UK Australian Cattle Dog Breed Standard

Australian Cattle Dog Breed Standard /
The UK Kennel Club
© The Kennel Club – Unauthorised Reproduction of Text and Images Prohibited.
12-May-062006-05-12 / Last Updated – April 2007
A Breed Standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament and appearance of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function. Absolute soundness is essential. Breeders and judges should at all times be careful to avoid obvious conditions or exaggerations which would be detrimental in any way to the health, welfare or soundness of this breed. From time to time certain conditions or exaggerations may be considered to have the potential to affect dogs in some breeds adversely, and judges and breeders are requested to refer to the Kennel Club website for details of any such current issues. If a feature or quality is desirable it should only be present in the right measure.

GENERAL APPEARANCE
A medium-sized, blue or red speckled dog that is strong, compact and symmetrically built. The breed conveys the impression of great agility and the capacity for endurance, and any tendency to being either overdone or weedy should be seriously faulted.
CHARACTERISTICS
Ability to control and move cattle in all environments. Loyal, protective. Guardian of stockman, herd and property. Naturally suspicious of strangers, but amenable to handling. Biddable.
TEMPERAMENT
Alert, intelligent, watchful, courageous, trustworthy, devoted to its work.
HEAD AND SKULL
Strong, in balance with body and general conformation. Skull broad and slightly curved between ears, flattening to slight but definite stop. Cheeks muscular but not coarse or prominent. Strong under-jaw, deep and well developed. Broad foreface, well filled in under eyes, tapers gradually down medium length muzzle which is parallel to skull. Nose always black.
The head is wedge-shaped and in balance with the other proportions of the dog and in keeping with its general conformation.
EYES
Medium, oval, alert and intelligent, dark brown. Neither prominent nor sunken. Warning suspicious glint is characteristic.
EARS
Moderate, small rather than large. Broad at base, muscular, pricked and moderately pointed. Oval or bat-eared undesirable. Set wide apart inclining outwards. Sensitive, pricked when alert. Leather thick in texture and inside ear well furnished with hair.
MOUTH
Lips tight and clean. Jaws strong with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.
NECK
Exceptionally strong, muscular, of medium length blending into body. Free from throatiness.
BODY
Slightly longer from point of shoulder to buttocks than height at withers, as 10 is to 9. Level topline, strong back and couplings. Well sprung ribs, carried well back, but not barrel ribbed. Chest deep, muscular and moderately broad.
HINDQUARTERS
Broad, strong and muscular. Croup rather long and sloping. Thighs long, broad and well developed. Well turned stifle, hocks strong and well let down. When viewed from behind, hocks to feet straight and set parallel, neither too close nor too wide apart.
FEET
Round, short toes, strong, well arched and held tight, pads hard and deep. Nails short and strong.
TAIL
Set on low, following slope of croup/rump. Reaching to hock, hanging in slight curve at rear. When working or excited, may be raised but never carried past a vertical line drawn through the root. Good brush
GAIT/MOVEMENT
True, free, supple, tireless, with powerful thrust of hindquarters. Capable of quick and sudden action. Soundness of paramount importance. Stands four square, but when moving at speed, legs tend to converge. Any weaknesses highly undesirable.
COAT
Smooth, double with short dense undercoat. Close top coat, hard, straight and weather resistant. Under body and behind legs, coat is longer to form mild breeching near thighs. Short on head (including inside of ear) front of legs and feet. Thicker and longer on neck. Average hair length 2.5-4 cms (1-11/2 ins).
COLOUR
Blue: Blue, blue-mottled or blue speckled with or without other markings. Permissible markings are black, blue or tan markings on head, evenly distributed for preference. Forelegs tan midway up legs and extending up the front to breast and throat, with tan on jaws. Hindquarters tan on inside of hindlegs, and inside of thighs, showing down front of stifles and broadening out to outside of hindlegs from hock to toes. Tan undercoat permissible on body providing it does not show through blue outer coat. Black markings on body undesirable.
Red Speckle: Good even red speckle all over, including undercoat, (neither white nor cream), with or without darker red markings on head. Even head markings desirable. Red markings on body permissible but undesirable.
SIZE
Height at withers: dogs: 46-51 cms (approx. 18-20 ins); bitches: 43-48 cms (approx. 17-19 ins).
FAULTS
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.
Note
Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.
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