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All About Aussies

  • AKC / ASCA
    The American Kennel Club (AKC) is dedicated to upholding the integrity of its registry, promoting the sport of purebred dogs and breeding for type and function. Founded in 1884, AKC and its affiliated organizations advocate for the purebred dog as a family companion, advance canine health and well-being, work to protect the rights of all dog owners and promote responsible dog ownership. The Australian Shepherd Club of America (ASCA) was established as the parent club for the breed in 1957 and incorporated as a non-profit corporation. Increasing interest in competition led to the development of performance programs. Maintaining the Breed Standard is one of ASCA’s most important responsibilities to the breed. The Breed Standard is the written description of the Australian Shepherd to which breeders should adhere and the breed is judged by in the breed ring. It is considered so important that it can be only altered or changed by the membership, not by the Board of Directors. ASCA has long realized that changing a breed by whim or fad has been the downfall of many dog breeds. The present Breed Standard was adopted in 1977.
  • Breed Standard
    GENERAL APPEARANCE: The 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 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. CHARACTER: The Australian Shepherd is primarily a working dog of strong herding and guardian instincts. He is an intelligent, 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. This unusually versatile stockdog works with the power and quickness to control difficult cattle as well as the ability to move sheep without unnecessary roughness. Although an aggressive, authoritative worker, viciousness toward people or animals is intolerable. HEAD: The head is 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. The muzzle is of medium width and depth and tapers gradually to a rounded tip, without appearing heavy or snipey. Lips are close fitting, meeting at the mouthline. The toplines of the muzzle and topskull appear close to parallel. The stop is moderate but well defined. TEETH: A full complement of strong white teeth meet in a scissors bite. A level bite is a fault. Teeth broken or missing by accident are not penalized. All other missing teeth should be faulted to the degree that they deviate from a full complement of 42 teeth. Disqualifications: Undershot bite, Overshot bite, Wry Mouth EYES: The eyes are very expressive, showing attentiveness and intelligence. They are clear, almond-shaped, of moderate size, and set a little obliquely, neither prominent nor sunken. The pupils are dark, well defined, and perfectly positioned. Eye color is brown, blue, amber; or any variation or combination, including flecks and marbling. All eye colors are acceptable in combination with all coat colors. Faults: Any deviation from almond-shaped eyes. EARS: The ears are set high on the side of the head, are triangular, of moderate size and slightly rounded at the tip. The tip of the ear reaches to, but not further than, the inside corner of the nearest eye. At full attention, the ears should lift from one-quarter (1/4) to one-half (1/2) above the base and break forward or slightly to the side. Severe Faults: Prick ears; overly large ears; low set ears with no lift from the base. 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 bottom line carries well back with a moderate tuck-up. The chest is deep and strong with ribs well sprung. The loin is strong and broad when viewed from the top. The croup is moderately sloping. The Tail is straight, not to exceed four (4) inches, natural bobtail or docked. FOREQUARTERS: The shoulder blades (scapula) are well laid back, with the upper arm (humerus) slightly longer than the shoulder blade. Both the upper arm and shoulder blade are well muscled. The forelegs are straight and strong, perpendicular to the ground, with moderate bone. The point of the elbow is set under the withers and is equidistant from the withers to the ground. 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 is approximately equal to the width of the forequarters at the shoulder. The angulation of the pelvis and upper thigh (femur) corresponds to the angulation of the shoulder blade and upper arm. The upper and lower thigh are well muscled. 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: The coat is of medium length and texture, straight to slightly wavy, and weather resistant. The undercoat varies in quantity 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 and breeches are moderately full. There is a moderate mane, more pronounced in dogs than bitches. The Australian Shepherd is a working dog and is to be shown with a natural coat. Severe Faults: Non-typical coats such as excessively long; overabundant/profuse; wiry; or curly. COLOR: All colors are strong, clear and rich. The recognized colors are black (blue) merle, brown (red) merle, solid black, and solid brown (red) 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 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 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 natural stride. As speed increases, both front and rear feet converge equally toward the centerline of gravity beneath the body. The top line remains firm and level. When viewed from the side the trot is effortless, exhibiting facility of movement rather than a hard driving action. Exaggerated reach and drive at the trot are not desirable. Gait faults shall be penalized according to the degree of deviation from the ideal. SIZE: Preferred height at the withers for males is 20 to 23 inches; that for females is 18 to 21 inches, however, quality is not to be sacrificed in favor of size.
  • Grooming Requirements
    Brushing your dogs coat is the single most important key in maintaining their coat and keeping their skin healthy and the body comfortable. Australian Shepherds are moderate to heavy shedders and keeping the dead, shedding coat removed not only stimulates the skin to keep it healthy but also allows the coat to properly protect the dog from the weather. A properly brushed coat insulates from both heat and cold by holding a layer of temperate air close to the body while keeping high heat or cold on the outer surface of the coat. Leaving the undercoat in prevents this process as it eliminates room for temperate air to be held. Keep in mind that shaving a double coated breed does NOT reduce shedding, it only sheds smaller hairs. It also may or may not grow back normally and completely removes the coats ability to insulate the dog from heat or cold. Brushing your dog can easily be done with a good slicker brush and a long tooth undercoat rake. Using the brush first, brush with the direction of the coat. Gently use the undercoat to check to be sure the coat is well brushed down to the skin. Where you find tangles or resistance for the rake due to undercoat, work on those areas further with the brush. The undercoat rake should be used to get into the coat then comb slightly outward from the body rather than scraping it across the skin. Keeping your dog brushed out is the single most important thing you can do to maintain a healthy skin and coat. It also allows you to regularly check for parasites and treat quickly. There really isn’t much trimming needed to maintain a beautiful coat for your Australian Shepherd. I would recommend a good pair of thinning shears (I prefer 42-46 teeth) over regular shears as they are more forgiving and leave a more natural look.
  • Pricing
    We are happy to offer Limited Registration (pet-only) and Full Registration (breeding rights) to approved parties. All puppies are priced the same regardless of coat color, gender, or eye color.
  • Deposit
    We do not approve reservations on dogs younger than 4 weeks due to the fact that we evaluate temperament to help you pick what is best for you. A non-refundable deposit and signed contract is required to reserve a spot in our waiting list. Deposits made before dogs are born are placed under our Waiting List - it is first come, first serve. Please contact us for more information.
  • Contracts
    We offer electronic contracts via DocHub. Your full name, address, phone number, and email address is required. Contracts are only forwarded to parties that have placed a deposit.
  • Limited Registration / Full Registration
    Saltair Australian Shepherds is happy to provide Aussies with all-purpose potential. We understand not everyone is looking for a show prospect, a working animal, or an agility competitor. Our Aussies make great companions with great temperaments, medium to high drive. Those who wish to raise an Aussie in your home as a companion are best suited for Limited Registration (pet-only). These dogs are not to be used for breeding under any circumstances and held to a spay/neuter contract. Full Registration will offer breeding rights to approved parties.
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