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From the Standard:

The coat should be double, the outer coat consisting of long, straight, harsh hair; the undercoat short, furry, and so dense as to give the entire coat its "stand-off" quality. The hair on face, tips of ears and feet should be smooth. Maine and frill should be abundant, and particularly impressive in males. The forelegs well feathered, the hind legs heavily so, but smooth below the hock joint. Hair on tail profuse. NOTE: Excess hair on ears, feet and hocks may be trimmed for the show ring. Colour black, blue merle, and sable (ranging from golden through mahogany); marked with varying amounts of white and/or tan. Faults: Coat Short or flat, in whole or in part; wavy, curly, soft or silky. Lack of undercoat. Smooth-coated specimens. Rustiness in a black or blue coat. Washed out or degenerate colours, such as pale sable and faded blue. Self-colour in the case of blue merle, that is, without any merling or mottling and generally appearing as a faded or dilute tricolour. Conspicuous white body spots. Specimens with more than 50 per cent white shall be so severely penalized as to effectively eliminate them from competition.

EYES medium size with dark, almond-shaped rims, set somewhat obliquely in skull. Colour must be dark with blue or merle eyes permissible in blue merles only.

Sable can range in tone from golden through to mahogany.    Genetically a "pure for sable" and carries two genes for sable colour.  Our sables generally darken as they age and become more "shaded".
For an example of this, visit "Hannah's" page for pictures of her from puppyhood into old age.

Am/Can. Ch. Laureate Catalina (ASSA WB/BW)

This is the darker "mahogany" sable.  This colour genetically has one black gene (tri or bi) and one sable gene.  It is often mistaken for a tri-colour which is pictured below.  "Lexus", our model is a bi-factored sable and incidentally the dam of our bi-blue BISS Am/Can Ch. Laureate Louisiana.

Ch. Laureate Lexus

A tri-colour or simply a tri, is a black dog with tan points and white...three distinct colours.  The tan points are over the eyes, on the cheeks on the legs and under the tail.

Laureate Latifah

A blue merle is genetically a black dog with a dilution gene (merle gene) which dilutes the black to various shades of grey with splashes of black.  The grey can range in tone from silver to pewter. They have tan points and varying amounts of white.
The eye colour can be brown, merle or blue.

Laureate Paray Per Se

Bi-blue (bi meaning two) is a blue merle without the tan points.
The eye colour can be brown, merle or blue.

BISS Am/Can Ch. Laureate Louisiana (ASSA BOS/AOM)

Bi-black is a black Sheltie with white markings.  A tri without the tan!

Laureate Clair De Lune

Sable merle is a sable with a dilution or merling gene acting on the sable coat.  This dilutes the colour and they can have darker and lighter shades of sable in the coat.  Because of the merling gene the eye colour can be blue, merle or brown.  Only brown eyed sable merles are shown since according to the breed standard, blue eyes are permissible in blue merles only.

BISS Am/Can Ch. Laureate Santana, ROMC (ASSA Best of Breed)

Colour headed white (CHW) results from breeding two white factored dogs together (or a CHW to a non white factored Sheltie).  White factoring is often displayed  by a white stripe on the stifle (see the bi-black above).  The head colour can be any of the colours above, the body is mainly white with some random patches of the head colour.  A CHW Sheltie cannot be shown in conformation shows as they have over 50% white, thus "effectively eliminating them from competition".  They are normal in every way, and can be shown in performance events.  "Diva", our model is a tri colour headed white.


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