A GUIDE TO JUDGING THE MINIATURE AMERICAN SHEPHERD by FRAN WITHERS
W ith your first look at a Miniature American Shepherd entering the ring, the word MODERATE should come to mind. A small-sized herding dog, he should not be overdone with bone or underdone without enough bone. He should be slightly longer than tall at about a 9:10 ratio with equal distance from withers to elbow and elbow to the ground. Structure in the dog should reflect masculinity without coarseness or extra bulk. Bitches appear feminine without being slight of bone. You can also look to the head for evidence of masculinity or femininity. The movement should be effort- less and well-balanced exhibiting a ground-covering stride although not to be confused with the type of ground
covering stride of a German Shepherd. The purpose is to use the stride as an energy saving tool in order for him to work all day at the task at hand, not to get to his destination quickly. He will converge toward the center line of grav- ity as his speed increases at the trot, while the back remains firm and level. When traveling at a trot the head is car- ried in a natural position with the neck extended forward and head nearly level or slightly above the topline. He is to be presented on a somewhat loose lead so he can display his natural movement without being strung up. You should see a smooth topline with the back firm and level from the withers to the hip joint when standing or moving. The head is clean-cut, dry and in proportion to the body. Viewed from the side, the muzzle and the top line of
the crown are slightly oblique to each other, with the front of the crown on a slight angle downward toward the nose. The male should have a stronger head than the female, demonstrating some distinction between a male and female head so when you look at them you can easily tell what gender they are. The eyes must be almond in shape. We do not want round or bulging eyes. Height for dogs is 14 inches up to and including 18 inches at the top of the withers. Height for bitches is 13 inches up to and including 17 inches at the top of withers. The minimum heights do not apply to dogs or bitches under six months of age. When in doubt please wicket. We would rather you measure to be sure of any questionable height rather than not put a dog up due to it. This breed is to be judged on the table.
“YOU SHOULD SEE A SMOOTH TOPLINE WITH THE BACK FIRM AND LEVEL FROM THE WITHERS TO THE HIP JOINT WHEN STANDING OR MOVING.”
Substance: Solidly built with moderate bone; males - masculinity without coarseness; bitches - feminine without slight of bone.
General Appearance: Well balanced; slightly longer than tall; medium size and bone without extreme; versatile and agile; attentive, biddable and loyal; coat moderate length; coloring offers variety and individuality; traditional docked or natural bob tail
182 • S HOW S IGHT M AGAZINE , A UGUST 2015
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