WHITE SHEPHERD CLUB OF CANADA BREED STANDARD
The White Shepherd is a well developed and balanced animal with pronounced energy and purpose In life, it should have a regal appearance with a definite look of intelligence,- the over riding trait being his devotion to his master. Secondary sex characteristics should be well defined. The White Shepherd appears to be somewhat longer than tall, with smooth curves rather than hard angles. The White Shepherd has slightly sloping withers, strong back and well-bent hocks indicating speed and grace, while his face displays high intelligence, at all times avoiding extremes. This is a herding dog, and as such must have the agility, freedom of movement and endurance to do the work required of it.
The White Shepherd should present an image generally conforming to this diagram and as described in the text.
The desired TYPE is so important. Breed TYPE should be the model and goal of breeders and judges. Although the genetic roots are from the German Shepherd family, the White Shepherd evolved from a continuous selection for a companion dog with that exclusive colour, beauty and elegance as seen both standing and in motion. These are the factors that make up the White Shepherd TYPE.
The White Shepherd has distinct personality marked by a direct fearless, but not hostile expression of self confidence. It should be poised, when the occasion demands, eager and alert. To his inherent aptitude as a guardian of flocks should be added protectiveness of the person and property of his master. In his relationship with humans, he should be observant and vigilant with strangers but not apprehensive. He should be fit and willing to serve in any capacity such as a companion, herding dog, watch dog or service dog.
Faults: of temperament are serious, timidity, shrinking behind handler, lack of confidence or any other display of poor character. Unprovoked aggression.
SIZE and WEIGHT
Ideal height (at shoulder) is 64 cm (25 Inches) for males and 58 cm (23 Inches) for females, variations of 3 cm (I inch above or below being acceptable. The ideal weight being 34-39 kg (75-85 lbs) for males and 27-32 kg (60-70 lbs) for females, keeping in mind the ideal balanced animal.
Faults: Any animal that is so over or under height as to be outside the acceptable range is highly objectionable and considered a fault.
The White Shepherd has a double coat. The outer coat is medium length, dense, straight, harsh. and close lying. The undercoat should be fine and dense. The head and ears are covered with a smooth, somewhat softer hair, while the hair coverinq the legs and paws is more harsh. At the neck, the coat is slightly longer and heavier. A male may carry a thicker ruff then a female, but In all cases the body coat should never be longer than 7 cm (2.5 Inches). The back of the legs have a slightly longer covering of hair and there is considerably more hair on the breeches and underside of the tail.
Faults: An open coat with no undercoat or a body coat that is longer then 7 cm (2.5 inches).
The White Shepherd's coat colour is white as defined by the breed's name. The ideal is pure white, other coat markings that are of cream or biscuit are acceptable but not preferred. The skin is pink to grey with grey being preferred. The nose, lips, eye rims, and pads should be black, Snow noses are acceptable but not preferred. It must be remembered when judging a dog, temperament, soundness and movement are more important than coat colour alone.
Faults: The deficiency of pigment is to be considered a serious fault, ie: dogs faded in all the following area: noses, eye rims, lips, pads.
Disqualification: Total lack of pigment. (albino)
The White Shepherd's head should be proportionate in size to the body. Males should show masculinity without coarseness. Bitches should show femininity without being over refined. Both sexes should exhibit a look of intelligence and nobility.
Skull: Viewed from the top Is wedge shaped and strong. When viewed from the side the top line of the skull should parallel that of the muzzle and there should be a moderate stop.
Muzzle: Strong with lips fitting tightly over a well developed jaw, viewed from above the muzzle appears wider at the stop than at the top, without cheekiness.
Eyes: Medium size, almond shape, set a little obliquely, not protruding. Preferably dark, expression keen, intelligent and composed.
Ears: Moderately pointed, open to the front, erect at attention. Ideal carriage; center lines (as seen from the front) parallel and perpendicular, Ears should be proportionate to head and body.
Faults: There should be no tendency towards overly long, narrow or a collie like head. Insufficient stop, round or donkey skull, snipey muzzle or a receding jaw. Soft or hanging ears.
Disqualification: Cropped or hanging ears.
Scissors bite, 20 upper and 22 lower (full mouth is preferred). Broken teeth are not considered a fault. Over one missing premolar is a fault.
Faults: A level bite is faulty, an overshot bite is a severe fault, an undershot bite is a disqualification.
Strong and muscular, clean cut without loose folds of skin, proportionate to size of head. Except when at attention or excited, the typical carriage of head is forward rather than up, particularly in motion.
Faults: A long, short, ewe or throaty neck.
Withers: Should be higher than and slightly sloping into the back.
Back: The back should be straight and very strongly developed, without sag or roach, from the shoulder to croup. The back is relatively short, the length is not derived from a long back. When standing natural the back should be virtually level.
Loin: Viewed from the top is broad and strong. From the side the loin blends smoothly into the back without undue length between the last rib and thigh.
Croup: Should be long and gradually sloping, flowing smoothly into a low set tail.
Faults: A roached or sagged back. A near level croup. A dog whose hips are higher than the shoulder when standing or moving.
Shoulder: The shoulder blade (scapula), should be long, and well laid back, flat against the body, with its rounded upper end, at the ridge in a vertical line above the elbow. The blades come close together at the top of the withers then slope well forward to the joint of the shoulder and upper arm (point of shoulder). If you draw an imaginary line from the withers or top of shoulder blades to the prosternum tip, then to the tip of the elbow it would be of equal lengths and form at almost a right angle. This angulation permits the proper forward extension of the foreleg, which should meet the ground as it is fully extended forward.
Forelegs: Straight, oval rather than round or flat.
Proportionate to size of dog, which contributes to impression of substance without grossness. Front legs viewed from front should be straight. Elbows are well held in with no tendency to turn in or out. The point of the elbow lies roughly in a vertical line under point of withers.
Pasterns: Medium length, strong and springy, ideal angulation is 25 degrees from the straight of the leg.
Faults: Loose or loaded shoulders (bulging muscle pads) as seen from the front or pushed forward shoulder assembly. Elbows thrown out, shoulders too short, or straight. Bent legs, out of line bones, too down on pasterns.
Solid without bulkiness
Chest: Forechest well filled, Prosternum should show in front of the point of the shoulder. Chest depth is approximately 48 to 50% total height of the dog.
Ribs: Well sprung, long, neither barrel shaped nor flat (so as not to interfere with the action of the elbows and the forelegs) carried down to the breast bone reaching to elbow.
Body Proportion: Somewhat longer than tall, ideal proportions are 8.8 high to 10 long ie. 64 cm high [25 inches] to 74 cm [29 inches] long. Length is measured from the prosternum to the point of the buttocks.
Faults: A bottom line tucked up in the flank, like that of Greyhound. A dog that is visibly out of proportion.
In length and angulation, the scapula and the pelvis roughly equal each other, and the slant of the lower thigh bones roughly approximate that of the pelvis and of the humerus.
Pelvis: The pelvis lies tilted backward at an approximate angle of 35 degrees from the horizontal. Whether standing four square or firmly and naturally with one ear leg extended behind the pelvis the femur drops almost vertically from the hip socket, forming an approximate 125 degrees angle with the Pelvis. The upper and lower thigh bones are roughly the same length.
Thighs: Both upper and lower thigh bones are broad and heavily muscled. The stifle is well bent, its angulation must never be so steep that the dog's hocks lie directly under any part of the croup or pelvis. Extra length of either the upper or lower thigh can distort this angle to the extent that rear drive and follow through are impossible. Legs are parallel to each other (as viewed from the rear).
Croup: Long and gradually sloping, flowing smoothly into the tail. Ideally the tail should be carried at or below the natural extension of the topline. It is permissible to carry the tail higher, but not desirable, as long as the tail is not carried any higher than right angles to the back line. Too level or flat a croup prevents the proper functioning of the hind quarters, that must be able to reach far under the body. A steep croup will limit rear extension of the hind quarter, interfering with the follow through.
Hock: The hock joints are strong, clean, short, and perpendicular to the ground. Whether in motion or at rest there is no tendency to tun in or out. The angle at the hock is also relatively sharp. From the rear the hind legs drop straight and parallel to each other and the feet point straight ahead.
Dew claws, if any, should be removed.
Tail: Is bushy with the last vertebrae extending at least to the hock joint and usually below. At rest it hangs straight down or at a slight curve. Even in excitement the dogs should never lift the tail higher than right angles to the backline.
Faults: Too long a stifle. A sickle hock. Whether in motion or in rest, there is no tendency for the hocks to turn in or out (cow or bow hocks). A tail carried higher than a right angle to its back, a curled around tail or a tail that hooks on the end.
FEET: Short, compact with tops well arched. Pads thick and tough affording the dog protection over rough terrain. Nails short and strong.
Faults: Terrier foot, hare foot, thin pads or a spread foot.
Soundness is of paramount importance. The action is single track, free, supple and tireless, the movement of the shoulders and forelegs with the powerful thrust of the hindquarters, in unison. The feet travel close to the ground, and neither fore nor hind feet should lift high on either forward reach or backward push. At full trot, the back must retain firm and level. From the front, the legs move inward toward a center line under the body in a straight column of support from the point of shoulder to the pad. From the rear, the legs track inward toward a center line in a straight column of support from the hip to the pad. With the exception being at an extended trot where the over reaching hind foot will pass the diagonal front foot, this is not considered faultv unless it causes the animal to move in a crabbing fashion. Capability of quick and sudden movement is essential. Clean side gait, and coming and going are equally important.
Faults: An animal with clumsy or inelegant gait or whose back is at any angle from horizontal during movement is considered faulty. Stiltness, loaded or slack shoulders. straight shoulder placement, weakness at elbows, pasterns, or feet, (ie: running or standing on hocks or pasterns) straight stifles, cow or bow hocks or flipping the feet must be regarded as serious faults.
Any deviation from the listed specifications is a fault, many of which are listed in the text. In determining whether a fault is minor, serious or major, these two factors should be used as a guide:
1. The extent to which it deviates from the type
2. The extent to which such deviation would actually affect the health or working ability of the dog.
The White Shepherd ancestors were bred to be herding dogs, but his high degree of intelligence and striking beauty, coupled with his sense of loyalty have allowed the White Shepherd to survive as a most versatile working dog serving humankind. In spite of efforts to deny their existence. Bred true to TYPE they will stay true to TYPE.
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