Origin, classification and history
F.C.I classification: Group 1 - shepherd dogs.
In the period between the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the ancestors of today's Australian Shepherds arrived in the western and north-western states following the Basque shepherds who accompanied the numerous flocks of sheep that were imported from Australia . These small dogs were called at the time "little blue dogs", and they fascinated many local breeders, who subsequently began to breed and employ them. The selection was based more on the practical working aspect than on the aesthetic aspect. Thus, after many years of selection, the breed was fixed and the current Australian Shepherd was created. Still today in the United States specimens of this breed are found to lead flocks on ranches. The first official breed club (ASCA) was founded in the year 1957. The unified Standard was issued in 1976. In recent times in Italy this breed has been acquiring many awards in the field of beauty dog shows.
Medium sized dog. It is a well balanced, strong and resistant breed. It has medium length hair. It has a truncated spool tail. He has good musculature and stands out for his proud bearing. It has a solid structure, very well proportioned and with the right relationship between head, trunk and limbs.
Excellent working dog. His ability is known to all those who raise sheep. His obedience and loyalty are his most outstanding qualities. It is a breed that has highly developed intelligence. She is very active, but with a meek and rarely quarrelsome temperament. It may seem, on some occasions, a little reserved. Many authors, speaking of the breed, claim that it is an excellent animal to enlarge the family unit. They have a fair learning ability. They must never appear shy or shady. Strong territorial instinct.
Australian Shepherd - Australian Shepherd (photo http://aboutpedigreedogs.com)
Australian Shepherd - Australian Shepherd (photo http://www.marquiskennels.com)
- males from 20 to 23 inches, i.e. from 51 to 58 cm
- females from 18 to 21 inches, i.e. from 46 to 53 cm.
Trunk: upper straight and solid line, horizontal from the withers to the hips. Moderately inclined croup. Chest not wide but high, with the lower part at the height of the elbows. Long, well-belted ribs, neither flat nor tonneau. Lower line moderately raised.
Head and muzzle: with a clean, strong and dry design. In size it must be proportionate to the body. Flat or slightly rounded top skull. A slight occipital protuberance is possible. The length and width are the same. Moderate stop, well defined. Muzzle of length equal to or slightly shorter than that of the skull. In profile, the upper line of the skull and the lower line of the nasal bridge are parallel.
Truffle: I was in the black-blue and black subjects (like the lips). The subjects tending to red have the brown truffle like the lips. Small red spots are allowed in blackbird-colored dogs, but must not cover more than ¼ of the truffle.
Teeth: complete in number, strong and white. Closing both scissor and pincer.
Neck: strong, of moderate length. The upper part is slightly convex. Very well inserted between the shoulders.
Ears: triangular, with moderate size auricle. Attack high on the head.
Eyes: brown, blue, amber or any combination of these colors, including speckling or marbling. Almond-shaped, not prominent or sunken in the orbits. Black-blue or black dogs have black pigmented eyelids. Red dogs have brown pigmented eyelids. A lively look with an attentive and intelligent expression.
Skin: well fitting in every part of the body.
Limbs: strong bone, more oval than round. The arm must be approximately the same length as the shoulder blade, with which it forms an angle of 90 degrees. forearm in perpendicular, perpendicular to the ground. Metacarpals of medium length, slightly inclined. Front feet oval and compact. Hindquarters with clearly drawn grassella. Moderate angle of the hock. Short hocks perpendicular to the ground. Spur ablation is mandatory. Hind feet as the front.
Shoulder: with long, flat shoulder blades, rather close to the withers and well inclined.
Movement: composed, loose and easy. Harmonic habit.
Musculature: well developed and evident.
Upper line: the back is straight and strong, regular and compact from the withers to the hip joint.
Tail: straight, naturally short or shortened. Not more than 4 inches long, i.e. about 10 cm.
Hair: medium texture and length. Straight or slightly wavy. Weatherproof. The undercoat varies in quantity according to the seasons. It is short and smooth on the ears, on the head, on the front of the front limbs and under the hocks. Moderate mane and harness, more evident in males than in females.
Allowed colors: black-blue, black, black-red, red; all these colors with or without white spots, with or without tan spots. A white collar does not extend beyond the withers. White is allowed on the neck, chest and limbs. The white on the head should not be predominated and the eyes should be surrounded by colored areas. The blackbird color becomes deeper with age.
Most common defects: non-standard measures, monorchidism, cryptorchidism, prognathism, enognatism, shy and fearful character, colors of the coat not allowed, incorrect back, incorrect gait, incorrect skull-muzzle relationships, non-flat skull.
curated by Vinattieri Federico - www.difossombrone.it