The Border Collie is highly intelligent, with an instinctive
tendency to work and is readily responsive to training. It's keen,
alert and eager expression add to its intelligent appearance, whilst
its loyalty and faithful nature demonstrates that it is at all times
kindly disposed towards stock. Any aspect of structure or
temperament foreign to a working dog is uncharacteristic.
The general appearance should be that of a well proportioned dog,
the smooth outline showing quality, gracefulness and perfect balance,
combined with sufficient substance to ensure that
it is capable of enduring long periods of activity in its intended
task as a working sheepdog. Any tendency to coarseness or weediness
The skull is broad and flat between the ears, slightly narrowing to
the eye with a pronounced stop cheeks deep but not prominent. The muzzle, tapering to the nose,
is strong and the same length as the skull. The lips are tight and
clean and the nose is large with open nostrils. The nose
colour in all dogs will be a solid colour with no pink or light
pigment, and shall compliment the backgrounds colour of the dog .
The eyes are set wide apart, oval shaped of moderate size
harmonising with the colour of the coat but darker colour preferred,
except in the case of chocolate where a lighter colour is
permissable and in the case of merles where blue is permissable. The expression
is mild but keen, alert and intelligent.
The ears should be of medium size and texture, set well apart, carried
semi-erect and sensitive in their use and inside
well furnished with hair.
The teeth should be sound, strong and evenly spaced, the lower
incisors just behind but touching the upper, that is a scissor bite..
The neck is of good length, strong and muscular, slightly
arched and broadening to the shoulders, without throatiness or
The shoulders are long and well angulated to the upper arm, neither
in nor out at the elbow. The forelegs are well boned, straight and
parallel when viewed from the front. Pasterns show flexibility with
a slight slope when viewed from the side.
The body is moderately long with well-sprung ribs tapering to a
fairly deep and moderately broad chest.. The loins are broad, deep
and muscular and only slightly arched, flanks deep and not cut up.
The hindquarters are broad and muscular, in profile sloping
gracefully to the set on of the tail. The thighs are long,
broad, deep, muscular with well turned stifles and strong hocks,
well let down, and when viewed from the rear are straight and
Oval in shape, pads deep, strong and sound, toes moderately arched and close
together. Nails short and strong.
The tail is moderately long, set on low, well furnished with an
upward swirl towards the end, completing the graceful contour and balance of
the dog. The tail may be raised in excitement but not carried
over the back.
The movement is free, smooth and tireless, with a minimum lift of
the feet, conveying the impression of the ability to move with great
stealth. The action, viewed from the front, should be straight
forward and true, without weakness at shoulders, elbows or pasterns.
Viewed from behind the quarters thrust with strength and
flexibility, with hocks not close nor too far apart. When trotting,
the dog's feet tend to come closer together as speed increases, but
when the dog comes to rest he should stand four square. Any tendency
to stiltiness or to cowhocks or bowhocks is a serious fault.
Double coated, with a moderately long, dense, medium textured
topcoat while the undercoat is short, soft and dense, making a
weather resisting protection with an abundant
coat to form a mane, breeching and brush. On face, ear tips, forelegs
(except for feather), hindlegs from hock to ground, the hair is short and smooth. A smooth coat is acceptable.
A variety of colours is permissible, but white should never predominate.
Height: Dogs 48-53 cm (approx 19-21 in) at withers
Bitches 46-51 cm (approx. 18-20 in) at withers
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault
and the seriousness of the fault should be in exact proportion to
Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended
into the scrotum.