Breed Standard

Last updated September 2016

A Breed Standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament and appearance including the correct colour 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.thekennelclub.org.uk/services/public/breed/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 upstanding, tall, powerfully built, with broad, heavy head and short dense coat. Must have size, stamina and speed.

Characteristics

Active breed used originally as a guard dog for sheep; hard working; capable of enduring extremes of heat and cold.

Temperament

Steady and bold without aggression, naturally independent, very intelligent. Proud and confident.

Head and Skull

Skull large, broad and flat between ears. Slight furrow between eyes and slight stop. Mature males have broader head than females. Foreface one- third of total head length. Slightly pendulous black lips. Square profile. Nose black.

Eyes

Relatively small in proportion to size of skull, set well apart and deep, showing no haw. Golden to brown in colour. Eye rims black.

Ears

Medium-sized, triangular in shape, rounded at tip, carried flat to skull and pendant, higher when alert.

Mouth

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

Neck

Slightly arched, powerful, muscular, moderate in length, rather thick. Slight dewlap.

Forequarters

Shoulders well muscled and sloping. Forelegs set well apart, straight and well boned; of good length; strong pasterns, slightly sloping when viewed from side. Elbows close to sides.

Body

Chest deep to point of elbow, ribs well sprung. Body powerful, well muscled, never fat. Level back. Body in proportion to leg length, slightly arched over loins, with good tuck-up.

Hindquarters

Powerful, lighter than forequarters; moderate turn of stifle.

Feet

Strong feet with well arched toes. Nails short.

Tail

Long, reaching at least to hock. Set on rather high. When relaxed carried low with slight curl, when alert carried high with end curled over back, especially by males.

Gait/Movement

Relaxed even gait, with impression of latent power, very supple movement. Noticeable straight line of head, neck and body, giving impression of stalking in some dogs. Great drive when viewed from side.

Coat

Short, dense with thick undercoat. Flat, close-lying, neither fluffy nor wavy. Slightly longer and thicker at neck, shoulders and tail; no feathering on ears or legs.

Colour

All colours except merle are acceptable, with or without black mask and black ears.

Size

Height: dogs: 74-81 cms (29-32 ins) at the shoulders; bitches: 71-79 cms (28-31 ins). Weight: mature dogs: 50-64 kgs (110-141 lbs); bitches: 41-59 kgs (90-130 lbs).

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 and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.

Note

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

*Note for prospective puppy buyers

Size – the Kennel Club Breed Standard is a guide and description of the ideal for the breed; the Size as described does not imply that a dog will match the measurements given (height or weight). A dog might be larger or smaller than the Size measurements stated in the Breed Standard.


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