East Anglia East Anglian Collie Association
Established 1957
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Welcome Membership Events  The Collie
Welcome Membership Events  The Collie
East Anglian Collie Association Logo  Collie Standard

In 1950 the Kennel Club took over the responsibility for all Breed Standards, re-issuing them in a slightly amended format. The colour clause was dropped, much to the annoyance of several prominent breeders including Clare Molony (Westcarrs).

This ‘Breed Standard’, published in 1911, dropped the Scale of Points, the reason being that the Standard should encourage the judging of the whole dog rather than specific aspects. It also introduced a rudimentary colour clause.

Every Kennel Club registered breed has a Breed Standard, the ‘blueprint’ which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament and appearance of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function.

Collies, whether Rough or Smooth-coated, are dogs of great beauty being intelligent, alert, active and dignified. They should give the appearance of working capability and should be friendly with no sign
of nervousness or aggression.

The Collie Club was one of the first breed clubs to publish a ‘Breed Standard’ in 1881. This included a scale of points for each feature of the Collie to assist judges in evaluating the dogs in the show ring.

By 1910 several more Collie Clubs had been founded and each published its own variation on the ‘Breed Standard’. The situation became untenable and so the Kennel Club advised the Breed Clubs and principal Kennels to convene a meeting and agree to a single Breed Standard for Collies of either coat.

With the formation of the Rough Collie Breed Council in 1966, Chairman Clare Molony was in a position to agitate for a change in the Breed Standard that would incorporate a detailed colour clause, and after two years the Council was successful and the results were published in 1968.

This Standard included a detailed list of faults (see panel to the right) which some countries, including Australia, still adhere to.

In 1973 the Smooth Collie Club of Great Britain was issued with a proposed separate Breed Standard for Smooth Collies. This was approved in January 1974 and thereafter Collies were registered as either Collie (Rough) or Collie (Smooth).

This same year, Isobel Griffiths, on behalf of the SCC of GB, submitted a report to the Kennel Club regarding the inter-breeding of Roughs and Smooths. The Kennel Club’s response stated ‘At its last meeting the committee considered your paper on the subject of interbreeding Collies (Rough) and Collies (Smooth) and has agreed that the proviso allowing interbreeding may continue for a further five years as from January 1st 1989, after which time it will cease’ (see ‘The Smooth Collie - a Family Dog’, by Iris Combe 1992).

The progeny of Collies (Rough) and Collies (Smooth) have therefore not been eligible for Kennel Club registration since 1994.

In 1988 all Breed Standards were unified by the Kennel Club and the list of faults removed as it was believed they encouraged ‘fault judging’.  Unfortunately they inadvertently removed all reference to the working capabilities of Rough Collies.

In April 2012, following a request by the Rough Collie Breed Council, the Kennel Club made a small amendment to the Collie (Rough) Standard so currently, under the sub-heading ‘General Appearance’, the Rough and Smooth Collie Standards now both read: ‘Appears as a dog of great beauty, standing with impassive dignity, with no part out of proportion to the whole, giving the appearance of working capability’.

Although the Breed Standard has been revised several times since its inception, nothing has been included that should give rise for concern in terms of exaggeration of type.

WelcomeMembershipEventsThe Collie


  breed standard • collie carehealth

Painting of a successful Rough Collie male from the early 20th century A Smooth Collie male from the early 20th century Veteran Rough Collie Champion male from the post-war period Blue Merle Smooth Collie from the post-war period Sable & White Rough Collie male from the late 20th century Blue Merle Smooth Collie male from the late 20th century Sable & White Rough Collie bitch from the 21st century Tricolour Smooth Collie male from the 21st century - photo by Trafford Smooth Collie male from the late 19th century Painting of a sable & White Rough Collie male from the late 19th century

Breed standards

Collie (rough)  


Collie (Smooth)

The Collie Compendium is an illustrated Breed Standard for Rough & Smooth Collies - produced by the Danish Collie Club

Collie Faults

Length of head out of
 proportion to body

Receding skull

Unbalanced head

Weak, snipey muzzle

Domed skull

High-peaked occiput

Prominent cheekbones



Undershot or overshot

Missing teeth

Round or light coloured eyes

Body flat sided or cobby

Straight shoulder or stifle

Out at elbow

Crooked forearms

Cow hocks  or 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

Soft, wavy coat

Insufficient undercoat

Prick or low set ears


Coat Colours

Currently only three coat colours are acceptable in Rough & Smooth Collies -

Sable & white


Blue Merle