|The Coolie Breed Standard
Historically, as soon as any new breed of dog is developed, the price of popularity is the division between the
intended purpose and someone's ideological purpose. Sooner or later, someone creates a written standard for
the superior dog which the breeder strives to produce. Many times, the original purpose of the breed is forgotten,
beauty takes precedence over functionality and a division in the breed commences. The breed that was created
to fill an important purpose, or that was intended to be the foundation of the fabric of one's livelihood, is now
evolving into an animal that is no longer useful, needed, or prized for it's original purpose. Someone will decide
the path in which the breed should take and certain disciplines in selection and rejection are set down to be
followed, all in the name of the betterment of the breed.
In many ways, the drawing up of guidelines to follow for a "standard" of the breed is desirable, provided the
inherited ability to efficiently, mentally and structurally, work livestock is first and foremost and beauty and poise is
secondary. If there are no guidelines, or "standard", the breed would become chaotic and fragile due to a
person’s own personal approximation’s, rapacity, morals and the original characteristics of the breed forgotten. A
"standard" isn’t decided for the purpose of ‘minding someone’s business’, but rather a guideline that should be
followed if the breed is to continue from early development on into a finely tuned, genetically selected, superior
The Coolie is superior in intelligence with an extremely alert expression, eager and willing to please. They are
friendly, active, with a good balance between keenness to work and ability to relax. Coolie's have inexhaustible
energy; extreme loyalty and devotion to their master. German Coolies are known for having an "off" switch when
their work is done and they seem to favor sleeping on their back. They have impeccable work ethics and a
strongly inherited natural instinct and aptitude in the working of livestock. German Coolies are known for their
"backing" of sheep (jumping upon the backs of the sheep, when crowded, to aid in getting the sheep to move).
The Coolie excels at any task he's given, always giving 100%. He is a loyal companion and has the stamina to
work all day. It is said the Coolie can climb like a monkey and has the balance, grace and agility of a cat.
Faults: Undesirable traits such as viciousness, aggression towards other animals and/or humans,
nervousness, high excitability, unstable temperaments are uncharacteristic.
The German Coolie is a well balanced, medium-sized dog of athletic appearance, displaying style and agility in
equal measure with soundness and strength. It is an intelligent working dog of strong herding instincts. Its hard,
muscular body conveys the impression of effortless movement and endless endurance. He is well balanced,
slightly longer than tall, of medium size and bone, with coloring that offers variety and individuality. He is attentive
and animated, lithe and agile, solid and muscular without cloddiness. Their movement should be smooth and
effortless. He has a coat of moderate to smooth in length and coarseness. He has a natural tail (not docked or
bobbed). Any aspect of structure or temperament that would impede the dog's ability to function as a herding dog
should be severely faulted. Honorable scars and broken teeth incurred in the line of duty are acceptable.
Faults: Structural unsoundness, overly large and/or too heavily built that prevents good movement
for long hours of work and a bobbed tail.
The German Coolie is an agile dog, able to suddenly change speed and direction while maintaining balance and
grace. Endurance is its trademark. The German Coolie's most used working gaits are the gallop and a moving
crouch (stealth) which convert to a balanced and free trot, with minimum lift of the feet, sometimes described as a
"fluid" movement. The head is carried level with or slightly below the withers. When shown, German Coolies
should move on a loose lead and at moderate speed, never raced around the ring with the head held high. When
viewed from the side the trot can be long and animated or a short agile stride, yet covers the ground with
minimum effort, exhibiting facility of movement rather than a hard driving action. The top-line is firm. Viewed from
the front, action is forward and true without wasted motion. Viewed from the rear, hindquarters drive with thrust
and flexibility with hocks turning neither in nor out, moving close together but never touching. The legs, both front
and rear, tend to converge toward the center line as speed increases. Any deficiency that detracts from efficient
movement is a fault. When walking or standing, they should stand squarely on all four legs.
Faults: A heavy or pounding gait, stiltedness, loose shoulders or restricted movement; weaving or
paddling gait is not desirable.
A German Coolie type head has a slightly rounded to flat skull, broad between well-pricked ears, forehead curved
very slightly towards a pronounced stop. The cheeks neither coarse nor prominent but rounded to the fore face,
cleanly chiseled and defined. The muzzle, of moderate length tapered towards the nose and refined in
comparison to the skull; lips tight and clean. NOTE: some Coolies can have ears that bend sideways or tipped
Faults: Snub nosed, domed skull (like a Rottweiler), hound-dog ears
Teeth should be sound, strong and evenly spaced. The lower incisors just behind but touching the upper.
Broken or missing teeth due to accidents during working livestock is acceptable.
Faults: Undershot, overshot, misaligned jaw or abnormal numbers of teeth are undesirable.
The eyes should be slightly oval shaped, medium sized and widely spaced. Different colored eyes, flecked, or
marbled is normal.
Faults: Small eye size or eyes that are closely set-together are not desirable.
Although pricked ears are preferred, side-ways bent or tipped ears are acceptable. Their ears should be able to
rotate easily in an effort to catch sound without excessive head movement.
Faults: Drooping, hanging low ears
The neck should be of fair length, strong, slightly arched and showing quality, gradually molding into the
Faults: short, stubby, or weak necks are not desired
The front of the Coolie should be clean, muscular with sloping shoulders and elbows set parallel with the body.
The forelegs should be muscular with strong, perfectly straight when viewed from the front, and pasterns should
show a slight angulation to the forearm when viewed from the side. The shoulders should be clean, muscular, with
long sloping shoulder blades set at approximately 45 degree angle to the ground, upper arm (humerus) forming a
near 90 degree angle with the blade (scapula) and appropriately angulated to the forearm (radius and ulna) with
elbows set parallel to the body.
Faults: Shoulders that set too far forward or that are straight, both affect balance and inhibit free
movement. Front legs that bow inward or outward, straight pasterns or short stubby legs are not
Front feet should be round, strong, deep in pad, with flexible well arched toes, with strong short nails, to allow the
dog to adapt to differing ground surfaces.
The hind feet should be slightly elongated in comparison with the front feet, strong, deep in the pads, with flexible
well arched toes with strong short nails to allow the dog maximum thrust under differing ground surfaces.
Faults: Toes turned in or out, are undesirable
Faults: pigeon toed (feet that turn inward) or splay footed (toes turn outward) are undesirable.
The chest should be deep, rather than wide; ribs well sprung (not barrel-ribbed) with a top line showing a rise at
the withers (to allow sufficient action of the forequarters); strong and well muscled loins, sloping to the butt of the
Faults: sway back or roach back is undesirable.
Length, when measured from the point of the shoulder to the point of the hip, to height, when measured from the
top of the withers to the ground, should be a ratio of 10:9.
Faults: Body too long or squareness is not desirable.
The chest when viewed from the side, should be deep; the point of breast bone showing ahead of the junction
between shoulder blade (scapula) and upper arm (humerus). The bottom line of the rib cage should curve
downwards from its point, to below and slightly in front of the elbow (tip of the ulna) then remain level to the eighth
rib before continuing in a gradual upwards curve towards the flank.
Faults: barrel chested
Hind quarters should be muscular and clean. The upper thigh (femur) should set well into the hip socket at the
pelvis and have a corresponding angle to that of the should blade. The tail should form a smooth curve and
should be cleanly connected to the rump. The stifles should be well turned with the hocks placed parallel with the
body (when viewed from behind).
Faults: cow-hocked (hocks that turn inward) or pigeon toed (hocks that turn outward), straight stifles,
tail set too high or low are undesirable.
The tail can be bushy or smooth coated; it should be situated as to not be above the point of the hip bone.
Faults: The tail acts like a rudder and assists the dog in making tight turns. It is used as a counter-
balance; therefore should not be set too high, too short, kinked, hooked, malformed or missing, as
this is undesirable.
Coolies can range in height and weight depending on their geographical area. German Coolies from a region
with thick brush and dense vegetation tend to be smaller in size than one from the mountainous regions. A
medium sized dog is preferred. Quality and herding ability is not to be sacrificed in favor of size. Proportion --
Measuring from the breastbone to rear of thigh and from top of the withers to the ground the German Coolie is
slightly longer than tall. Substance -- Solidly built with moderate bone. Structure in the male reflects masculinity
without coarseness. Bitches appear feminine without being slight of bone.
Can be long, medium, or short; but the smooth coat is preferred. The undercoat varies in quantity with variations
Faults: curly, twisted, or locks are undesirable.
The base color of the Coolie can be black, chocolate, dilute black (blue), dilute brown (lilac). Any of the base
colors with a pattern of: sable, saddle or tan point pattern is acceptable. Any of the base colors, pattern colors
with irish spotting is acceptable. Merle with any base color, pattern color or irish spotting is acceptable. Color
should not be placed ahead of herding ability.
Excessive white is not a fault, but is not desirable.
For more information on the genetics of the coat color and photographs of the various colors, please click here:
coat color genetics
Faults: brindle, wolf pattern, albino (brindle and wolf pattern would indicate an infusion from another
breed, and the albino would be a genetic mutation/anomaly/serious fault).
|Some colors that are found in the Coolie Breed.
|For a larger view of the picture,
click on the picture.