“THE MINIATURE AMERICAN SHEPHERD IS AN INTELLIGENT, VERSATILE WORKING DOG OF STRONG HERDING AND GUARDIAN INSTINCTS.”
point of the shoulder blade, he is slightly longer than tall. Judges should keep this in mind and award correct balance. Th e recognized coat colors are black, blue merle, red, red merle with NO order of preference. Asymmetrical markings or lack of markings are not to be faulted. Th e standard lists exactly where and what shades in great detail. What is important to remember is that structure comes first and color is secondary with the exception of faults and disqualifications. We are looking for a smooth and e ff ort- less side gait with the head carried in a nat- ural position; the neck extended forward and the head nearly level or slightly above the top line. We do not want to put too much emphasis on side gait alone. Equally important is that the fore and hind legs move straight and parallel converging toward the center line of gravity. Traveling with the head held high is not an e ffi cient gait for the work expected of these dogs.
Th e Miniature American Shep- herd is an intelligent, versatile work- ing dog of strong herding and guardian instincts. An exceptional companion, he is easily trained, performing his assigned tasks with great style and enthusiasm. Although reserved with strangers, he does not exhibit shyness. As a herding breed, it is natural for our dogs to be watchful of their surroundings. Th ey may be attentive to their handler, though seemingly not interested in other people. Being watch- ful does not indicate being fearful, just a pause while sizing up the stranger. Considering the above we would ask judges not to expect statuette style bait- ing. Assess alertness by the interest in their handler and the surroundings. Please do not throw items to get expres- sion. Allow the dog to see you coming and try to avoid staring directly into their eyes. All of that said, we fully expect the dogs to be approachable and confident in
the ring. Do not be afraid to excuse a dog or to keep it out of the points because of poor temperament! Th e following are considered to be of such importance that it warrants a Disqualification: • Under 14 inches and over 18 inches for dogs; under 13 inches and over 17 inch- es for bitches. Th e minimum heights set forth in this breed standard shall not apply to dogs or bitches under six months of age. • Over 50% un-pigmented nose leather. • Undershot or overshot bite. • Other than recognized colors. White body splashes, which means any con- spicuous, isolated spot or patch of white on the area between withers and tail, on back, or sides between elbows and back of hindquarters. Th e Miniature American Shepherd is truly a breed where one dog can do it all.
278 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , J UNE 2015
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