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Mistakes in the smooth breed standard
Dianne: Smooth Collie Standard "Appears as gifted with intelligence, alertness and activity. Stands with dignity governed by perfect anatomical formation, with no part out of proportion to whole, giving appearance of working ability." In France, "giving appearance of working ability" has been completely missed from their translation of the FCI standard. In Belgium, it is claimed that the rough and smooth standards are identical. http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/item/132 http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/item/133 Please check the standards as issued by the British Kennel Club with those issued in your country and report if they are translated correctly or incorrectly. I think this is very important - there are five differences between the rough and smooth collie standards - the key one is "giving appearance of working ability" and may have helped the smooth to remain a more rustic and less fearful dog who moves well.
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Spiritwind: Dianne wrote: About the standards - I think that the main difference you have hardly mentioned and that is the one of the phrase "giving appearance of working ability". The rough is not required to have attributes which would make him capable of a hard day's work and to many people's minds, this has been his downfall in Europe - why does he move badly - why is he fearful? Where is his motivation and drive? This is just my own point of view, but I don't see how those 5 little words can make such a difference. Just because the rough doesn't have those words in its standard, shouldn't mean anything, because 5 words don't make up a dog. What makes up the dog is what is described in the entire standard. This "giving appearance of working ability" is not in the AKC or CKC standard yet we have many roughs and smooths that are working dogs, working sheep.. cattle, other livestock. Dogs that are used as service dogs for the blind or disabled. Dogs that are used in search and rescue and other "working" areas. Collies are supposed to be the all around farm dog, able to do many tasks. When everything else talked about in the standard comes together, it SHOULD make a good all around working dog. Now I'm not saying the roughs in Europe are good all around working dogs, what I am saying is they SHOULD be. I don't think the lack of those 5 words is the reason for the Roughs being like they are today. Dianne wrote: Gay is not the same as friendly - it has a quite different connotation. Pasterns are also important - we see so many roughs with weak pasterns here - they are crippled by ten years of age. Firm and level are also very different. I never said Gay and Friendly were the same. Rough standard: Friendly disposition with no trace of nervousness or aggressiveness. A great companion dog, friendly, happy and active, good with children and other dogs. Smooth standard: Gay and friendly, never nervous nor aggressive. What I said was both standards basically said the same thing, one just as less wording. Both are NOT to be nervous or aggressive. Smooth says gay and friendly. Rough says happy and friendly. Gay and Happy are the same thing, look the two words up in a dictionary, they mean the same thing. If roughs are fearful as you said above, then that that does not meet what the standard asks for. As far as pasterns go, I've seen many many dogs, of different breeds that had weak pasterns by 10yrs of age... roughs.. smooths... shelties, labs, boxers.. all sorts of breeds. At 10yrs of age that could be caused by all sorts of things. Now if it was seen in 4-5 yr old dogs I would be worried! Dianne wrote: Firm and level are also very different. The rough stands with impassive dignity - the smooth appears as gifted with intelligence, alertness and activity. What could be more different? This is a different dog we are talking about and smooth breeders wished it so and fought hard to be allowed a standard which was different from the rough's. Again I never said firm and level were the same thing. Both standards call for the back to be firm. the smooth calls for the back to be level, however both standards call for a "slight rise over loins" which in reality means the backs can't be REALLY level anyway... Yes.. on the rough standard in General Appearance it says: Appears as dog of great beauty, standing with impassive dignity, with no part out of proportion to whole. and in smooths is says: Appears as gifted with intelligence, alertness and activity. Stands with dignity governed by perfect anatomical formation, with no part out of proportion, giving appearance of working capability. However in Characteristics for both rough and smooth it says word for word the exact samething: Physical structure on lines of strength and activity, free from cloddiness and with no trace of coarseness. Expression most important. In considering relative values it is obtained by perfect balance and combination of skull and foreface, size, shape, colour and placement of eyes, correct position and carriage of ears. So roughs should also have structure that shows strength and activity. I understand they are NOW considered two different breeds in Europe. I personally think its a shame. I'm not saying roughs meet the standard or anything like that.. what I am saying is I don't see the HUGE differences in the two standards people talk about, that would be the reason for the roughs and smooths to look SOOO different. I think much of the differences people talk about are just the standards using different words, that really mean the same thing. Again, just my opinion.
Tentola: The dog that won at Crifts was Ch Brooklynson from Rio who is the same breeding as mu Champion and in my opinion is as close to the standard as Rough's get in Europe these days. Now back to the standard and for me the difference between types in different European countries. I feel that the standard is very important, but it is open to interpretation. What is more important or indeed lacking is newcomers to the breed having a good mentor. In the UK many years ago breeders would experiment and learn from their mistake and also their successes and would pass this knowledge on to newcomers. There were also alot of stockmen around who would be looking for soundness rather than beauty, and you would be in the breed for years without getting to judge and give your opinion. The future of the breed was firmly in the hands of the big kennels and reliant on them to breed correct dog to the breed standard, just like the board of directors of a company. If they have the interest of the company at heart then they will do the best for the company and not their own pockets. During the late 70's the collies in the UK I feel were at their best, head were balanced of good length with correct eyes and they could still move well and they had correct coats. Then Roughs with ig fluffy coats and short heads began to appear with movement appearing to be of no concern. This is when the Roughs & Smooths began to take different paths. The Smooths were never going to be a pretty dog, so movement and condition were there strength. OK smooth heads were no as good but judging is all about weighing up the good and bad and making a decision which exhibit is closest to the standard and will benifit the breed in the future. Unfortunatley the UK is an island and most exhibitors only see what is in the UK. we have always travelled and feel we have expanded our knowledge of the breed by visiting show around the world and listing to different views. For example we had a Smooth who had not won much, but after our first visit to the USA we were amazed at the presentation and showmanship and adopted a whole new approach to how we showed our dogs. And the Smooth who had not won much went on to be a Ch. within a year. A benifit of being in the UK & the USA is that there are seminars of all sorts allowing breeders & Exhibitors to learn about the breed and to clarify the standard and what it really means. The problem with many European countries are that they have been dictated to by breeders in the UK and have been sold dogs that are not the standard. We have now been in Spain for 6 years and where possible hold meetings with other collie people to share our knowledge and encourage them to have a vision of what a collie should look like and aim to breed dogs of that (hopefully correct) type, rather than keep buying and hoping for something nice. There are breeders in spain who a couple of years ago had no collies and now have dozens, and know everything. Another problem I feel in Europe is that judges are qualify to give an expert opinion as they judge every breed under the sun and are often never accountable for their judgement. As Spiritwind stated if it very hard to make a judgement without seeing shows first hand and saying that Collies in different European countries can vary. These are purly my thoughts on types of Roughs in some countries. I not this is only Roughs as I feel the are good Smooths being bred in most countries. UK - After going through a fluffy incorrect stage I feel now there is a big improvement with many breeders trying to get them back to the standard. Germany - They appear to mainly have stuck with a Rough with a working capabilty although not always the best heads. Holland - Simular to the UK there are some very nice and not so nice collies. Scandanavia - On the whole the breeders take great care to produce healthy correct collies that are bred to the standard, this seems not just in collies but in all breeds, which is why I think we see so many winning at crufts. Also the present their dogs to perfection. Spain - Sadly I find the breeders have a complete lack of knowledge and just buy from top winning kennels as they think they will win. France - I will not comment too much as all the Roughs i have seen are are so far from the standard that they appear to resemble a different breed. Short heads with deeeep stops (standard say slight but perceptable!!) Gay tails over coated. The only way things will improve is by judges knowing the standard are evaluating the exhibits correctly. and most of all only putting up SOUND dogs. A dog will only move correctly if it is made correctly. I have shown under judges who have openly said to me that it is not important to know the standard. "on the rough standard in General Appearance it says: Appears as dog of great beauty, standing with impassive dignity, with no part out of proportion to whole." Appears as dog of great beauty. Well beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so this could mean anything. I alway view a collie as Regal. Tentola
Spiritwind: Tentola, I totally, 100% agree with your post! I have said to people on other forums and message boards... in the US and in different parts of Europe. JUDGES are a very important part of any breed! If they keep putting up dogs who do not meet the standard, dogs with horrible structure or head or coat faults.. the problems will just keep being bred because they are still winning! If they did not win in the ring, people would not breed them! I don;t know how judging is done in different countries, but in the US if the judge has a class of dogs that is of poor quality, the judge does not have to place the dogs, or award ribbons, the judge is allowed to within ribbons and not award anything. I've only ever personally seen it done once... I am not in Europe so I cannot see the different roughs, but based on pictures I have seen agree, that roughs in different countries do look different from one another. Not all of them, but a lot of them. I will also agree that after about the 1970's is when the roughs really started to change.. based on pictures I've seen of course. I hope no one minds me posting some pictures. I LOVE talking about breed history! I find it very interesting. GB CH Anfield Model - born in 1902, later imported into the US. he was the ideal that many breeders were striving for in head and expression GB and AM CH Wishaw Clinker Born: 1898-1913 GB CH Parbold Piccolo Another great dog that was imported into the US in the early 1900's. According to the book Collie Concept, the day he arrived in america his owner let him loose and the dog ran away and was never seen again... this was considered one of the greatest loses to the american collie fancy at the time.. GB Ch Ramsey of Rokeby - Born: 1966 GB CH Royal Ace Of Rokeby - 1965-1977 "Ch Halbury Jean" born in 1924, is often referred to as "the mother of the U.S.Collie". She was a Collie of outstanding quality, and the dam of El Capitan Of Arken "Ch Silver Ho Parader" born in 1943 became the foundation for the Parader line, which, in turn, became the foundation line for most of the significant US Collie lines today.. "Ch Black Hawk Of Kasan" born in 1966 was the first Smooth Collie to win Best In Show at the CCA National Specialty; first Smooth Collie to win an all breed Best In Show, and six times won Best Of Variety at the National "Ch Laund Lynne", born 1917 in England, This beautiful blue merle Smooth Collie would surely be competitive in today's show ring. She had no fewer than 95 Best In Show (or "Best Female In Show") wins and worked as a sheep and cattle herder. She retired from the show ring at the age of ten to successfully raise a liter of seven puppies. "Laund Loyalty Of Bellhaven" , born 1928, was the only 'Collie ever to win Best In Show at Westminster. It was his first and only appearance in the show ring, as he was retired after threats were made on his life "Ch Tartanside The Gladiator" born 1969 , was an all breed Best In Show winner , and won the CCA National Specialty three times, once from the Veteran's class. He went on to become one of the most influential Collie sires in the U..S.. "Ch Shamrock Smooth Rocket U.D." (1957) was a graduate Guide Dog For The Blind and the first Champion Collie to earn the Utility obedience degree from the AKC. He sired multiple champions, obedience titlists, guide, therapy, and assistance dogs.
Alertness: Thanks for sharing the pictures Spiritwind! Most of these collies are very nice. I hope you don't find Parbold Piccolo a good specimen though, he lacks quite a lot in construction, don't you think? For one thing he has no neck Also Anfield Model might have been a good-looking dog, but he is said to have been less so when it comes to temperament. Some sources claim he was nervous (or aggressive?) and also passed this unfortunate trait on to his progeny. I don't know of this is true. But it is always good to keep in mind that when it comes to the breed standard, there is both the looks, the health and the temperament to take into consideration. Thanks everyone who is contributing to this thread; it is very interesting read! Berit
Spiritwind: every dog has its faults. I never said anything about what was a good specimen and what wasn't. I posted pictures of collies from the late 1800's to early to mid 1900's for comparison. Every dog has its faults, you can't always fault judge a dog, you have to look at the dogs virtues as well. Also the point of breeding is to produce better than ones sire and dam. I agree Piccolo had a no neck, but again, that doesn't mean he produced it. I don't know if he did... he very well could have.. but he very well could have produced better than himself as well. You are correct on Anfield Model. From the book Collie Concept it says: "Ch Anfield Model, 1902. Model was one of the most highly touted dogs between 1900 and 1910. He was the ideal that many breeders were striving for in head and expression. The mid-west in particular was dominated by the line-breeding to Model. Unfortunately his temperament was not a virtue and this shyness attributed to the loss of favor which the collie suffered after the end of the first world war" Yes I agree.. there is more than looks to take into consideration when breeding, I never said there wasn't. I was simply showing how the rough collies in Europe have changed (tho some of the dogs above are american bred), physically from what they used to be. Many of the roughs in the pictures above certainly resemble the current roughs in North America more so than they resemble the current roughs in Europe.
Sanna: Hi, I have read this subject with great interest since translations of the Collie standards ower the years have generated discussions, and even the smallest change of meaning can have a massive impact on the intended tool - the guideline for judges and breeders in various countries. The interpretations becomes more or less rules to adjust to - escpecially if supported by well respected judges. It is also easy to detect a new trend, set by judges in different countries. I think it should be perfectly clear to all active in the breed that the smooth Collie should remain a dog with great working ability. The smooth Collie is a great dog to work with - trust me :) In Sweden, a collie must have a certain degree of a working title even to gain a show title - hence, many Collies have working merits and titles. It is also interesting to read about the look upon dogs e.g. in Scandinavia. I can not relate to, nor agree to the generalized determination of the "Northern type of Smooth" as being one only - but it resembles certain dogs who have been amongst the winners during the last ten years. Yes, we know them too. Not all Scandinavian Collies are presented like trotting horses either, most Collies are shown on loose strings as is reguested by many Northern judges. When it comes to interpretations of the standards and judgeing smooths - I also wonder how it is possible for judges from some foreign countries to become authorized on breeds they have never even seen in real life? I know that many judges pass their final test on roughs but fail in smooths - in Scandinavia - because they lack neccessery hands-on experience. I believe that far too many CC's are given to smooths in Scandiavia - and in the rest of Europe, according to the quality of the dogs. Perhaps at least one CC should have been won under a specialist judge to become a champion? It would be interesting to view a nicely handled smooth, presented in perfect gait and in well adjusted tempo! Perhaps someone could put a clip on YouTube - and let us all have a look - it would be interesting:) Regards, Sanna
Alertness: My apologies Spiritwind; I thought you presented all those pictures of the old collies as examples of perfect specimens, my mistake . I'm not an expert on rough collies, but as far as I understand the short neck did get more common in the breed after poorly constructed sires like Anfield Model and Dazzler of Dunsinane were used extensively; they were both used (solely?) because of their exquisite head pieces. Even today it is not uncommon to see modern, short backed and short necked European collies with an excessive amount of coat. Some say though that the trend in England is now moving away from these "chow-like" collies towards better built roughs again, I hope they're right. Berit
Alertness: Here's a very interesting link regarding the short necks in the collie breed; the article and collie silhouettes are presented by my breeder Mrs Myrna Shiboleth. She pinpoints quite precisely how the breed has changed regarding neck length and, especially poise and regal bearing. Have a look: http://myrnash0.tripod.com/colliesnetivhaayit/id68.html As you can see there are also a couple of silhouettes of smooth collies to compare Berit
Lisa: Wow, Berit, this was one of the most interesting things i've seen in a while... it is so fascinating to see how both breeds (rough and smooth) changed completely or remained the same throughout the years! Thank you!
Spiritwind: Alertness wrote: My apologies Spiritwind; I thought you presented all those pictures of the old collies as examples of perfect specimens, my mistake . No problem. However, there is NO perfect specimen. Every dog has its faults, and its the breeders who have to decide what faults they can live with and try to improve in future breedings and what faults they cannot even tolerate Alertness wrote: I'm not an expert on rough collies, but as far as I understand the short neck did get more common in the breed after poorly constructed sires like Anfield Model and Dazzler of Dunsinane were used extensively; they were both used (solely?) because of their exquisite head pieces. Even today it is not uncommon to see modern, short backed and short necked European collies with an excessive amount of coat. Some say though that the trend in England is now moving away from these "chow-like" collies towards better built roughs again, I hope they're right. I don't know about in Europe, but Piccolo wasn't ever used himself, in the US because right after he arrived in this country he disappeared and was never seen again. Model was used a lot in the US, until everyone realized his temperament (shyness) was poor. He is a son of Piccolo, but if you have ever seen the book Collie Concept there are a lot of great historical pictures of dogs around the time of Model.. and shortly after, and short necks were not a big problem. This is mainly in the US though. So I'm not sure about Europe. Your silhouette website was very interesting. While the roughs have obviously changed, and some do have shorter necks (and probably very straight fronts) the other thing I noticed was the massive amount of coat in the silhouette of the modern roughs, which can, make the body look shorter and stuffier, as well as make the neck look shorter. Obviously many of them still have short necks... but the massive coat doesn't help. That is even addressed on that website down by the smooth silhouettes: What is interesting is that the smooth collies have not gone through these changes. Smooths of today are very much the same as the smooths were in the early days of the breed. There is not a profusion of coat to disguise the actual lines of the dogs. Very interesting website though!! Thanks for sharing!
Alertness: The short necks is (was?) probably a bigger problem among European roughs than American roughs. Berot
Tentola: Sanna wrote: When it comes to interpretations of the standards and judgeing smooths - I also wonder how it is possible for judges from some foreign countries to become authorized on breeds they have never even seen in real life? I know that many judges pass their final test on roughs but fail in smooths - in Scandinavia - because they lack neccessery hands-on experience. I believe that far too many CC's are given to smooths in Scandiavia - and in the rest of Europe, according to the quality of the dogs. Perhaps at least one CC should have been won under a specialist judge to become a champion? Sanna I agree, I have been showing Rough's & Smooths for 23 years and although have awarded CC's in Smooths for the past 7 years have only just ben passed to award CC's in Roughs even though I have judged over 500 different Rough's. It is so hard to get to award CC's in the UK where as in Europe judges can award CACIB's etc with much experience in a particular breed. Although in the UK you may not always be happy with the judging at least the judge is qualified to give his/her opinion. The judges are responcible for shaping the breeds so it is imperative that they know and understand what they are judging. Many people watch have no knowledge and are prospective exhibitors and breeders and will buy a type just because it is winning. We have never be to scandinavia to watch a show, but will have to make the effort. Our youngest Smooth is a Skalle Per son. Nick & Anne Smith
Dianne: Hello - I've been away for a time and have been missing out on the developments in this fascinating discussion. First, I would like to go way back to something Spiritwind said. Spiritwind wrote: T his is just my own point of view, but I don't see how those 5 little words can make such a difference. Just because the rough doesn't have those words in its standard, shouldn't mean anything, because 5 words don't make up a dog. What makes up the dog is what is described in the entire standard. This "giving appearance of working ability" is not in the AKC or CKC standard yet we have many roughs and smooths that are working dogs, working sheep.. cattle, other livestock. Dogs that are used as service dogs for the blind or disabled. Dogs that are used in search and rescue and other "working" areas. Collies are supposed to be the all around farm dog, able to do many tasks. The American standard says: As the speed of the gait is increased the Collie single tracks, bringing the front legs inward in a straight line from the shoulder toward the center line of the body and the hind legs inward in a straight line from the hip toward the center line of the body. The gait suggests effortless speed combined with the dog's herding heritage, requiring it to be capable of changing its direction of travel almost instantaneously. This surely describes the movement a working dog is capable of even if the text does not mention "giving appearance of working ability" Stella Clark who is an admirer of the AKC standard says words to a similar effect in her book on rough and smooth collies. Tentola wrote: The British version gives no mention of the collie as a working dog, whereas the smooth is described as "giving appearance of working ability". This would, by implication, mean that the rough collie is obsolete as a working dog, and that it is incapable of carrying out a day's work. This , I believe, is a major omission. A true collie should be able to run like the wind and change direction instantly; to turn on a sixpence. Most rough collies today are far too heavy to do this, and they also carry far too much soft coat, exaggerating the "glamour"" of the dog and losing sight of its working ancestry. Mia Ejerstadt-Conti says words to similar effect. Lastly, Spiritwind, you are referring to American collies which are really quite different, it seems, from European ones. I am sure American rough and smooths can do a day's work - many European roughs could not. The standard I am discussing is the KC standard and the collies I am talking about are European smooth and rough collies. Dianne
Dianne: So sorry - Something crept in at the end - for "Tentola wrote," please read "Stella says". Dianne
Spiritwind: Dianne wrote: The American standard says: ` As the speed of the gait is increased the Collie single tracks, bringing the front legs inward in a straight line from the shoulder toward the center line of the body and the hind legs inward in a straight line from the hip toward the center line of the body. The gait suggests effortless speed combined with the dog's herding heritage, requiring it to be capable of changing its direction of travel almost instantaneously. This surely describes the movement a working dog is capable of even if the text does not mention "giving appearance of working ability" Yes.. it does say this. Funny thing is, neither FCI rough or smooth standards (that I could find - correct me if I'm wrong) mention anything about the collies single tracking, though its pretty much known Collies are to single track. It doesn't say this in the standard, but everyone knows this is how they are supposed to move. I take little stock in the quote "giving appearance of working ability".. because just because a dog might give the appearance of working ability, doesn't mean it really has the ability. Again, these 5 little words do NOT make the dog. Once everything that is in the standard, comes together correctly, THEN you have the dog you are supposed to have. Also regardless of whether it says it in the standard.. smooth and ROUGH collies in Europe have a herding heritage, no matter what they are used for today. This is their heritage. I will say it again, I'm not saying most of the European bred roughs meet the standard or are good working dogs.. but they SHOULD be! Dianne wrote: Stella Clark who is an admirer of the AKC standard says words to a similar effect in her book on rough and smooth collies. Tentola wrote: ` The British version gives no mention of the collie as a working dog, whereas the smooth is described as "giving appearance of working ability". This would, by implication, mean that the rough collie is obsolete as a working dog, and that it is incapable of carrying out a day's work. This , I believe, is a major omission. A true collie should be able to run like the wind and change direction instantly; to turn on a sixpence. Most rough collies today are far too heavy to do this, and they also carry far too much soft coat, exaggerating the "glamour"" of the dog and losing sight of its working ancestry. Mia Ejerstadt-Conti says words to similar effect. Saying that rough collie is obsolete as a working dog, is just crazy. If the North American collie standard and the European Collie standard is so different, why are American bred roughs, that are sold overseas to different European counties winning under the FCI standard?? Most (European) rough collies today are far too heavy to do this???? How do you figure that?? To heavy how? Most rough collies I've seen pictures of are fine boned, light weight dogs, with nothing to them... other than their massive, over grown coats. I agree their coats are to HUGE and I would never want a rough with a coat like that.... but I don't see how these dogs are to heavy. American/Canadian Collies are bigger and heavier and have no problem with working ability. I don't think being to heavy is the European roughs problem.... Dianne wrote: Lastly, Spiritwind, you are referring to American collies which are really quite different, it seems, from European ones. I am sure American rough and smooths can do a day's work - many European roughs could not. The standard I am discussing is the KC standard and the collies I am talking about are European smooth and rough collies. Dianne Yes.. you were talking about the FCI standard. So was I... and I was comparing it to the AKC standard... I just disagree with what you were saying. Everyone has their opinion, and its more than likely we won't agree.
Dianne: Stella Clark says: by implication the rough collie is obsolete, not that the rough collie is obsolete. All it means in plain English is that as the rough collie is not required, in its standard, to be capable of working, breeders will not necessarily try to breed a dog with good gaits and therefore a dog constructed in a way that its gait is good. I think this is now clear. Later, I'll scan and post what Mia Ejerstad says on the same subject.
Alertness: Thanks Dianne, I didn't know breed experts like Stella Clark and Mia Ejerstad share these views about working ability. Very interesting, and I totally agree with them. The collie, no matter the length of coat should be bred for working ability both physically and mentally. Berit
Dianne: Hello Sanna - nice to read you here and to listen to your still, small, voice of calm!!:-) Sorry to have used sweeping generalisations to prove a point and sorry if I gave the impression that I didn't like the smooths coming out of the north. Of course, Scandinavia is full of breeders who produce dogs which fulfill the standard admirably and whose work everyone admires. And I can't but agree with you that judges influence the type of dog being produced. We have just been up before a judge who admits he doesn't like smooths much, and who seems to like very fine dogs without much substance. He made a very fine-boned dog up to champion last year and I have to admit she is a very beautiful dog and a great dog who wins frequently in agility to boot. We should not have been surprised when he put our Miss(average bone) over our young male (good bone) in a recent show. Bone wasn't his only criteria - in fact he told me he finds many smooths in France have steep shoulders and he thought Miss has a better shoulderthan her half brother (all in the eye of the beholder as Tentola says). We hope that a trend will not emerge in France privileging dogs which are fine however beautiful. All that said, I have been rethinking ideas that I held and things that I have said, as I think more about the subject of the collie and its standard. There were the two smooth silhouettes on this site http://myrnash0.tripod.com/colliesnetivhaayit/id68.html that showed two rather different models coming from different epoques. If you look back on the smooth collie champion gallery http://foxearthcollies.co.uk/champions_gallery/ or if you have the book, Smooth Collie Champions, 1884 to 2002, you will see that there have always been two types of collie - a finer boned and lighter model and a model with more bone. In the two silhouettes, the model from the 1970s seems to be a heavier coated dog and is probably the result of a rough smooth mating or a rough factored dog. I am not sure that it has ever been proved that the rough and smooth have always been bred together - there are various theories - one saying that rough and smooth were born in the same litter, another saying that the smooth is descended from the cur dog and bandog (smooth dogs as I understand it) and was always selected for the droving of sheep and cattle to market rather than the herding of sheep. According to Iris Combe, (who gives a very detailed history of herding dogs in general and the smooth collie in particular), in her book, The Smooth Collie, a Family Dog, 1992, there have been two periods in collie history when rough and smooth were mated together. The first was when smooths first began to be shown - they had a greyhoundy look and so were mated with roughs to eliminate this trait - to give them substance. She says that the first collie club for smooths was founded, in 1955, by a very small group of enthusiasts who felt "that this ancient type of herding dog, which all agreed came from a different ancestral tree than the Rough, albeit they had been interbred for some considerable time, should be recognised as a separate breed with its own standard." But, probably the mystery of the origins of the smooth will never be cleared up and so we must work with the material we have. As we distance ourselves more and more from rough/smooth matings, will we find a different smooth? Back to the silhouettes - the second one - the dog who is a recent champion, is distant from any rough matings and is an example of a smoother coated dog which is emerging, but rough factored dogs are still common. If I think about my ideal dog, one which fits the bill is Champion Peterblue Nigel, who is the founder of Sire Line One, information about which can be seen in Smooth Collie Archives produced by the Smooth Collie Club of Great Britain and edited by Jean Tuck. Many modern smooths are descended from him and his type is still frequently seen. Sanna - there is so much to talk about in what you, Alertness and Tentola have written that I don't know where to start answering. I wanted to talk about modern smooths lacking forechests, judges and judging and many other topics, but I think this is a long post, and best to stop here for now and to start up again tomorrow. I have been at this on and off all day!! Dianne
Dianne: And here you can see how the top winners at Crufts this year move. What do you think? I am no expert!!!!!!! Youtube link to Crufts 2009 smooth and rough collie winners
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