Breed Standard

Last updated November 2004

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, powerfully built, slightly longer than high, Well boned and muscled, never light but always agile. Impressive head provides a noble, dignified look, enhanced by a mane, which is more pronounced in males, balanced by a well feathered tail carried over the back.

Characteristics

A loyal companion and guardian. Slow to mature.

Temperament

Independently minded, aloof and protective. Calm and patient. May be wary of strangers.

Head and Skull

Broad, heavy and strong. Skull large, with strongly defined occiput and marked stop. Length from nose to stop equal or slightly less than length from stop to occiput. Muzzle fairly broad, well filled, blunt, and square viewed from all sides. Broad, black, well open nostrils. Lips well developed with moderate flews. In maturity, some wrinkling on head extending from above eyes to corner of mouth.

Eyes

Very expressive, medium size, dark brown. Set well apart, oval and slightly slanting. Dark, close fitting eye rims.

Ears

Medium size, triangular, pendent, not set too low, hanging close to head. When alert, carried forward. Ear leathers covered with soft, short hair.

Mouth

Jaws strong with perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws. Level bite acceptable. Full dentition desirable.

Neck

Strong, well-muscled, slightly arched. Not too much dewlap.

Forequarters

Muscular, well laid shoulders. Strongly boned, straight legs with strong, slightly sloping pasterns.

Body

From point of shoulder to point of buttock slightly longer than height at withers, as 10 to 9. Strong and straight back. Broad, muscular loins, with very slightly sloping croup. Chest rather deep, of moderate breadth. Ribcage oval, ribs well sprung but not barrelled, carried well back. Brisket reaching to, or just below, elbows.

Hindquarters

Powerful, muscular, with moderate angulation and strong, low-set hocks. Hindlegs, seen from behind, parallel. Single or double dewclaws may be present.

Feet

Fairly large, strong, with thick pads, rounded and compact. Having good feathering between toes.

Tail

Medium to long. Set on high. Loosely curled over back to one side. Well feathered.

Gait/Movement

Powerful and free, with purpose and agility. Measured and deliberate when walking. At speed will tend to single-track.

Coat

Males carry noticeably more than females. Quality of greater importance than quantity. Densely coated, fairly long, thick, with heavy, woolly undercoat in cold weather which becomes rather sparse in warmer months. Hair fine, hard and straight, never silky, curly or wavy. Hair on face short. Neck and shoulders heavily coated, giving mane-like appearance, Tail heavily feathered, hindlegs well feathered on upper rear parts.

Colour

Rich black, with or without tan; slate grey, with or without tan; rich golden. The rich tan markings appear above eyes, on muzzle, on chest, the lower part of legs and underside of tail. Spectacle markings around eyes acceptable. White star on breast permissible. Minimal white markings on feet tolerated. Cream, white, chocolate/liver, particolour, brindle or flecked are undesirable.

Size

A minimum height of 66cms (26ins) in dogs and 61 cms (24ins) in bitches is desirable, but on no account should type be sacrificed to size alone.

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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