Breed Type


“The trot — our little shepherd’s favorite gait — must be solid and vigorous. At the jog trot, the head is carried rather high. As the stride lengthens the head lowers to become level with the backline. It is a very flowing gait. The feet barely leave the ground. He “shaves the earth.” The correct gait is very pleasant to the eye. It is a result of the harmony of the front and rear angulations. As speed increases, the legs converge under the body toward the center line.” – AKC Breed Standard


“The head is generally triangular in shape, rather small in proportion to the size of the dog… The expression is intelligent, alert, and cunning, even a little mischievous. The eyes are almond-shaped, open, and very expressive. …  In Smooth-Faced dogs, the muzzle… (has) short, fine muzzle hair.  In Rough-Faced dogs, the hair on the end of the muzzle and chin must be naturally short and it lengthens as the muzzle widens toward the skull. This gives the characteristic windswept appearance so necessary for correct expression. / The eyes must be readily visible, not veiled by hair.” – AKC Breed Standard


“Both cropped and uncropped ears are equally acceptable. The ears are rather short, moderately wide at the base, set on top of the head. Ears are traditionally cropped straight across and stand erect. Natural ears are semi-prick with one- third to one-half of the leather falling either straight forward, or to the side in the case of a rose ear…” – AKC Breed Standard

L to R: Cropped Ears – Cropped Ears – Natural Ears – Natural Ears (Puppy – never taped or glued)
(See also Heads & Expression above for Smooth-Faced example.)


“In rough faced dogs the body is clearly long in proportion to the height of the dog, whereas Smooth-Faced dogs appear much more square… Neck rather long, well-arched flowing smoothly into the shoulders, and well muscled, well set from the shoulders.  The topline is firm and strong… The back is level. The loin is slightly arched, and is slightly higher than the top of the shoulder blades. In Rough-Faced dogs, especially among the long-haired coat type, the rounded loin is accentuated by the coat. In Smooth-Faced dogs, the topline appears much more level… / The stifle is well bent. The upper thigh is rather short. The lower thigh is long. The hocks are clean, well let down, well angulated and often close together. “ – AKC Breed Standard


“The Rough-Faced dog’s coat can be of long or demi-long hair, almost flat or slightly wavy. Demi-long dogs have culottes on the rump, while the long-haired dogs are often more heavily furnished with woollier hair that may cord, especially on the elbows, croup, and thighs, but never on the head. The texture is harsh, being halfway between the hair of a goat and the wool of a sheep. The undercoat is minimal.” – AKC Breed Standard

“The Smooth-Faced dog’s muzzle is covered with short, fine hairs, hence the term Smooth-Faced. The hair becomes somewhat longer on the sides of the head, blending into a modest ruff. The hair on the body is fine and soft, attaining a maximum length of no more than 3 inches for the ruff and culottes, 2 inches along the back. The fronts of the legs are covered with short, fine hairs; there is often some furnishing on the elbows and thighs.” – AKC Breed Standard

(For Smooth-Faced photos see: HEADS & EXPRESSION, OUTLINE and COLOR.)


“Various shades of fawn from tan to copper, with or without a mixture of black hairs; grey, ranging from charcoal to silver to pearl grey; merles of diverse tones; brindle; black; … “ – AKC Breed Standard

Top Row L to R: Fawn (RF) – Fawn (RF) – Fawn (SF)
Middle Row L to R: Blue Merle (RF) – Black (RF) – Brindle (RF)
Bottom Row L to R: Blue Merle (SF) – Black (SF) – Brindle (SF)
(Gray shown under COATS – 2nd from right.)

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