Register on Merit Program


Dogs lacking the pedigree information normally required for registration may be able to enter the registry through the Register on Merit (ROM) program. This program was developed to permit genetically healthy dogs with outstanding working ability to enter the ABCA stud book when their ancestry is not fully known.


General (All of these conditions must be met):

  1. A pedigree of the dog should be supplied to the Secretary, giving all details available on the sire and dam, including registration numbers when available.
  2. Evidence that both sire and dam have received an OFA rating of “good” or “excellent” hips, or Cornell University Veterinary Radiology Department reports stating that their hips are not dysplastic. (This condition may be impractical or impossible to meet in some cases. The ROM Committee has the authority to waive this condition in some circumstances.)
  3. A report by a DACVO-certified Veterinary Ophthalmologist must be supplied, indicating that the dog seeking registration on merit has been examined within 24 months prior to the date of application and has been found free of heritable eye disease. CEA DNA test results indicating that the dog is not CEA Affected must also be supplied.  In addition, either an OFA rating of “good” or “excellent” hips, or a Cornell University Veterinary Radiology Department report stating that the dog’s hips are not dysplastic, based upon x-rays taken when the dog was two years old or older, must be supplied.
  4. Fee: $100 non-refundable. The applicant will also be required to bear whatever cost may be incurred by the committee to meet eligibility requirements.
  5. A video of the dog working livestock must be supplied to each member of the ROM Committee. That Committee will make a recommendation whether to refer to the full Board of Directors or not. If referred to the full Board, a video of the dog working livestock must be supplied to the rest of the Directors unless some of them have seen the dog and do not need a video.
  6. The owner of the dog requesting registration on merit must be a member in good standing of the American Border Collie Association, Inc.
  7. The dog cannot have been previously deregistered by the ABCA.

Working Qualifications (One or the other of these options must be met):

  1. Written proof that the dog seeking registration on merit has placed in the top 10% of three open, advertised National style and size trials judged under ISDS or USBCHA rules.
  2. To pass the working qualifications, the dog must demonstrate outstanding abilities in outrun, lift, fetch, driving, and must satisfy the Directors as to his good balance, power, and eye. At least three of the Directors must see the dog in person working livestock that he is not used to at a place other than his home.  In the event that the distance required to meet with 3 Directors is considered unreasonable, a handler may apply to the Board to substitute 1 or 2 of the 3 Directors required to see the dog in person with qualified handlers satisfactory to the Board.

ROM Process

  • Fill out the ROM Application
  • All application requests and supporting documents must be filed with the Secretary through the ABCA office.
  • Once the documents are in place, the BOD will appoint a committee to review the case and give their recommendation to the full BOD. Eleven of the twelve  directors must vote to approve the dog for registration.
  • In all cases, at least three directors (or at least one director, in cases where the Board has designated alternate evaluators because of unreasonable distance) must see the dog seeking registration on merit.