- Herding, Flock, Guradian
Shiloh Shepherd Breed Standard
written by Tina Barber 1991 for the Shiloh
Shepherd Dog Club of America
Illustrations by Linda Shaw, MBA
The Shiloh Shepherd™ portrays a distinct impression of nobility with a
unique aura of intelligence, that radiates a sense of regal wisdom and
strength. Powerfully built with unsurpassed beauty and elegance; a
picture of true balance; each part being in harmonious proportion to
every other part, and to the whole. Being of giant size does not deter
from his proud carriage or seemingly effortless movement. His total
devotion and willingness to work can be seen in his alert eyes, and his
Timidity, frailty, sullenness, viciousness, and lack of animation,
impair the general character of this breed. A certain amount of
aloofness is acceptable as long as it is not associated with any form of
Courageous and self confident, this gentle
giant possesses superior intelligence wrapped in a heart of
gold, faithfully protecting his home and those he loves. This
extremely versatile and easily trained companion loves to swim,
carry packs for the mountain climber, endure long trail rides,
or pull heavy sleds. His excellent Air Scenting ability can be
utilized in various ways.
As a true, loyal Flock Guardian descendant, he is steady and
bold without undue aggression; ready to die fighting for those
in his care; yet sweet and loving when playing with small
children, animals, or comforting the elderly.
The head is broad and noble, slightly domed and in proportion to
the body. The width and length of the skull are approximately equal with
a gently defined stop, strong developed cheekbones, and a gradually
tapering muzzle. The muzzle should be predominantly black, the length
being equal to that of the forehead, with the lips firmly fitted and
solid black. The muzzle should not be long, narrow, or snipey in
Ears are moderately pointed in proportion to the skull,
open toward the front and carried erect when at attention, well rounded,
triangular in shape, well cupped, stiff, height equal to width at base.
If ear is folded forward for measuring length, tip should not pass upper
eye rim. Set
high and well apart, the base of the ear is placed above
the center of the eye. A mature dog with hanging ears must be
Shades of dark to very light brown will be accepted (no
other colors are allowed), of medium size, almond shaped,
set a little
obliquely and not protruding. The expression should be keen,
intelligent, and composed.
42 in number (20 upper and 22 lower) strongly developed
and meeting in a scissor bite in which part of the inner surface of
upper incisor meets and engages part of the outer surface of the lower
incisors. An overshot or undershot jaw is a DISQUALIFYING FAULT
The neck is strong and muscular, relatively long and slightly arched.
Proportionate in size to the head and without loose skin. When the dog
is at attention with head raised and neck carried high a look of
nobility should be easily observed.
The shoulder blades are long and obliquely angled,
laid flat and not placed forward. The upper arm joins the shoulder blade
at about a right angle. Both the upper arm and the shoulder blade are
well muscled. The forelegs, viewed from the side, are straight but
boned and oval rather than round. The pasterns are strong and springy
and angulated at approximately a 25 degree angle from the vertical.
The feet are oval, compact, with toes well arched, pads
thick and firm, nails short and dark. Dew claws, if any should be
removed from the hind legs. Dewclaws on the forelegs are left on.
Splay or hare feet should be considered a VERY SERIOUS FAULT.
The Shiloh Shepherd™ should
appear longer than tall. The desired height for males, at the top the
point of the shoulder blade, can be no less than 28" with
ideal height of 30" or more preferred. For
females, the desired height
can be no less than 26" with the ideal height of 28"
or more preferred.
minimum weight for dogs should not be less than 120 pounds at maturity
(three years), with the ideal being 140 to 160 pounds. Minimal weight
for bitches is 80 pounds at maturity and the ideal being 100 to 120
The length measured from the point of the prosternum or breastbone to
the rear edge of the pelvis, the ischial tuberosity, with the most
desirable proportion of 10 to 9. ANY MALE THAT MEASURES LESS THAN 28"
OR FEMALES LESS THAN 26" AT MATURITY (36 MONTHS OF AGE) SHOULD BE
The entire body should appear to be well coordinated, yet
muscular and solid. The back is broad and straight, strongly boned, and
well developed. There should be good depth of brisket. A roach back
should be considered a SERIOUS FAULT, as should a soft or sway back.
The body should not appear spindly or extremely leggy. All proportions
must be well balanced.
Commencing at the prosternum, it is well filled and
carried well down between the legs. It is deep and capacious, never
shallow, with ample room for lungs and heart, carried well forward, with
the sternum showing ahead of the shoulder profile
Well sprung and long, neither barrel shaped nor too flat, and carried
down to the sternum which reaches to the elbows. Correct ribbing allows
the elbows to move freely when the dog is at a trot. Too round causes
interference and throws the elbows out; too flat or short causes pinched
elbows. Ribbing is carried well back so that the loin is relatively
Should be firmly held and not paunchy. The bottom line is only
moderately tucked up in the loin.
The withers are higher than and sloping into the lower back. The back
is straight, very strongly developed without sag or roach and relatively
short. The desirable long proportion is not derived from a long back but
achieved by width of forequarter, length of withers, width of
hindquarters, and position and length of croup viewed from the side. The
loin, viewed from the top, is broad and strong (undue length between the
last rib and thigh when viewed from the side is undesirable).
should be long and gradually sloping.
Bushy with the last vertebra extending past the hock joint. It is set
smoothly into the croup and should appear to hang as a plume. At rest
the tail hangs in a slight curve like a saber. When the dog is excited
or in motion, the curve is accentuated and the tail is raised, but it
should never curl forward beyond the vertical line nor above the level
of the back. The tail should never be carried straight out or rolled up
over the back. A tail that is raised above the vertical line
and/or past the horizontal line of the croup is a DISQUALIFYING FAULT.
Tails that are too short, thin, or ratty should be severely penalized.
Tail section clarified 7/2000.
The whole assembly of the thigh, viewed from the
side, is broad, with both upper and lower thigh well muscled, forming as
nearly as possible a right angle. The upper thighbone parallels the
shoulder blade while the lower thighbone parallels the upper arm. The
metatarsus is short, strong, and tightly articulated.
THE GAIT SHOULD BE CONSIDERED A VERY CRITICAL PART OF THE OVERALL
PERFECTION OF THIS BREED. This breed must be observed while the dog is
on a loose lead so that the natural gait is evident. The gait is
outreaching, elastic, seemingly tireless without effort; smooth, and
rhythmic, covering the maximum amount of ground with the minimum amount
of steps. At a walk, it covers a great deal of ground with long strides
of both hind legs and forelegs.
At a trot, it covers still more ground with even longer stride, and
moves powerfully but easily with coordination and balance, so that the
gait appears to be as the steady motion of a well-lubricated machine.
The feet travel close to the ground on both forward reach and backward
push. In order to achieve ideal movement of this kind, there must be
good muscular development and ligamentation.
The hindquarters deliver, through the back, a powerful thrust, which
slightly lifts the whole animal and drives the body forward. Reaching
far under, and passing the imprint left by the front foot, the hind foot
takes hold of the ground; then hock, stifle, and upper thigh come into
play and sweep back, the stroke of the hind leg finishing with the foot
still close to the ground in a smooth follow through. The overreach of
the hindquarter usually necessitates one hind foot passing outside and
the other hind foot passing inside the track of the forefeet, and such
action is not faulty unless the locomotion is crab-wise with the dog’s
body sideways out of the normal straight line. As the dog increases
speed into the "flying trot', he should move fluidly, without pounding.
The forelegs should reach out well past the nose while the head is
The typical smooth, flowing gait is
maintained with great strength and firmness of back. The whole
effort of the hindquarter is transmitted to the forequarter
through the loin, back, and withers. At full trot, the back must
remain firm and level without sway, roll, whip, or roach. An
uneven topline with withers lower than the croup is FAULTY.
To compensate for the forward motion imparted by the
hindquarters, the shoulder should open to its full extent. The
forelegs should reach out close to the ground, in a long stride
in harmony with that of the hindquarters.
does not track on widely separated paralleled lines, but brings the feet
inward toward the middle line of the body when trotting, in order to
maintain balance. The feet track closely but do not strike or cross
over. Viewed from the front, the front legs function from the shoulder
joint to the pad in a straight line. Viewed from the rear, the hind legs
function from the hip joint to the pad in a straight line.
GAIT, WHETHER VIEWED FROM THE FRONT, REAR OR SIDE, ARE CONSIDERED VERY
The Shiloh Shepherd™ comes in various colors. Shades of
black with tan, golden tan, reddish tan, silver, and cream are as
desirable as are various shades of richly pigmented golden, silver, red,
dark brown, dark gray, or black sables. Also solid black or solid white
is acceptable as long as the nose, eye rims, and lips are solid black. A
white blaze on the chest is acceptable as well as some white markings on
the toes, as long as they are blended in with the other shades of
silver, cream, tan, etc. Any other white markings on any other part
of the body should be considered a FAULT. Any washed out or pale colors
should also be considered a FAULT. Blues, livers, dogs with lack of
proper pigmentation, or dogs with a nose that is not predominately black
must be DISQUALIFIED
Coat (TWO ACCEPTABLE VARIETIES)
The ideal dog has a double coat of medium length. The outer coat should
be as dense as possible with hair straight, harsh, lying close to the
body. The hair around the neck area should be slightly longer and
thicker. The rear of the forelegs and hind legs has somewhat longer hair
extending to the pastern and hock respectively. The head including the
inner ear and fore face, legs and paws should be covered with shorter
hair. *Even though the smooth coated type requires less care and
grooming -- the Plush coated variety seems to shed less.
PLUSH: The Plush Variety has a close fitting double coat of
medium coarse guard hairs, with a softer undercoat. The head and muzzle,
back of the ears and front of the legs and paws are covered with short
smooth hairs. The neck has a distinct "mane" that extends to, and covers
the chest, with slightly shorter hair covering the remaining torso, not
to exceed 5" in length. The "feathering" inside of the ears and on the
back of the forelegs should not exceed 3" in length. *Show Grooming
should include the trimming of all excess fur from between the toes,
around the pads, and the removal of all "tufts" from among the
"feathering" inside the ears.
Undue length between the last rib and thigh when viewed from
2. Tails that are too short, thin or ratty
3. Any white markings on any part of the body, excluding the
chest and toes (unless all white, then other or faded
markings covering the white should be penalized)
4. When in motion any back that does not remain firm, but
displays a sway, whip, or roach
5. An uneven topline when standing, with the withers lower
than the croup.
VERY SERIOUS FAULTS
at strange sights or sounds, along with tucking under of
2. Faults of gait, whether from front, rear, or side
3. Ears that are too large in proportion to the head, shows
signs of weakness, or point 'east-west' away from the center
of the head
4. Any coat that is open, woolly, curly, too close or too
5. Splay and/or hare feet, weak and/or cowhocks
6. A tail that forms a hook or ring when relaxed.
1. Any male (over 36
months) measuring less than 28" or female (over 36 months)
measuring less than 26".
2. Dogs over 15 months of age with hanging ears
3. Any adult dogs with a distinctly overshot or undershot
4. A tail that is raised above the vertical line and/or past
the horizontal line of the croup.
POINTS FOR JUDGING
1) General Appearance
strength, size, balance
alertness and attitude
3. HEAD &
eyes, teeth, & neck
wither, leg, feet, toes
body, chest, ribs,
color pictures representing all acceptable variations for the ISSR
to Shiloh Shepherd Information Index