AUSTRALIAN CATTLE DOG

Australian National Kennel Council 1994
F.C.I. Standard No.287

GENERAL APPERANCE- The general apperance is that of a strong compact, symetrically built working dog, with the willingness to carry out his alloted task however arduous. Its combination of sudbstance, power, balance and hard muscular condition must convey the impression of great agility, strength and endurance. Any tendency to grossness or weediness is a serious fault.

CHARACTERISTICS- As the name implies the dog's prime function, and one in which it has no peer, is the control and movement of cattle in both wide open and confined areas. Always alert, extremely intelligent, watchful, courageous and trustworhty, with an implicit devotion to duty making it an ideal dog.

TEMPERAMENT- The Cattle Dog's loyalty and protective instincts make it a self- appointed guardian to the stockman, his herd and his property. Whilst naturally suspicious of strangers, must be amendable to handling, particularly in the show ring. Any feature of temperament or structure foreign to a working dog must be regarded as a serious fault.

HEAD AND SKULL-
The head is strond and must be in balance with other proportions of the dog and in keeping with its general conformation. The broad skull is slightly curved between the ears, flattening to a slight but definate stop. The cheeks are muscular, neither coarse nor prominent with the underjaw strong, deep and well deneloped. The foreface is broaf and well filled in under the eyes, tapering gradually to form a medium length, deep, powerful muzzle with the skull and mezzle on parrallel planes. The lips are tight and clean. Nose black.

EYES- The eyes should be of oval shape and medium size, neither prominent nor sunken and must posess alertness and intelligence. A warning or suspicious glint is characteristic when approached by strangers. Eye colour, dark brown.

EARS- The ears should be of moderate size, preferably small rather than large, broad at the base, muscular, pricked and moderately pointed neither spoon nor bat eared. The ears are set wide apart on the skull, inclining outwards, sensitive in their use and pricked when alert, the leather should be thick in texture and the inside of the ears well furnished with hair.

MOUTH- The teeth, sound, strong, and evenly spaced, gripping with a scissor-bite, the lower incisors close behind and just touching the upper. As the dog is required to move difficult cattle by heeling or biting, teeth which are sound and strong are very important.

NECK- The neck is extremely strong, muscular, and of medium length broadening to blend into the body and free from throatiness.

FOREQUARTERS- The shoulders are strong, sloping, muscular and well angulated to the upper arm and should not be too closely set at the point of whithers. The forelegs have strong , round bone, extending to the feet and stould be stranght and parallel when viewed from the front, but the parterns should show flexibility with a slight angle to the forearm when viewed from the side. Although the shoulders are muscular and the bone is strong, loaded shoulders and heavy fronts will hamper correct movement and limit working abiltiy.

BODY- The length of body from the point of brestbone, in a straight line to the buttocks, is greater than the height at the whithers, as 10 is to 9. The topline is level, back strong with ribs well sprung and carried well back not barrel ribbed. The chest is deep, muscular and moderately broad with the lions broed, strong and muscular and the flanks deep. The dog is strongly coupled.

HINDQUARTERS- The hindquarters are broad, strong and muscular. The croup is rather long and sloping, thighs long, broad and well developed, the stifles well turned and the hocks strong and well let down. When viewed from behind, the hind legs, from the hocks to the feet, arte straight and placed parallel, neither too close nor too wide apart.

FEET- The feet should be round and the toes short, strong, wellarched and held close together. The pads are hard and deep, and the nails must be short and strong.

TAIL- The tail set is moderately low, following the contours of the sloping croup and of lenght to reach approximately to the hock. At rest it should hang in a very slight curve. During movement or when excited the tail may be raised, but under no circumstances should any part of the tail be carried past a vertical line drawn through the root. The tail should carry good brush.

GAIT/MOVEMENT- The action is true, free, supple and tireless and the movement of the shoulders is in unison with the powerful thrust of the hindquarters. The capability of quick and sudden movement is essential. Soundness is or paramount importance and stiltiness, loaded or slack shoulder placement, weekness at elbows, pasterns or feet, straight stifles, cow or bow hocks, must be regarded as serious faults. When trotting the feet tend to come closer together at ground level as speed increases, but when the dog comes to rest he should stand fore square.

COAT- The coat is smooth, a double coat with a short dense undercoat. The outercoat is close, ecah hair striaght, hard, lying flat, so that it is rain-resisting. Under the body, to behind the lege, the coat in longer and forms near the thigh a mild form of breeching. On the head (including the inside of the ears), to the front of the legs and feet, the hair is short. Along the neck it is longer and thicker. A coat either too long or too short is a fault. As an average, the hairs on the body should be from2.5 to 4 cms. (1-1.5 ins) in length.

COLOUR- Blue-- The colour should be blue, blue-mottled or blue-speckled with or without other markings. The permissible markings are black, blue or tan markings on the head, evenly distributed for preference. The forelegs tan midway up the legs and extending up the front to the brest and throat, with tan on jaws; the hindquarters tan on inside of hindlegs, and inside of thighs, showing down the front of the stifles and broadening out to the outside of the hindlegs from hocks to toes. Tan undercoat is permissible on the body providing it does not show through the blue outer coat. Black markings on the body are not desirable.

Red Speckle- The colour should be of good even speckle all over, including the undercoat, (neither cream nor white), with or without darker red markings on the head. Even head markings are desirable. Red markings on the body are permissible but not desirable.

SIZE- Height: Dogs 46-51 cms (approx. 18-20ins) . Bitches 43-48 cms (approx. 17-19 ins) at the whithers.

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