Darcy the dog might be small but he's perfectly formed.
That's not just according to the shetland sheepdog's owner Ray Greer, who has bred the miniature collies since 1971.
Darcy belongs to the pedigree champion class, meaning he's been judged to have all the attributes expected in a pedigree sheltie.
"The breed was bred in the Shetland islands in Scotland. Being Scottish, they would want him to do a day's work for a boy's wage," Mr Greer says.
"He's very agile, very strong, good instinct and in the very very cragged and rough areas of the Shetlands, they do the job."
Those attributes will come in handy this weekend when Darcy goes on show at the Ladies Kennel Association's All Breed Championship Show in Clevedon.
The Greers live in Clevedon with "about 12" shetland sheepdogs, many of which they bred themselves.
"The sheltie appealed to us because there was a dog that had the characteristics of being a dog but it was small in size and capable of living in suburbia."
Mr Greer has judged shows all over the world and knows what the judges want.
Each breed has its own characteristics that are checked to make sure it's a pedigree, he says.
Despite Darcy's illustrious ancestry, he's not precious or poncey - Mr Greer insists show dogs are trained and treated like any other pet dog.
"You don't really treat them differently, except that if they're a long-coated breed, you don't want them running round too much in thorny undergrowth and things like that because they'll split their coat. It's the same with show horses and Mitsubishis," he says.
The show is open to the public and entry is free although a gold coin donation is appreciated.
Ladies Kennel Association Championship Show, October 21-22, New Zealand Kennel Club Auckland exhibition centre, 743 Clevedon Rd. See lka.org.nz.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Do you think it's right for dairies to sell legal highs?