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Official Breed Standard of the Miniature Australian Shepherdminiature australian breed

GENERAL APPEARANCE

The Miniature Australian Shepherd is a well-balanced herding dog of small to medium size. Bone is also moderate and in proportion to body size. 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. Disqualifications: Toy like features (i.e. domed head, bulging eyes, fine bone) Merle bitch with Tri dog in background. Trim color is optional and not to be preferred

CHARACTER

The Miniature 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 reserved with strangers, but does not exhibit shyness. Although an aggressive, authoritative worker, viciousness towards people or animals is intolerable. Disqualification: Viciousness Fault: Undo shyness

HEAD

Clean-cut, strong, dry, and in proportion to the body. The top skull is flat to slightly rounded, its length and width each equal to the length of the muzzle, which is in balance and proportioned to the rest of the head. The muzzle tapers slightly to a rounded tip. The stop is moderate, but well defined.

TEETH

A full complement of strong, white teeth meet in a scissor bite. An even bite is a fault. Teeth broken or missing by accident are not penalized. Disqualification: Undershot bites; overshot bites exceeding one-eighth (1/8) inch

EYES

Very expressive, showing attentiveness and intelligence. Clear, almond-shaped, and of moderate size, set a little obliquely, neither prominent nor sunken, with pupils dark, well defined and perfectly positioned. Color is brown, blue, amber or any variation or combination thereof including flecks and marbling.

EARS

Set on high at the side of the head, triangular and slightly rounded at the tip, of moderate size with length measured by bringing the tip of the ear around to the inside corner of the eye. The ears, at full attention, break slightly forward and over from one-quarter (1/4) to one-half (1/2) above the base. Severe Faults: Prick or hound-type ears Prick ear Hound ear

NECK AND BODY

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 fore-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 bobtail or docked.

FOREQUARTERS

The shoulder blades (scapula) 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 approximately 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.

HINDQUARTERS

Width of hindquarters approximately equal to the width of the forequarters at the shoulders. The angulation of the pelvis and 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.

COAT

Of medium texture, straight to slightly wavy, weather resistant, of moderate length with an undercoat. The quality 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. Severe fault: Non-typical coats

COLOR

All colors are strong, clear and rich. The recognized colors are blue merle, red (liver) merle, solid black, and solid red (liver) all 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. Reds and red merles have liver pigmentation on nose, lips and eye rims. Butterfly nose should not be faulted under the age of one year. On all colors the areas surrounding the ears and eyes are dominated by color other than white. The hairline of a white collar does not exceed the point at the withers. Disqualifications: Other than recognized colors, white body splashes. Dudley nose

GAIT

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 top line remains firm and level.

SIZE

Height for dogs and bitches is 14 inches up to 18 inches at the top of withers. Quality not to be sacrificed in favor of size within the guidelines of this breed standard. Severe fault under 14 inches and over 18 inches. For Preferred height read Breed Standard Guidelines Booklet Disqualification's: Monorchidism and Cryptorchidism Toy like features (i.e. domed head, bulging eyes, fine bone) Other than recognized colors, white body splashes, Dudley nose. Viciousness Undershot bites; overshot bites exceeding one-eighth (1/8) inch