To quote Bernard Hall, ‘Treasures of The Kennel Club’ —

“The Kennel Club recognises 192 different breeds¹ of dog and each breed has its own descriptive standard. It is a word picture or specification which details the animal’s essential features.”


‘The Collie Club’ published the first Collie Standard in 1881, shortly after its foundation, and although amplified on a number of occasions today’s version is essentially the same as the one published then.

In the years prior to the last world-war Breed Standards were the property of the publishing group or organisation. The convening of a special committee, comprised of delegates from Breed Clubs and interested parties of the period preceded the publication of a unified Collie Standard in 1911, making the Collie one of the first breeds to consolidate behind a single breed standard.


The 1911 Collie Standard endured until the Kennel Club assumed responsibility for all Breed Standards in 1950 publishing their versions in booklet form. From this date alteration of any Breed Standard could only be achieved after long and detailed negotiations with the Kennel Club who now claimed copyright.

The fact that the Kennel Club’s Collie Standard no longer adhered in every detail to that produced by the breed’s founding fathers caused some consternation and Collie supporters of the period set about persuading the Kennel Club to make a number of alterations.

Initially the Kennel Club were reluctant to change what had so recently been published, but eventually agreed to a degree of amplification providing the breed could show a unanimity of opinion.

After several years of consultations between the Kennel Club and the Rough Collie Breed Council agreement was eventually achieve and a new amplified Collie Standard, which included a detailed colour clause for the first time, published in 1969.


Discussion between delegates at early International Kennel Club Conferences, originally instigated by The Kennel Club, extolled the virtue of having unified breed standards throughout the world, suggesting the American Kennel Club format should be adopted world-wide.


The three recognised Collie Colours, were not described in detail
until the revised Rough Collie Breed Standard was issued in 1969

On returning to its London headquarters The Kennel Club set about the task of re-writing and arranging all Breed Standards using a set sequence of sub-heading and rather abbreviated language. The results of a long interchange of views, preceded careful scrutiny by a panel of veterinary advisors to ensure no part of any Breed Standard predisposed any breed to debilitating inherited conditions. The results eventually presented to each Breed Council or Parent Club for approval before being final adoption during 1988/1989.

Although the language and style has not gained universal approval, and universal Standards are as far away as ever, the Kennel Club does not envisage any major revision in the foreseeable future.

Understanding the relevance of white factor in the collie HERE


Related internal links

The Rough Collie Origin