Showsight - November 2021


down from the nose, passing the lips to the chin. An underjaw that recedes creates a weak chin, lessening the strength of the muzzle. Moving on to the skull from the muzzle, perceive the slight but definite stop. The top of the skull is flat and covered with a soft, silky topknot. The planes of the skull and muzzle are parallel. The pointed tips of the ears will be visible above the topknot. A ruff frames the head, blending down to the apron. The topknot and the ruff are hallmarks of the Australian Terrier.

Judges should check for the flatness of skull and the slight but definite stop. One should see a muzzle that is strong and powerful, with a slight fill below the eyes. The strong jaws with large teeth meet in a scissors bite. Judges have been surprised by the size of the teeth, as Aussies are one of the smaller breeds in the Terrier Group. The large teeth and strong punishing jaws are important for catch- ing and dispensing prey efficiently and safely. The lips are framed by dark brown to black rims and are tight.

VIEWING THE HEAD FROM THE FRONT The expression is keen. There is intensity and intelligence in the gaze, an alertness to the activities going on in its surroundings as befits a working Terrier.

The eyes are set well apart and at a slightly oblique angle. The oval shape of the small, dark brown to black eyes (the darker the better) contributes to the correct expression. The rims are black. Faults: Light–colored or protruding eyes. ** Large , round, light-colored or prominent (slightly bulging) eyes are incorrect. Lack of pigmenta- tion, liver pigmentation or an excessive amount of black pigmentation give a foreign expression. * The small, erect ears are set-on high and well apart. They are free of long hair inside and out. The tips are pointed, not rounded, and the ears are not coarse or thick. There should be no tendency to flare at an oblique angle off the skull. There should be no leaning of the ears at the base inward toward each other. * If the ear has a vertical edge it must be the outer edge of the ear. Aussies are sensitive in the use of their ears. When you approach a dog on the table it may sometimes turn its ears to the side or back, which is a friendly gesture. Because they are sensitive in the way they use their ears, often dogs not willing to use them on the table will do so willingly when placed back on the ground. Sometimes they will move their ears to the side or back when gaiting. Their keen sense of hearing is one of the traits that made them a prized companion animal and guard dog.

The top skull is slightly longer than it is wide, and this is an important proportion for correct head shape. This proportion is determined by measuring the length of the skull from the occiput to the stop, and the width is measured side-to-side across the top of the skull. The sides of the skull should be clean, not cheeky or heavy, and the hair on the cheeks is kept shorter. Below and on the muzzle there will be slightly more hair.


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