|No White- An Australian Shepherd with
minimal or no white markings is perfectly acceptable! A breeder or
judge can be assured that white related problems such as deafness are
not likely to occur in a dog with minimal white trim nor will this type
of dog ever be confused with a homozygous (Double Merle). No
preference should be given between allowable white markings and the
lack of white markings in this breed.
||Maximum Allowable White- "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"
To avoid confusion with homozygous (double) merles who have large areas
of white, markings are restricted to the face, chest, neck, underbelly
|Measuring White Collar/Forechest
White markings are measured by
where the hair originates at the
skin. A white collar should not exceed the point of withers, whether
present as a full
or partial collar.A collar may meet a white chest and legs to form a
solid area of white but should not extend into the body. A straight
line dropped from the point of withers to the ground marks the boundary
for allowable white on the forechest, neck and front legs.
||Collar Exceeds the Point of Withers
Depending on personal
interpretation of what constitutes a white body splash, a collar that
exceeds the point of withers can be construed as a disqualification or
a serious fault. Both interpretations have been upheld in the past. The
intent of the standard was to strictly limit where white markings may
appear and so regardless of the interpretation, this is an extremely
|Unusual and Asymmetrical White markings- Variety in
markings is part of what makes the Australian Shepherd appealing, but
can sometimes confuse the observer whose eye tends to seek out
Broken collars, crooked blazes, and asymmetrical markings are
acceptable and should not be penalized.
on Ears- The
occurrence of white linked deafness makes having color on and around
the ear very important.
The fad of breeding for more white trim can be problematic in dogs who
carry the Irish Spotting gene in combination with the minus modifiers
(takes away color) causing white to appear on the ear. While not a
disqualification, it is an undesirable characteristic
because of its link to deafness.
over the Eye- White
around the eyes usually means pink eye rims that are more susceptible
to sun damage and light sensitivity. It is not a stated
disqualification, but it is an undesirable
White patches, spots or stripes on the body portion of the Australian
Shepherd, between the withers and the base of the tail are cause for disqualification.
The piebald gene that can cause white body spots is not problematic in
itself, but it can mimic the appearance of homozygous (double) merles.
Homozygous merles are dogs born of two merle parents and who carry two
of the merle gene. A double dose of merle can cause problems such as
partial and complete deafness, irregularly shaped pupils and