Australian Shepherd (Aussie) Characteristics
Appearance of Australian Shepherd is an interesting and fascinating. This dog has eyes of different colors and thick beautiful wool.
FCI Classification: Group 1 Sheepdogs and Cattle dogs (except Swiss Cattle dogs); Section 1 Sheepdogs; Without working trial.
General Appearance Australian Shepherd is medium size, well balanced breed of dog with attentive and lively temperament. Aussie has a coat of moderate length and coarseness with variety and individuality of colors.
Body: slightly extended. The length from the chest to the back of the thighs is longer than from a top of the withers to the ground.
The backbone: moderate.
Sexual type: well visible; constitution of males more masculine without coarseness. Females are feminine without relief of bone.
Head: strong and dry; must be proportional to the body. Skull is flat or slightly rounded with a slight occipital protuberance. Stop (transition from forehead to muzzle) is well defined.
The muzzle is equal to or slightly shorter than the length of the back of the skull; it tapers from the base to the nose. Profile: lines of skull and muzzle form parallel planes which are separated by a pronounced stop.
Nose: dogs of different color have a different color of the nose:
- Dogs of blue-marble and black colors have black nose and lips.
- Aussies of red-marble and red colors have a brown nose and lips.
- In dogs of merle color small pink spots are permissible, but they should not exceed 25% pigmentation of the nose of dogs older than 1 year old.
Teeth: a scissor bite or a pincer bite. A complete set of strong white teeth is required.
Eyes of Australian Shepherd: almond-shaped, well set, not protruding or sunken. For Aussies it is admissible different color of eyes:
- Brown, blue, amber or any variety of combinations including blotches and marbling.
- Dogs with blue-marble and black colors have a black rims of eyes.
- Red-marble and red colors Aussie have brown rims of eyes.
Ears are medium size and thickness, triangular, set high. They break forward or to the side (ear - "Rose") when dog is watchful.
Neck: strong, of moderate length, a bit arched on the scruff.
Back: straight, strong.
The croup is moderately sloping.
Chest: deep and reaches the lowest point of the elbow.
The ribs: long, well sprung.
The belly is viewed; the bottom line is moderately tucked up from the chest to the groin.
Tail is straight, long or naturally short. If it is docked, its length should not exceed 10 cm (only in countries where docking is not prohibited).
Forequarters: Straight and strong. Bones are strong. Blades are long, flat, close-set to each other at the withers, are well laid back. The shoulders are connected to a right angle to line of blades; they are of equal length with blades. The pasterns are of medium length, slightly sloping. Dewclaws on the forelegs need to be removed. Feet: oval; toes are well arched. Pads of paws are thick, resilient.
Hindquarters: Strong. The angle of the pelvis and hip joint corresponds to the angle of articulation scapula and humerus and form a right angle. Knees are well expressed. Hock joints are a bit bent. Hocks: Short, perpendicular to the ground and look parallel to each other. Dewclaws of hind legs are absent. Feet: oval. Fingers are collected in a curved lump. The pads of paws are resilient.
Weight of Australian Shepherd: male 18–23 kg (40–50 lb); female 14–20 kg (30–45 lb)
Height of Australian Shepherd: male 51–58 cm (20–23 in); female 46–53 cm (18–21 in)
Life Span: 12 to 16 years
P. S.: Male animals should have two well-developed testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
Movement: smooth, free, easy, balanced. Front and hind legs are moving straight and parallel to the center line of the body. At an accelerated pace, the front and rear legs converge to the center of gravity of the Shepherd, back is straight.
Coat: medium length with undercoat; is permitted straight and wavy. Density of undercoat varies depending on the environment.
On the head, ears, front of forelegs and below the hocks hair is short and smooth. On the back of the forelegs wool of medium length; on the hind legs wool forms "trousers". The mane and feathering of moderate length; for males are more visible.
Serious and disqualifying defects:
- Stand-up ears or dropped ears
- Atypical wool
- Aggression or excessive shyness
- Anomalies in the physical development and behavior. Such individuals will be disqualified.
- White spots on the body of dogs of all olors: white on body between withers and tail; on sides between elbows and back of the hind limbs.
Coat Colors of Australian Shepherd
- Marble blue
- Tricolor (red or black)
- Marble Red
- Red and brown (with or without white or yellowish-brown color; the line of white collar should not go beyond the withers)
- All combinations of the above colors with white or brown spots
- White color around the neck (stain or collar); on the chest, legs, muzzle, at the bottom of the body; on head there is stripe (white does not dominate on the head)
- The eyes are completely surrounded by color and pigment