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The Miniature Australian Shepherd is a well-balanced dog of medium size and bone. He is attentive and
animated, showing strength and stamina combined with unusual agility. Slightly longer than tall, he has a
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 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 toward people or animals is intolerable. Fault: Undue shyness.
Clean-cut, strong, dry and in proportion to the body. The topskull 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.
Lips: Giving a dry appearance. Disqualification: Wet flews.
Teeth: A full complement of strong, white teeth meet in a scissors bite. An even bite is a fault. Teeth
broken or missing by accident are not penalized. Disqualifications: Undershot bites; overshot bites
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
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 (¼) to one-half (½) above the base.
Prick and hound-type ears are severe faults.
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
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.
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
All colors are strong, clear and rich. The recognized 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. Butterfly nose should not be faulted under one
year of age. 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 of the withers. Disqualifications: Other than
recognized colors, white body splashes, Dudley nose.
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.
Preferred height at the withers for males is fourteen (14) to eighteen (18) inches; that for females is
fourteen (14) up to but not including eighteen (18) inches. Dogs or bitches above these measurements
should be faulted to the degree of variance; however, quality is not to be sacrificed in favor of size.
Disqualification: Below 14” at the withers.
Toy-like characteristics (i.e. domed head, bulging eyes, fine bone), monorchidism or cryptorchidism.
Note: The Miniature Australian Shepherd should be judged as if it were an Australian Shepherd in all
respects other than size. The Miniature Australian Shepherd’s conformation, moderate coat, efficient yet
driving movement and stable temperament should all imply a herding dog capable of working long hours in a
variety of conditions. Shown in near to natural state. Hair may be trimmed away from and around the pads.
Whiskers may be trimmed or untrimmed (never removed on a dog to work stock). Pasterns may be trimmed
between carpal pad and heel. Hair along hock and long hairs on docked or bobbed tails or sparse, stray or
straggly hairs may also be trimmed to make a neater outline.
Miniature Australian Shepherd Club of America, Inc., PO Box 1692-32790, Winter Park FL 32790
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