Breed Standard (Revised December 2008 - KC)
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 Kennel Club website
for details of any such current issues. If a feature or quality is desirable it should
only be present in the right measure.
General Appearance: Powerful build, symmetrical, showing great strength, but not
cumbersome, sound and active.
Characteristics: Powerful, enduring, active and reliable.
High spirited, alert and faithful.
Head & Skull: Skull large and square viewed from
every angle, fair wrinkle when interested, but not when in repose. Skull broad and
deep with well filled cheeks. Pronounced stop. Muzzle short, distance from tip of
nose to stop approximately one-third of length from tip of nose to centre of Occiput,
broad under eyes and sustaining nearly same width to end of nose, blunt and cut off
square, forming right angle with upper line of face, and at the same time proportionate
with skull. Under-jaw broad to end. Nose broad with widely spreading nostrils, flat,
neither pointed nor turned up in profile. Flews not pendulous, never hanging below
level of lower jaw.
Eyes: Dark or hazel, of medium size, set apart the width of the muzzle with furrow
between. Light or yellow eyes highly undesirable.
Ears: V-shaped, folded back, set
on wide and high, level of occiput giving square appearance to skull which is most
important. Small and deeper in colour than body. Point of ear level with eye when
alert. Rose ears are highly undesirable.
Mouth: Level desired but slightly undershot
allowed but not preferred. Canine teeth large and set wide apart, other teeth strong,
even and well placed.
Neck: Well arched, moderate length, very muscular and almost
equal to skull in circumference.
Forequarters: Chest, wide and deep, well let down
btween forelegs, with deep brisket. Shoulders muscular, sloping and powerful, not
overloaded. Forelegs powerful and straight, well boned, set wide apart, presenting
a straight front. Pasterns straight and strong.
Body: Back short and straight, giving
compact carriage, but not so short as to interfere with activity. Roach and sway
backs highly undesirable.
Hindquarters: Loins wide and muscular with fair depth of
flank. Hindlegs strong and muscular, with well developed second thighs, denoting
power and activity, not cumbersome. Hocks moderately bent. Cow hocks highly undesirable.
Well arched, cat like, with rounded toes, pads hard. Dark toe nails desirable. Splayed
feet highly undesirable.
Tail: Set high, strong at root and tapering, reaching to
hocks, carried straight or curved, but not hound fashion. Crank tails highly undesirable.
Movement indicates power and sense of purpose. When moving straight neither front
nor hind legs should cross or plait, right front and left rear leg rising and falling
at same time. A firm backline unimpaired by powerful thrust from hindlegs denoting
a balanced and harmonious movement.
Coat: Short and hard, weather resistant, lying
flat to body. Long, silky or woolly coats highly undesirable.
Colour: Any shade of
brindle, fawn or red; colour to be pure and clear. A slight white marking on chest
permissable. Other white markings undesirable. Black muzzle essential, toning off
towards eyes, with dark markings around eyes contributing to expression.
at shoulder: Dogs 63.5 - 68.5cms (25-27ins); Bitches 61 - 66cms (24 - 26ins). Weight:
Dogs 50 - 60kgs (110 - 130lbds); Bitches 41 - 50kgs (90 - 110lbs).
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.
animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.