Coat Colour,The Final Version
The standard specifies quite clearly the colour requirements for the breed. The base colour in "blue" dogs is black. The base colour in red speckle dogs is red.
The Final Version produced by the Coat Colour Sub-Committee,RNSWCC.
Proposed revision to the Breed Standard of the ACD on colour interpretation.
(Breed Standard Committee of the RNSWCC)
The "blue" colour is produced by a more or less even intermingling of black and white hairs in the outer coat, giving the impression of a blueish colour. The more white hairs present the lighter the blue; the fewer the white hairs the darker the blue.
If the white hairs are so abundant that the animal appears white or the white hairs are so few that the animal appears black, the colour is considered undesirable.
Blue, or red speckle is small, irregular groups of white hair distributed more or less evenly through the coat. The size of the speckle is, as a general rule, from slightly less than the size of a five cent piece to the size of a ten cent piece.
Red speckle is the only colour provided for in the standard for red dogs. The absence of speckle or black hairs showing through the coats of red dogs is undesirable. The undercoat in red speckled dogs must be red, not white or cream.
Blue mottle is produced by large, irregular areas of white hair. As a general guide, these range in size from that of a ten cent piece to that of a twenty cent piece.
The undercoat in any of the blue dogs may be black and/or tan. If tan it should not show through the outer coat. In mottled dogs the larger areas of white hairs may also include some white undercoat.
The allowable position of tan markings in blue dogs is clearly stated in the standard. Tan may vary in shade from a very pale to a very deep, rich colour. White is not mentioned, but, as explained above, the presence of white produces blue, blue speckle or blue mottle.
Most ACDís have a white star or stripe on the forehead. Not only is this acceptable but it is considered to be characteristic of the breed.
Provided the tail is not completely white, but includes hair of the base colour,it is acceptable. White hairs in the tail are commonly more abundant in speckled and mottled dogs. Lighter coloured tails on dogs that are neither speckled or mottled are believed to indicate that these animals are carrying the speckle or mottle modifier gene and may produce speckle or mottle progeny.
Although body patches are undesirable, an otherwise excellent specimen should not be put down in favour of a dog without a body patch that is inferior in general conformation.
Correct colour is of secondary importance to type, balance and soundness of comformation.
NOTE: This is the final document produced by the Coat Colour Sub-Committee.
The above is an extract from an article headed,"The Great Debate on Colour" a resume of views from Australian Cattle dog fanciers.