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Sheltie Conformation and Movement

A Dog Show is not a beauty contest but an evaluation of how close a dog comes to the ideal standard of its breed. The breed standard defines the physical characteristics and behaviors and is written to improve the dogs movement and performance. For information on the Sheltie Breed Standard go here

A Champion Sheltie should have an athletic body, good front and rear angulation, balance, and most of all good movement. Take a look at the reach and drive on our Ch. Apple Acres Amira, show here in a flying trot around the show ring and then stacked to reveal her great angulation and athletic body. The forward movement of the front legs is called "reach" and the backwards movement of the hind legs is called "drive". "Reach" is the position the front paw reaches and at which it is set down. Placing the toe under the nose is usually good for most breeds. "Drive" is the push of a good powerful rear. The dog should place its hind foot into the print left by its front foot. Correctly balanced movement at a trot is when the reach equals the drive as shown in the accompanying diagram.


If you want a dog that can compete at the upper levels in agility or conformation you need know about dog conformation. An agility dog is an athlete that needs a good body. Take a moment to imagine a 4 foot basketball star with little short legs or a 110 pound football star with tiny shoulders and you will see what I mean. I have listed some of the main things to look for in a good agility dog beside temperament and intelligence, equally important. The illustrated book The Sheltie Guide by Jean Daniels Simmonds is a very good reference.