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Aussie Education

Breed Info


Standard, Miniature & Toy Australian Shepherd Standard

    The Australian Shepherd is a well-balanced dog, no matter whether  Standard, Miniature or toy. He is attentive and animated, showing  strength and stamina combined with unusual agility. Slightly longer than  tall, he has a coat of moderate length and coarseness with coloring  that offers variety and individuality in each specimen. An identifying  characteristic is his natural or docked bobtail. In each sex,  masculinity or femininity is well defined. Bone is moderate and clean  with coarseness, heaviness or lightness being undesirable.

    The Australian Shepherd is intelligent, primarily a working dog of  strong herding and guardian instincts. He is an exceptional companion.  He is versatile and easily trained, performing his assigned tasks with  great style and enthusiasm. He is naturally reserved with strangers but  does not exhibit shyness. Although an aggressive, authoritative worker,  viciousness toward people or animals is intolerable. Fault: Undue  shyness.

    The head is clean cut, strong and dry.  Overall size should be in proportion to the body. The muzzle is equal in  length or slightly shorter than the back skull. Viewed from the side  the topline of the back skull and muzzle form parallel planes, divided  by a moderate, well-defined stop. The muzzle tapers little from base to  nose and is rounded at the tip. Expression - Showing attentiveness and intelligence, alert and eager. Gaze should be keen but friendly. Eyes  are brown, blue, amber or any variation or combination thereof,  including flecks and marbling. Almond shaped, not protruding nor sunken.  The blue merles and blacks have black pigmentation on eye rims. The red  merles and reds have liver (brown) pigmentation on eye rims. Ears  are triangular, of moderate size and leather, set high on the head. At  full attention they break forward and over, or to the side as a rose  ear. Prick ears and hanging ears are severe faults. Skull  - Top flat to slightly domed. It may show a slight occipital  protuberance. Length and width are equal. Moderate well-defined stop. Muzzle tapers little from base to nose and is rounded at the tip.  Nose  - Blue merles and blacks have black pigmentation on the nose (and  lips). Red merles and reds have liver (brown) pigmentation on the nose  (and lips). On the merles it is permissible to have small pink spots;  however, they should not exceed 25 percent of the nose on dogs over one  year of age, which is a serious fault.  Dudley nose over 1 year of age is a Disqualification.  Teeth-- A full complement of strong white teeth should meet in a scissors bite  or may meet in a level bite. Disqualifications - Undershot. Overshot  greater than 1/8 inch. Loss of contact caused by short center incisors  in an otherwise correct bite shall not be judged undershot. Teeth broken  or missing by accident shall not be penalized.

    The neck is firm, clean and in proportion to the body. It is of medium length and slightly arched at the
crest, setting well into the shoulders. The body is firm and muscular.  The topline appears level at a natural four-square stance. The chest is  deep and strong with ribs well-sprung. The loin is strong and broad when  viewed from the top. The bottom line carries well back with a moderate  tuck-up. The croup is moderately sloping, the ideal being thirty (30)  degrees from the horizontal. Tail is straight, not to exceed three (3)  inches, natural bobbed or docked.  We do allow non docked dogs to  accomodate our foreign breeders, as some countries do not allow docking  of tails.   We also recognize that some people choose not to dock for  personal reasons.

    The shoulder blades (scapulae) are long and flat, close set at the  withers, approximately two fingers width at a natural stance and are  well laid back at an angle approximating forty-five (45) degrees to the  ground. The upper arm (humerus) is attached at an approximate right  angle to the shoulder line with forelegs dropping straight,  perpendicular to the ground. The elbow joint is equidistant from the  ground to the withers. The legs are straight and powerful. Pasterns are  short, thick and strong, but still flexible, showing a slight angle when  viewed from the side. Feet are oval shaped, compact, with close-knit,  well-arched toes. Pads are thick and resilient; nails short and strong.  Dewclaws may be removed.

    Strong and muscular. Width of hindquarters approximately equal to  the width of the forequarters at the shoulders. The angulation of the  pelvis and the upper thigh (femur) corresponds to the angulation of the  shoulder blade and upper arm forming an approximate right angle. Stifles  are clearly defined, hock joints moderately bent. The metatarsi are  short, perpendicular to the ground and parallel to each other when  viewed from the rear. Feet are oval shaped, compact, with close-knit,  well-arched toes. Pads are thick and resilient; nails short and strong.  Rear dewclaws are removed.

    Of medium texture, straight to slightly wavy, weather resistant, of  moderate length with an undercoat. The quantity of undercoat varies with  climate. Hair is short and smooth on the head, outside of ears, front  of forelegs and below the hocks. Backs of forelegs are moderately  feathered; breeches are moderately full. There is a moderate mane and  frill, more pronounced in dogs than bitches. Non-typical coats are  severe faults.

    All colors are strong, clear and rich. The colors are blue merle,  red (liver) merle, solid black and solid red (liver) and with or without  white markings and/or tan (copper) points with no order of preference.  The blue merle and black have black pigmentation on nose, lips and  eye-rims; the red (liver) merle and red (liver) have liver pigmentation  on nose, lips and eye-rims.

    Smooth, free and easy; exhibiting agility of movement with a  well-balanced, ground-covering stride. Fore and hind legs move straight  and parallel with the center line of the body; as speed increases, the  feet, both front and rear, converge toward the center line of gravity of  the dog, while the topline remains firm and level. Joints do not bend  or twist when in motion.


STANDARD:  Height for both male and female is 18 inches up to 23 inches at the top of the withers.
MINIATURE: Height for both male and female is 14 inches up to 18 inches at the top of withers.
TOY:  Height for both male and female is 10 inches up to 14 inches at the top of the withers.
Inforamtion came from the ASDR site