Frequently Asked Questions
1. Why start another Scottish Collie organization when there is one already?
The Scottish Collie Preservation Society (SCPS) is going back to the earliest Scottish Collie Standards and breeding true to those Standards in order to revive the classic Scottish Collie breed. Up until the 1950’s and 60’s the Collie Standard was adhered to reasonably faithfully.
The Scottish Collie should look like a Collie, although that would seem obvious. He should have a form which perfectly fits the function for which he was first bred, herding and guarding his flock of sheep (as described in the earliest Standards). The Collie had wonderful qualities bred-in over many hundreds of years such as herding instincts, loyalty, intelligence and a willingness to please his master.
The Scottish Collie was once one of the healthiest, most useful, and most popular of all dogs. To regain all of this is the goal of this group.
2. Is SCPS a registered Non-profit business?
Yes, we are registered in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as a Not for Profit Organization. At this time, we do not have 501c3 status, but will apply for this in the near future. All Board Members are volunteers working together for the preservation of the Scottish Collie.
3. Will I have a say as a Member in how the SCPS is run? How can I be sure of this?
- You will certainly have a say because the groundwork has been completed in the form of officially adopted SCPS By-Laws and the Code of Ethics, both of which are posted on the SCPS website. Our framework is laid out in great detail.
- There is an opportunity to nominate Members for the Board of Directors and also to Stand for election yourself, if nominated.
- Procedures are outlined in detail in the By-Laws.
- All Members in Good Standing can vote for members of the Board of Directors by electronic Secret Ballot prior to the Annual Meeting.
- All Members are invited to attend the Annual Meeting, either in person or electronically, and vote on issues raised.
4. What are the benefits of membership in the SCPS?
The Benefits of belonging to such a group as SCPS are numerous indeed. When you register as a member you will be joining an organization dedicated to breeding healthy, genetically tested and genetically diverse, old type classic, Scottish Collies.
Remember Lassie (Pal)? Lassie/Pal was actually a male Rough Collie, or Scottish Collie, as they were called in the 1940’s and 50’s, who won the hearts of all. Pal lived to be 18 years old, then died of old age, being healthy right to the end. We plan to go “Back to the Future” and breed again just such very healthy, beautiful, clever Collies as Lassie surely was, with not too much of anything, nor too little, but just right.
- As a Member, you will be eligible to apply for registration of your dog(s) and any litters of puppies.*
- You will be assisted with Breeding Advice, and you will be provided with a scorecard for your dog outlining what you need to find in a mate and identifying strengths and weaknesses.
You will be provided with a Score Card that outlines your Dog's strengths and weaknesses, in order to assist you in finding a well-suited mate.
- You will be welcome to advertise your puppies and Kennel through our Website and Facebook page.
- Breeders may register their Kennel name or prefix at no cost, and have a Kennel page in our online registry.
- You will be welcomed to our dedicated and enthusiastic group where all are entitled to state their views in positive and constructive ways (see our Code of Ethics). The contributions of all are welcome, but democracy rules.
- You will be invited to attend (or join by teleconference) our Annual Meeting. You will vote by secret electronic ballot for the Board of Directors (see our By-Laws).
- If you are a Charter Member, you will receive a Welcome Package which will include a t-shirt with the SCPS Logo which we hope you will wear proudly, especially when out and about with your dogs.
- Registration Papers with our official embossed seal will be sent automatically if your dog's application is approved.
* Litters may be Registered when both sire and dam are already SCPS-registered. If only one parent is Registered, puppy owners may apply for Registration when their dog reaches 9 months of age.
5. Do I have to be a Member to Register my dog?
Yes you do. Only Members in good standing (annual dues paid) may apply to Register their dogs.
6. Can I be a Member even if I don't have a Collie to register?
Absolutely. As a classic Scottish Collie enthusiast, you are very welcome to join us in this very important mission. If we don’t try now to bring back this noble breed, and defeat the genetic mutations causing CEA, MDR, DM, and other genetically-inherited diseases, plus regain genetic diversity and thus longevity, it will soon, in all likelihood, be too late, as many breeders wander farther and farther from the oldest Standards and the ideal of the classic Collie. Please join! We need your talents. Everyone, as we have discovered, has much to offer.
7. Can I advertise my puppies if I am a Member?
- Absolutely, provided your breeding dogs are in the SPCS Registry.
- Or, perhaps you have entered your bitch in the registry, and have bred to a genetically-tested Collie landrace sire that also meets the type requirement for Scottish Collies (as defined in the earliest Collie Standards), therefore bringing your puppies closer to the ideal. This male should be unrelated to your female and have a COI of under 5%.
- If you have registered your male in the SCPS Registry and are breeding to a Collie Landrace female the same requirements hold.
It will then be our goal to help you in every possible way to advertise and sell your puppies.
8. Will the SCPS welcome discussion and different viewpoints?
Discussion of ideas is a great way to learn, so of course it will be welcome. However, there are some restrictions on your rights to self-expression. If what you have to say demeans or denigrates another breed or breeder, or slanders or libels another Member or any other person, it will not be allowed.
We are a very positive group, working together for common goals, and a shared vision. We are determined to maintain this wonderful atmosphere of respect and civility at all times, so these governing principles have been written into both the SCPS By-Laws and Code of Ethics. (See SCPS By-Laws and Code of Ethics.)
9. How do I get my dog registered and how long will it take?
- The SCPS guarantees a registration decision and notification within 30 days of receiving your application. If your dog is approved for admission, the Member is then invoiced for the Registration Fee ($15); once payment is received, your dog will be added to the Registry.
- Your dog should have a COI of no higher than 25% to be admitted. We can assess that for you from the pedigree information you will submit with your Registration Application.
- The Evaluation Committee is comprised of three members, who will each assess your dog individually. To ensure impartiality, evaluators will not know the identity or ownership of the dog they are assessing.
- Marks will then be averaged together. A score of 50% will allow your dog into the Registry.
- Dogs will receive a Score Card identifying both strengths and weaknesses to assist the Owner/Breeder in choosing a suitable mate to move towards correcting any weaknesses, and thereby bringing puppies closer to the SCPS Standard. Recommendations will also be made to assist the breeder in reducing COI.
Please visit our Registration Application page for further details.
10. Will there be a place in the Registry to list my dog’s accomplishments such as Obedience titles or Agility accomplishments or Rally wins?
- Yes, our registry will be able to accommodate recording all of your dog’s accomplishments.
- This is a very important feature as we try to breed back to the 1885 to 1910 Collie Standards, character, and temperament.
- During that era the Collie was always referred to as a “useful dog.” In fact, in Gaelic, COLLIE means USEFUL.
- Adding titles for Obedience, Agility, Rally, or Herding will help to show that the Scottish Collie is, in fact, highly trainable, of good temperament, and “useful.”
11. Is herding instinct an important trait for the Scottish Collie which will be emphasized so as to produce good farm dogs?
- Yes, herding instinct makes the Scottish Collie what he was named in Gaelic to be, a “Useful” dog. (The Gaelic word "collie" means "useful".)
- Collies were selectively bred for the herding of sheep since well before 400 AD; many historians say much longer. This is in the Collie’s DNA, and has so long been a part of this breed that most Collies know what to do instinctively. If we are to truly preserve this noble breed, we must preserve not just its appearance, but also the very essence of its character, intelligence, and willingness to help man in the care of his livestock. Only in this way will the Collie be fulfilling the function for which they were bred for thousands of years.
12. Why go back so far, to the 1885 to 1910 Scottish Collie Standards?
- The Scottish Collie is an historic breed dating back further than the recorded memory of man can take us (see Breed History). The logical place to go for our SCPS Breed Standard was the first recorded Scottish Collie Standard of 1885; we also included Standards up to 1910 as they were written to clarify the original.
- You cannot restore a breed to a point in history without referencing the breed expectations of that era, and yet expect to get it right.
- The SCPS intends to get it right! So we adopted and amalgamated the earliest Standards into one document, The Scottish Collie Preservation Society Breed Standard or SCPS Breed Standard. (See this SCPS Breed Standard and the earliest Standards on this website.)
13. Must breeders test their breeding dogs for all the Collie diseases at once? Isn't this expensive? How can I afford to test my dogs?
The Scottish Collie Disease Panel has been split into two parts:
- Essential: includes Collie Eye Anomaly (CEA) and Multi-drug Resistance (MDR1).
Both parents must be tested before the first breeding.
- Supplementary: includes Cyclic Neutropenia (CN), Degenerative Myelitis (DM), and Von Willebrand's Disease II (vWDII).
This panel must be completed before the second breeding.
- For more information, please see our page Genetic Testing & Why.
We have partnered with Paw Print Genetics to assist our Members in easing the cost of testing. Their generosity allows SCPS Members to save 40% Off either panel at any time.
14. What is the Breeding Certification Program, and why should I bother getting my dog Certified?
The SCPS Breeding Certification Program signifies that the SCPS recognizes your dog as being fit to breed and it has been suitably matched to; correct weaknesses, compensate for identified mutant genes, and to lower the Co-efficient of Inbreeding (COI), so is bred to a low COI, unrelated mate.
An SCPS Breeding Certified Dog/Bitch will:
- Be genetically tested prior to the first breeding for at least CEA and MDR1
- Be genetically tested prior to the second breeding for at least CN, DM, and vWD II (see Genetics)
- Not have whelped more than three litters in her lifetime. (For the sake of the bitch's health, four is the maximum number of litters allowable per female dog in her lifetime.)
- Have been certified as healthy and sound by a Veterinarian, prior to submitting the Registration Application.
- Approximate the SCPS Standard with an Evaluation Score of at least 50% .
- Will be bred to unrelated mates, preferably with a low COI, to maximize reduction of the COI in the litter being produced.
If a dog has a very high COI of 20% or 25% should be bred to a completely unrelated dog, preferably one with a COI of 0%. This would be the ideal and provide the maximum reduction possible in COI in the resultant litter.
Breeders must try to match dogs so as to correct identified weaknesses, and compensate for genetic mutations with a goal of elimination of the diseases caused by mutant genes. Our goal is to eventually reduce COI to as near 0% as we can for all dogs in the SCPS Registry. This will ensure the survival of the breed.
Science and research tell us that COI rates of 5% or higher, place the breed on “the path to extinction.” The goal of SCPS is the Preservation of the Scottish Collie.
Why Bother Certifying?
- Your puppies can be automatically registered as a litter at a very low cost of $30 within the first 21 days following whelping. Puppy papers will be prepared and mailed for each pup.
- You will be entitled to use the SCPS Breeding Certification Seal which assures buyers that your puppies are well bred and healthy with a reasonably low COI.
- You will receive assistance with the marketing of your pups and have the right to advertise on the SCPS website and within our Facebook group.
- It is the SCPS way of telling the public that these puppies are recommended by the Scottish Collie Preservation Society.
15. Why is line-breeding, or inbreeding, not allowed in this organization when kennel clubs and other dog clubs have been line-breeding and inbreeding for a long, long time? What are the consequences of Inbreeding or a high Co-efficient of Inbreeding also known as COI ?
- Line-breeding and inbreeding are responsible for the greater prevalence of inherited diseases specific to each breed of dog.
- Inbreeding leads to homozygous dogs whose immune systems are compromised, leaving them vulnerable to many diseases, such as cancer, and other serious conditions, such as liver problems.
- Length of lifespan is also directly correlated to the degree of inbreeding or COI.
- Temperament directly correlates to the degree of inbreeding. Aggressive behavior, timidity, nervousness, hyperactivity, or other temperament problems uncharacteristic of the traditional Collie temperament can be traced to close inbreeding and high COI.
- A further consequence of high levels of inbreeding is infertility. It is Nature’s way of shutting down an unhealthy line or strain. This has been observed among wild canines, such as wolves. A population can become too small to provide the genetic diversity required for healthy immune systems and heterozygous pups. The signs in dogs, or any canine population which becomes inbred, are smaller litters, failure of pups to survive, failure to conceive, and inability to produce a healthy litter in a natural delivery.
- Any breed or group with a COI of 5% or higher is already on the pathway to extinction.
So you can easily see what is to be gained for our beloved Scottish Collie in terms of all health issues by aiming ultimately for a Co-efficient of Inbreeding of 0%. Our reason for being is for the Scottish Collie to be healthy, have a strong immune system, good temperament, produce large healthy litters, with a good long lifespan, free of all sorts of common health problems caused by a weak immune system. We will be working continuously to reduce COI to 0%. Happily, some of our Scottish Collies are starting there. We are assuring that the classic Scottish Collie breed will have a future!
16. Why the big push for genetic testing?
Line-breeding has been practiced by most breeders of the twentieth century. There has been an over-use of popular sires, too many repeats in the pedigrees, and the breeding of closely related dogs has been considered acceptable to establish type.
- At least five diseases common to the Collie are caused by recessive mutant genes. These mutant (abnormal) genes have spread like wildfire throughout the whole Collie landrace worldwide during the last century. Some are even traceable going back through the generations to a single dog.
- All mutations do originate in just one dog. It takes two copies of the mutant recessive gene, one from each parent, to create a puppy which is Affected with two Mutant genes. As long as there is no inbreeding, these mutant genes do no harm.
- Genetic markers have been found for all of the serious diseases afflicting the Collie landrace, so we are able to test our dogs with a simple cheek swab to identify a dog's disease profile. Through testing, a Breeder knows if his dog is completely Clear of a particular mutation; if it is Not Affected by the mutation, but carries one copy of the gene (referred to as "Carriers"); or if his dog carries two copies of the mutant gene making them at-risk for the disease ("Affected"), and are only able to pass on mutant genes to their offspring.
Breeding decisions must be based upon breeding up and away from these mutations if we are serious about eliminating these health problems for the Collie. We are serious about our responsibility to the noble breed which has served Man so well since time immemorial.
17. Why were CEA and MDR chosen specifically to test for first?
CEA and MDR1 are both very prevalent throughout the Collie landrace worldwide.
CEA, or Collie Eye Anomaly
- 5% of Collies worldwide are CEA n/n, or genetically free of the mutant CEA gene. These Clear for CEA dogs cannot produce a puppy Affected by CEA no matter what the status of the other parent; so this, of course, is our goal.
- 15% of all Collie landrace dogs are Carriers, or CEA n/m. If two carriers are mated they will produce approximately 25% Clear for CEA n/n pups, 25% Affected for CEA m/m pups, and about 50% Carriers or CEA n/m, like their parents and will carry one good gene and one mutant gene.
- 80% of all Collies will be CEA m/m. This means that they are genetically Affected, but may not be clinically affected. In a very small percentage of these affected dogs, clinical examination will reveal a large coloboma (or hole) close to the optic nerve, or a hemorrhage; in these few instances a detached retina and blindness is the end result. So although most dogs who are CEA m/m will not have their vision affected, it is very important to have them checked at 6 to 8 weeks by a canine Veterinary Ophthalmologist to find out what exactly are the results in each pup of the CEA Affected status, so that you will know with certainty what the prognosis will be for each pup.
- SCPS wishes to eradicate CEA. It can be done with genetic testing and planned breeding using the test results to guide choice of mates for breeding. If it prevents the birth of one puppy born blind, it will have been worthwhile. It is the right thing to do for this wonderful breed.
MDR1 or Multi-Drug Resistance
- Again this problem is caused by a mutant recessive gene. The Affected dog (MDR m/m) cannot block many chemicals or drugs, which are toxic to him, from causing severe neurological damage, or even death.
- Even Carriers (dogs who carry only one mutant and recessive gene, meaning n/m) are susceptible to neurological damage from many drugs, (not only Ivermectin).
- Dogs working livestock are truly at high risk. Many have experienced serious or fatal reactions after ingesting even three or four month old manure from an animal wormed with Ivermectin.
18. Must I use Paw Print Genetics for genetic testing for my dogs?
- No, there is no requirement to use Paw Print Genetics (PPG), merely an excellent opportunity to save on testing, as they are providing SCPS Members with a 40% discount for testing anytime, with no need to wait for sales.
- Paw Print Genetics is a very thorough and careful Lab with a two-week turnaround on testing.
- PPG have agreed to partner with us, advise us, and work towards additions to the breed panel as required to meet the testing needs of the Scottish Collie.
- However, if you have already begun your genetic testing elsewhere and would prefer to continue with that same certified genetic testing facility, the SCPS will accept results from whichever certified Lab you have chosen.
- If you have already tested your dogs with another Lab please submit those results in your Registration Application.