Strong nose pigmentation is desirable in the Australian Shepherd and many other breeds. Many standards call for “solid” or “complete pigmentation,” indicating that partially pigmented noses are not desirable. Strong pigmentation means that the nose leather is fully black on a black tri or blue merle Aussie, and fully liver on a red tri or red merle.
For AKC, for example, 21 herding breeds require black, brown, liver, or blue noses in accordance with the coat color of the dog, and 7 herding breeds have disqualifications or faults listed with regard to nose color.
A Dudley nose is a nose that is entirely pink, which is uncommon in Aussies. Both the CKC and the ASCA breed standards list a Dudley nose as a disqualification.
Pink Spots and Butterfly Nose
Pinks spots, also called “butterfly nose,” are common in merle Aussies. The merle gene randomly dilutes melanin from parts of the bod...
In the dog fancy, a breed standard is a written guideline that outlines the blueprint of a specific breed for the function for which it was bred, such as herding and hunting. The guideline describes the ideal and defining characteristics of a breed, its temperament, structure, appearance, and its fitness for function. It defines the essence of a breed.
Some breed standards took form in the nineteenth century, when some breeds were being developed for specific functions. Function and form were not to be separated: a dog’s role and function in life determined its appearance, shape, size, and temperament. A dog bred to hunt vermin, for example, needs to be low to the ground. Via breed standards, early breeders sought to define, capture, and preserve desirable qualities for a specific breed and its function in life.