Breed Standard of the Shetland Sheepdog
Small, long-haired working dog of great beauty,
free from cloddiness
and coarseness, action lithe and graceful. Outline
that no part appears out of proportion to whole.
Abundant coat, mane
and frill, shapeliness of head and sweetness of
expression combine to
present the ideal.
Alert, gentle, intelligent, strong and active.
Affectionate and responsive to his owner, reserved
HEAD AND SKULL:
Head refined and elegant with no exaggerations; when
viewed from top
or side a long, blunt wedge, tapering from ear to
nose. Width and
depth of skull in proportion to length of skull and
muzzle. Whole to
be considered in connection with size of dog. Skull
wide between ears, with no prominence of occipital
bone. Cheeks flat,
merging smoothly into well rounded muzzle. Skull and
muzzle of equal
length, dividing point inner corner of eye. Topline
of skull parallel
to topline of muzzle, with slight but definite stop.
Nose, lips and
eye rims black. The characteristic expression is
obtained by the
perfect balance and combination of skull and
foreface, shape, colour
and placement of eyes, correct position and carriage
Medium size obliquely set, almond-shape. Dark brown
except in the
case of merles, where one or both may be blue or
Small, moderately wide at base, placed fairly close
together on top
of skull. In repose, thrown back; when alert brought
carried semi-erect with tips falling forward.
Jaws level, clean, strong with well-developed
underjaw. Lips tight.
Teeth sound with a perfect, regular and complete
scissor bite, i.e.
upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set
square to the
jaws. A full complement of 42 properly placed teeth
Muscular, well arched, of sufficient length to carry
Shoulders very well laid back. At withers, separated
vertebrae, but blades sloping outwards to
accommodate desired spring
of ribs. Shoulder joint well angled. Upper arm and
approximately equal in length. Elbow equidistant
from ground and
withers. Forelegs straight when viewed from front,
muscular and clean
with strong, but not heavy, bone. Pasterns strong
Slightly longer from point of shoulder to bottom of
croup than height
at withers. Chest deep, reaching to point of elbow.
Ribs well sprung,
tapering at lower half to allow free play of
forelegs and shoulders.
Back level, with graceful sweep over loins, croup
slopes gradually to
Thigh broad and muscular, thigh bones set into
pelvis at right
angles. Stifle joint has distinct angle, hock joint
angular, well let down with strong bone. Hocks
straight when viewed
Oval, soles well padded, toes arched and close
Set low; tapering bone reaches to at least hock;
with abundant hair
and slight upward sweep. May be slightly raised when
moving but never
over level of back. Never kinked.
Lithe, smooth and graceful with drive from
hindquarters, covering the
maximum amount of ground with the minimum of effort.
plaiting, rolling, or stiff, stilted, up and down
Double; outer coat of long hair, harsh-textured
Undercoat soft, short and close. Mane and frill very
forelegs well feathered. Hind legs above hocks
profusely covered with
hair, below hocks fairly smooth. Face smooth. The
coat should fit the
body and not dominate or detract from the outline of
the dog. Smooth-
coated specimens highly undesirable.
clear or shaded, any colour from pale gold to
deep mahogany, in its
shade, rich in tone. Wolf-sable and grey
intense black on body, rich tan markings
clear silvery blue, splashed and marbled with
black. Rich tan
markings preferred but absence not penalised. Heavy
slate or rusty tinge in either top or undercoat
general effect must be blue.
BLACK AND WHITE, AND BLACK AND TAN:
also recognized colours.
White markings may appear (except on black and tan)
in blaze, collar
and chest, frill, legs and tip of tail. All or some
are preferred (except on black and tan) but absence
of these markings
not to be penalised. Patches of white on body highly
Ideal height at withers: dogs: 37 cms (14½ ins);
bitches: 36 cms (14
ins) More than 2½ cms (1 in) above or below these
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.
revised by ESSC