ShowSight Presents The Miniature American Shepherd

Ears: acceptable styles. Illustrations courtesy of Vicky Mistretta.

Presented naturally

“MODERATION IS THE OVERALL IMPRESSION OF THE COAT.”

Do not take the “Miniature” in our name to mean that they must be quite small or close to toy size. As you can see the males can be up to 18 inches. This can be a challenge to compare this wide of a range in the ring. Try to judge each on their own merit rather than com- paring them to each other. Can the 14 inch dog move with a stride described in the standard with respect to his size? One of the problems we run across in downsizing is lack of loin, this in turn drastically reduces the ability to reach up underneath themselves and drive from behind. If the smaller dog has suf- ficient loin and angulation, therefore drive and has a good front and lay back of shoulder to help ensure reach then he should mirror a larger dog with the same assets when moving. They should cover ground correctly and at the speed that best suits that particular dog. We don’t want the smaller dogs rac- ing around the ring trying to compete with the speed of the larger dogs who can cover more linear feet in a shorter amount of time. Moderation is the overall impres- sion of the coat. Hair is of medium texture, from straight to wavy and of medium length. Hair may be trimmed on the ears, feet, back of hocks, pas- terns and tail, otherwise he is to be shown in a natural coat. Untrimmed

whiskers are preferred. We do not want a sculpted presentation. The Miniature American Shepherd comes in 4 colors Blue Merle, Red Mer- le, Black Tri and Red Tri with or with- out white and or tan points. A solid colored dog is just as acceptable as a flashy tri colored dog. The emphasis should always be on the structure and movement since color does not get the job done. Some merleing patterns can easily deceive the eye, a critique of the bone structure without considering the color can be challenging. As you assess a Miniature American Shepherd, the chest should be full and deep, reaching to the elbow, with well sprung ribs and the underline shows a moderate tuck-up. The shoulder blades (scapula) are long, flat, fairly close set at the withers and well laid back. The hocks are short, approximately ⅓ the total height of the dog. Perpen- dicular to the ground and parallel to each other when viewed from the rear at the stand. The loin should be strong and broad when viewed from the top and the croup is moderately sloped. The angulation of the pelvis and upper thigh (femur) should mirror the angulation of the shoulder blade and upper arm.

A docked tail is, not to exceed three (3) inches. The undocked tail when at rest may hang in a slight curve. When excited or in motion the tail may be car- ried raised with the curve accentuated. A docked tail is preferred but a full tail is accepted. This breed is extremely devoted to their owners/handlers and it is reflect- ed in their focus towards them. Do not expect him to look at you with a little cock of the head if you make some kind of noise to get a reaction from him. He will likely keep focused on his handler. DISQUALIFICATIONS • Under 14 inches and over 18 inches for dogs; under 13 inches and over 17 inches for bitches. • Over 50% un-pigmented nose leather. • Undershot or overshot bite. • Other than recognized colors. White body splashes, which means any conspicuous, isolated spot or patch of white on the area between withers and tail, on back, or sides between elbows and back of hindquarters. For more information please go to www.namascusa.com/judges.php where you will find a breed Power- Point. For the Breed Standard, go to www.namascusa.com/standard.php

184 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , A UGUST 2015

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