Injustice for the Sable Merle….. Yet AGAIN!!!!!!

Categories:The Sable Merle Collie

Well it seems to have happened AGAIN!!!!! And note that this incident is AFTER the CCA's memo to the judges!!!! Still gathering the facts but apparently a sable merle male was excused from the ring at the Santa Clara KC in San Jose, CA. Judge Shelley Roos excused a sable merle dog from the open class
this last weekend claiming the dog shouldn't have been entered in that

The last incident that came to light was with Pat Hastings and Tom Coen spoke with her and then the CCA memo came out. It will be interesting what comes of this.

Exactly what class is the sable merle supposed to be entered in???? Maybe CCA should send a memo to its members and let us know…… so as not to put our dogs in the wrong classes and waste the money.

  There has not been one thing mentioned as of today on this by CCA pesident Bob Futh or Standard Review Comittee Chair Tommy Coen. I will post updates on this as I get them.  I just don't get it. What the CCA gave it's membership as a bandaid fix of this problem is NOT WORKING!!!!! Do we need to take copies of the  written CCA memo, highlight the part that says   "the Sable Merle should be penalized (not excused or disqualified) to the degree that the expression is affected."      and give it to the judges when we get excused with our sable merles??????

UPDATE: 2/17/09  Tom Coen has tried to call Shelley Roos about this but she is still in CA.

Judging the sable merle Collie

The Collie Standard recognizes four colors: "Sable and White," "Tri-Color," "Blue Merle" and "White." Sable Merles appear sable but may exhibit varying degrees of the merling pattern.

Quality, rather than color or pattern, is of foremost importance in judging the Collie. The Standard's emphasis on overall balance, head properties and expression is clear and should always take precedence over color.

Ideally, the Sable Merle should have dark eyes, matched in color. If the eyes are not dark and matched in color, the Sable Merle should be penalized (not excused or disqualified) to the degree that the expression is affected.

The Standard states, "Expression is one of the most important points in considering the relative value of Collies" and "The Collie cannot be judged properly until its expression has been carefully evaluated." It further states "Eye faults are heavily penalized."

One Response to Injustice for the Sable Merle….. Yet AGAIN!!!!!!

  1. Reply J David Clarke says:

    As a breeder and exhibitor from Canada, where Sable Merles are a recognized color, and have been for a while now, this same frustration and bias still rears its’ head. When we have American and other foreign judges who adhere to the American standard and think this standard prevails across the entire North American continent, rather than check our own country’s standard, and our own dogs are excused for coat coloring or eye color, this is a cause for concern. As far as the CCA goes dealing with this issue, I must say it is about time. I am truly glad to see that what is a natural occurring colour and not defective at that, being seen for what they are. For what it is worth, I personally prefer that a sable merle have two dark eyes. That being said, I have seen SM’s with one of each and even both blue, that have taken my breath away with such exquisite soft expression. I have also seen dogs with two dark eyes that have expression so harsh and unsoft that it is offensive and not just from sable merles. What might that say? The SM should only be penalized for its’ eye color to the extent that the eye color detracts from expression. They should not to be excused for it. With expression being as it says in the AKC standard “one of the most”, and in the CKC standard “one of the more” important points in judging the relative value of collies, I say let’s get on with judging the collie based on the standard. As far as Canada’s standard goes, ( and I am truly hoping that the CCA/AKC standard would do the same) our standard recognizes a natural occurring color that has occurred for generation after generation of collies, let alone the fact that sable merle collies have played signficant roles in the development of the modern collie, more than we may really know or might care to admit. Tri, sables and blues can have that expression that just melts us or have expression that says, Oh no!!!! The same goes for SM’s and they should be judged accordingly as to that part of the standard and not rejected, nor cause scandal because they are excused from rings, or put to the back of the pack in a class simply because they have a blue flecked eye, one blue eye etc etc. If the expression is affected, judge it accordingly and let’s move on……Uniformity in this area, I hope would address the issues that happen far too often in our rings up here in Canada because judges may not be aware of the differences in the standards. Will uniformity in standards alleviate bias? Likely not, but it would significantly reduce the places for judges to hide when it comes to the sable merle collie in 2009.
    Hats off to you for taking this on. I hope to be able to join the discussion on this issue in Springfield. Could someone provide me with the exact date and advise me whether or not this discussion is an open one, as I see Sylvie Lingenfelter provided a time and place in this blog but nothing further.
    J. David Clarke
    Davenloch Collies Reg’d
    Gwynne, Alberta, Canada
    Immediate Past President
    Collie Club of Canada

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