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tuck-up. The croup should be broad and very slightly sloping. The tail should be set high and smoothly into the croup, but not quite level with the back, a continuation of the spine. The tail should be broad at the base, tapering uniformly down to the hock joint. At rest, the tail should fall straight. When excited or running, it may curve slightly, but never above the level of the back. A ring or hooked tail is a serious fault. A docked tail is a disqualification. Forequarters: The forequarters, viewed from the side, shall be strong and muscular. The shoulder blade must be strong and sloping, forming, as near as possible, a right angle in its articulation with the upper arm. A line from the upper tip of the shoulder to the back of the elbow joint should be perpendicular. The ligaments and muscles holding the shoulder blade to the rib cage must be well developed, firm and securely attached to prevent loose shoulders. The shoulder blade and the upper arm should be the same length. The elbow should be one-half the distance from the withers to the ground. The strong pasterns should slope slightly. The feet should be round and compact with well-arched toes, neither toeing in, toeing out, nor rolling to the inside or outside. The nails should be short, strong and as dark as possible, except that they may be lighter in Harlequins, Mantles and Merles. Dewclaws may or may not be removed. Hindquarters: The hindquarters shall be strong, broad, muscular and well angulated, with well let down hocks . Seen from the rear, the hock joints appear to be perfectly straight, turned neither toward the inside nor toward the outside. The rear feet should be round and compact, with well-arched toes, neither toeing in nor out. The nails should be short, strong and as dark as possible, except they may be lighter in Harlequins, Mantles and Merles. Wolf claws are a serious fault. Coat: The coat shall be short, thick and clean with a smooth glossy appearance. Color, Markings and Patterns: Brindle Color : The base color shall be yellow gold and always be brindled with black cross stripes. Patterns/Markings : Brindle shall have a black chevron pattern with a black mask. Black should appear on the eye rims and eyebrows and may appear on the ears and tail tip. The more intense the base color and the more distinct and evenly brindled, the more preferred will be the color. Too much or too little brindling are equally undesirable. White markings on the chest or toes; black fronted; dirty colored Brindles; are not desirable. Fawn Color: The color shall be yellow gold. Patterns/Markings: Black should appear on the eye rims and eyebrows with a black mask and may appear on the ears and tail tip. Deep yellow gold must always be given the preference. White markings on the chest or toes, black-fronted; dirty colored Fawns; are not desirable. Blue Color: The color shall be a pure steel blue. Patterns/Markings: White markings on the chest or toes are not desirable. Black Color: The color shall be a glossy black. Patterns/Markings: White markings on the chest or toes are not desirable. Harlequin Color: Base color shall be white with black torn patches. Merle patches are normal. Patterns/Markings: Black torn patches well distributed over the body; with whole or partial white neck. Black pigment may be seen on the skin in white areas. No patch should be so large as it appears to be a blanket. Eligible but less desirable, are black hairs showing through the white base coat which gives a salt and pepper or dirty appearance. Mantle Color: Black and white with a black blanket extending over the body. Patterns/Markings: Black skull with white muzzle; white blaze is optional; whole or partial white neck; a white chest; white on whole or part of the forelegs and hind legs; white tipped black tail. A small white break in the blanket is acceptable. Black pigment may be seen on the skin in white areas.
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