Kennel Club revised breed standards - 1969


Characteristics: To enable the Collie to fulfill a natural bent for Sheepdog work; its physical structure should be on lines of strength and activity, free from cloddiness and without any trace of coarseness. Expression, one of the most important points in considering relative values, is obtained by the perfect balance and combination of skull and foreface; size, shape, colour and placement of eye, correct position and carriage of ears.

General appearance: The Collie should instantly appeal as a dog of great beauty, standing with impassive dignity, with no part out of proportion to the whole.

Head & skull: The head properties are of great importance and must be considered in proportion to the size of the dog. When viewed from both front and profile the head bears a general resemblance to a well-blunted, clean wedge, being smooth in outline. The sides should taper gradually and smoothly from the ears to the end of the black nose, without prominent cheek bones or pinched muzzle. 
Viewed in profile, the top of the skull and the top of the muzzle lie in two parallel, straight planes of equal length, divided by a slight, but perceptible "stop" or break. A mid-point between the inside corners of the eyes (which is centre of correctly placed "stop") is centre of balance in length of head. The end of the smooth, wellrounded muzzle is blunt, but not square. The underjaw is strong, clean cut and the depth of the skull from brow to the underpart of the jaw, must never be excessive (deep through).

Whatever the colour of the dog the nose must be black.

Eyes: These are a very important feature and give a sweet expression to the dog. They should be of a medium size, set somewhat obliquely, of almond shape and of dark brown colour except in the case of blue merles when the eyes are frequently (one or both, or part of one or both) blue or blue flecked. Expression full of intelligence, with a quick, alert look when listening.

Ears: These should be small and not too close together on top of the skull, nor too much to the side of the head. When in repose they should be carried thrown back, but when on the alert brought forward and carried semi-erect, that is, with approximately two-thirds of the ear standing erect, the top third tipping forward naturally, below the horizontal.

Mouth: The teeth should be of good size, with the lower incisors fitting closely behind the upper incisors; a very slight space not to be regarded as a serious fault.

Neck: Should be muscular, powerful and of fair length, and well arched.

Forequarters: The shoulders should be sloped and well angulated. The forelegs should be straight and muscular, neither in nor out at elbows, with a moderate amount of bone.

Body: Should be a trifle long compared to the height, back firm with a slight rise over the loins, rips well-sprung, chest deep, fairly broad behind the shoulders.

Hindquarters: The hind legs should be muscular at the thighs, clean and sinewy below, with well-bent stifles. Hocks well let-down and powerful.

Feet: Should be oval in shape with soles well padded, toes arched and close together. The hind feet slightly less arched.

Tail: The tail should be long with the bone reaching at least to the hock joint. To be carried low when the dog is quiet, with a slight upward "swirl" at the end. It may be carried gaily when the dog is excited, but not over the back.

Coat: The coat should fit the outline of the dog and be very dense. The outer coat straight and harsh to the touch, the under coat soft, furry and very close; so close as to almost hide the skin. The mane and frill should be very abundant, the mask or face smooth, also the ears at the tips, but they should carry more hair towards the base; the forelegs slightly well feathered, the hind legs above the hocks profusely so; but smooth below. Hair on the tail very profuse.

Colour: Three recognised colours are sable and white, tricolour and blue merle.

SABLE: Any shade of light gold to rich mahogany or shaded sable. Light straw or cream colour is highly undesirable.
TRICOLOUR: Predominantly black with rich tan markings about the legs and head. A rusty tinge in top coat is highly undesirable.
BLUE-MERLE: Predominantly clear, silvery blue, splashed and marbled with black. Rich tan markings to be preferred, but their absence should not be counted as a fault. Large black markings, slate colour, or rusty tinge either of the top or undercoat are highly undesirable.

WHITE MARKINGS: All the above may carry the typical white Collie markings to a greater or lesser degree. The followings markings are favourable - White collar, full or part; white shirt, legs and feet; white tail tip. A blaze may be carried on muzzle or skull or both.

Weight & size: Dogs 22 in. to 24 in. at the shoulders, Bitches 20 in. to 22 in. Dogs 45 lb to 65 lb, Bitches 40 lb to 55 lb.

Faults: Length of head apparently out of proportion to the body; receding skull or unbalanced head to be strongly condemned. Weak, snipy muzzle; domed skull, high peaked occiput; prominent cheekbones; dish-faced or Roman nosed; undershot or overshot mouth, missing teeth; round or light coloured and glassy or staring eyes are highly objectionable. Body flatsided, short or cobby; straight shoulder or stifle; out at elbows, crooked forearms; cow-hocks, straight hocks; large, open or hare feet; feet turned in or out; long, weak pasterns; tail short, kinked or twisted to one side, or carried over the back; a soft, silky, or wavy coat or insufficient undercoat; prick ears, low set ears; nervousness.