The Australian Shepherd is a well-balanced dog, no matter whether Standard, Miniature or toy. He is attentive and animated, showing strength and stamina combined with unusual agility. Slightly longer than tall, he has a coat of moderate length and coarseness with coloring that offers variety and individuality in each specimen. An identifying characteristic is his natural or docked bobtail. In each sex, masculinity or femininity is well defined. Bone is moderate and clean with coarseness, heaviness or lightness being undesirable.
The Australian Shepherd is intelligent, primarily a working dog of strong herding and guardian instincts. He is an exceptional companion. He is versatile and easily trained, performing his assigned tasks with great style and enthusiasm. He is naturally reserved with strangers but does not exhibit shyness. Although an aggressive, authoritative worker, viciousness toward people or animals is intolerable. Fault: Undue shyness.
Of medium texture, straight to slightly wavy, weather resistant, of moderate length with an undercoat. The quantity of undercoat varies with climate. Hair is short and smooth on the head, outside of ears, front of forelegs and below the hocks. Backs of forelegs are moderately feathered; breeches are moderately full. There is a moderate mane and frill, more pronounced in dogs than bitches. Non-typical coats are severe faults.
All colors are strong, clear and rich. The colors are blue merle, red (liver) merle, solid black and solid red (liver) and with or without white markings and/or tan (copper) points with no order of preference. The blue merle and black have black pigmentation on nose, lips and eye-rims; the red (liver) merle and red (liver) have liver pigmentation on nose, lips and eye-rims.
Smooth, free and easy; exhibiting agility of movement with a well-balanced, ground-covering stride. Fore and hind legs move straight and parallel with the center line of the body; as speed increases, the feet, both front and rear, converge toward the center line of gravity of the dog, while the topline remains firm and level. Joints do not bend or twist when in motion.
STANDARD: Height for both male and female is 18 inches up to 23 inches at the top of the withers.
MINIATURE: Height for both male and female is 14 inches up to 18 inches at the top of withers.
TOY: Height for both male and female is 10 inches up to 14 inches at the top of the withers.