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Official Standard for the Dutch Shepherd General Appearance: The first impression of the Dutch Shepherd is of a medium-sized, middle- weighted, well-muscled dog of powerful and well-balanced structure. His carriage is natural and relaxed, but alert. He is a dog with lots of endurance, a lively temperament and an intelligent expression. The breed is presented in three coat types, short-, long- and rough-haired. The difference between sexes is clearly recognizable, especially in the shape of the head and build of body. Both male and female should be judged equally. Faults - Any deviation from these specifications is a fault. In determining whether a fault is minor, serious, or major, these two factors should be used as a guide: 1. The extent to which it deviates from the standard, 2. The extent to which such deviation would actually affect the working ability and welfare of the dog. Size Proportion, Substance: Males should be 22½ to 24½ inches in height and females 21½ to 23½ inches, measured at the withers. The length, measured from point of breastbone to point of buttock, compared to the height, should be a 10 to 9 ratio. Bone structure is solid and moderate weight in correct proportion to his height, appearance well balanced, neither too light or too heavy. Males under 21 inches or over 26 inches shall be disqualified. Females under 20 inches or over 25 inches shall be disqualified. Head: Size should be in proportion to the body. Is wedge-shaped seen from above and in profile. The skull and muzzle are equal in length. Expression - should be intelligent and lively, indicating alertness, attention and readiness for activity. Eyes - are dark colored and medium size, set slightly oblique, almond shaped and not protruding. Dogs with distinctly yellow or blue eyes shall be disqualified. Ears - are medium sized, stiff, and erect. Disqualification - drooping or hanging ears. Skull - is flat and never rounded. The stop is moderate and distinct. Muzzle – The bridge of the muzzle is straight and parallel to the top of the skull. The jaws should be strong and powerful. Nose - is black without spots or discolored areas. The lips should be tight and black, with no pink showing on the outside. Teeth - full complement of strong, white teeth, evenly set. Bite - is scissors. A level, overshot or undershot bite is a fault. Neck, Topline, Body: Neck - is not too short, dry, without folds and gradually flowing into the body. Topline - There is a smooth, gentle transition from the neck to the top line of the body, in which head and neck are carried in a natural pose. The withers are slightly higher and slope into the back, which must be level, straight, and firm from withers to hip joints. Body - Firm, but not coarse. Chest - Deep and long, not narrow, ribs slightly sprung. The fore chest is fairly well developed. Abdomen - Slight tuck up. Loin – Firm and short with moderate depth, Croup - is slightly sloping and moderate length. Tail - At rest, hangs straight down or with a slight curve. Reaches to the hock. In action, carried gracefully upwards, never curled or carried sideways. Cropped or stump tail are disqualifications. Forequarters: Shoulder-blade s are well joined to the body and well sloping. The forelegs are powerful, of good length, well-muscled. The bone is solid but not heavy. Always generally showing a straight line, but with sufficient suppleness of pastern. The upper arm is approximately equal in length to the shoulder-blades and well angulated with the connecting bones. The elbow is well attached. Forefeet are oval, well knit, toes arched. Nails are black and pads are elastic and dark. Dewclaws are permissible.
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