its harmonious proportions and graceful curves is a result of structure, as is the smooth, effortless gait described in the standard. Without structure and soundness you can’t have type and without type you don’t have a Collie.”

-- Tom Coen, Macdega


“Effortless movement of the Collie should be as rewarding to the observer as is the head and expression. The Collie is often described as a ‘head breed,’ but we should not tolerate severe structural faults which would impede its function as a working dog.”

-- Bobbee Roos, Wickmere


“The Collie is slightly longer than tall and has the balanced, well-angulated front and rear that enables the dog to move easily and cover ground effortlessly. This does not mean that the breed must speed about the ring. Fast usually does not indicate correct movement in any breed. Correct movement means covering ground easily and effortlessly with no useless movement. There is beauty in motion.”

-- Barbara Schwartz, Impromptu


“On days when we would move sheep to the loading pens some ten miles away, the collies would cover fifty or more miles to the sheeps’ ten. Our collies worked at a constant trot, a gait the properly proportioned, sound dog can maintain for a whole day if weather and conditions are right. He must have near-perfect balance and strength to keep this up.

The features that make a collie a beautiful animal in the showring also make him a sound, agile, graceful and functional dog at work. Without doubt, the serious breeder must ascribe due importance to structure. Proper balance cannot be obtained with disregard for any part of the anatomy. Balance is the key word.”

-- Glen Twiford, Wind-Call

“First, in order to consider the Collie in movement, one must study and evaluate the entire conformation. Without the proper balance of its parts, the Collie will not move freely and correctly. The set of the neck and the head carriage are quite as important as the set of the tail and its carriage.”

-- Trudy B. Mangels, Brandwyne



“Soundness is vital to the utility of the Collie. Movement demonstrates a Collie’s ability to perform the task for which it was originally bred. There is no sight more beautiful than a sound Collie moving as it herds sheep or goes around the ring. Proper movement completes the picture of true breed type. If type is the integrity of our breed preserved, movement has to be closely related to type. I believe that a judge has to appreciate form as it relates to type and form as it relates to function.”

-- Carmen Leonard, Lisara

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