A small, sinewy, lean, lively dog whose sparkling personality and quicksilver intelligence are reflected in the vibrant expression of his unique triangular head and windswept face. A superb athlete, his beautiful, flowing gait "shaves the earth." Uncoiffed, light-boned and built as a horizontal rectangle, his high energy and intelligent, cunning, mischievous attitude show that he is always on alert, suspicious, ready for action. An ardent herder of all kinds of livestock, his vigilant attitude and great vivacity of movement give this little dog a highly singular gait and appearance, characteristic of no other breed.
The head is generally triangular in shape, rather small in proportion to the size of the dog, well-filled-in under the eyes; the top skull is nearly flat. Expression - Intelligent, alert, and cunning, even a little mischievous.Eyes - The eyes are almond-shaped, open, and very expressive. They are neither prominent nor deeply set. They are dark brown in color. Partially or completely blue eyes are acceptable only in merles. Eye rims are black no matter what color the coat. Disqualification - Missing pigment on the eye rims. Disqualification - Blue eyes in a dog of coat color other than merle.
Cleanly boned, the body is rather long and well supported, the loin is short, the croup is rather short and oblique, flank well tucked up, ribs slightly rounded and extending well to the rear. The chest is of medium development and descends only to the elbow.
Shoulder blades are rather long, of moderate angulation. Upper Arm - Oblique and moderately long. Forelegs - Light-boned, sinewy, rather finely made. Rough-Faced: Fringed with rather long hair in long-haired dogs, rather shorter hair in the demi-long haired dog. Smooth-Faced: The hair is short on the fronts of the legs, and may be furnished with feathering along the back of the leg from elbow to pastern. Pasterns - Strong, sloping. Dewclaws - The front legs should carry single dewclaws, not to be removed. Feet - Oval shaped. The foot of the Smooth-Faced dog is a little shorter and more cupped than in the Rough-Faced dog. The pads of the feet are dark. Nails - The nails are hard and dark.
Coat quality is more important than abundance. Rough-Faced - The Rough-Faced dog's coat can be of long or demi-long hair, almost flat or slightly wavy. Demi-long dogs have culottes on the rump, while the long-haired dogs are often more heavily furnished with woollier hair that may cord, especially on the elbows, croup, and thighs, but never on the head. The texture is harsh, being halfway between the hair of a goat and the wool of a sheep. The undercoat is minimal. The hair on the end of the muzzle and the chin must be naturally short and it lengthens as the muzzle widens toward the skull. The longer hair on the sides of the muzzle and cheeks is swept back giving a windblown look.
Hind Legs - The stifle is well bent. The upper thigh is rather short. The lower thigh is long. The hocks are clean, well let down, well angulated and often close together. When viewed from the rear, the legs present parallel columns of support from hip to hock. Rough-Faced dogs with demi-long coat are generally not as heavily furnished in the rear as the long-haired dogs. Feet - The foot of the Smooth-Faced dog is a little shorter and more cupped than in the Rough-Faced dog.