Breed Standard

Last updated February 2009

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, sturdily built, well-balanced dog of power and nobility.

Characteristics

Bold, courageous and fearless. Protective of owners, good guard.

Temperament

Devoted, gentle and patient but suspicious of strangers.

Head and Skull

Long, medium width, skull slightly rounded, occiput broad and pronounced. Muzzle tapers slightly from base to nose but not too pointed at tip, ridge of nose straight, slight stop. Prominent eyebrows.

Eyes

Dark, brown, almond-shaped. Slightly slanted, set well apart. Eye rims black.

Ears

Set high on side of skull; V-shaped and rather thick, slightly rounded tips. Inner edge carried close to cheek.

Mouth

Roof of mouth slate grey; lips black.

Neck

Medium length, strong and muscular. Slightly arched; no dewlap.

Forequarters

Shoulders well muscled. Scapula and humerus of equal length; forelegs straight; pasterns long and slightly sloping.

Body

Pronounced sternum, ribs well sprung; deep brisket. Withers above the level of back. Back level and firm, good tuck up.

Hindquarters

Upper thigh of good length, stifles well angulated. Metatarsus short, strong and perpendicular to ground.

Feet

Tight, well arched. Forefeet round, thick pads. Hind feet longer than forefeet. Pads black. Nails slate grey or black.

Tail

Tight, well arched. Forefeet round, thick pads. Hind feet longer than forefeet. Pads black. Nails slate grey or black.

Gait/Movement

Walk slow, dignified; at the trot, light rhythmic; at speed legs converge to a centre line often single tracking. Head carried low at speed.

Coat

Slight wavy. Double coated; top coat medium coarse; undercoat, fine and woolly. Shorter and smooth on head, muzzle, ears, front of fore and hind leg, below hocks and on feet. Mane on neck thick and long reaching down to brisket. Feathering on back of fore and hind legs 5-7.5 cms (2-3 ins). Medium length on body. Back of thighs and tail profusely coated, hair 10-15 cms (4-6 ins) long.

Colour

Pure White. Skin highly pigmented with patches of slate grey.

Size

Height: dogs: 71-75 cms (28-29½ ins); bitches: 66-70 cms (26-271/2 ins). Weight: dogs: 40-52 kgs (88-115 lbs); bitches: 30-42 kgs (66-93 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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