Breed Standard

Last updated October 2009

A Breed Standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament and appearance of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function. Absolute soundness is essential. Breeders and judges should at all times be careful to avoid obvious conditions or exaggerations which would be detrimental in any way to the health, welfare or soundness of this breed. From time to time certain conditions or exaggerations may be considered to have the potential to affect dogs in some breeds adversely, and judges and breeders are requested to refer to the Breed Watch section of the Kennel Club website here http://www.the-kennel-club.org.uk/services/public/breeds/watch for details of any such current issues. If a feature or quality is desirable it should only be present in the right measure. However if a dog possesses a feature, characteristic or colour described as undesirable or highly undesirable it is strongly recommended that it should not be rewarded in the show ring.

General Appearance

Large, powerful, alert, with much substance and heavy bone.

Characteristics

Large, broad head, with relatively small eyes and erect ears carried forward in line with back of neck; large, curled tail, in balance with head.

Temperament

Dignified, courageous, aloof; tends to show dominance over other dogs, though the trait is not encouraged.

Head and Skull

Large, in balance with body, skull flat, forehead broad, defined stop and clear furrow. Head forms blunt triangle when viewed from above, free from wrinkle. Muzzle broad and strong, cheeks well developed. Nose large and black, bridge straight. Lips tight and black. In white dogs flesh colour pigmentation is permissible on nose and lips. Length from nose to stop is to length from stop to occiput as 2 is to 3.

Eyes

Relatively small, almond-shaped, clean, moderately set apart and dark brown. Eye rims dark and tight.

Ears

Relatively small, thick, triangular, not low set, carried forward in line with the back of the neck when viewed in profile. Moderately set apart, slightly rounded at tips.

Mouth

Jaws strong, with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.

Neck

Thick and muscular, comparatively short, widening gradually toward shoulders. Pronounced crest blends with back of skull.

Forequarters

Shoulders strong and powerful, moderately laid back. Elbows very tight. Forelegs well boned and straight when viewed from front. Pasterns inclining at approximately 15 degrees.

Body

Longer than high, as 10 is to 9 in males, 11 to 9 in bitches. Chest wide and deep, depth of brisket is one-half height of dog at shoulder. Well developed forechest. Level back, firmly muscled loin, moderate tuck up. Skin pliant but not loose.

Hindquarters

Strong and muscular, with moderate angulation. Well developed thighs, strong hocks, well let down turning neither in nor out.

Feet

Thick, well-knuckled, very tight, turning neither in nor out. Pads hard. Nails hard.

Tail

Large and full, set high, carried over back, full or double curl, always dipping to or below level of back. On a three-quarter curl tail, tip dips down flank. Root large and strong. Hair coarse, straight and full with no appearance of a plume. Sickle or uncurled tail highly undesirable.

Gait/Movement

Vigorous, powerful and fluent with strides of moderate length. Back remains firm and level. Hindlegs move in line with front legs, whilst gaiting may single track.

Coat

Outer coat coarse, straight, and standing off body. Undercoat soft and dense. Coat at withers and rump is approximately 5 cms (2 ins), slightly longer than on rest of body more profuse on tail. No indication of ruff or feathering.

Colour

Any colour including white brindle or pinto. Colours are brilliant and clear. Markings are well defined with or without mask or blaze.

Size

Height at withers: dogs: 66-71 cms (26-28 ins); bitches: 61-66 cms (24-26 ins).

Faults

Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog.

Note

Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.


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