Shiloh Shepherd Breed Standard
1) GENERAL APPEARANCE: The Shiloh Shepherd portrays a distinct impression of nobility with a superior 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 happy attitude. 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 sharp-shyness.
2) CHARACTER: 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 descendent; 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.
3) HEAD: 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 appearance.
4) EARS: Ears are moderately pointed in proportion to the skull, open toward the front and carried erect when at attention;
well rounded, triangular in shape, 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 disqualified.
5) EYES: 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.
6) TEETH: 42 in number (20 upper and 22 lower), strongly developed and meet 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.
7) NECK: 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 is easily observed.
8) FOREQUARTERS: The shoulder blades are long and obliquely angled, laid flat and not placed forward. The upper leg joins
the shoulder blade at a little more than a right angle. Both upper leg and the shoulders are well muscled. The forelegs viewed
from the side are straight but heavy boned and oval rather than round. The pasterns are strong and springy and angulated at
approximately a 25 degree angle from the vertical.
9) FEET: 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. Dew claws on the forelegs are left on. Splay, hare or flat feet should be considered
a very serious fault.
10) PROPORTION: The Shiloh Shepherd should appear longer than tall. The desired height for males, at the top of the highest
point of the shoulder blade withers, can be no less than 28" with the 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. The minimum
weight for dogs should be no less than 100 pounds at maturity (three years), with the ideal being 120 to 140 pounds. Minimal
weight for bitches is 80 pounds at maturity and the ideal being 100 to 120 pounds. The length is measured from the point of
the sternum of breastbone to the rear of the pelvis, the ischial tuberosity, with the most desirable proportion 10 to 9 (length
to height). Any male that measures less that 28" or female less than 26" at maturity (36 months of age) is disqualified.
11) BODY: The entire body should appear to be well coordinated, 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.
12) CHEST: 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 at shoulder profile.
13) RIBS: 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 short.
14) ABDOMEN: Should be firmly held and not paunchy. The bottom line is only moderately tucked up in the loin.
15) TOPLINE: The withers are higher than and sloping into the lower back. The back is very 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).
The croup should be long and gradually sloping.
16) TAIL: 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 light 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. A tail that is raised above
the vertical line is a DISQUALIFYING FAULT. Tails that are too short, thin, or ratty should be severely penalized.
17) HINDQUARTERS: 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 thigh bone parallels the shoulder blade while the lower thigh
bone parallels the upper arm. The metatarsus is short, strong, and tightly articulated.
18) GAIT: The gait should be considered a very critical part of the overall perfection of this breed. This breed must
be observed while 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 strides, 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 dogs 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 carried forward.
19) TRANSMISSION: 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. The dog 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. Faults of gait, whether viewed from the front, rear, or side, are considered very serious.
20) COLOR: The Shiloh Shepherd comes in various colors. Shades of black with tan, golden tan, reddish tan, silver, and
cream are as desirable as 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.
21) COAT (TWO ACCEPTABLE COAT VARIETIES): SMOOTH: 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 coated 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 soft 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 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.
SCALE OF POINTS FOR JUDGING
GENERAL APPEARANCE - strength, size, balance 15
CHARACTER - alertness, attitude 5
HEAD & EARS - eyes, teeth, neck 15
FOREQUARTERS - feet 10
PROPORTION - body, chest, ribs, abdomen 10
TOPLINE, TAIL, HINDQUARTERS 15
GAIT, TRANSMISSION 25
COLOR, COAT 5
MINOR FAULTS - 1. undue length between the last rib and thigh when viewed from the side 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 -
1. spooking at strange sights or sounds along with tucking under of tail
2. faults of gait whether from front, rear, or side
3. ears that are too large in proportion to the head, show 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 long
5. splay and/or hare feet, flat feet, weak and/or cowhocks
6. tail that forms a hook or ring when relaxed
DISQUALIFYING FAULTS -
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 bite
4. tail that curls forward above the vertical line of the croup.