Australian Shepherd Pet & Companion Standard
by Arthur Scott and Blue
contributions from other Aussie pet lovers)
(May be reproduced or copied in
any form including use of quill pen.)
The Aussie Pet and Companion should be of
medium size(any size that fits your bed, lap, or best soft chair). He*(see footnote) has a fuzzy and petable coat that is brightly
colored (coloured-British translation) and is prone to leave hairs in
undesirable places. He can run, jump, and play forever. "In each sex,
masculinity or femininity is well defined". ( Boys will be boys and girls will
All Aussie Pets and Companions must be spayed or
neutered. Intact pets and companions may not be shown in public and it is
considered a disqualifying fault to have an intact pet. Exceptions will be made
for those fluffy show types and grungy working types that will produce more
future excellent pet and companion types.
The Aussie Pet and Companion should be a never ending
source of fun and joy. Aussies are noted herding dogs and "give eye" that is
stare intently. This often manifests itself in stareing a hotdog from human
fingers to their puppy mouth. The intensity of the stare, when a potato chip is
halfway to the mouth, can be measured on the Richter Scale.
Paws & Eyes
Note that it is rather unusual that these parts of
the anatomy are treated together. This is being done so that inexperienced
judges can tell which end is up.. Always remember the eyes should be on the top
and paws on the bottom. If the opposite is true there are three reasons, none of
which should be considered disqualifying faults; 1) The dog is in the
belly-scratch position (See Tummy standard), 2) the dog is standing on it's
head, or 3) the judge is standing on it's head. Each of these minor faults may
be corrected by turning the dog over or turning the judge over.
- Aussie pets and companions should have four paws. It is not considered a fault
to only have three. Paws should be moderately furry with the two inner toes
longer than the two outer toes. Large amounts of fur between the toes is not
desire able and is referred to as "Hobbitt Foot" The toes should make the foot
form a sharp "U" shape. Pink toes with white nails are preferred because
nail-grooming is much easier, but any color is acceptable. As discussed on
Aussie-L, paws should have the distinct odor of popcorn, Fritos, grass, or feet
(human?). Extra points are awarded for crossed front paws in the down position
and extended rear legs (frog style).
Eyes - Eyes should be some
color. They should reflect intelligence, caring, brightness, sensitivity,
inquisitiveness, and love. It is impossible for any Aussie to fail this rigorous
The muzzle should generally point in the direction the
Aussie is moving when he is moving forward. Side to side movement is acceptable.
When in a happy Aussie mood, the pretzel or horseshoe position (sometimes called
the "C-,J-,or U- position") is permissable. This position requires that the
Aussie be bent with the nose and butt pointing in the same direction. Note that
forward or rearward movement is acceptable. The nose, however, should preceed
most of the body when in a tennis-ball-, squirrel-, rabbit- other small
critter-, and stock-like critter-chasing mode. The tongue, preferably pink,
should be warm and damp to the touch and feel somewhat like very soft moleskin.
(Not the animal type.) The tongue should also be capable of thoroughly cleaning
faces, ears, hands, and feet of any household member or friend (human or
animal). The muzzle should posses moderate nuzzlement or nudgability. It should
be capable of nudging the hand on to the head for a pat, to call for additional
cleaning by encouraging presentation of body parts that have not been licked, or
placing a toy in the hand for a game. Nuisance nudging is considered a serious
Nose - The nose should have a definite color and may be
spotted with pink. It should be generally wet and cold, particularly prior to 6
All pet and companion Aussies should have teeth; number is
not important, particularly in older pups. However, they should preferably be
located in the mouth. Judging should be based on the pups ability to eat kibble,
treats, things off of the kitchen counter, and assorted outdoor items best left
unmentioned. Exposing teeth in a grin or smile is considered a desirable trait.
Aussie ears should be warm and fuzzy and of sufficient size to
hold while one is kissing the muzzle. They should be soft enough to provide a
pleasant place for scratching. They should be warm and fuzzy enough to provide
for nice cuddling and nuzzling. Size, quarter-fold, or half-fold are immaterial.
Aussies should have warm soft skin on their tummies. The
heavy coat should end approximately at the navel and from that point rearward
should be sparse or non-existant. Bare skin or soft fuzz is preferred. Skin
color is immaterial, but pink is preferred.
Disqualifications - Dog
should not pee when laying in the tummy scratch position. Dog should exhibit
extreme contentment when scratched even to the extent of closing it's eyes.
Growling and biting are disqualifying faults. Involuntary scratching motions
with hind legs is permitted. Other disqualifying faults are assuming the tummy
scratch position when approached by persons, 1) carrying .357 magnums, knifes,
or clubs; 2) walking out of the house with TVs,VCRs,Silver,Computers, or any
other owners belongings after midnight, or 3) in Obedience or Conformation
rings. Note in first two examples, dogs teeth should be planted firmly in some
portion of persons anatomy. No time for scratches.
The correct Aussie butt, sometimes referred to as a
wiggle-butt, must be covered with dense fur extending down the rear legs and
forming pantaloons. It should be well rounded with a rather short or
non-existant(nub) tail. It is not a disqualification if the dog has a long
flowing tail as long as it can be proved that the dog is an Aussie and not a
border collie(ugh). Overall the butt should look like the south end of a sheep
headed north(Canadian translation:north end of sheep headed south.).
judging, one must consider that the main purpose of the Aussie butt is
camouflage (in addition to giving the dog a place to rest when in a sit-stay
position). From time immemorial, Aussies have been expected to guard their
flock. The best way to do this job is to blend in with the herd (go incognito)
until the predator approaches within striking distance, then surprise him and
get him from the rear. Thus the Aussie Butt Standard. One more judging
consideration, the butt must remain on the ground when strangers approach
(reserved?) but (no pun intended) may wiggle vigorously.
Aussie pet's and companion's fur should have a color
or colors. This standard is similar to existing standards except the acceptable
colors are a little more basic than blue merle, black tri, etc. Acceptable
colors (all of the following are acceptable in any mixtures or shades) black,
white, brown, copper, tan, red, bronze, beige, silver, silver grey. red grey,
chestnut, yellow, red tan, tan red, and sable (also a bunch more that I can not
describe). Note that fur of sky blue, royal blue, and most shades of blue (even
on blue merles), purple, or green (in any shade) is considered a serious fault.
Lots of white is not desirable. However, in a pet, if it is assured that any
handicaps will not severely detract from the pet's quality of life, and the
human companion will provide for all it's needs, it is acceptable. It should be
noted that predominately white Aussies may be deaf and/or blind and be subject
to other genetic health problems.
The Aussie should be able to run like the wind to catch or
chase a tennis ball or Frisbee and he should be able to walk quitely with his
human friend. There are no disqualifying faults under this standard so older and
disabled pups are given full points.
* Note: All existing standards seem to use a masculine
form--guess they do not know what girls are supposed to look like.
Australian Shepherd Pet Terms
- Generic term for any canine without regard to sex or age.
- Up to six months but can vary with individual maturity(Some dogs have been
known to be puppies their entire lives.)
- From six months to ten years. May also be used inchangeably with Pups as a
greeting such as "Hi, Puppers!"
- Ten years and older for males only.
- Little Puppy
- Ten years and up for females only.
- My/The/Sweet Old Puppy
- General reference to any dog or bitch that is ten years and older.
- Puppalini (adj) puh-puh-lee-nee
- For rhyming use e.g. "What a good puppalini beanie or puppalini sweetie!"
Used as a term of praise, expressed in an excited tone of voice, usually during
an outside potty trip. Only appropriate for puppies.
- usually used as a form of greeting or affectionate reference. For example,
"Hey, little pupster. How's it goin'?" or alternately, in doggie conversation,
"Are you a good pupster?"
- used similarly to Pupster. For example, "Puppilicious, come get a treat..."
- always used affectionately, though sometimes in gentle reproach. For
example, "Dogface, were you chasing that cat?"
- Vertically Challanged
- Any Aussie that is too short to reach a kitchen counter.
- Calorically Challenged
- Any Aussie over about seventy(?) pounds.(31.82 kilograms)
The Aussie Pet & Companion Standard is courtesy of
Art Scott and his Aussies Blue, Koda, and Sierra.
Email Art, Blue, Koda, and Sierra too,
or visit their Web site at