Dog Breeds

Australian Shepherd


"Buddy"


There are several theories about the origin of the Australian Shepherd, but this one is the most common.]
Despite its name, the Australian Shepherd as we know it today was developed completely within the United States. In the late 1800's and early 1900's the forerunners of today's "Aussies" came to the western and north-western states as stockdogs for the Basque shepherds that accompanied the vast numbers of sheep then being imported from Australia. These hard-working, medium-sized, "little blue dogs" impressed the American ranchers and farmers, who began using them as well. Breeding was done for working ability rather than appearance, and occasionally dogs of other herding breeds were bred into the lines. However, today's Aussie still resembles the dogs that came from Europe via Australia, and great numbers of Aussies are still working stock on ranches and farms in the United States and beyond.

The Australian Shepherd Club of America (ASCA) was formed in 1957 to promote the breed, and several clubs kept breed registries. A unified standard was adopted in 1976, and the registries combined in 1980. The National Stock Dog Registry (NSDR) keeps a separate Australian Shepherd registry.

In 1992 the American Kennel Club (AKC) granted recognition to the Australian Shepherd, although ASCA did not become the affiliate parent club. The United States Australian Shepherd Association was formed to be the AKC parent breed club. AKC allowed open registration for two years before closing the registry, so now many Aussies are dual or even triple registered.

Size:
Size--The preferred height for males is 20-23 inches, females 18-21 inches. Quality is not to be sacrificed in favor of size. Proportion--Measuring from the breastbone to rear of thigh and from top of the withers to the ground the Australian Shepherd is slightly longer than tall. Substance--Solidly built with moderate bone. Structure in the male reflects masculinity without coarseness. Bitches appear feminine without being slight of bone

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

Color
Blue merle, black, red merle, red-all with or without white markings and/or tan (copper) points, with no order of preference. The hairline of a white collar does not exceed the point of the withers at the skin. White is acceptable on the neck (either in part or as a full collar), chest, legs, muzzle underparts, blaze on head and white extension from underpart up to four inches, measuring from a horizontal line at the elbow. White on the head should not predominate, and the eyes must be fully surrounded by color and pigment. Merles characteristically become darker with increasing age. Disqualifications White body splashes, which means white on body between withers and tail, on sides between elbows and back of hindquarters in all colors

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