The Australian Shepherd is first and foremost, a
working stockdog whose job requires endurance. To reduce the
effects of concussion on joints and allow the dog to cover ground
smoothly and efficiently, it needs a well angulated shoulder assembly.
The shoulder blades should sit close together at the
withers and fit snugly against the rib cage. The shoulder blade and
upper arm meet to form an approximate right angle. The length
of the forearm (humerus) should be equal to or slightly longer than
that of the shoulder blade to allow maximum forward reach.
The depth of body from the withers to the bottom of
the chest should be equal to the length of leg from the ground to the
The forelegs should form straight columns,
turning neither in nor out at any point along their length. Leg
bone should be moderate and oval rather than rounded or flattened.
pasterns are short, strong and exhibit a slight angle in order to
reduce concussion. The shoulder and pastern
generally have the same degree of slope. The
pastern that is too straight
or long cannot absorb the impact of trotting over rough terrain.
are tight, oval shaped with well arched toes needed for additional
of dewclaws is optional.