Main Header Australian Shepherd Breed Standard
Color
All colors are strong, clear and rich. The recognized colors are blue merle, red (liver) merle, solid black, and solid red (liver) all 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. Reds and red merles have liver pigmentation on nose, lips and eye rims. Butterfly nose should not be faulted under one year of age. On all colors the areas surrounding the ears and eyes are dominated by color other than white. The hairline of a white collar does not exceed the point at the withers.

Disqualifications: Other than recognized colors. White body splashes. Dudley nose
Australian Shepherd Black Coloration
BLACK: Jet black color..
May have white trim and/or copper points without
preference. Solid colored dogs without copper  and/or
 white are equally as desirable as those with trim
Australian Shepherd Blue Merle
BLUE MERLE: A base color of jet black broken up by gray
marbling.  May have have white trim and/or copper points
without preference
.Merles without copper and/or white are
as equally desirable as those with trim.

Australian Shepherd Red
RED: Liver red to deep sorrel color.
May have white trim and/or copper points without
preference. Solid colored dogs without copper and/or
 white are equally as desirable as those with trim

Australian Shepherd Red Merles
RED MERLE: A base color of liver red or sorrel broken up
by buff or silvery marbling.  May have have white trim
and/or copper points without preference
. Merles without
copper and/or white are as equally desirable as those with trim.

The Australian Shepherd offers a wide variety of patterns and color combinations that make each individual unique. The four recognized colors of the Australian Shepherd are black, blue merle, red and red merle. This colors may be found alone or in combination with white trim and/or copper (tan) points. The colors are required to be strong, clear and rich.

All recognized colors must be considered equally with no preference given between them. No preference is given between various amounts of trim. A solid colored or self colored dog is equally as desirable as one with with a maximum allowable white trim and copper points. Learn more about white trim markings.

Black:
Blacks should be jet black in coloration. They may be solid black, black and white (bi-colored) black with copper points or black with white trim and copper points (black tri color)  Eye color is typically a shade of brown or amber, but they may have blue eyes or split colored eyes. Nose, lip and eye leather must be jet black.

Blue Merle:
Blue Merles have a jet black base color broken up by gray marbling in any amount. They may be solid merle (self merle) merle and white (bi colored merle) merle with copper points, or merled with white trim and copper points. Eyes may be any combination of colors. Nose, lip and eye leather must be jet black.

Red:
Reds may range in hue from a rich chocolate to a dark sorrel red.
They may be solid red, red and white (bi-colored) red with copper points or red with white trim and copper points (red tri color)  Eye color is typically a shade of brown or amber, but may have blue eyes or split colored eyes. Nose, lip and eye leather must be dark red.

Red Merle:
Red Merles have a rich chocolate to a dark sorrel red base color broken up by silver to buff marbling in any amount. They may be solid merle, merle and white (bi colored merle) merle with copper points, or merled with white trim and copper points. Eyes may be any combination of colors. Nose, lip and eye leather must be dark red.

Pink spots (butterfly nose) on the nose are faulted on dogs over a year in age. Pink areas are prone to sunburn and in turn, skin cancer. This is detrimental in a dog breed whose task it is to work livestock outdoors for long hours.

Color should dominate and cover both eyes and ears. Lack of pigmentation on and around the ears has been associated with hearing loss in this breed and so full pigmentation of these areas is very important.

A white collar should not extend into the body beyond the point of withers.

White body splashes (islands, patches or spots of white) on the body are a disqualification.


An unpigmented or weakly pigmented nose (dudley nose) is a disqualification.

Any color other than the recognized black, red, blue merle and red merle shall be a disqualification. This includes dilute coloration (fawns, gray on gray, peach on buff, slate), yellows, sables, brindles, pintos, piebalds, among others.


 
 

General Appearance
Character
Head Teeth  Eyes Ears Neck and Body
Forequarters Hindquarters Coat  Color
Gait Size Disqualifications/Faults
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