Intelligent Choice of the Right Pet Dog (A Case Study)
GROUP III: WORKING BREEDS
THE AKITA IS ONE OF SEVEN BREEDS DESIGNATED AS A NATIONAL MONUMENT in his native Japan. Bred as a versatile hunting dog in the rugged mountains of northern Japan, the breed is a wonderful combination of dignity with good nature, alert courage, and docility.
There is a spiritual significance attached to the Akita. In Japan they are affectionately regarded as loyal companions and pets, protectors of the home and a symbol of good health. When a child is born, the proud family will usually receive a small statue of an Akita signifying health, happiness, and a long life. If a person is ill, friends will send a small statue of an Akita to express their wish for a speedy recovery.
The Akita is very affectionate with family members and friends and thrives on human companionship. Since times long past, Japanese mothers have left their children in the trusted care of the family Akita. Typically reserved in demeanor, he will stand to the defense of his family whenever a threatening stranger or animal arouses his protective instinct.
The Akita today is the large-sized descendant of the ancient Japanese dog whose likeness has been found carved in the tombs of the early Japanese people. The upright ears and tail curled over the back are unmistakable.
Historical records cite the breed’s development early in the seventeenth century. A famous nobleman was exiled to Akita prefecture, the northernmost province of the island of Honshu and ordered to live out his days as a provincial ruler. The nobleman had an ardent interest in dogs and encouraged the land barons in his domain to compete in the breeding of a large, versatile, intelligent hunting dog. Through generations of selective breeding there evolved the Akita, of superior size and frame, with keen hunting abilities, powerful working attributes, and a fearless spirit.
The ancient Japanese word matagi means “esteemed hunter,” an honor applied to the men of a village having the best hunting skills. Akita is a rugged mountainous area with cold snowy winters. There the Akita was known as matagiinu, “esteemed dog hunter,” and used to hunt bear, deer, and wild boar. The Yezo, largest and fiercest of Old World bears, was typically held at bay by a team of Akitas, a male and a female, awaiting the arrival of the hunter with arrow or spear.
The Akita’s hunting abilities include great strength, keen eye and nose, silence, and speed in a durable, sturdy body suitable for hunting in deep snows. His hard, intelligent, never-give-in attitude in the field was prized by his masters. His soft mouth enabled him to retrieve waterfowl after they had been brought down by the hunter’s arrow. The breed is said to have been used to drive fish at sea into the fisherman’s nets.
Once, ownership was restricted to the imperial family and the ruling aristocracy. Care and feeding of the Akita were detailed in elaborate ceremony, and special leashes were used to denote the Akita’s rank and the standing of his owner. A special vocabulary was used to address the Akita and in speaking about them. Each dog became the charge of a specially appointed caretaker who wore an ornate costume commensurate with the esteem in which the individual Akita was held.
Over the centuries the breed suffered near extinction as interest in the continuity of selective breeding surged and waned, depending on the inclination of the then ruling class. Fortunately, periodic favor managed to perpetuate the breed through the Meiji and Taisho eras. As the twentieth century drew near and Japan was exposed to other societies, being a dog devotee became very fashionable in emulation of European culture.
In 1927, the Akitainu Hozankai Society of Japan was established to preserve the purity of the breed. In July 1931, the government designated the Akita as a national monument and as one of Japan’s national treasures. So highly regarded is the breed that the Japanese government will subsidize the care and feeding of an Akita champion if the owner is unable to do so.
Each year at a solemn ceremony in Tokyo’s Shibuya railroad station hundreds of dog lovers do homage to the loyalty and devotion of an Akita dog, Hachiko, faithful pet of Dr. Eisaburo Ueno, a professor at Tokyo University.
It was the daily habit of Hachiko to accompany his master to the train station to see him off. Every afternoon Hachiko would return to the station to greet his master. On a May evening in 1925, Professor Ueno did not return; he had died that afternoon at the university. The loyal Akita waited at the station until midnight. The next day and for the next nine years Hachiko returned to the station and waited for his beloved master before walking home, alone. Nothing and no one could discourage Hachiko from maintaining his nightly vigil. It was not until he followed his master in death, in March 1934, that Hachiko failed to appear in his place at the railroad station.
The fidelity of Hachiko was known throughout Japan. Upon his death, newspaper stories led to the suggestion that a statue be erected in the station. Contributions from the United States and other countries were received. Today the statue of Hachiko pays silent tribute to the breed’s faithfulness and loyalty.
Helen Keller is credited with bringing the first Akitas into the United States. While visiting the prefecture of Akita in June 1937, she was presented with a two-month-old puppy by the Ministry of Education. Later, after the death of the puppy, the ministry forwarded a second Akita to Miss Keller.
The breed’s popularity in the United States following World War II may be attributed to American servicemen of the occupational forces, who so admired the noble dogs that they took them home to their families. They were attracted to the Akita because of the breed’s intelligence and adaptability to different situations.
The Akita Club of America was founded in 1956. The breed was admitted to registration in the American Kennel Club Stud Book in October 1972, and to regular show classification in the Working Group at AKC shows beginning April 4, 1973.
OFFICIAL STANDARD FOR THE AKITA
General Appearance—Large, powerful, alert, with much substance and heavy bone. The broad head, forming a blunt triangle, with deep muzzle, small eyes and erect ears carried forward in line with back of neck, is characteristic of the breed. The large, curled tail, balancing the broad head, is also characteristic of the breed.
Head—Massive but in balance with body; free of wrinkle when at ease. Skull flat between ears and broad; jaws square and powerful with minimal dewlap. Head forms a blunt triangle when viewed from above. Fault—Narrow or snipy head. Muzzle—Broad and full. Distance from nose to stop is to distance from stop to occiput as 2 is to 3. Stop—Well defined, but not too abrupt. A shallow furrow extends well up forehead. Nose—Broad and black. Liver permitted on white Akitas, but black always preferred. Disqualification—Butterfly nose or total lack of pigmentation on nose. Ears—The ears of the Akita are characteristic of the breed. They are strongly erect and small in relation to rest of head. If ear is folded forward for measuring length, tip will touch upper eye rim. Ears are triangular, slightly rounded at tip, wide at base, set wide on head but not too low, and carried slightly forward over eyes in line with back of neck. Disqualification— Drop or broken ears. Eyes—Dark brown, small, deep-set and triangular in shape. Eye rims black and tight. Lips and Tongue—Lips black and not pendulous; tongue pink. Teeth—Strong with scissors bite preferred, but level bite acceptable. Disqualification— Noticeably undershot or overshot.
Neck and Body—Neck—Thick and muscular; comparatively short, widening gradually toward shoulders. A pronounced crest blends in with base of skull. Body— Longer than high, as 10 is to 9 in males; 11 to 9 in bitches. Chest wide and deep; depth of chest is one-half height of dog at shoulder. Ribs well sprung, brisket well developed. Level back with firmly-muscled loin and moderate tuck-up. Skin pliant but not loose. Serious Faults—Light bone, rangy body.
Tail—Large and full, set high and carried over back or against flank in a three-quarter, full, or double curl, always dipping to or below level of back. On a three-quarter curl, tip drops well down flank. Root large and strong. Tail bone reaches hock when let down. Hair coarse, straight and full, with no appearance of a plume. Disqualification— Sickle or uncurled tail.
Forequarters and Hindquarters—Forequarters— Shoulders strong and powerful with moderate layback. Forelegs heavy-boned and straight as viewed from front. Angle of pastern 15 degrees forward from vertical. Faults—Elbows in or out, loose shoulders. Hindquarters— Width, muscular development and bone comparable to forequarters. Upper thighs well developed. Stifle moderately bent and hocks well let down, turning neither in nor out. Dewclaws—On front legs generally not removed; dewclaws on hind legs generally removed. Feet—Cat feet, well knuckled up with thick pads. Feet straight ahead.
Coat—Double-coated. Undercoat thick, soft, dense and shorter than outer coat. Outer coat straight, harsh and standing somewhat off body. Hair on head, legs and ears short. Length of hair at withers and rump approximately two inches, which is slightly longer than on rest of body, except tail, where coat is longest and most profuse. Fault— Any indication of ruff or feathering.
Color—Any color including white; brindle; or pinto. Colors are brilliant and clear and markings are well balanced, with or without mask or blaze. White Akitas have no mask. Pinto has a white background with large, evenly placed patches covering head and more than one-third of body. Undercoat may be a different color from outer coat.
Gait—Brisk and powerful with strides of moderate length. Back remains strong, firm and level. Rear legs move in line with front legs.
Size—Males 26 to 28 inches at the withers; bitches 24 to 26 inches. Disqualification—Dogs under 25 inches; bitches under 23 inches.
Temperament—Alert and responsive, dignified and courageous. Aggressive toward other dogs.
Butterfly nose or total lack of pigmentation on nose.
Drop or broken ears.
Noticeably undershot or overshot.
Sickle or uncurled tail.
Dogs under 25 inches; bitches under 23 inches.
Approved December 12, 1972
THE ALASKAN MALAMUTE IS ONE OF THE OLDEST ARCTIC SLED-DOG BREEDS. The breed name was taken from the Mahlemuts, an Inuit tribe that settled along the shores of Kotzebue Sound in northwestern Alaska. Long before Alaska became a possession of the United States, native people were living on “Alyeska” land when Asiatic mariners visited this northern expanse. Returning to their homeland, the sailors told stories about seeing indigenous people using dogs to haul sledges.
The origin of these people and their dogs has never been completely determined. We know that they had been in Alaska for generations, but where they originated is not definitely known. The Alaskan Arctic sledge-dog breed native to the territory is now called the Alaskan Malamute.
The Mahlemut people are never mentioned in early writings without reference to their dogs. A traveling missionary, who had journeyed thousands of miles by dog team, wrote:
These Malamutes . . . are peaceful, happy, hard workers, believe in one wife, are able guides and have wonderful dogs. Even though uncivilized, they have realized that it is important to have fine animals to pull sledges, that without them, means of travel in this sort of country would be impossible at times. The dogs are powerful looking, have thick dense double coats (outer coat of thick coarse fur and inner coat of fuzzy down lying close to skin) called weather coats, erect ears, magnificently bushy tails carried over their backs like waving plumes, tough feet, colors varying but mostly wolf grey or black and white. The dogs have remarkable endurance and fortitude. The Malamute people and their dogs are much respected among other Inuits.
When white men settled Alaska, the Arctic breeds were mingled with outside dogs. During the Alaskan Sweepstakes, the lure of racing became so popular that many drivers experimented with mixing Arctic breeds with outside strains. This period, 1909 to 1918, was considered the “age of decay of the Arctic sledge dog.”
Fortunately, the sport of sled-dog racing became popular in the United States. Interest in developing a pure strain of the native Alaskan Malamute began in 1926. Malamutes were being bred for expedition work, including vital roles as pack dogs, freight dogs, and rescue dogs. They served important missions during World War II.
The Alaskan Malamute was fully recognized by the AKC in 1935, and the breed’s first championship was awarded that same year. As pets they have become popular among those who enjoy sledding, weight pulling, skijoring, backpacking, and other winter activities, and Malamutes have earned titles in the obedience ring and at agility trials.
The Malamute is a true pack animal with the natural instinct to lead or be led. As a result, training must begin as early as three to five months of age. These dogs must be raised in an atmosphere of controlled socialization with humans and other animals, as they can dominate people they don’t respect and become quite aggressive with other dogs of the same sex. A sensible combination of love and discipline will result in a devoted, trustworthy, and valuable companion.
OFFICIAL STANDARD FOR THE ALASKAN MALAMUTE
General Appearance—The Alaskan Malamute, one of the oldest Arctic sled dogs, is a powerful and substantially built dog with a deep chest and strong, well-muscled body. The Malamute stands well over the pads, and this stance gives the appearance of much activity and a proud carriage, with head erect and eyes alert showing interest and curiosity. The head is broad. Ears are triangular and erect when alerted. The muzzle is bulky, only slight diminishing in width from root to nose. The muzzle is not pointed or long, yet not stubby. The coat is thick with a coarse guard coat of sufficient length to protect a woolly undercoat. Malamutes are of various colors. Face markings are a distinguishing feature. These consist of a cap over the head, the face either all white or marked with a bar and/or mask. The tail is well furred, carried over the back, and has the appearance of a waving plume.
The Malamute must be a heavy boned dog with sound legs, good feet, deep chest and powerful shoulders, and have all of the other physical attributes necessary for the efficient performance of his job. The gait must be steady, balanced, tireless and totally efficient. He is not intended as a racing sled dog designed to compete in speed trials. The Malamute is structured for strength and endurance, and any characteristic of the individual specimen, including temperament, which interferes with the accomplishment of this purpose, is to be considered the most serious of faults.
Size, Proportion, Substance—There is a natural range in size in the breed. The desirable freighting sizes are males, 25 inches at the shoulders, 85 pounds; females, 23 inches at the shoulders, 75 pounds. However, size consideration should not outweigh that of type, proportion, movement and other functional attributes. When dogs are judged equal in type, proportion, movement, the dog nearest the desirable freighting size is to be preferred. The depth of chest is approximately one half the height of the dog at the shoulders, the deepest point being just behind the forelegs. The length of the body from point of shoulder to the rear point of pelvis is longer than the height of the body from ground to top of the withers. The body carries no excess weight, and bone is in proportion to size.
Head—The head is broad and deep, not coarse or clumsy, but in proportion to the size of the dog. The expression is soft and indicates an affectionate disposition. The eyes are obliquely placed in the skull. Eyes are brown, almond shaped, and of medium size. Dark eyes preferred. Blue eyes are a disqualifying fault. The ears are of medium size, but small in proportion to the head. The ears are triangular in shape and slightly rounded at the tips. They are set wide apart on the outside back edges of the skull on line with the upper corner of the eye, giving ears the appearance, when erect, of standing off from the skull. Erect ears point slightly forward, but when the dog is at work, the ears are sometimes folded against the skull. High set ears are a fault.
The skull is broad and moderately rounded between the ears, gradually narrowing and flattening on top as it approaches the eyes, rounding off to cheeks that are moderately flat. There is a slight furrow between the eyes. The topline of the skull and the topline of the muzzle show a slight break downward from a straight line as they join. The muzzle is large and bulky in proportion to the size of the skull, diminishing slightly in width and depth from junction with the skull to the nose. In all coat colors, except reds, the nose, lips, and eye rims’ pigmentation is black. Brown is permitted in red dogs. The lighter-streaked “snow nose” is acceptable. The lips are close fitting. The upper and lower jaws are broad with large teeth. The incisors meet with a scissors grip. Overshot or undershot is a fault.
Neck, Topline, Body—The neck is strong and moderately arched. The chest is well developed. The body is compactly built but not short coupled. The back is straight and gently sloping to the hips. The loins are hard and well muscled. A long loin that may weaken the back is a fault. The tail is moderately set and follows the line of the spine at the base. The tail is carried over the back when not working. It is not a snap tail or curled tight against the back, nor is it short furred like a fox brush. The Malamute tail is well furred and has the appearance of a waving plume.
Forequarters—The shoulders are moderately sloping; forelegs heavily boned and muscled, straight to the pasterns when viewed from the front. Pasterns are short and strong and slightly sloping when viewed from the side. The feet are of the snowshoe type, tight and deep, with well-cushioned pads, giving a firm, compact appearance. The feet are large, toes tight fitting and well arched. There is a protective growth of hair between the toes. The pads are thick and tough; toenails short and strong.
Hindquarters—The rear legs are broad and heavily muscled through the thighs; stifles moderately bent; hock joints are moderately bent and well let down. When viewed from the rear, the legs stand and move true in line with the movement of the front legs, not too close or too wide. Dewclaws on the rear legs are undesirable and should be removed shortly after puppies are whelped.
Coat—The Malamute has a thick, coarse guard coat, never long and soft. The undercoat is dense, from one to two inches in depth, oily and woolly. The coarse guard coat varies in length as does the undercoat. The coat is relatively short to medium along the sides of the body, with the length of the coat increasing around the shoulders and neck, down the back, over the rump, and in the breeching and plume. Malamutes usually have a shorter and less dense coat during the summer months. The Malamute is shown naturally. Trimming is not acceptable except to provide a clean cut appearance of feet.
Color—The usual colors range from light gray through intermediate shadings to black, sable, and shadings of sable to red. Color combinations are acceptable in undercoats, points, and trimmings. The only solid color allowable is all white. White is always the predominant color on underbody, parts of legs, feet, and part of face markings. A white blaze on the forehead and/or collar or a spot on the nape is attractive and acceptable. The Malamute is mantled, and broken colors extending over the body or uneven splashing are undesirable.
Gait—The gait of the Malamute is steady, balanced and powerful. He is agile for his size and build. When viewed from the side, the hindquarters exhibit strong rear drive that is transmitted through a well-muscled loin to the forequarters. The forequarters receive the drive from the rear with a smooth reaching stride. When viewed from the front or from the rear, the legs move true in line, not too close or too wide. At a fast trot, the feet will converge toward the centerline of the body. A stilted gait, or any gait that is not completely efficient and tireless, is to be penalized.
Temperament—The Alaskan Malamute is an affectionate, friendly dog, not a “one man” dog. He is a loyal, devoted companion, playful in invitation, but generally impressive by his dignity after maturity.
Summary—IMPORTANT: In judging Malamutes, their function as a sledge dog for heavy freighting in the Arctic must be given consideration above all else. The degree to which a dog is penalized should depend upon the extent to which the dog deviates from the description of the ideal Malamute and the extent to which the particular fault would actually affect the working ability of the dog. The legs of the Malamute must indicate unusual strength and tremendous propelling power. Any indication of unsound-ness in legs and feet, front or rear, standing or moving, is to be considered a serious fault.Faults under this provision would be splay-footedness, cowhocks, bad pasterns, straight shoulders, lack of angulation, stilted gait (or any gait that isn’t balanced, strong and steady), ranginess, shallowness, ponderousness, lightness of bone, and poor overall proportion.
Approved April 12, 1994
Effective May 31, 1994
ANATOLIAN SHEPHERD DOG
THE ANATOLIAN SHEPHERD DOG IS A GUARDIAN BREED WITH ITS ORIGIN IN Turkey. Quite probably more than 6,000 years old, the breed is impressive in size, serving as the Turkish shepherd’s frontline defense from predators. Developed to withstand Turkey’s harsh climate, the Anatolian Shepherd has evolved to endure the nomadic lifestyle of the shepherds.
Loyalty, independence, and hardiness are the three factors most appreciated by fanciers of the breed. First entering the United States in the 1950s, the Anatolian Shepherd is a fiercely loyal guard dog, not considered a “glamour breed.” Faithful to its job, the Anatolian is highly intelligent and responsive to its master. However, its independent nature means it can be slow to respond to commands.
OFFICIAL STANDARD FOR THE ANATOLIAN SHEPHERD DOG
General Appearance—Large, rugged, powerful and impressive, possessing great endurance and agility. Developed through a set of very demanding circumstances for a purely utilitarian purpose; he is a working guard dog without equal, with a unique ability to protect livestock. General impression—Appears bold, but calm, unless challenged. He possesses size, good bone, a well-muscled torso with a strong head. Reserve out of its territory is acceptable. Fluid movement and even temperament is desirable.
Size, Proportion, Substance—General balance is more important than absolute size. Dogs should be from 29 inches and weighing from 110 to 150 pounds proportionate to size and structure. Bitches should be from 27 inches, weighing from 80 to 120 pounds, proportionate to size and structure. Neither dog nor bitch appear fat. Both dog and bitch should be rectangular, in direct proportion to height. Measurements and weights apply at age 2 or older.
Head—Expression should be intelligent. Eyes are medium size, set apart, almond shaped and dark brown to light amber in color. Blue eyes or eyes of two different colors area disqualification. Eye rims will be black or brown and without sag or looseness of haw. Incomplete pigment is a serious fault. Ears should be set on no higher than the plane of the head. V-shaped, rounded apex, measuring about four inches at the base to six inches in length. The tip should be just long enough to reach the outside corner of the eyelid. Ears dropped to sides. Erect ears are a disqualification. Skull is large but in proportion to the body. There is a slight centerline furrow, fore and aft, from apparent stop to moderate occiput. Broader in dogs than in bitches. Muzzle is blockier and stronger for the dog, but neither dog nor bitch would have a snipey head or muzzle. Nose and flews must be solid black or brown. Seasonal fading is not to be penalized. Incomplete pigment is a serious fault. Flews are normally dry but pronounced enough to contribute to “squaring” the overall muzzle appearance. Teeth and gums strong and healthy. Scissors bite preferred, level bite acceptable. Broken teeth are not to be faulted. Overshot, undershot or wrybite are disqualifications.
Neck, Topline, Body—Neck slightly arched, powerful, and muscular, moderate in length with more skin and fur than elsewhere on the body, forming a protective ruff. The dewlap should not be pendulous and excessive. Topline will appear level when gaiting. Back will be powerful, muscular, and level, with drop behind withers and gradual arch over loin, sloping slightly downward at the croup. Body well proportioned, functional, without exaggeration. Never fat or soft. Chest is deep (to the elbow) and well-sprung with a distinct tuck up at the loin. Tail should be long and reaching to the hocks. Set on rather high. When relaxed, it is carried low with the end curled upwards. When alert, the tail is carried high, making a “wheel.” Both low and wheel carriage are acceptable, when gaiting. “Wheel” carriage preferred. The tail will not necessarily uncurl totally.
Forequarters—Shoulders should be muscular and well developed, blades long, broad and sloping. Elbows should be neither in nor out. Forelegs should be relatively long, well-boned and set straight with strong pasterns. The feet are strong and compact with well-arched toes, oval in shape. They should have stout nails with pads thick and tough. Dewclaws may be removed.
Hindquarters—Strong, with broad thighs and heavily muscled. Angulation at the stifle and hock are in proportion to the forequarters. As seen from behind, the legs are parallel. The feet are strong and compact with well-arched toes, oval in shape. Double dewclaws may exist. Dewclaws may be removed.
Coat—Short (one inch minimum, not tight) to Rough (approximately 4 inches in length) with neck hair slightly longer. Somewhat longer and thicker at the neck and mane. A thick undercoat is common to all. Feathering may occur on the ear fringes, legs, breeching and tail.
Color—All color patterns and markings are equally acceptable.
Gait—At the trot, the gait is powerful yet fluid. When viewed from the front or rear, the legs turn neither in nor out, nor do feet cross or interfere with each other. With increased speed, footfall converges toward the center line of gravity. When viewed from the side, the front legs should reach out smoothly with no obvious pounding. The withers and backline should stay nearly level with little rise or fall. The rear assembly should push out smoothly with hocks doing their share of the work and flexing well.
Temperament—Alert and intelligent, calm and observant. Instinctively protective, he is courageous and highly adaptable. He is very loyal and responsive. Highly territorial, he is a natural guard. Reserve around strangers and off its territory is acceptable. Responsiveness with animation is not characteristic of the breed. Overhandling would be discouraged.
Blue eyes or eyes of two different colors.
Overshot, undershot or wry bite.
Approved June 1995
Effective June 1, 1996
BERNESE MOUNTAIN DOG
ARISTOCRATIC IN APPEARANCE, ANCIENT IN LINEAGE, THE BERNESE MOUNTAIN Dog has long been at home on the farms in the midland of Switzerland. The Bernese, known in its homeland as the Berner Sennenhund, is one of four varieties of Swiss mountain dogs, along with the Appenzeller Sennenhund, the Entlebucher Sennenhund, and the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog. The breed shares similar distinctive coloring with the others but is the only one of the four to have a long, silky coat. In size, it is the second largest of the four. Bernese Mountain Dogs worked mainly in the canton of Berne as farmer’s dogs, companions, drovers, and draft dogs, as well as farmyard watchdogs. The ancestors of these dogs were working farm dogs in other areas of Switzerland.
Until the late nineteenth century, Bernese Mountain Dogs had been almost forgotten by all except the oldest inhabitants of Berne. They were still found in the area of Duerrbach, but the breed had degenerated to such an extent as to be practically unrecognizable. In 1892 the Swiss fancier Franz Schertenleib attempted to find good specimens for use as breeding stock, and his search was a long one. He was ultimately successful, however, and several other fanciers became interested as well. The rehabilitation and comeback had begun. This effort succeeded under the knowledgeable leadership of geologist, canine researcher, and judge Professor Albert Heim. In 1907, a specialty club was formed, and the Bernese Mountain Dog breed was exhibited. They found favor with many Swiss, who developed them as home companions, although their old working roles on farms continued.
A handsome, longhaired, large, and sturdily built dog, the Bernese is jet black in color with rich russet markings on the legs, cheeks, over each eye, and on either side of the snowy white chest. A white blaze adorns the muzzle and forehead, and it is highly desirable that the dogs have white feet and a white tip on the tail. The coat is thick, moderately long, and slightly wavy or straight. The broad, firm back; deep chest; well-sprung ribs; and strong loins advertise the Bernese as a breed well suited to hard work.
The Bernese Mountain Dog is an extremely hardy dog that thrives in cold weather. Bernese need but little daily grooming to look well kept, but they depend on human companionship for emotional development and overall well-being. Although they are generally low-energy dogs, Bernese are willing and quick learners, self-confident, and exceptionally faithful.
First brought to the United States in 1926, the breed achieved AKC recognition in 1937. The parent club, the Bernese Mountain Dog Club of America (BMDCA), was formed in 1968 and became an AKC member club in 1981. Draft and carting tests are sponsored by the BMDCA to test the natural ability of this breed for its working function.
Berner-Garde, an open health registry, was established in 1989 to safeguard the breed’s future. All Bernese Mountain Dog breeders and owners are encouraged to utilize it.
OFFICIAL STANDARD FOR THE BERNESE MOUNTAIN DOG
General Appearance—The Bernese Mountain Dog is a striking, tri-colored, large dog. He is sturdy and balanced. He is intelligent, strong and agile enough to do the draft and droving work for which he was used in the mountainous regions of his origin. Dogs appear masculine, while bitches are distinctly feminine.
Size, Proportion, Substance—Measured at the withers, dogs are 25 to 271⁄2 inches; bitches are 23 to 26 inches. Though appearing square, Bernese Mountain Dogs are slightly longer in body than they are tall. Sturdy bone is of great importance. The body is full.
Head—Expressionis intelligent, animated and gentle. The eyesare dark brown and slightly oval in shape with close-fitting eyelids. Inverted or everted eyelids are serious faults. Blue eye color is a disqualification. The ears are medium sized, set high, triangular in shape, gently rounded at the tip, and hang close to the head when in repose. When the Bernese Mountain Dog is alert, the ears are brought forward and raised at the base; the top of the ear is level with the top of the skull. The skull is flat on top and broad, with a slight furrow and a well-defined but not exaggerated stop. The muzzleis strong and straight. The nose is always black. The lips are clean and, as the Bernese Mountain Dog is a dry-mouthed breed, the flews are only slightly developed. The teeth meet in a scissors bite. An overshot or undershot bite is a serious fault. Dentition is complete.
Neck, Topline, Body—The neckis strong, muscular and of medium length. The toplineis level from the withers to the croup. The chest is deep and capacious with well-sprung, but not barrel-shaped, ribs and brisket reaching at least to the elbows. The back is broad and firm. The loinis strong. The croupis broad and smoothly rounded to the tail insertion. The tailis bushy. It should be carried low when in repose. An upward swirl is permissible when the dog is alert, but the tail may never curl or be carried over the back. The bones in the tail should feel straight and should reach to the hock joint or below. A kink in the tail is a fault.
Forequarters—The shoulders are moderately laid back, flat-lying, well-muscled and never loose. The legsare straight and strong and the elbowsare well under the shoulder when the dog is standing. The pasternsslope very slightly, but are never weak. Dewclawsmay be removed. The feetare round and compact with well-arched toes.
Hindquarters—The thighsare broad, strong and muscular. The stiflesare moderately bent and taper smoothly into the hocks. The hocksare well let down and straight as viewed from the rear. Dewclawsshould be removed. Feetare compact and turn neither in nor out.
Coat—The coat is thick, moderately long and slightly wavy or straight. It has a bright natural sheen. Extremely curly or extremely dull-looking coats are undesirable. The Bernese Mountain Dog is shown in natural coat and undue trimming is to be discouraged.
Color and Markings—The Bernese Mountain Dog is tri-colored. The ground color is jet black. The markings are rich rust and clear white. Symmetry of markings is desired. Rust appears over each eye, on the cheeks reaching to at least the corner of the mouth, on each side of the chest, on all four legs, and under the tail. There is a white blaze and muzzle band. A white marking on the chest typically forms an inverted cross. The tip of the tail is white. White on the feet is desired but must not extend higher than the pasterns. Markings other than described are to be faulted in direct relationship to the extent of the deviation. White legs or a white collar are serious faults. Any ground color other than black is a disqualification.
Gait—The natural working gait of the Bernese Mountain Dog is a slow trot. However, in keeping with his use in draft and droving work, he is capable of speed and agility. There is good reach in front. Powerful drive from the rear is transmitted through a level back. There is no wasted action. Front and rear legs on each side follow through in the same plane. At increased speed, legs tend to converge toward the center line.
Temperament—The temperament is self-confident, alert and good-natured, never sharp or shy. The Bernese Mountain Dog should stand steady, though may remain aloof to the attentions of strangers.
Blue eye color.
Any ground color other than black.
Approved February 10, 1990
Effective March 28, 1990
BLACK RUSSIAN TERRIER
THE BLACK RUSSIAN TERRIER (BRT) IS ONE OF THE NEWEST BREEDS IN the world, created after World War II and recognized by the Fédération Cynologique Internationale in 1984. (First a member of the FCI Terrier Group, the Black Russian Terrier was later moved into the Working Group because it is not a true terrier.)
Russia’s Central School of Cynology Specialists, founded in 1924, made a great contribution in development of canine science through its creation of Krasnaya Zvezda (“Red Star”), a kennel factory outside Moscow devoted to working dogs. The Black Terrier was cultivated at this facility.
World War II drastically decreased the number of working dogs in Russia, but demand for them at military installations, prisons, and other government sites remained high. The Soviets needed a powerful guard dog with a good sense of smell, a well-balanced nervous system, and the ability to withstand a wide range of climates.
Red Star set out to address these needs. The staff began a series of crossbreedings, giving special attention to such working breeds as the Rottweiler, Giant Schnauzer, and the Airedale Terrier, the basic ancestors of the Blackie. The result was large dogs with heavy bone and strong muscles. Their nervous systems were much more stable than the Schnauzer’s, and their reactions to situations were much quicker. The black color and long wire coats, with considerable amount of hair on face and legs, became inherited traits.
Offspring of the first and second generation were shown at the 1955 USSR Agricultural Exhibition. Many of those dogs received high grades from the judges. In 1957, forty-three Black Terriers were exhibited in All-USSR Working and Hunting Dog shows. They attracted the attention of dog lovers, and after Stalin’s death Red Star began selling puppies to be raised in private homes. This was the beginning of breeding BRTs in working-dog clubs all over the country.
Up to the 1990s, breeding of all working dogs had been under strict control of club specialists, who wrote the breeding plan for a whole year and a perspective plan for five years. The only dogs considered for breeding were those with very good to excellent ratings in conformation and which had passed obedience and protection trials. Many of the working dogs along with their owners were used in the community to assist police and to guard different sites.
The Black Russian Terrier gained attention at the World Show in Helsinki and started on its way to international attention. When you see a Blackie you will think of a Giant Schnauzer or a Bouvier des Flandres. The BRT is a large, strong, massive dog. The color is solid black, with some gray hairs on the back. It possesses a thick undercoat with a coarse, wavy guard hair on top. Soft, very curly hair is not acceptable. Sex type must be well expressed, males being much bigger and more masculine than females.
The BRT is a confident dog with a strong personality and a will of his own. He is very protective and willing to guard his house and family. He should be guided in the right direction in his early education, beginning from when he first enters his new home. If you have any doubt about your ability to handle a big, powerful, determined dog, or if you have never raised a dog before, it is in the best interest of all concerned to look for another breed that best fits your family needs. A well-trained BRT is a faithful and devoted family member whose personality will provide the right owner with years of enjoyment.
Since entering the AKC Working Group in July 2004, the Black Russian Terrier has gained popularity in the United States. The Black Russian Terrier Club of America was founded in 1994.
OFFICIAL STANDARD FOR THE BLACK RUSSIAN TERRIER
General Appearance—The Black Russian Terrier (BRT) is a robust, large and powerful dog. The dog has large bone and well-developed muscles. The breed was developed in Russia and used as guard dogs for protection. They must be balanced, have a good temperament and be reliable. The dogs have great courage and strength. They are capable of endurance. Dogs must have a large frame and heavy bone. Bitches are definitely to appear feminine but never lacking in substance.
Size, Proportion, Substance—Size—Dogs at maturity are between 27 inches and 30 inches. Bitches at maturity are to be between 26 and 29 inches. A deviation from the ideal height is to be faulted. Any dog or bitch under 26 inches is a disqualification. Proportion—The Black Russian Terrier is slightly longer than tall. The most desired proportions are 91⁄2 to 10. The length is measured from breastbone to rear edge of the pelvis.
Head—The head must be in proportion to the body. It should give the appearance of power and strength. Eyes—The eyes should be of medium size and dark. Eye rims are to be black without sagging or prominent haw. The eye is to be oval shaped. Light eyes are a serious fault. Ears—The ears are set high and are rather small and triangular in shape. The front edge of the ear should lie close to the cheek. The length of the ear should reach the outside corner of the eye. Ears set low on the skull are to be faulted. Cropped ears are not acceptable. The head should be powerfully built with a moderately broad and blocky skull. Viewed from the side it should appear balanced. The head is made of two parallel planes. The back skull to muzzle is measured from the corner of the eye. Occiput should be well developed. The muzzle should be slightly shorter than the back skull. The length of the muzzle to the back skull is approximately a ratio of 4:5. The forehead must be flat with a marked but not pronounced stop. The head of the male is distinctly masculine, and that of the bitch, distinctly feminine. Nose—The nose must be large and black. Disqualification—Nose other than black. Lips are full, tight and black. There are to be no flews. The gums have dark pigmentation. Black mark on the tongue is allowed. Teeth—The teeth are large and white. There should be full dentition. The incisors form a straight line at the base. The bite should be scissors. Any missing teeth are a serious fault. Undershot or overshot bites are a disqualification.
Neck, Topline, and Body—Neck—The neck should be thick, muscular and powerful. Length is not to be excessive. There should be no pendulous or excessive dewlap. The length of the neck and the length of the head should be approximately the same. An excessively thick neck is considered a fault. Body—The whole structure of the body should give the impression of strength. The chest is deep and wide. The shape should be oval and reach to the elbows or a little below. The withers are high, pronounced and well developed. The topline is level and straight. The loin is short. The abdomen is well tucked up and firm. Withers are higher than and sloping into the level back. Croup is wide, muscular, moderately long slightly sloping toward the high tail set. Tail is set high, thick and docked with 3 to 5 vertebrae left. An undocked tail is not to be penalized.
Forequarters—Shoulders should be large and muscular, well developed with blades broad and sloping. The shoulders should be well laid back. The angle between the shoulder blades and the upper arm is 100 to 110 degrees. Shoulders are well muscled. The forelegs are straight and well boned. The elbows must turn neither in nor out while standing or moving. The forelegs are straight and muscular. Pasterns are short and almost vertical. Length of the front leg to the elbow should be about 53 to 54 percent of the dog’s height. Feet are large, compact, and rounded in shape. The pads of the feet are thick and firm. Nails are short and dark. Rear dewclaws could be removed.
Hindquarters—Viewed from the rear the legs are straight and parallel, set slightly wider than the forelegs. The hindquarters are well boned and muscular with good angulation. The stifle is long and sloping. The thighs are muscular. The hocks are well let down, long and vertical when standing.
Coat—Tousled, double coat. The texture of the outer coat is coarse. The undercoat is thick and soft. Length of coat should vary from 11⁄2 to 4 inches and cover the entire body. It is a pronounced, tousled coat rather than wiry or curly.
Presentation—In the show ring, the dog’s outline is clearly defined. The dogs will be trimmed but should not appear to be sculpted. Ears—hair should be trimmed inside and outside the ear. The ears will lie flat to the side of the head. Forehead—Just behind the eyebrows the hair is to be shaved or cut very short so as to make what appears to be a platform. The rest of the forehead is trimmed so that the shorter hairs will blend with the longer hairs of the muzzle. This forms a “cap” which should help define length of backskull. Looking from the top of the head it should give the appearance of a “brick.” The fringe from the eyebrows is brushed forward and blends with the beard and muzzle. This blending of hair should look from the side like a “triangle.” Neck— The front of the neck from the throat to the point of shoulder should be shaved or scissored short. The hair on the back of the neck should appear to have a mane down to the withers. Topline is trimmed from the withers to the tail so that when viewed from the side it appears level. The hair from the back should then blend down the sides of the dog. It is stressed that there should be no distinct lines or scissors marks.
Color—The only acceptable colors for the Black Russian Terrier is black or black with a few gray hairs. Any other color is to be considered a disqualification.
Gait—A Black Russian Terrier should move freely with a smooth easy springy motion. The motion should be well-balanced and fluid. As the Black Russian Terrier moves faster the feet will converge toward a centerline. The topline should remain level.
Temperament—The character and temperament of the Black Russian Terrier is of utmost importance. The Black Russian Terrier is a calm, confident, and courageous dog with a self-assurance which sometimes is rather aloof toward strangers. They are highly intelligent, extremely reliable. They were bred to guard and protect. The behavior in the show ring should be controlled, willing, adaptable, and trained to submit to examination.
Any dog or bitch under 26 inches.
Nose other than black.
Undershot or overshot bite.
Any color other than black.
Approved June 11, 2001
Effective September 1, 2001
THE BOXER WE KNOW TODAY IS A PRODUCT OF MANY GENERATIONS OF selective breeding. Although as early as 2500 B.C. the breed’s progenitors in Assyria were heavily built, short-muzzled, courageous dogs, the modern Boxer was largely defined in Germany in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
The Boxer itself was developed from stocky Bullenbeissers (“bull biters”), which were held in great esteem. According to one authority, “Throughout the Middle Ages, the Bullenbeisser was Germany’s only hunting hound.” They were used to run down, catch, and hold fierce wild game—boar, bear, and bison. The Bullenbeisser had a wide, short muzzle that distinguished the breed from all others, both then and now. After the Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) many of Germany’s ducal estates were broken up and hunting became a less popular pursuit among the gentry. The last recorded boar hunt was held at Kurhesser Courts in 1865, after which the hunting dogs were sold.
During the time that hunting was declining in popularity, the English exported a dog to Germany they called a Bulldog, which actually resembled a small Mastiff, square in proportion and with long legs. Seventy years later, some of the pioneering Boxer breeders in Germany used two descendants of these Bulldogs in their breeding programs. These descendants, Trutzel and Tom, appear in the pedigrees of early German Boxers.
It becomes evident that in selecting for type and function, German breeders were developing a smaller and lighter dog from the heavy dogs of the purest old Bullenbeisser lines. Though it has been conjectured that the breed resulted from crosses with several other breeds, the mastifflike English Bulldog seems likely to be the only significant cross. Through ensuing generations, the Boxer evolved to satisfy some very specific needs of late–nineteenth century human society.
Bullbaiting, a terribly cruel pursuit, was considered great sport in early-nineteenth century England. A dog was encouraged to attack and hang on to the bull’s nose, no matter what the consequences. Dogs were kicked, tossed, and killed, and the bulls were terrified and exhausted. Of course, wagering accompanied these events, and a good bull baiter was prized by owner and gallery alike. There are a number of contemporary etchings and lithographs (by Henry Alken, most notably) that recorded these events, popular throughout England, Germany, and elsewhere in Europe. Mercifully, bullbaiting was eventually outlawed.
It is not surprising that a dog used to bait bulls would be adopted into the households of cattle dealers and butchers, and Boxers saw duty as cattle dogs because of their success with bulls. Even today, on America’s western plains, there are ranchers who use Boxers to control cattle. The breed also gained favor as an excellent circus performer—obedient, extremely intelligent, and agile.
German pioneers who developed the Boxer were careful and conscientious. They recorded their efforts in studbooks and formalized their work in 1896 by founding the first German club devoted to the breed, the Deutsche Boxer Club, in Munich. Other clubs followed, and the first German breed standard was written and adopted in 1902. No one is quite sure how the name Boxer arose, but conjecture suggests that it may have something to do with the characteristic playing gestures using the front feet, still a hallmark of the breed.
The first AKC Boxer was registered in 1904, the first championship was earned in 1915, and the American Boxer Club was formed in 1935. In the ensuing years we have witnessed great popularity of the breed as a guard and companion, one especially devoted to children. The Boxer’s noble appearance may tend to camouflage great muscular strength and power, as the breed has been called the “middleweight athlete of dogdom.”
High intelligence is not conducive to slavish obedience—the Boxer always wants to know why. During both world wars, Boxers served as military-service and courier dogs. They were one of the pioneering breeds for guiding the blind, and they are used in many avenues of modern police work. Many Boxers have proven to be uncanny seizure-alert dogs. Although they possess the unique ability to mirror the moods of their owners, Boxers are quintessentially playful into oldest age, being bold, exuberant, and utterly loyal to the family they adore.
OFFICIAL STANDARD FOR THE BOXER
General Appearance—The ideal Boxer is a medium-sized, square-built dog of good substance with short back, strong limbs, and short, tight-fitting coat. His well-developed muscles are clean, hard, and appear smooth under taut skin. His movements denote energy. The gait is firm yet elastic, the stride free and ground-covering, the carriage proud. Developed to serve as guard, working, and companion dog, he combines strength and agility with elegance and style. His expression is alert and his temperament steadfast and tractable.
The chiseled head imparts to the Boxer a unique individual stamp. It must be in correct proportion to the body. The broad, blunt muzzle is the distinctive feature, and great value is placed upon its being of proper form and balance with the skull.
In judging the Boxer, first consideration is given to general appearance and overall balance. Special attention is then devoted to the head, after which the individual body components are examined for their correct construction and the gait evaluated for efficiency.
Size—Adult males, 23 to 25 inches; females, 211⁄2 to 231⁄2 inches at the withers. Proper balance and quality in the individual should be of primary importance since there is no size disqualification.
Proportion—The body in profile is square in that a horizontal line from the front of the forechest to the rear projection of the upper thigh should equal the length of a vertical line dropped from the top of the withers to the ground.
Substance—Sturdy, with balanced musculature. Males larger boned than females.
Head—The beauty of the head depends upon the harmonious proportion of muzzle to skull. The blunt muzzle is 1⁄3 the length of the head from the occiput to the tip of the nose, and 2⁄3 the width of the skull. The head should be clean, not showing deep wrinkles (wet). Wrinkles typically appear upon the forehead when ears are erect, and are always present from the lower edge of the stop running downward on both sides of the muzzle.
Expression—Intelligent and alert.
Eyes—Dark brown in color, frontally placed, generous, not too small, too protruding, or too deep set. Their mood-mirroring character, combined with the wrinkling of the forehead, gives the Boxer head its unique quality of expressiveness. Third eyelids preferably have pigmented rims.
Ears—Set at the highest points of the sides of the skull, the ears are customarily cropped, cut rather long and tapering, and raised when alert. If uncropped, the ears should be of moderate size, thin, lying flat and close to the cheeks in repose, but falling forward with a definite crease when alert.
Skull—The top of the skull is slightly arched, not rounded, flat, nor noticeably broad, with the occiput not overly pronounced. The forehead shows a slight indentation between the eyes and forms a distinct stop with the topline of the muzzle. The cheeks should be relatively flat and not bulge (cheekiness), maintaining the clean lines of the skull as they taper into the muzzle in a slight, graceful curve.
Muzzle and Nose—The muzzle, proportionately developed in length, width, and depth, has a shape influenced first through the formation of both jawbones, second through the placement of the teeth, and third through the texture of the lips. The top of the muzzle should not slant down (down-faced), nor should it be concave (dish-faced); however, the tip of the nose should lie slightly higher than the root of the muzzle. The nose should be broad and black.
Bite and Jaw Structure—The Boxer bite is undershot, the lower jaw protruding beyond the upper and curving slightly upward. The incisor teeth of the lower jaw are in a straight line, with the canines preferably up front in the same line to give the jaw the greatest possible width. The upper line of the incisors is slightly convex with the corner upper incisors fitting snugly in back of the lower canine teeth on each side. Neither the teeth nor the tongue should ever show when the mouth is closed.
The upper jaw is broad where attached to the skull and maintains this breadth, except for a very slight tapering to the front. The lips, which complete the formation of the muzzle, should meet evenly in front. The upper lip is thick and padded, filling out the frontal space created by the projection of the lower jaw, and laterally is supported by the canines of the lower jaw. Therefore, these canines must stand far apart and be of good length so that the front surface of the muzzle is broad and squarish and, when viewed from the side, shows moderate layback. The chin should be perceptible from the side as well as from the front. Any suggestion of an overlip obscuring the chin should be penalized.
Neck—Round, of ample length, muscular and clean without excessive hanging skin (dewlap). The neck should have a distinctly arched and elegant nape blending smoothly into the withers.
Back and Topline—The back is short, straight, muscular, firm, and smooth. The topline is slightly sloping when the Boxer is at attention, leveling out when in motion.
Body—The chest is of fair width, and the forechest well-defined and visible from the side. The brisket is deep, reaching down to the elbows; the depth of the body at the lowest point of the brisket equals half the height of the dog at the withers. The ribs, extending far to the rear, are well arched but not barrel shaped.
The loins are short and muscular. The lower stomach line is slightly tucked up, blending into a graceful curve to the rear. The croup is slightly sloped, flat and broad. The pelvis is long, and in females especially broad. The tail is set high, docked, and carried upward. An undocked tail should be severely penalized.
Forequarters—The shoulders are long and sloping, close-lying, and not excessively covered with muscle (loaded). The upper arm is long, approaching a right angle to the shoulder blade. The elbows should not press too closely to the chest wall nor stand off visibly from it. The forelegs are long, straight, and firmly muscled, and, when viewed from the front, stand parallel to each other. The pastern is strong and distinct, slightly slanting, but standing almost perpendicular to the ground. The dewclaws may be removed. Feet should be compact, turning neither in nor out, with well-arched toes.
Hindquarters—The hindquarters are strongly muscled, with angulation in balance with that of the forequarters. The thighs are broad and curved, the breech musculature hard and strongly developed. Upper and lower thigh are long. The legs are well-angulated at the stifle, neither too steep nor over-angulated, with clearly defined, well “let down” hock joints. Viewed from behind, the hind legs should be straight, with hock joints leaning neither in nor out. From the side, the leg below the hock (metatarsus) should be almost perpendicular to the ground, with a slight slope to the rear permissible. The metatarsus should be short, clean, and strong. The Boxer has no rear dewclaws.
Coat—Short, shiny, lying smooth and tight to the body.
Color—The colors are fawn and brindle. Fawn shades vary from light tan to mahogany. The brindle ranges from sparse but clearly defined black stripes on a fawn background to such a heavy concentration of black striping that the essential fawn background color barely, although clearly, shows through (which may create the appearance of reverse brindling). White markings, if present, should be of such distribution as to enhance the dog’s appearance, but may not exceed one-third of the entire coat. They are not desirable on the flanks or on the back of the torso proper. On the face, white may replace part of the otherwise essential black mask, and may extend in an upward path between the eyes, but it must not be excessive, so as to detract from true Boxer expression. The absence of white markings, the so-called “plain” fawn or brindle, is perfectly acceptable, and should not be penalized in any consideration of color.
Disqualifications—Boxers that are any color other than fawn or brindle. Boxers with a total of white markings exceeding one-third of the entire coat.
Gait—Viewed from the side, proper front and rear angulation is manifested in a smoothly efficient, level-backed, ground covering stride with a powerful drive emanating from a freely operating rear. Although the front legs do not contribute impelling power, adequate reach should be evident to prevent interference, overlap, or sidewinding (crabbing). Viewed from the front, the shoulders should remain trim and the elbows not flare out. The legs are parallel until gaiting narrows the track in proportion to increasing speed, then the legs come in under the body but should never cross. The line from the shoulder down through the leg should remain straight although not necessarily perpendicular to the ground. Viewed from the rear, a Boxer’s rump should not roll. The hind feet should dig in and track relatively true with the front. Again, as speed increases, the normally broad rear track will become narrower. The Boxer’s gait should always appear smooth and powerful, never stilted or inefficient.
Character and Temperament—These are of paramount importance in the Boxer. Instinctively a hearing guard dog, his bearing is alert, dignified, and self-assured. In the show ring his behavior should exhibit constrained animation. With family and friends, his temperament is fundamentally playful, yet patient and stoical with children. Deliberate and wary with strangers, he will exhibit curiosity, but, most importantly, fearless courage if threatened. However, he responds promptly to friendly overtures honestly rendered. His intelligence, loyal affection, and tractability to discipline make him a highly desirable companion. Any evidence of shyness, or lack of dignity or alertness, should be severely penalized.
The foregoing description is that of the ideal Boxer. Any deviation fromthe above-described dog must be penalized to the extent of the deviation.
Boxers that are any color other than fawn or brindle.
Boxers with a total of white markings exceeding one-third of the entire coat.
Approved February 11, 2005
Effective March 30, 2005
THE KNOWN HISTORY OF THE BULLMASTIFF BEGINS ABOUT THE YEAR 1860 in England. It is probable that the breed is really centuries old, but proof is scarce.
Toward the end of the nineteenth century, keeping Britain’s large estates and game preserves free from the depredations of poachers was an acute problem. Penalties were severe, yet poaching seemed impossible to eradicate by mere laws. Accordingly, the gamekeeper’s life was anything but safe. Poachers would often prefer to shoot it out with the keeper on the chance of escape rather than accept the penalties that they would incur upon apprehension.
It is not surprising, therefore, that the gamekeepers enlisted the aid of the greatest protector nature has given to man—the dog. These men cared nothing for the looks of a dog as long as he served them well. Numerous breeds were therefore tried. The Mastiff, courageous and powerful, was not fast enough and not sufficiently aggressive. The Bulldog—big, strong, and active in those days—was a trifle too ferocious and not large enough for their needs. These men wanted dogs that would remain silent at the approach of poachers. They needed fearless dogs that would attack on command. They wanted the poachers thrown and held, but not mauled. For these needs, they crossed Mastiff and Bulldog, and from this utilitarian birth, the Bullmastiff was founded.
Inevitably came the rivalry between keepers as to the quality of their dogs. Inevitably, also, came the breeding to and from outstanding performers of their time—a true survival of the fittest. For many years, then, after the birth of the breed, its history was wholly a utilitarian one. The only contests in which the Bull-mastiffs engaged were against man, either on the moor or in demonstrations. In those days the Bullmastiff was known sometimes by his present name, but more often as the “Gamekeeper’s Night-Dog.”
During the breed’s early years, we find interesting references by contemporary writers. From the book Dog Breaking, published in 1885: “Bulldogs have good noses. I have known of the cross between them and the Mastiff being taught to follow the scent of a man almost as truly as a Bloodhound.” In The Field, August 20, 1901, we find the following:
Mr. Burton of Thorneywood Kennels brought to the show one Night-Dog (not for competition) and offered any person one pound who could escape from it while securely muzzled. One of the spectators who had had experience with dogs volunteered and amused a large assembly of sportsmen and keepers who had gathered there. The man was given a long start and the muzzled dog slipped after him. The animal caught him immediately and knocked down this man the first spring. The latter bravely tried to hold his own, but was floored every time he got on his feet, ultimately being kept to the ground until the owner of the dog released him. The man had three rounds with the powerful canine, but was beaten each time and was unable to escape.
For this type of work, dogs of a dark brindle color were preferred owing to their lack of visibility. It was inevitable, however, that as the breed gained in popularity and true Mastiff blood was used, a large number of light fawns should appear. With the gradual disappearance of poaching and the continued demand for Bull-mastiffs as guards and watchdogs, this color became popular. The black mask and densely colored ears were often inherited from the Mastiff.
Finally, owing to the increasing popularity of the breed, a number of pioneers started, on a scientific basis, to breed to type in an effort to set a goal which purebred dog breeders might seek. This type finally became sufficiently distinct for The Kennel Club (England) to grant recognition of the Bullmastiff as a purebred dog in 1924. At this time The Kennel Club differentiated between the Bullmastiff, crossbred, and the Bullmastiff, purebred, the latter being, of necessity, the descendant of three generations of dogs which were neither pure Mastiff nor pure Bulldog. Classes were then provided at a few shows and the dogs were finally awarded Challenge Certificates in 1928. In time the breed became known in many countries, exported to Siam, India, the Federated Malay States, Africa, and America. The short coat has proved convenient in warm climates, and yet the dog can live in the open in inclement weather.
The AKC granted recognition to the Bullmastiff in October 1933, and since then the breed has made numerous friends in this country.
OFFICIAL STANDARD FOR THE BULLMASTIFF
General Appearance—That of a symmetrical animal, showing great strength, endurance, and alertness; powerfully built but active. The foundation breeding was 60% Mastiff and 40% Bulldog. The breed was developed in England by gamekeepers for protection against poachers.
Size, Proportion, Substance—Size—Dogs, 25 to 27 inches at the withers, and 110 to 130 pounds weight. Bitches, 24 to 26 inches at the withers, and 100 to 120 pounds weight. Other things being equal, the more substantial dog within these limits is favored. Proportion— The length from tip of breastbone to rear of thigh exceeds the height from withers to ground only slightly, resulting in a nearly square appearance.
Head—Expression—Keen, alert, and intelligent. Eyes—Dark and of medium size. Ears—V-shaped and carried close to the cheeks, set on wide and high, level with occiput and cheeks, giving a square appearance to the skull; darker in color than the body and medium in size. Skull—Large, with a fair amount of wrinkle when alert; broad, with cheeks well developed. Forehead flat. Stop—Moderate. Muzzle—Broad and deep; its length, in comparison with that of the entire head, approximately as 1 is to 3. Lack of foreface with nostrils set on top of muzzle is a reversion to the Bulldog and is very undesirable. A dark muzzle is preferable. Nose—Black, with nostrils large and broad. Flews—Not too pendulous. Bite—Preferably level or slightly undershot. Canine teeth large and set wide apart.
Neck, Topline, Body—Neck—Slightly arched, of moderate length, very muscular, and almost equal in circumference to the skull. Topline—Straight and level between withers and loin. Body—Compact. Chest wide and deep, with ribs well sprung and well set down between the forelegs. Back—Short, giving the impression of a well balanced dog. Loin—Wide, muscular, and slightly arched, with fair depth of flank. Tail—Set on high, strong at the root, and tapering to the hocks. It may be straight or curved, but never carried hound fashion.
Forequarters—Shoulders—Muscular but not loaded, and slightly sloping. Forelegs—Straight, well boned, and set well apart; elbows turned neither in nor out. Pasterns straight, feet of medium size, with round toes well arched. Pads thick and tough, nails black.
Hindquarters—Broad and muscular, with well developed second thigh denoting power, but not cumbersome. Moderate angulation at hocks. Cowhocks and splay feet are serious faults.
Coat—Short and dense, giving good weather protection.
Color—Red, fawn, or brindle. Except for a very small white spot on the chest, white marking is considered a fault.
Gait—Free, smooth, and powerful. When viewed from the side, reach and drive indicate maximum use of the dog’s moderate angulation. Back remains level and firm. Coming and going, the dog moves in a straight line. Feet tend to converge under the body, without crossing over, as speed increases. There is no twisting in or out at the joints.
Temperament—Fearless and confident yet docile. The dog combines the reliability, intelligence, and willingness to please required in a dependable family companion and protector.
Approved February 8, 1992
Effective March 31, 1992
WITH ITS ROOTS SOMEWHAT OBSCURE, THE DOBERMAN PINSCHER BECAME within a comparatively short time a dog of fixed type, whose characteristics of both body and spirit have extended its popularity in many lands. Originating in Apolda, in Thueringen, Germany, around 1890, the breed was officially recognized in 1900. It takes its name from Louis Dobermann, of Apolda.
Of medium size and clean-cut appearance, the dog at first glance does not give evidence of its great muscular power. So compact is its structure, so dense the laying on of muscle under the short coat, and so elegant and well-chiseled the outline, that the novice would probably underestimate the weight by 15 to 20 pounds. Weight is the only particular, however, in which the Doberman is deceptive. Its qualities of alertness, agility, muscularity, and temperamental fire stand patent for any eye to see. It is an honest dog, uncamouflaged by superfluous coat or the wiles of the artful conditioner. One gains at once the impression of sinewy nimbleness, of the quick coordination of the well-trained athlete.
There is also an air of nobility about the Doberman Pinscher that is part of its birthright. More than most other breeds, it gives the impression of a blue-blooded animal, or aristocrat. From the strong muzzle and wedge-shaped head to the clearly defined stifle, the outline is definite and sharply etched. The fearless and inquisitive expression of the dark eye is in harmony with the bodily characteristics. The Doberman looks upon the stranger boldly and judges him with unerring instinct. He is ready, if need be, to give prompt alarm and to back his warning with defense of his master and his master’s goods. Yet he is affectionate, obedient, and loyal.
Traditionally compounded of the old shorthaired shepherd-dog stock, with admixtures of Rottweiler, Black and Tan Terrier, and smooth-haired German Pinscher, the Doberman has been fortunate, with the aid of selective breeding, to have absorbed the good qualities of the breeds which have contributed to its heritage. It has been from the beginning a working dog devoted to the service of mankind.
The properly bred and trained Doberman has proved itself as friend and guardian. As it developed, its qualities of intelligence and ability to absorb and retain training brought it into demand as a police and war dog. In this service its agility and courage make it highly prized. An excellent nose adapted the dog to criminal trailing; it has also led to its use as a hunting dog.
In the United States the breed’s popularity has been fostered by the Doberman Pinscher Club of America, which was founded in February 1921.
OFFICIAL STANDARD FOR THE DOBERMAN PINSCHER
General Appearance—The appearance is that of a dog of medium size, with a body that is square. Compactly built, muscular and powerful, for great endurance and speed. Elegant in appearance, of proud carriage, reflecting great nobility and temperament. Energetic, watchful, determined, alert, fearless, loyal and obedient.
Size, Proportion, Substance—Height at the withers: Dogs 26 to 28 inches, ideal about 271⁄2 inches; Bitches 24 to 26 inches, ideal about 251⁄2 inches. The height, measured vertically from the ground to the highest point of the withers, equaling the length measured horizontally from the forechest to the rear projection of the upper thigh. Length of head, neck and legs in proportion to length and depth of body.
Head—Long and dry, resembling a blunt wedge in both frontal and profile views. When seen from the front, the head widens gradually toward the base of the ears in a practically unbroken line. Eyes almond shaped, moderately deep-set, with vigorous, energetic expression. Iris, of uniform color, ranging from medium to darkest brown in black dogs; in reds, blues, and fawns the color of the iris blends with that of the markings, the darkest shade being preferable in every case. Ears normally cropped and carried erect. The upper attachment of the ear, when held erect, is on a level with the top of the skull.
Top of skull flat, turning with slight stop to bridge of muzzle, with muzzle line extending parallel to topline of skull. Cheeks flat and muscular. Nose solid black on black dogs, dark brown on red ones, dark gray on blue ones, dark tan on fawns. Lips lying close to jaws. Jaws full and powerful, well filled under the eyes.
Teeth strongly developed and white. Lower incisors upright and touching inside of upper incisors—a true scissors bite. 42 correctly placed teeth, 22 in the lower, 20 in the upper jaw. Distemper teeth shall not be penalized. Disqualifying Faults: Overshot more than 3 ⁄16 of an inch. Undershot more than 1⁄8 of an inch. Four or more missing teeth.
Neck, Topline, Body—Neck—proudly carried, well muscled and dry. Well arched, with nape of neck widening gradually toward body. Length of neck proportioned to body and head. Withers pronounced and forming the highest point of the body. Back short, firm, of sufficient width, and muscular at the loins, extending in a straight line from withers to the slightly rounded croup.
Chest broad with forechest well defined. Ribs well sprung from the spine, but flattened in lower end to permit elbow clearance. Brisket reaching deep to the elbow. Belly well tucked-up, extending in a curved line from the brisket. Loins wide and muscled. Hips broad and in proportion to body, breadth of hips being approximately equal to breadth of body at rib cage and shoulders. Tail docked at approximately second joint, appears to be a continuation of the spine, and is carried only slightly above the horizontal when the dog is alert.
Forequarters—Shoulder Blade—sloping forward and downward at a 45-degree angle to the ground meets the upper arm at an angle of 90 degrees. Length of shoulder blade and upper arm are equal. Height from elbow to withers approximately equals height from ground to elbow. Legs seen from front and side, perfectly straight and parallel to each other from elbow to pastern; muscled and sinewy, with heavy bone. In normal pose and when gaiting, the elbows lie close to the brisket. Pasterns firm and almost perpendicular to the ground. Dewclaws may be removed. Feet well arched, compact, and catlike, turning neither in nor out.
Hindquarters—The angulation of the hindquarters balances that of the forequarters. Hip Bone falls away from spinal column at an angle of about 30 degrees, producing a slightly rounded, well filled-out croup. Upper Shanks at right angles to the hip bones, are long, wide, and well muscled on both sides of thigh, with clearly defined stifles. Upper and lower shanks are of equal length. While the dog is at rest, hock to heel is perpendicular to the ground. Viewed from the rear, the legs are straight, parallel to each other, and wide enough apart to fit in with a properly built body. Dewclaws, if any, are generally removed. Cat feet as on front legs, turning neither in nor out.
Coat—Smooth-haired, short, hard, thick and close lying. Invisible gray undercoat on neck permissible.
Color and Markings—Allowed Colors: Black, red, blue, and fawn (Isabella). Markings: Rust, sharply defined, appearing above each eye and on muzzle, throat and forechest, on all legs and feet, and below tail. White patch on chest, not exceeding 1⁄2 inch square, permissible. Disqualifying Fault: Dogs not of an allowed color.
Gait—Free, balanced and vigorous, with good reach in the forequarters and good driving power in the hindquarters. When trotting, there is strong rear-action drive. Each rear leg moves in line with the foreleg on the same side. Rear and front legs are thrown neither in nor out. Back remains strong and firm. When moving at a fast trot, a properly built dog will single-track.
Temperament—Energetic, watchful, determined, alert, fearless, loyal and obedient. The judge shall dismiss from the ring any shy or vicious Doberman.
Shyness: A dog shall be judged fundamentally shy if, refusing to stand for examination, it shrinks away from the judge; if it fears an approach from the rear; if it shies at sudden and unusual noises to a marked degree.
Viciousness: A dog that attacks or attempts to attack either the judge or its handler, is definitely vicious. An aggressive or belligerent attitude toward other dogs shall not be deemed viciousness.
The foregoing description is that of the ideal Doberman Pinscher. Any deviation from the abovedescribed dog must be penalized to the extent of the deviation.
Overshot more than 3⁄16 of an inch, undershot more than 1⁄8 of an inch. Four or more miss-
Dogs not of an allowed color.
Approved February 6, 1982
Reformatted November 6, 1990
THE GERMAN PINSCHER—A MEDIUM-SIZED, SHORT-COATED, MUSCULAR, and powerful working dog—originated in Germany and was officially recognized as a distinct breed in 1895. The first breed standard was written in 1884 and revised in 1895. At that time, coat colors were quite varied. Today, acceptable colors are shades of red, black with red markings, blue with tan markings, and fawn.
The German Pinscher was one of the foundation breeds in the development of the Doberman Pinscher and Miniature Pinscher breeds in Germany during the late 1800s. Both German Pinschers and Standard Schnauzers, which were also being bred for coat type at that time, are descendants of the Rat Catcher, Great Rattler, or Rat Pinscher, which became extinct in the 1800s.
The German Pinscher is a dog selectively bred to be territorial and protective, and to seek out and kill vermin. This is a working breed and, as with many members of this group, they work independently of man.
The breed came close to extinction following both world wars. Only one litter was whelped in West Germany in 1949, and no litters were born for nine years thereafter. Werner Jung saved the breed in West Germany in 1958 with a dedicated breeding program.
The German Pinscher excels as a home guardian. He generally accepts friends of the family but is wary of strangers and warns them with a strong voice. As for the intruder or attacker: Beware!
The German Pinscher insists on being part of the family and its activities, and does not do well as an outside dog. He is a wonderful companion because of his devotion to his human family. But children must be taught to respect these independent-thinking dogs, and adults should supervise interactions between them. The German Pinscher is a high-energy dog who loves to play, and he requires a lot of exercise. A fenced yard is necessary for an unsupervised dog.
From its strong terrier background, the German Pinscher is strong willed, determined, manipulative, and assertive, and can be possessive of his owner. Willing learners and highly intelligent, German Pinschers make wonderful companions with firm but gentle and consistent discipline. Early and frequent socialization that includes obedience training is strongly encouraged. They are long-lived and keep their puppy playfulness well into adulthood. German Pinschers love to travel and enjoy adventure in any form. Their elegant looks can be maintained with minimal grooming.
The German Pinscher was admitted to the AKC Working Group in 2001.
OFFICIAL STANDARD FOR THE GERMAN PINSCHER
General Appearance—The German Pinscher is a medium size, short coated dog, elegant in appearance with a strong square build and moderate body structure, muscular and powerful for endurance and agility. Energetic, watchful, alert, agile, fearless, determined, intelligent and loyal, the German Pinscher has the prerequisites to be an excellent watchdog and companion. The German Pinscher is examined on the ground.
Size, Proportion, Substance—Size—the ideal height at the highest point of the withers for a dog or bitch is 17–20 inches. Size should be penalized in accordance with the degree it deviates from the ideal. Quality should always take precedence over size. Faults— under 17 inches or over 20 inches. Proportion—squarely built in proportion of body length to height. The height at the highest point of the withers equals the length of the body from the point of the shoulder to the rump. Substance—muscular with moderate bone.
Head and Skull—Powerful, elongated without the occiput being too pronounced and resembles a blunt wedge in both frontal and profile views. The total length of the head from the tip of the nose to the occiput is one half the length from the withers to the base of the tail resulting in a ration of approximately 1:2. Expression—sharp, alert and responsive. Eyes—medium size, dark, oval in shape without the appearance of bulging. The eyelid is tight and the eyeball non-protruding. Ears—set high, symmetrical, and carried erect when cropped. If uncropped, they are V-shaped with a folding pleat, or small standing ears carried evenly upright. Skull—flat, unwrinkled from occiput to stop. The stop is slight but distinct. Muzzle—parallel and equal in length to the topskull and ends in a blunt wedge. The cheeksare muscled and flat. Nose—full and black. Lips—black, close fitting. Bite—strong, scissors bite with complete dentition and white teeth. Faults—overshot or undershot bites, absence of primary molars.
Neck, Topline, Body—Neck—elegant and strong, of moderate thickness and length, nape elegantly arched. The skin is tight, closely fitting to the dry throat without wrinkles, sagging, or dewlaps. Topline—is not perfectly level when standing naturally, but should have a slight descending slope from the top of the wither to the start of the back, with a very slight rise over the well-muscled loin to the faintly curved croup. Back—short and close coupled. Faults—long back not giving the appearance of squarely built, roach back and sway back. Body—compact, strong, short coupled so as to permit greater flexibility and agility. Loin—the distance between the last rib to the haunch is short, giving the dog a compact, short coupled appearance. Chest—moderately wide with well-sprung ribs, and if could be seen in cross-section would be oval. The breastbone is prominently constructed through the forechest and extends over the height of the point of shoulder. The brisket descends to the elbows and ascends gradually to the rear with the belly moderately drawn up. Fault—excessive tuck up. Tail— moderately set and carried above the horizontal. Customarily docked between the second and third joints.
Forequarters—The sloping shoulder blades are strongly muscled, yet flat and well laid back. They are well angled and slope forward to the point they join the upper arm. Such angulation permits the maximum forward extension of the forelegs without binding or effort. Forelegs—straight and well boned, perfectly vertical when viewed from all sides, set moderately apart with elbows set close to the body. Dewclaws on the forelegs may be removed. Pasterns—firm and almost perpendicular to the ground. Feet—short, round, compact with firm dark pads and dark nails. The toes well closed and arched like cat feet.
Hindquarters—The thighs are strongly muscled and in balance with forequarters. The hocks are well bent and well boned, with good angulation. When viewed from the rear, the hocks are parallel to each other.
Coat—Short and dense, smooth and close lying. Shiny and covers the body without bald spots. A hard coat should not be penalized.
Color—Isabella (fawn), to red in various shades to stag red (red with intermingling of black hairs), black and blues with red/tan markings. In the reds, a rich vibrant medium to dark shade is preferred. In bi-colored dogs, sharply marked dark and rich red/tan markings are desirable. Markings distributed as follows: at cheeks, lips, lower jaw, above eyes, at throat, on forechest as two triangles distinctly separated from each other, at metatarus or pasterns, forelegs, feet, inner side of hind legs and vent region. Pencil marks on the toes are acceptable. Any white markings on the dog are undesirable. A few white hairs do not constitute a marking.
Gait—Strong, free, well-balanced gait, with good reach in front and strong drive behind. At the trot the back remains firm and level, without swaying, rolling, or roaching. When viewed from the rear, the feet, though they may appear to travel close, must not cross or strike each other. Fault—hackney gait.
Temperament—The German Pinscher has highly developed senses, intelligence, aptitude for training, fearlessness, endurance and resistance to illness. He is alert, vigilant, deliberate and watchful of strangers. He has fearless courage and tenacity if threatened. A very vivacious dog but not an excessive barker. He should not show viciousness by unwarranted or unprovoked attack. Note—Great consideration should be given to a dog giving the desired alert, highly intelligent, vivacious character of the German Pinscher. Aggressive behavior toward another dog is not deemed viciousness. Fault—shy.
The foregoing description is that of the ideal German Pinscher. Any deviation from this is to be penalized to the extent of the deviation.
Approved June 12, 2000
Effective March 1, 2001
FEW NATIONS HAVE BEEN MORE PROLIFIC IN THEIR DEVELOPMENT OF NEW breeds of dog than the Germanic peoples. Not only have they evinced rare patience in tracing ancestries, but they have proven their ability to fix type. One of the most notable examples of their breeding skill is the Schnauzer, for here is a dog not only brought to splendid physical conformation and keen mental development, but reproduced in three distinct sizes. The one under consideration here is the Riesenschnauzer—the Giant.
It is important to realize that the Miniature, the Standard, and the Giant Schnauzers are three separate and distinct breeds. Schnauzer breeding has been remarkable in that it has produced, from various sources that intermingled only in rare instances, if at all, three breeds which have developed toward one comparable standard of perfection.
Of the three, the dog now known in America as the Standard Schnauzer, which is the medium-sized specimen, is without doubt the oldest. He is the one apparently portrayed in paintings by Dürer, dating from 1492, and he is also the one of the Nachtwächter-Brunnen, the statue of a night watchman and his dog erected in a square in Stuttgart, Württemberg, in 1620. These instances are important only as they indicate the antiquity of the type of dog perfected at those dates and still retained today.
In unearthing the history of this breed it must be remembered that occupations of men had a great deal to do with all development in dogs. There were no dog shows in those days, and when a new breed was produced, it was aimed at a specific work. Also, its characteristics were governed to large extent by weather and living conditions.
All Schnauzers had their origin in the neighboring kingdoms of Württemberg and Bavaria. These are agricultural sections where the raising of sheep, cattle, and other livestock has been a major occupation for years. Since railroads were not known, sheep and cattle had to be driven to market, which meant that dogs were necessary to help the shepherds.
There is little doubt that when Bavarian cattlemen went to Stuttgart they came across the medium-sized Schnauzer. Here was a dog to catch anyone’s attention, for even then it was sound, while it showed power throughout its trim lines. The Bavarians liked the dog, but they were not satisfied with its size. The sheepmen could use this size of dog, but the drovers needed a larger specimen for cattle.
The first attempts to produce a drover’s dog on terrier lines, with a wiry coat, were no doubt by crossings between the medium-sized Schnauzer and some of the smooth-coated driving and dairymen’s dogs then in existence. Later there were crossings with the rough-haired sheepdogs, and much later, with the black Great Dane. There is also reason to believe that the Giant Schnauzer is closely related to the Bouvier des Flandres, which was the driving dog of Flanders.
For many years the Giant Schnauzer was called the Münchener, and it was widely known as a great cattle and driving dog. Von Stephanitz places its origin as Swabia—in the south of Bavaria, and it was found in a state of perfection in the region between Munich and Augsburg.
The Giant Schnauzer was practically unknown outside of Bavaria until nearly the end of the first decade of this century. Cattle-driving was then a thing of the past, but the breed was still found in the hands of butchers, at stockyards, and at breweries. The breweries maintained the dogs as guards, at which duty they were preeminently successful.
Not until just before World War I did the Giant Schnauzer begin to come to nationwide attention in Germany as a suitable subject to receive police training at the schools in Berlin and other principal cities. He proved such an intelligent pupil that police work has been his main occupation since that time. His progress in this capacity in the United States has been very slow. Making his appearance here at the time when the German Shepherd was reaching its peak, the Bavarian dog had little chance to make headway against such well-established, direct competition.
OFFICIAL STANDARD FOR THE GIANT SCHNAUZER
General Description—The Giant Schnauzer should resemble, as nearly as possible, in general appearance, a larger and more powerful version of the Standard Schnauzer, on the whole a bold and valiant figure of a dog. Robust, strongly built, nearly square in proportion of body length to height at withers, active, sturdy, and well muscled. Temperament which combines spirit and alertness with intelligence and reliability. Composed, watchful, courageous, easily trained, deeply loyal to family, playful, amiable in repose, and a commanding figure when aroused. The sound, reliable temperament, rugged build, and dense weather-resistant wiry coat make for one of the most useful, powerful, and enduring working breeds.
Head—Strong, rectangular in appearance, and elongated; narrowing slightly from the ears to the eyes, and again from the eyes to the tip of the nose. The total length of the head is about one-half the length of the back (withers to set-on of tail). The head matches the sex and substance of the dog. The top line of the muzzle is parallel to the top line of the skull; there is a slight stop which is accentuated by the eyebrows. Skull— (Occiput to Stop). Moderately broad between the ears: occiput not too prominent. Top of skull flat; skin unwrinkled. Cheeks—Flat, but with well-developed chewing muscles; there is no “cheekiness” to disturb the rectangular head appearance (with beard). Muzzle— Strong and well filled under the eyes; both parallel and equal in length to the topskull; ending in a moderately blunt wedge. The nose is large, black, and full. The lips are tight, and not overlapping, black in color. Bite— A full complement of sound white teeth (6/6 incisors, 2/2 canines, 8/8 premolars, 4/6 molars) with a scissors bite. The upper and lower jaws are powerful and well formed. Disqualifying Faults—Overshot or undershot. Ears—When cropped, identical in shape and length with pointed tips. They are in balance with the head and are not exaggerated in length. They are set high on the skull and carried perpendicularly at the inner edges with as little bell as possible along the other edges. When uncropped, the ears are V-shaped button ears of medium length and thickness, set high and carried rather high and close to the head. Eyes—Medium size, dark brown, and deep-set. They are oval in appearance and keen in expression with lids fitting tightly. Vision is not impaired nor eyes hidden by too long eyebrows. Neck— Strong and well arched, of moderate length, blending cleanly into the shoulders, and with the skin fitting tightly at the throat; in harmony with the dog’s weight and build.
Body—Compact, substantial, short-coupled and strong, with great power and agility. The height at the highest point of the withers equals the body length from breastbone to point of rump. The loin section is well developed, as short as possible for compact build.
Forequarters—The forequarters have flat, somewhat sloping shoulders and high withers. Forelegs are straight and vertical when viewed from all sides with strong pasterns and good bone. They are separated by a fairly deep brisket which precludes a pinched front. The elbows are set close to the body and point directly backwards. Chest—Medium in width, ribs well sprung but with no tendency toward a barrel chest; oval in cross section; deep through the brisket. The breastbone is plainly discernible, with strong forechest; the brisket descends at least to the elbows, and ascends gradually toward the rear with the belly moderately drawn up. The ribs spread gradually from the first rib so as to allow space for the elbows to move close to the body. Shoulders—The sloping shoulder blades (scapulae) are strongly muscled, yet flat. They are well laid back so that from the side the rounded upper ends are in a nearly vertical line above the elbows. They slope well forward to the point where they join the upper arm (humerus), forming as nearly as possible a right angle. Such an angulation permits the maximum forward extension of the forelegs without binding or effort. Both shoulder blades and upper arm are long, permitting depth of chest at the brisket.
Back—Short, straight, strong and firm.
Tail—The tail is set moderately high and carried high in excitement. It should be docked to the second or not more than the third joint (approximately one and one-half to about three inches long at maturity).
Hindquarters—The hindquarters are strongly muscled, in balance with the forequarters; upper thighs are slanting and well bent at the stifles, with the second thighs (tibiae) approximately parallel to an extension of the upper neckline. The legs from the hock joint to the feet are short, perpendicular to the ground while the dog is standing naturally, and from the rear parallel to each other. The hindquarters do not appear overbuilt or higher than the shoulders. Croup full and slightly rounded. Feet— Well-arched, compact and catlike, turning neither in nor out, with thick tough pads and dark nails. Dewclaws—Dewclaws, if any, on hind legs should be removed; on the forelegs, may be removed.
Gait—The trot is the gait at which movement is judged. Free, balanced and vigorous, with good reach in the forequarters and good driving power in the hindquarters. Rear and front legs are thrown neither in nor out. When moving at a fast trot, a properly built dog will single-track. Back remains strong, firm, and flat.
Coat—Hard, wiry, very dense; composed of a soft undercoat and a harsh outer coat which, when seen against the grain, stands slightly up off the back, lying neither smooth nor flat. Coarse hair on top of head; harsh beard and eyebrows, the Schnauzer hallmark.
Color—Solid black or pepper and salt. Black— A truly pure black. A small white spot on the breast is permitted; any other markings are disqualifying faults. Pepper andSalt— Outer coat of a combination of banded hairs (white with black and black with white) and some black and white hairs, appearing gray from a short distance. Ideally; an intensely pigmented medium gray shade with “peppering” evenly distributed throughout the coat, and a gray undercoat. Acceptable; all shades of pepper and salt from dark iron-gray to silver-gray. Every shade of coat has a dark facial mask to emphasize the expression; the color of the mask harmonizes with the shade of the body coat. Eyebrows, whiskers, cheeks, throat, chest, legs, and under tail are lighter in color but include “peppering.” Markings are disqualifying faults.
Height—The height at the withers of the male is 251⁄2 to 271⁄2 inches, and of the female, 231⁄2 to 251⁄2 inches, with the mediums being desired. Size alone should never take precedence over type, balance, soundness, and temperament. It should be noted that too small dogs generally lack the power and too large dogs, the agility and maneuverability, desired in the working dog.
The foregoing description is that of the ideal Giant Schnauzer. Any deviation from the above described dog must be penalized to the extent of the deviation.
The judge shall dismiss from the ring any shy or vicious Giant Schnauzer.
Shyness—A dog shall be judged fundamentally shy if, refusing to stand for examination, it repeatedly shrinks away from the judge; if it fears unduly any approach from the rear; if it shies to a marked degree at sudden and unusual noises.
Viciousness—A dog that attacks or attempts to attack either the judge or its handler, is definitely vicious. An aggressive or belligerent attitude toward other dogs shall not be deemed viciousness.
Overshot or undershot.
Markings other than specified.
Approved October 11, 1983
IN APPEARANCE AND NATURE THE GREAT DANE IS ONE OF THE MOST ELEGANT and distinguished varieties of giant-type dog.
The name of the breed is a translation of an old French designation, grandDanois, meaning “big Danish.” This was only one of half a dozen names which had been used for centuries in France. Why the English adopted the name Great Dane from the French is a mystery. At the same time, the French were also calling it dogue allemand or “German mastiff.” Mastiff in English, dogge in the Germanic, dogue or dogo in the Latin languages, all meant the same thing: a giant dog with heavy head for fighting or hunting purposes. It was one of the dozen varieties of dog recognized as distinctive enough at that time to have a name of its own.
There is no known reason for connecting Denmark with either the origin or the development of the breed. It was “made in Germany,” and it was German fanciers who led the world in breeding most of the finest specimens.
If the reader is susceptible to the charms of antiquity, he will be interested in Cassel’s claim that on Egyptian monuments of about 3000 B.C. there are drawings of dogs much like the Great Dane. Also, the earliest written description of a dog resembling the breed may be found in Chinese literature of 1121 B.C., according to an article by Dr. G. Ciaburri in a Great Dane Club of Italy publication of 1929.
Eminent zoologists believe that the mastiff breeds originated in Asia. They think the modern Tibetan Mastiff, occasionally shown in England, is the most direct descendant of the prototype.
The great naturalist Georges Buffon (1707–88) claimed the Irish Wolf hound as the principal ancestor of our Great Dane. The comparative anatomist Georges Cuvier (1769–1832) found more evidence in favor of the old English Mastiff as the root from which it sprang. Both Irish and English breeds are known to have been carefully bred for 1,300 years and more. Today, most students favor the idea that the Great Dane, or Deutsche dogge, resulted from a mixture of both these ancient types.
This is not to say that the German Mastiff or Great Dane is a new breed. It is, indeed, a very old one that has been cultivated as a distinct type for probably 400 years, if not longer. Like all old varieties of dog, it was developed for a useful purpose. The Germans used the Great Dane as a boar hound. Europe’s erstwhile boar was one of the most savage, swift, powerful, and well armed of all big game on the Continent. To tackle the wild boar required a superdog, and that is precisely what the Germans developed. Breed fanciers speak of him as the king of dogs.
In common with all other breeds, the Great Dane’s history of and development to a modern standard type began in the latter nineteenth century. In 1880 at Berlin, a Dr. Bodinus called a meeting of Great Dane judges who declared that the breed should be known as Deutsche dogge and that all other designations, especially the term Great Dane, should be abolished thereafter. So far as the German people are concerned this declaration has been observed, but English-speaking people have paid no heed. The Italians, who have a large Great Dane fancy, have also failed to give Germany credit for the name selected: Alano. This word means “a mastiff,” consequently the name of their organization translates to “Mastiff Club of Italy.” This, however, has not prevented close cooperation between fanciers of the two countries. The leading Italian breeders have based their operation on nothing but German imported stock or its descendants.
In 1891, the Great Dane Club of Germany adopted a precise standard, or official description of the ideal specimen. In 1885, there was a Great Dane Club in England, and in 1889, at Chicago, the German Mastiff or Great Dane Club of America was founded, with Gustav Muss-Arnolt as first delegate. Two years later, the club reorganized as the Great Dane Club of America. At that time, its membership was mostly of Eastern fanciers.
The Great Dane has developed steadily in popularity all over the world. Breeders have kept before them the image of the boar hound and the special qualities it called for. A merely “pretty” dog has not been enough. He must have size and weight, nobility and courage, speed and endurance. What more can one ask for in a dog?
OFFICIAL STANDARD FOR THE GREAT DANE
General Appearance—The Great Dane combines, in its regal appearance, dignity, strength and elegance with great size and a powerful, well-formed, smoothly muscled body. It is one of the giant working breeds, but is unique in that its general conformation must be so well balanced that it never appears clumsy, and shall move with a long reach and powerful drive. It is always a unit—the Apollo of dogs. A Great Dane must be spirited, courageous, never timid; always friendly and dependable. This physical and mental combination is the characteristic which gives the Great Dane the majesty possessed by no other breed. It is particularly true of this breed that there is an impression of great masculinity in dogs, as compared to an impression of femininity in bitches. Lack of true Dane breed type, as defined in this standard, is a serious fault.
Size, Proportion, Substance—The male should appear more massive throughout than the bitch, with larger frame and heavier bone. In the ratio between length and height, the Great Dane should be square. In bitches, a somewhat longer body is permissible, providing she is well proportioned to her height. Coarseness or lack of substance are equally undesirable. The male shall not be less than 30 inches at the shoulders, but it is preferable that he be 32 inches or more, providing he is well proportioned to his height. The female shall not be less than 28 inches at the shoulders, but it is preferable that she be 30 inches or more, providing she is well proportioned to her height. Danes under minimum height must be disqualified.
Head—The head shall be rectangular, long, distinguished, expressive, finely chiseled, especially below the eyes. Seen from the side, the Dane’s forehead must be sharply set off from the bridge of the nose (a strongly pronounced stop). The plane of the skull and the plane of the muzzle must be straight and parallel to one another. The skull plane under and to the inner point of the eye must slope without any bony protuberance in a smooth line to a full square jaw with a deep muzzle (fluttering lips are undesirable). The masculinity of the male is very pronounced in structural appearance of the head. The bitch’s head is more delicately formed. Seen from the top, the skull should have parallel sides and the bridge of the nose should be as broad as possible. The cheek muscles should not be prominent. The length from the tip of the nose to the center of the stop should be equal to the length from the center of the stop to the rear of the slightly developed occiput. The head should be angular from all sides and should have flat planes with dimensions in proportion to the size of the Dane. Whiskers may be trimmed or left natural. Eyes shall be medium size, deep set, and dark, with a lively intelligent expression. The eyelids are almond-shaped and relatively tight, with well developed brows. Haws and mongolian eyes are serious faults. In harlequins, the eyes should be dark; light colored eyes, eyes of different colors and walleyes are permitted but not desirable. Ears shall be high set, medium in size and of moderate thickness, folded forward close to the cheek. The top line of the folded ear should be level with the skull. If cropped, the ear length is in proportion to the size of the head and the ears are carried uniformly erect. Nose shall be black, except in the blue Dane, where it is a dark blue-black. A black spotted nose is permitted on the harlequin; a pink colored nose is not desirable. A split nose is a disqualification. Teeth shall be strong, well developed, clean and with full dentition. The incisors of the lower jaw touch very lightly the bottoms of the inner surface of the upper incisors (scissors bite). An undershot jaw is a very serious fault. Overshot or wry bites are serious faults. Even bites, misaligned or crowded incisors are minor faults.
Neck, Topline, Body—The neck shall be firm, high set, well arched, long and muscular. From the nape, it should gradually broaden and flow smoothly into the withers. The neck underline should be clean. Withers shall slope smoothly into a short level back with a broad loin. The chest shall be broad, deep and well muscled. The forechest should be well developed without a pronounced sternum. The brisket extends to the elbow, with well sprung ribs. The body underline should be tightly muscled with a well-defined tuck-up.
The croup should be broad and very slightly sloping. The tail should be set high and smoothly into the croup, but not quite level with the back, a continuation of the spine. The tail should be broad at the base, tapering uniformly down to the hock joint. At rest, the tail should fall straight. When excited or running, it may curve slightly, but never above the level of the back. A ring or hooked tail is a serious fault. A docked tail is a disqualification.
Forequarters—The forequarters, viewed from the side, shall be strong and muscular. The shoulder blade must be strong and sloping, forming, as near as possible, a right angle in its articulation with the upper arm. A line from the upper tip of the shoulder to the back of the elbow joint should be perpendicular. The ligaments and muscles holding the shoulder blade to the rib cage must be well developed, firm and securely attached to prevent loose shoulders. The shoulder blade and the upper arm should be the same length. The elbow should be one-half the distance from the withers to the ground. The strong pasterns should slope slightly. The feet should be round and compact with well-arched toes, neither toeing in, toeing out, nor rolling to the inside or outside. The nails should be short, strong and as dark as possible, except that they may be lighter in harlequins. Dewclaws may or may not be removed.
Hindquarters—The hindquarters shall be strong, broad, muscular and well angulated, with well let down hocks. Seen from the rear, the hock joints appear to be perfectly straight, turned neither toward the inside nor toward the outside. The rear feet should be round and compact, with well-arched toes, neither toeing in nor out. The nails should be short, strong and as dark as possible, except they may be lighter in harlequins. Wolf claws are a serious fault.
Coat—The coat shall be short, thick and clean with a smooth glossy appearance.
Color, Markings and Patterns—Brindle—The base color shall be yellow gold and always brindled with strong black cross stripes in a chevron pattern. A black mask is preferred. Black should appear on the eye rims and eyebrows, and may appear on the ears and tail tip. The more intensive the base color and the more distinct and even the brindling, the more preferred will be the color. Too much or too little brindling are equally undesirable. White markings at the chest and toes, black-fronted, dirty colored brindles are not desirable.
Fawn—The color shall be yellow gold with a black mask. Black should appear on the eye rims and eyebrows, and may appear on the ears and tail tip. The deep yellow gold must always be given the preference. White markings at the chest and toes, black-fronted dirty colored fawns are not desirable.
Blue—The color shall be a pure steel blue. White markings at the chest and toes are not desirable.
Black—The color shall be a glossy black. White markings at the chest and toes are not desirable.
Harlequin—Base color shall be pure white with black torn patches irregularly and well distributed over the entire body; a pure white neck is preferred. The black patches should never be large enough to give the appearance of a blanket, nor so small as to give a stippled or dappled effect. Eligible, but less desirable, are a few small gray patches, or a white base with single black hairs showing through, which tend to give a salt and pepper or dirty effect.
Mantle—The color shall be black and white with a solid black blanket extending over the body; black skull with white muzzle; white blaze is optional; whole white collar is preferred; a white chest; white on part or whole of forelegs and hind legs; white tipped black tail. A small white marking in the blanket is acceptable, as is a break in the white collar.
Any variance in color or markings as described above shall be faulted tothe extent of the deviation. Any Great Dane which does not fall within theabove color classifications must be disqualified.
Gait—The gait denotes strength and power with long, easy strides resulting in no tossing, rolling or bouncing of the topline or body. The backline shall appear level and parallel to the ground. The long reach should strike the ground below the nose while the head is carried forward. The powerful rear drive should be balanced to the reach. As speed increases, there is a natural tendency for the legs to converge toward the centerline of balance beneath the body. There should be no twisting in or out at the elbow or hock joints.
Temperament—The Great Dane must be spirited, courageous, always friendly and dependable, and never timid or aggressive.
Danes under minimum height.
Split nose. Docked tail.
Any color other than those described under “Color, Markings and Patterns.”
Approved March 8, 1999
Effective April 28, 1999
PERHAPS NO OTHER BREED CAN BOAST SUCH A COLORFUL HISTORY OF association with, and service to, mankind through as many centuries as can the Great Pyrenees, Le Grande Chien des Montagnes, Le Chien des Pyrenees, or, as he is known in England and on the Continent, the Pyrenean Mountain Dog, the dog of French royalty and nobility and working associate of the peasant shepherds high on the slopes of the Pyrenees Mountains. His remains are found in the fossil deposits of the Bronze Age, which roughly dates his appearance in Europe between 1800 and 1000 B.C., although it is believed that he came originally from Central Asia or Siberia and followed the Aryan migration into Europe. It is also generally accepted that he is a descendant of the mastiff type whose remains are found in the kitchen-middens of the Baltic and North Sea coasts in the oldest strata containing evidence of the domestic dog, and which appear in Babylonian art about the close of the third millennium B.C. in the size and general appearance resembling the Great Pyrenees.
Once in Europe, the Great Dog of the Mountains developed under climatic conditions similar to those of his habitat and there remained isolated in the high mountainous areas until medieval times, when we find him gracing bas reliefs at Carcassone, bearing the royal arms of France, approximately some five hundred years before his adoption as the court dog in the seventeenth century. As early as 1407, the historian Bourdet describes the regular guard of Pyrenees dogs owned by the Château of Lourdes. These dogs were given a special place in the sentry boxes along with the armed guards; they also accompanied the jailers on their daily rounds. Their use for these purposes became very general and each large château boasted its band of Great Pyrenees. It was not until the young Dauphin, accompanied by Mme. de Maintenon in 1675 on a visit to Barreges, fell in love with a beautiful patou (a generic name for the breed, meaning “shepherd”) and insisted on taking it back to the Louvre with him, and not until the Marquis de Louvois also succumbed to their charm, that the dog of the Pyrenees shepherd became the companion and pet of nobility. Once accepted at court, every noble wanted one, and the breed gained prominence.
It was, however, in the isolation of the lonely mountain pastures that the Pyrenean Mountain Dog developed his inherent traits of devotion, fidelity, sense of guardianship, and intelligent understanding of mankind. Here, in the days when packs of wild animals roamed the mountain slopes freely, he was the official guardian of the flocks. Having a precocious sense of smell and keen sight, he was an invaluable companion of the shepherd, his worth being counted equal to that of two men. Armed by nature with a long, heavy coat that rendered him invulnerable against attack except for the point of the chin and the base of the brain, and armed by his masters with a broad iron collar from which protruded spikes an inch and a half long, the Pyrenees dog was an almost unbeatable foe which won such glory and fame as a vanquisher of wolves and bears that he became known as the Pyrenean Wolf Dog and the Pyrenean Bearhound.
By disposition and profession, no better dog could have been chosen to assume the role of protector and friend of the early settlements of the Biscay fisherfolk on Newfoundland Island. By 1662, when their first permanent colony at Rougnoust was made, it was the Great Pyrenees dog which had become the companion of the people. Here he was crossed with the black English Retriever, brought over by the English settlers, and from this cross resulted the Newfoundland. The old Landseer type, with its black-and-white coat, showed the cross far more markedly because of his coloring than the black Newfoundland, although the resemblance in general type is quite noticeable in both.
For a while, with the diminution of the wild beasts in the Pyrenees, the breed seemed destined to extinction. Moreover, it was eagerly sought after by the breeders of continental Europe and great numbers were exported from France. But thanks to the efforts of some gentlemen sportsmen, as well as to the fact that dogs were of use about the peasants’ farms in winter (when their services were not required on the mountain slopes), they were bred in increasing numbers. Today, the breed is well established in its habitat once again. The dogs are not infrequently referred to as “mat dogs” because of their habit of lying outside the cottage doors when not busying themselves with menial chores such as pulling carts.
The Great Pyrenees has come into general prominence only since its recognition by the AKC in February 1933. It seems hard to realize that the first pair were brought over by General Lafayette for his friend, J. S. Skinner, in 1824, being “recommended by him from personal experience as of inestimable value to wool-growers in all regions exposed to the depredations of wolves and sheepkilling dogs.” Thus writes Mr. Skinner in his book The Dog and the Sportsman. Following this a few scattered specimens were imported, but not until 1933 was the actual breeding of the dogs launched in America. Today, he ranks in the top half of the AKC annual breed registrations.
The nearer his appearance approaches that of the brown bear, except for the color and the drooping ears, the closer he is to the perfect type. Certainly, no more picturesque animal could be found; he has been aptly called an “animated snowdrift of the Pyrenees Mountains.” Preeminently a watchdog and companion, the Great Pyrenees holds promise also as a dog suited for the sportsman. His love of pulling carts makes him amenable to sled work in winter, and his instinct for feeling out soft places in the snow makes him ideal for pack and guide work on ski trips. He was used during World War I for pack service and for many years for running contraband goods over the Franco-Spanish border by similar methods. Taking dangerous byways impossible for man to travel, he ran the circuit regularly, successfully avoiding the customs officials. His beauty also recommends him for use in the film industry, especially as he has been used with success for this purpose in France.
OFFICIAL STANDARD FOR THE GREAT PYRENEES
General Appearance—The Great Pyrenees dog conveys the distinct impression of elegance and unsurpassed beauty combined with great overall size and majesty. He has a white or principally white coat that may contain markings of badger, gray, or varying shades of tan. He possesses a keen intelligence and a kindly, while regal, expression. Exhibiting a unique elegance of bearing and movement, his soundness and coordination show unmistakably the purpose for which he has been bred, the strenuous work of guarding the flocks in all kinds of weather on the steep mountain slopes of the Pyrenees.
Size, Proportion, Substance—Size—The height at the withers ranges from 27 inches to 32 inches for dogs and from 25 inches to 29 inches for bitches. A 27 inch dog weighs about 100 pounds and a 25 inch bitch weighs about 85 pounds. Weight is in proportion to the overall size and structure. Proportion—The Great Pyrenees is a balanced dog with the height measured at the withers being somewhat less than the length of the body measured from the point of the shoulder to the rearmost projection of the upper thigh (buttocks). These proportions create a somewhat rectangular dog, slightly longer than it is tall. Front and rear angulation are balanced. Substance—The Great Pyrenees is a dog of medium substance whose coat deceives those who do not feel the bone and muscle. Commensurate with his size and impression of elegance there is sufficient bone and muscle to provide a balance with the frame. Faults—Size—Dogs and bitches under minimum size or over maximum size. Substance—Dogs too heavily boned or too lightly boned to be in balance with their frame.
Head—Correct head and expression are essential to the breed. The head is not heavy in proportion to the size of the dog. It is wedge shaped with a slightly rounded crown. Expression—The expression is elegant, intelligent and contemplative. Eyes— Medium sized, almond shaped, set slightly obliquely, rich dark brown. Eyelids are close fitting with black rims. Ears—Small to medium in size, V-shaped with rounded tips, set on at eye level, normally carried low, flat, and close to the head. There is a characteristic meeting of the hair of the upper and lower face which forms a line from the outer corner of the eye to the base of the ear. SkullandMuzzle—The muzzle is approximately equal in length to the back skull. The width and length of the skull are approximately equal. The muzzle blends smoothly with the skull. The cheeks are flat. There is sufficient fill under the eyes. A slight furrow exists between the eyes. There is no apparent stop. The bony eyebrow ridges are only slightly developed. Lips are tight fitting with the upper lip just covering the lower lip. There is a strong lower jaw. The nose and lips are black. Teeth—A scissors bite is preferred, but a level bite is acceptable. It is not unusual to see dropped (receding) lower central incisor teeth. Faults—Too heavy head (Saint Bernard or Newfoundland-like). Too narrow or small skull. Foxy appearance. Presence of an apparent stop. Missing pigmentation on nose, eye rims, or lips. Eyelids round, triangular, loose or small. Overshot, undershot, wry mouth.
Neck, Topline, Body—Neck—Strongly muscled and of medium length, with minimal dewlap. Topline—The backline is level. Body—The chest is moderately broad. The rib cage is well sprung, oval in shape, and of sufficient depth to reach the elbows. Back and loin are broad and strongly coupled with some tuck-up. The croup is gently sloping with the tail set on just below the level of the back. Tail—The tailbones are of sufficient length to reach the hock. The tail is well plumed, carried low in repose and may be carried over the back, “making the wheel,” when aroused. When present, a “shepherd’s crook” at the end of the tail accentuates the plume. When gaiting, the tail may be carried either over the back or low. Both carriages are equally correct. Fault— Barrel ribs.
Forequarters—Shoulders—The shoulders are well laid back, well muscled and lie close to the body. The upper arm meets the shoulder blade at approximately a right angle. The upper arm angles backward from the point of the shoulder to the elbow and is never perpendicular to the ground. The length of the shoulder blade and the upper arm is approximately equal. The height from the ground to the elbow appears approximately equal to the height from the elbow to the withers. Forelegs—The legs are of sufficient bone and muscle to provide a balance with the frame. The elbows are close to the body and point directly to the rear when standing and gaiting. The forelegs, when viewed from the side, are located directly under the withers and are straight and vertical to the ground. The elbows, when viewed from the front, are set in a straight line from the point of shoulder to the wrist. Front pasterns are strong and flexible. Each foreleg carries a single dewclaw. FrontFeet—Rounded, close-cupped, well padded, toes well arched.
Hindquarters—The angulation of the hindquarters is similar in degree to that of the forequarters. Thighs—Strongly muscular upper thighs extend from the pelvis at right angles. The upper thigh is the same length as the lower thigh, creating moderate stifle joint angulation when viewed in profile. The rear pastern (metatarsus) is of medium length and perpendicular to the ground as the dog stands naturally. This produces a moderate degree of angulation in the hock joint, when viewed from the side. The hindquarters from the hip to the rear pastern are straight and parallel, as viewed from the rear. The rear legs are of sufficient bone and muscle to provide a balance with the frame. Double dewclaws are located on each rear leg. RearFeet—The rear feet have a structural tendency to toe out slightly. This breed characteristic is not to be confused with cow-hocks. The rear feet, like the forefeet, are rounded, close-cupped, well padded with toes well arched. Fault—Absence of double dewclaws on each rear leg.
Coat—The weather resistant double coat consists of a long, flat, thick, outer coat of coarse hair, straight or slightly undulating, and lying over a dense, fine, woolly undercoat. The coat is more profuse about the neck and shoulders where it forms a ruff or mane which is more pronounced in males. Longer hair on the tail forms a plume. There is feathering along the back of the front legs and along the back of the thighs, giving a “pantaloon” effect. The hair on the face and ears is shorter and of finer texture. Correctness of coat is more important than abundance of coat. Faults—Curly coat. Standoff coat (Samoyed type).
Color—White or white with markings of gray, badger, reddish brown, or varying shades of tan. Markings of varying size may appear on the ears, head (including a full face mask), tail and as a few body spots. The undercoat may be white or shaded. All of the above described colorings and locations are characteristic of the breed and equally correct. Fault—Outer coat markings covering more than one third of the body.
Gait—The Great Pyrenees moves smoothly and elegantly, true and straight ahead, exhibiting both power and agility. The stride is well balanced with good reach and strong drive. The legs tend to move toward the center line as speed increases. Ease and efficiency of movement are more important than speed.
Temperament—Character and temperament are of utmost importance. In nature, the Great Pyrenees is confident, gentle, and affectionate. While territorial and protective of his flock or family when necessary, his general demeanor is one of quiet composure, both patient and tolerant. He is strong willed, independent and somewhat reserved, yet attentive, fearless and loyal to his charges both human and animal.
Although the Great Pyrenees may appear reserved in the show ring, anysign of excessive shyness, nervousness, or aggression to humans is unacceptableand must be considered an extremely serious fault.
Approved June 12, 1990
Effective August 1, 1990
GREATER SWISS MOUNTAIN DOG
AS STATED IN THE NAME, THIS NATIVE OF SWITZERLAND IS ONE OF THE earliest descendants of the large mastiff-type dogs introduced to the Alpine by the ancient Romans. Developed in the remote and isolated areas of Switzerland, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog was adapted to general farm use as a herding dog, guard dog, and utilitarian draft dog. Of the four Sennenhund breeds developed in Switzerland, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is both the largest and the oldest. Though little known outside its country of origin for many years, the Greater Swiss was instrumental in the early development of both the Saint Bernard and the Rottweiler.
In the late nineteenth century, much of the work previously done by the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog was either supplied by other breeds of dogs or replaced by machines. In 1908, a Greater Swiss was shown to the famous dog expert Dr. Albert Heim, of Zurich. It had been assumed that the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog had already died out. With the urging of Heim, other specimens were located, and he called upon breeders to save this ancient Alpine dog. By 1910, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog was recognized by the Swiss Kennel Club.
J. Frederick and Patricia Hoffman imported the first of this breed to the United States after seeing them exhibited at a show in Frankfurt, Germany.
While growth of interest in the breed has been slow, it has been steady. In 1968, the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Club of America was formed for the express purpose of obtaining AKC recognition. The GSMDCA studbook was transferred to the AKC on March 17, 1993, with an initial 1,300 dogs as foundation stock. The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog was given Working Group designation and became eligible for full recognition status on July 1, 1995.
OFFICIAL STANDARD FOR THE GREATER SWISS MOUNTAIN DOG
General Appearance—The Greater Swiss Mountain Dog is a Draft and Drover breed and should structurally appear as such. It is a striking, tri-colored, large, powerful, confident dog of sturdy appearance. It is a heavy boned and well muscled dog which, in spite of its size and weight, is agile enough to perform the all-purpose farm duties of the mountainous regions of its origin.
Size, Proportion and Substance—Height at the highest point of the shoulder is ideally: Dogs: 25.5 to 28.5 inches. Bitches 23.5 to 27 inches. Body length to height is approximately a 10 to 9 proportion, thus appearing slightly longer than tall. It is a heavy boned and well muscled dog of sturdy appearance.
Head—Expression is animated and gentle. The eyes are almond shaped and brown, dark brown preferred, medium sized, neither deep set nor protruding. Blue eye or eyes is a disqualification. Eyelids are close fitting and eyerims are black. The ears are medium sized, set high, triangular in shape, gently rounded at the tip, and hang close to the head when in repose. When alert, the ears are brought forward and raised at the base. The top of the ear is level with the top of the skull. The skull is flat and broad with a slight stop. The backskull and muzzle are of approximately equal length. The backskull is approximately twice the width of the muzzle. The muzzle is large, blunt and straight, not pointed and most often with a slight rise before the end. In adult dogs the nose leather is always black. The lips are clean and as a dry-mouthed breed, flews are only slightly developed. The teeth meet in a scissors bite.
Neck, Topline and Body—The neck is of moderate length, strong, muscular and clean. The topline is level from the withers to the croup. The chest is deep and broad with a slight protruding breastbone. The ribs are well-sprung. Depth of chest is approximately one half the total height of the dog at the withers. Body is full with slight tuck up. The loins are broad and strong. The croup is long, broad and smoothly rounded to the tail insertion. The tail is thick from root to tip, tapering slightly at the tip, reaching to the hocks, and carried down in repose. When alert and in movement, the tail may be carried higher and slightly curved upwards, but should not curl, or tilt over the back. The bones of the tail should feel straight.
Forequarters—The shoulders are long, sloping, strong and moderately laid back. They are flat and well-muscled. Forelegs are straight and strong. The pasterns slope very slightly, but are not weak. Feet are round and compact with well arched toes, and turn neither in nor out. The dewclaws may or may not be present.
Hindquarters—The thighs are broad, strong and muscular. The stifles are moderately bent and taper smoothly into the hocks. The hocks are well let down and straight when viewed from the rear. Feet are round and compact with well arched toes, and turn neither in nor out. Dewclaws should be removed.
Coat—Topcoat is dense, approximately 11⁄4 to 2 inches in length. Undercoat must be present and may be thick and sometimes showing, almost always present at neck but may be present throughout. Color of undercoat ranges from the preferred dark gray to light gray to tawny. Total absence of undercoat is undesirable and should be penalized.
Color—The topcoat is black. The markings are rich rust and white. Symmetry of markings is desired. On the head, rust typically appears over each eye, on each cheek and on the underside of the ears. On the body, rust appears on both sides of the forechest, on all four legs and underneath the tail. White markings appear typically on the head (blaze) and muzzle. The blaze may vary in length and width. It may be a very thin stripe or wider band. The blaze may extend just barely to the stop or may extend over the top of the skull and may meet with white patch or collar on the neck. Typically, white appears on the chest, running unbroken from the throat to the chest, as well as on all four feet and on the tip of the tail. White patches or collar on the neck is acceptable. Any color other than the “Black, Red and White” tri-colored dog described above, such as “Blue/Charcoal, Red and White” or “Red and White” is considered a disqualification. When evaluating the Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, markings and other cosmetic factors should be considered of lesser importance than other aspects of type which directly affect working ability.
Gait—Good reach in front, powerful drive in rear. Movement with a level back.
Temperament—Bold, faithful, willing worker. Alert and vigilant. Shyness or aggressiveness shall be severely penalized.
The foregoing is the description of the ideal Greater Swiss Mountain Dog. Defects of both structure and temperament are to be judged more severely than mere lack of elegance because they reduce the animal’s capacity to work. Any fault that detracts from the above described working dog should be penalized to the extent of the deviation.
Any color other than the “Black, Red and White” tri-colored dog described above, such as“Blue/Charcoal, Red and White” or “Red and White.”
Blue eye or eyes.
Approved April 8, 2003
Effective May 29, 2003
OF THE THREE BREEDS OF WORKING DOG NATIVE FOR TEN CENTURIES TO THE sheep and cattle countries of Hungary, there seems little doubt that the king of them all is the Komondor. This heavily coated dog is an almost direct descendant of the Aftscharka, which the Huns found on the southern steppes when they passed through Russia. Many of today’s Komondorok (plural) bear striking resemblance to the massive, long-legged Russian herdsman’s dog, but the breed generally has become more compact.
The Komondor is a mighty fellow. His head is impressive in its generous formation, and his general appearance is commanding. At first sight he is likely to create fear. Strangers of evil intent have reason to be fearful, but he is a devoted companion to his master and readily mingles with friends of the family.
One often sees pictures of the Komondor that show him with a heavily matted coat and with his head covered all over with long hair. The dog thus seems unkempt, and this is the way he is found in his habitat, where he lives in the open practically all the time. Under such circumstances, it would be impossible for the Komondor to have a well-groomed appearance, but he responds readily to care. When reared in kennels and prepared for shows, he is a handsome dog.
The Komondor is the chief of the herdsman’s dogs, but he is not often utilized for rounding up the herds. He merely accompanies the flocks and herds in exceptional cases, and then more in the capacity of protector than as herder. His vigilance and courage have earned him a rather enviable position of trust, and much of the routine work is left to the smaller dogs.
The Magyars who have bred the Komondor for more than a thousand years attend principally to their herds and flocks and do not concern themselves with keeping pedigrees of their dogs. However, there is no need of pedigrees for them, as the dogs are not permitted to mate outside their own breed.
It is doubtful if any dogs with pedigrees could have been found in the arid grasslands of eastern Hungary, the so-called Puszta, for the shepherds and herdsmen did not look upon dog breeding either as a commercial venture or as a hobby. Still, the crossing of a Komondor and a Kuvasz would have been unimaginable—and also practically impossible.
The history of purebred dog breeding in Hungary is not unlike that of any other country in the world. Definite records go back hardly a century, but those in existence are soundly attested by reliable parties. The Hungarian Kennel Club and the Hungarian Komondor Club maintain a strong control over the interests of the Komondor, these organizations having accepted the standard of the breed as drawn up by a committee made up of members of the two clubs. The American Kennel Club’s standard of the breed is a translation of the Hungarian.
In reading the standard, it should be noted that its salient points denote the strength and protective features that have been bred into the Komondor for centuries, and these should be maintained. Today there is not, perhaps, as pressing a need for such a self-reliant dog as there was in the past. In times of old he had to be ready at any moment to fight all manner of beasts of prey, many of which were his superior in size and weight. When the odds were against him, he could depend to some extent on that heavy coat to cover his most vulnerable points, and could call, too, upon an intelligence far superior to that of his wild adversaries.
OFFICIAL STANDARD FOR THE KOMONDOR
General Appearance—The Komondor is characterized by imposing strength, dignity, courageous demeanor and pleasing conformation. He is a large, muscular dog with plenty of bone and substance, covered with an unusual, heavy coat of white cords. The working Komondor lives during the greater part of the year in the open, and his coat serves to help him blend in with his flock and to protect him from extremes of weather and beasts of prey. Nature and Characteristics: The Komondor is a flock guardian, not a herder. Originally developed in Hungary to guard large herds of animals on the open plains, the Komondor was charged with protecting the herd by himself, with no assistance and no commands from his master. The mature, experienced dog tends to stay close to his charges, whether a flock or family; he is unlikely to be drawn away from them in chase, and typically doesn’t wander far. Though very sensitive to the desires of his master, heavy-handed training will produce a stubborn, unhappy Komondor. While reserved with strangers, the Komondor is demonstrative with those he loves, selflessly devoted to his family and his charges, and will defend them against any attack. The combination of this devotion to all things dear to him and the desire to take responsibility for them produces an excellent guardian of herds or home, vigilant, courageous and very faithful.
Size, Proportion, Substance—Dogs 271⁄2 inches and up at the withers; bitches 251⁄2 inches and up at the withers. Dogs are approximately 100 pounds and up, bitches, approximately 80 pounds and up at maturity, with plenty of bone and substance. While large size is important, type, character, symmetry, movement and ruggedness are of the greatest importance and are on no account to be sacrificed for size alone. The body is slightly longer than the height at the withers. Height below the minimum is a fault.
Head—The head is large. The length of the head from occiput to tip of nose is approximately two-fifths the height of the dog at the withers. The skin around the eyes and on the muzzle is dark. Eyes: Medium-sized and almond-shaped, not too deeply set. The iris of the eye is dark brown. Edges of the eyelids are gray or black. Light eyes are a fault. Blue eyes are a disqualification. Ears: In shape the ear is an elongated triangle with a slightly rounded tip. Medium-set and hanging and long enough to reach to the inner corner of the eye on the opposite side of the head. Erect ears or ears that move toward an erect position are a fault. Skull: The skull is broad with well-developed arches over the eyes. The occiput is fairly well-developed and the stop is moderate. Muzzle: The muzzle is wide, coarse, and truncated. Measured from inner corner of the eye to tip of nose the muzzle is two-fifths of the total length of the head. The top of the muzzle is straight and is parallel to the top of the skull. Underjaw is well-developed and broad. Lips are tight and are black in color. Ideally gums and palate are dark or black. Nose: Nose is wide and the front of the nose forms a right angle with the top of the muzzle. The nostrils are wide. The nose is black. A dark gray or dark brown nose is not desirable but is acceptable. A flesh-colored nose is a disqualification. Bite: Bite is scissors; a level bite is acceptable. A distinctly overshot or undershot bite is a fault. Any missing teeth is a serious fault. Three or more missing teeth is a disqualification.
Neck—Muscular, of medium length, moderately arched, with no dewlap. The head erect.
Topline—The back is level and strong.
Body—Characterized by a powerful, deep chest, which is muscular and proportionately wide. The breast is broad and well-muscled. The belly is somewhat drawn up at the rear. The rump is wide, muscular, and slopes slightly toward the root of the tail. Softness or lack of good muscle tone is a fault.
Tail—A continuation of the rump line, hanging, and long enough to reach the hocks. Slightly curved upwards and/or to one side at its end. Even when the dog is moving or excited, the greater part of the tail is raised no higher than the level of the back. A short or curly tail is a fault.
Forequarters—Shoulders are well laid back. Forelegs straight, well-boned, and muscular. Viewed from any side, the legs are like vertical columns. The upper arms are carried close to the body, without loose elbows.
Feet—Strong, rather large, and with close, well-arched toes. Pads are hard, elastic, and black or gray. Ideally, nails are black or gray, although light nails are acceptable.
Hindquarters—The steely, strong bone structure is covered with highly-developed muscles. The legs are straight as viewed from the rear. Stifles are well-bent. Rear dewclaws must be removed.
Coat—Characteristic of the breed is the dense, protective coat. The puppy coat is relatively soft, but it shows a tendency to fall into cord-like curls. The young adult coat, or intermediate coat, consists of very short cords next to the skin which may be obscured by the sometimes lumpy looking fluff on the outer ends of the cords. The mature coat consists of a dense, soft, woolly undercoat much like the puppy coat, and a coarser outer coat that is wavy or curly. The coarser hairs of the outer coat trap the softer undercoat, forming permanent, strong cords that are felt-like to the touch. A grown dog is entirely covered with a heavy coat of these tassel-like cords, which form naturally. It must be remembered that the length of the Komondor’s coat is a function of age, and a younger dog must never be penalized for having a shorter coat. Straight or silky coat is a fault. Failure of the coat to cord by two years of age is a disqualification. Short, smooth coat on both head and legs is a disqualification.
Color—Color of the coat is white, but not always the pure white of a brushed coat. A small amount of cream or buff shading is sometimes seen in puppies, but fades with maturity. In the ideal specimen the skin is gray. Pink skin is not desirable but is acceptable. Color other than white, with the exception of small amounts of cream or buff in puppies, is a disqualification.
Gait—Light, leisurely and balanced. The Komondor takes long strides, is very agile and light on his feet. The head is carried slightly forward when the dog trots.
The foregoing is a description of the ideal Komondor. Any deviation should be penalized indirect proportion to the extent of that deviation. Extreme deviation in any part should be penalizedto the extent that the dog is effectively eliminated from competition.
Three or more missing teeth.
Failure of the coat to cord by two years of age.
Short, smooth coat on both head and legs.
Color other than white, with the exception of small amounts of cream or buff in puppies.
Approved June 13, 1994
Effective July 31, 1994
FROM TIBET, THAT EXOTIC HIGH-FLUNG DOMAIN OF THE LAMAS, CAME THE ancestors of the breed that today is known as the Kuvasz (plural, Kuvaszok). Yet this is not a new name for the breed. It is merely a corrupted spelling of Turkish and Arabian words that signified the unexcelled guarding instincts of this big dog.
The Turkish word is kawasz, which means “armed guard of the nobility.” In the Arabian this appears as kawwasz, which signifies “archer,” an expression that probably was a mere figure of speech to denote the high esteem in which the dog was held, since many centuries ago an archer was regarded with great respect. Words with nearly the same spelling and meaning are found throughout all the countries whose languages originate in Tibet.
There is little doubt of the part that the Kuvasz played in the history of the kingdoms and empires which flourished throughout Europe five to eight centuries ago. Dogs of this breed were the constant companions of many a ruler of a turbulent country; indeed, none but those within the favor of the royal circles were permitted to own Kuvasz.
Known in many countries, it was in Hungary that the Kuvasz developed into the form in which he is seen today. He still is a big dog, but he is not the giant of ancient times. At present he measures 28 to 30 inches at the withers, but there is every reason to believe that the dog that issued from Tibet stood considerably higher. He was a dog of which the common people stood in awe; his appearance alone was enough to discourage attacks on noblemen by the populace.
The first great period in the Hungarian history of the Kuvasz seemed to reach a climax during the second half of the fifteenth century. His renown reached far and wide. There were numerous big estates that bred the dog and kept their own studbooks. Many were trained for hunting, and they proved very successful on the big game of those times.
King Matthias I, who reigned from 1458 to 1490, had at least one Kuvasz with him whenever he traveled, and there were numerous specimens about his palace and the surrounding grounds. Few other rulers have had to strive so hard to hold his domains together. Plots and political intrigue were the rule rather than the exception, while assassinations were not uncommon. It is said that Matthias was reluctant to place any great trust in even the members of his own household, and his court was filled with ambitious noblemen.
It is no wonder that Matthias relied more upon his dogs than upon his human guards. He knew that in this big, sturdy fellow he had, perhaps, the only true security that was possible. Often, when the tumultuous day was over—and he waged wars almost continually—the king would spend half the night poring over his books and maps, preparing his orders for the following day, and while he worked, a big white Kuvasz sprawled just inside the door.
Matthias became so impressed with the Kuvasz that he developed a large pack to be used for hunting. His kennels on his large estates in Siebenbuergen were among the most impressive in Europe, and the scope of his breeding did a great deal toward perpetuating a splendid strain of the breed. Surplus puppies were presented only to noblemen and visiting dignitaries.
Eventually, many specimens got into the hands of commoners, but this was long after the time of Matthias I, when herders found them suitable for work with sheep and cattle. It was in this later period that the name of the breed was corrupted to its present spelling. Incidentally, this spelling is rather unfortunate, because it changes the meaning rather ridiculously to “mongrel.”
According to von Stephanitz, the great German authority on all Central European breeds, the Kuvasz is related to the Komondor, which had been brought from the Russian steppes by the Huns. He ventured the opinion that the Kawasz or Kawwasz was crossed with the indigenous country dog of Hungary. While this is something of a conjecture, there is strong evidence that points to truth. At any rate, the original type has proved dominant, and the Kuvasz of today—perhaps a little smaller—is very similar to his earliest progenitors.
OFFICIAL STANDARD FOR THE KUVASZ
General Appearance—A working dog of larger size, sturdily built, well balanced, neither lanky nor cobby. White in color with no markings. Medium boned, well muscled, without the slightest hint of bulkiness or lethargy. Impresses the eye with strength and activity combined with light-footedness, moves freely on strong legs. The following description is that of the ideal Kuvasz. Any deviation must be penalized to the extent of the deviation.
Size, Proportion, Substance—Height measured at the withers: Dogs, 28 to 30 inches; bitches, 26 to 28 inches. Disqualifications: Dogs smaller than 26 inches. Bitches smaller than 24 inches. Weight: Dogs approximately 100 to 115 pounds, bitches approximately 70 to 90 pounds. Trunk and limbs form a horizontal rectangle slightly deviated from the square. Bone in proportion to size of body. Medium, hard. Never heavy or coarse. Any tendency to weakness or lack of substance is a decided fault.
Head—Proportions are of great importance as the head is considered to be the most beautiful part of the Kuvasz. Length of head measured from tip of nose to occiput is slightly less than half the height of the dog at the withers. Width is half the length of the head. Eyes almond-shaped, set well apart, somewhat slanted. In profile, the eyes are set slightly below the plane of the muzzle. Lids tight, haws should not show. Dark brown, the darker the better. Ears V-shaped, tip is slightly rounded. Rather thick, they are well set back between the level of the eye and the top of the head. When pulled forward the tip of the ear should cover the eye. Looking at the dog face to face, the widest part of the ear is about level to the eye. The inner edge of the ear lies close to the cheek, the outer edge slightly away from the head forming a V. In the relaxed position, the ears should hold their set and not cast backward. The ears should not protrude above the head. The skull is elongated but not pointed. The stop is defined, never abrupt, raising the forehead gently above the plane of the muzzle. The longitudinal midline of the forehead is pronounced, widening as it slopes to the muzzle. Cheeks flat, bony arches above the eyes. The skin is dry. Muzzle: length in proportion to the length of the head, top straight, not pointed, underjaw well developed. Inside of the mouth preferably black. Nose large, black nostrils well opened. Lips black, closely covering the teeth. The upper lip covers tightly the upper jaw only; no excess flews. Lower lip tight and not pendulous. Bite: dentition full, scissors bite preferred. Level bite acceptable. Disqualifications: overshot bite; undershot bite.
Neck, Topline, Body—Neck muscular, without dewlap, medium length, arched at the crest. Back is of medium length, straight, firm and quite broad. The loin is short, muscular and tight. The croup well muscled, slightly sloping. Forechest is well developed. When viewed from the side, the forechest protrudes slightly in front of the shoulders. Chest deep with long, well-sprung ribs reaching almost to the elbows. The brisket is deep, well developed and runs parallel to the ground. The stomach is well tucked up. Tail carried low, natural length reaching at least to the hocks. In repose it hangs down resting on the body, the end but slightly lifted. In state of excitement, the tail may be elevated to the level of the loin, the tip slightly curved up. Ideally there should not be much difference in the carriage of the tail in state of excitement or in repose.
Forequarters—Shoulders—muscular and long. Topline—withers are higher than the back. The scapula and humerus form a right angle, are long and of equal length. Elbows neither in nor out. Legs are medium boned, straight and well muscled. The joints are dry, hard. Dewclaws on the forelegs should not be removed. Feet well padded. Pads resilient, black. Feet are closed tight, forming round “cat feet.” Some hair between the toes, the less the better. Dark nails are preferred.
Hindquarters—The portion behind the hip joint is moderately long, producing wide, long and strong muscles of the upper thigh. The femur is long, creating well-bent stifles. Lower thigh is long, dry, well muscled. Metatarsus is short, broad and of great strength. Dewclaws, if any, are removed. Feet as in front, except the rear paws somewhat longer.
Coat—The Kuvasz has a double coat, formed by guard hair and fine undercoat. The texture of the coat is medium coarse. The coat ranges from quite wavy to straight. Distribution follows a definite pattern over the body regardless of coat type. The head, muzzle, ears and paws are covered with short, smooth hair. The neck has a mane that extends to and covers the chest. Coat on the front of the forelegs up to the elbows and the hind legs below the thighs is short and smooth. The backs of the forelegs are feathered to the pastern with hair 2 to 3 inches long. The body and sides of the thighs are covered with a medium length coat. The back of the thighs and the entire tail are covered with hair 4 to 6 inches long. It is natural for the Kuvasz to lose most of the long coat during hot weather. Full luxuriant coat comes in seasonally, depending on climate. Summer coat should not be penalized.
Color—White. The skin is heavily pigmented. The more slate gray or black pigmentation the better.
Gait—Easy, free and elastic. Feet travel close to the ground. Hind legs reach far under, meeting or even passing the imprints of the front legs. Moving toward an observer, the front legs do not travel parallel to each other, but rather close together at the ground. When viewed from the rear, the hind legs (from the hip joint down) also move close to the ground. As speed increases, the legs gradually angle more inward until the pads are almost single-tracking. Unless excited, the head is carried rather low at the level of the shoulders. Desired movement cannot be maintained without sufficient angulation and firm slimness of body.
Temperament—A spirited dog of keen intelligence, determination, courage and curiosity. Very sensitive to praise and blame. Primarily a one-family dog. Devoted, gentle and patient without being overly demonstrative. Always ready to protect loved ones even to the point of self-sacrifice. Extremely strong instinct to protect children. Polite to accepted strangers, but rather suspicious and very discriminating in making new friends. Unexcelled guard, possessing ability to act on his own initiative at just the right moment without instruction. Bold, courageous and fearless. Untiring ability to work and cover rough terrain for long periods of time. Has good scent and has been used to hunt game.
Overshot bite. Undershot bite.
Dogs smaller than 26 inches. Bitches smaller than 24 inches.
Approved July 12, 1999
Effective August 30, 1999
THE BREED COMMONLY CALLED MASTIFF IN ENGLISH-SPEAKING COUNTRIES is more properly described as the Old English Mastiff. It is a giant shorthaired dog, with heavy head and short muzzle, which has been bred as a watchdog in England for over two thousand years. The word mastiff describes a group of giant varieties of dog rather than a single breed. They are supposed to have originated in Asia.
So little is known about dogs of any sort before the nineteenth century that almost all theories of ancestry are of small importance. Every partisan would like to claim the greatest antiquity for his particular sort of mastiff, as well as to say that the other sorts sprang from it. There is very little proof one way or the other.
Cassel finds drawings on Egyptian monuments of typical mastiffs dating about 3000 B.C. In literature, the earliest reference is in Chinese about 1121 B.C. This evidence supports the undoubted antiquity of the mastiff group’s ancestry.
So far as the mastiff is concerned, it has a longer history than most. Julius Caesar describes them in his account of invading Britain in 55 B.C., when they fought beside their masters against the Roman legions with such courage and power as to make a great impression. Soon afterward we find several different accounts of the huge British fighting dogs brought back to Rome, where they defeated all other varieties in combat in the arena. They were also matched against human gladiators as well as against bulls, bears, lions, and tigers.
Today we are likely to think of such cruel spectacles as belonging only to antiquity, but this is not true. Dogfights, bullbaiting, and bearbaiting were respectable and popular forms of amusement in England and America less than two hundred years ago. Such brutal events were patronized by nobility and clergy in England, while public-spirited citizens left legacies so that the common folk might be entertained in this way on holidays.
Dog fighting and animal-baiting were made illegal in England in 1835, but for twenty years longer the law was little obeyed. American dog fanciers are interested in the word fancier, which was synonymous with bettor—meaning especially a bettor on a dog or prizefight—and are interested also in the name of one of the most fashionable sporting establishments in London, over a hundred years ago, called the Westminster Pit, with 300 seats. Westminster meant dogs even then—but fighting dogs!
The Mastiff was always in front rank as a fighting dog, but this does not account for his popularity in England for two thousand years. It was as bandogs, or tiedogs (tied by day but loose at night), that they were found everywhere. In fact, long ago, keeping of these Mastiffs was compulsory for the peasants. During Anglo-Saxon times there had to be kept at least one Mastiff for each two villeins. By this means, wolves and other savage game were kept under control. They were also used in hunting packs by the nobility. It was as protectors of the home, however, that they were most used, and probably as a result of centuries of such service the Mastiff has acquired unique traits as a family dog.
That the Mastiff has long been numerous is indicated by the development of the English language itself. The ancient word in Anglo-Saxon and in over a score of kindred languages for a member of the canine race is hound, or something very similar. A rather modern word coming from the Latin languages is like dog, but in all but English it means a mastiff sort. So we can believe that when the Normans conquered the Anglo-Saxons in 1066 and made Norman-French the official language of England, dogues (or mastiffs) were so plentiful that people forgot eventually there was any other name for a canine creature. This is the only explanation a dog fancier can offer for such a peculiar change in a language.
Anecdotes extolling the power and agility of Mastiffs as well as their devotion to their masters would fill a large volume of marvels. Herodotus tells of Cyrus the Great, founder of the Persian Empire who, about 550 B.C., received a Mastiff as a gift from the King of Albania. Cyrus matched the dog against another and also set it against a bull. But the Mastiff was meek, so Cyrus, in disgust, had it killed. News of this reception of his gift came back to the King of Albania. He sent messengers with another Mastiff—a bitch—to Cyrus, telling him that a Mastiff was no ordinary cur and that it scorned to notice such common creatures as a Persian dog or a bull. He urged him to select a worthy opponent such as a lion or even an elephant. The King of Albania concluded by saying Mastiffs were rare and royal gifts and that he would not send Cyrus another. Whereupon, says Herodotus, the Mastiff bitch was set to attack an elephant and did so with such fury and efficiency that she worried the elephant down to the ground and would have killed it.
That is probably the tallest Mastiff tale on record! It does, however, give proof of the reputation of Mastiffs as powerful, agile, and courageous dogs. It is even more interesting to know that Albania was the land of the people known as Alani, an Asiatic people. Also that similar names stand for mastiffs, e.g., Alano, Alan, and Alaunt.
The story of Sir Peers Legh, Knight of Lyme Hall (near Stockport, Cheshire), at the Battle of Agincourt, October 25, 1415, is well known. He had brought his favorite Mastiff—also a bitch—to France, and when he fell, she stood over him and defended him many hours until he was picked up by English soldiers and carried to Paris, where he died of his wounds. The faithful Mastiff was returned to England and from her is descended the famous Lyme Hall strain which the family has bred over a period of over five centuries. In the drawing room of the castle is still to be seen an old stained-glass window portraying the gallant Sir Peers and his devoted Mastiff.
The present-day English Mastiff is based on the strains of Lyme Hall and that of the Duke of Devonshire’s Kennels at Chatsworth. Chaucer, writing in Middle English (a language resulting from a cross between old Anglo-Saxon and Norman-French) 300 years after the Norman Conquest, described the Old English Mastiff in his “Knight’s Tale.” He tried to use the Italian-French word for Mastiff, Alan, which is still used in English heraldry to describe the figure of a “mastiff with cropped ears” on a coat of arms:
Aboute his char ther wenten white Alaunts
Twenty and mo, as gret as any stere
To hunten at the leon or the dere.
So, here is proof that 600 years ago Mastiffs were hunted in packs in England on such different game as lion or deer. Chaucer says they were as large as steer! Even though cattle were much smaller in those days, this is hard to credit. The white color is authentic. We have plenty of pictures and descriptions of white and piebald Mastiffs, often with long coats, of about a century ago.
The American Mastiff Club was formed in 1879, and some time thereafter disbanded. In 1920, the first Mastiff Club of America was founded. The present club was established in 1929.
OFFICIAL STANDARD FOR THE MASTIFF
General Appearance—The Mastiff is a large, massive, symmetrical dog with a well-knit frame. The impression is one of grandeur and dignity. Dogs are more massive throughout. Bitches should not be faulted for being somewhat smaller in all dimensions while maintaining a proportionally powerful structure. A good evaluation considers positive qualities of type and soundness with equal weight.
Size, Proposition, Substance—Size—Dogs, minimum, 30 inches at the shoulder. Bitches, minimum, 271⁄2 inches at the shoulder. Fault—Dogs or bitches below the minimum standard. The farther below standard, the greater the fault.
Proportion—Rectangular, the length of the dog from forechest to rump is somewhat longer than the height at the withers. The height of the dog should come from depth of body rather than from length of leg.
Substance—Massive, heavy boned, with a powerful muscle structure. Great depth and breadth desirable. Fault—Lack of substance or slab-sided.
Head—In general outline giving a massive appearance when viewed from any angle. Breadth greatly desired.
Eyes set wide apart, medium in size, never too prominent. Expression alert but kindly. Color of eyes brown, the darker the better, and showing no haw. Light eyes or a predatory expression is undesirable. Ears small in proportion to the skull, V-shaped, rounded at the tips. Leather moderately thin, set widely apart at the highest points on the sides of the skull continuing the outline across the summit. They should lie close to the cheeks when in repose. Ears dark in color, the blacker the better, conforming to the color of the muzzle.
Skull broad and somewhat flattened between the ears, forehead slightly curved, showing marked wrinkles which are particularly distinctive when at attention. Brows (superciliary ridges) moderately raised. Muscles of the temples well developed, those of the cheeks extremely powerful. Arch across the skull a flattened curve with a furrow up the center of the forehead. This extends from between the eyes to halfway up the skull. The stop between the eyes well marked but not too abrupt.
Muzzle should be half the length of the skull, thus dividing the head into three parts—one for the foreface and two for the skull. In other words, the distance from the tip of the nose to stop is equal to one-half the distance between the stop and the occiput. Circumference of the muzzle (measured midway between the eyes and nose) to that of the head (measured before the ears) is as 3 is to 5. Muzzle short, broad under the eyes and running nearly equal in width to the end of the nose. Truncated, i.e., blunt and cut off square, thus forming a right angle with the upper line of the face. Of great depth from the point of the nose to the underjaw. Underjaw broad to the end and slightly rounded. Muzzle dark in color, the blacker the better. Fault—Snipiness of the muzzle.
Nose broad and always dark in color, the blacker the better, with spread flat nostrils (not pointed or turned up) in profile. Lips diverging at obtuse angles with the septum and sufficiently pendulous so as to show a modified square profile. Canine Teeth healthy and wide apart. Jaws powerful. Scissors bite preferred, but a moderately undershot jaw should not be faulted providing the teeth are not visible when the mouth is closed.
Neck, Topline, Body—Neck powerful, very muscular, slightly arched, and of medium length. The neck gradually increases in circumference as it approaches the shoulder. Neck moderately “dry” (not showing an excess of loose skin). Topline—In profile the topline should be straight, level, and firm, not swaybacked, roached, or dropping off sharply behind the high point of the rump. Chest wide, deep, rounded, and well let down between the forelegs, extending at least to the elbow. Forechest should be deep and well defined with the breastbone extending in front of the foremost point of the shoulders. Ribs well rounded. False ribs deep and well set back. Underline—There should be a reasonable, but not exaggerated, tuck-up. Back muscular, powerful and straight. When viewed from the rear, there should be a slight rounding over the rump. Loins wide and muscular.
Tail set on moderately high and reaching to the hocks or a little below. Wide at the root, tapering to the end, hanging straight in repose, forming a slight curve, but never over the back when the dog is in motion.
Forequarters—Shoulders moderately sloping, powerful and muscular, with no tendency to looseness. Degree of front angulation to match correct rear angulation. Legs straight, strong and set wide apart, heavy boned. Elbows parallel to body. Pasterns strong and bent only slightly. Feet large, round, and compact with well arched toes. Black nails preferred.
Hindquarters—Hindquarters broad, wide and muscular. Second thighs well developed, leading to a strong hock joint. Stifle joint is moderately angulated matching the front. Rear legs are wide apart and parallel when viewed from the rear. When the portion of the leg below the hock is correctly “set back” and stands perpendicular to the ground, a plumb line dropped from the rearmost point of the hindquarters will pass in front of the foot. This rules out straight hocks, and since stifle angulation varies with hock angulation, it also rules out insufficiently angulated stifles. Fault—Straight stifles.
Coat—Outer coat straight, coarse, and of moderately short length. Undercoat dense, short, and close lying. Coat should not be so long as to produce “fringe” on the belly, tail, or hind legs. Fault—Long or wavy coat.
Color—Fawn, apricot, or brindle. Brindle should have fawn or apricot as a background color which should be completely covered with very dark stripes. Muzzle, ears and nose must be dark in color, the blacker the better, with similar color tone around the eye orbits and extending upward between them. A small patch of white on the chest is permitted.
Faults—Excessive white on the chest or white on any other part of the body. Mask, ears or nose lacking dark pigment.
Gait—The gait denotes power and strength. The rear legs should have drive, while the forelegs should track smoothly with good reach. In motion, the legs move straight forward; as the dog’s speed increases from a walk to a trot, the feet move in toward the centerline of the body to maintain balance.
Temperament—A combination of grandeur and good nature, courage and docility. Dignity, rather than gaiety, is the Mastiff’s correct demeanor. Judges should not condone shyness or viciousness. Conversely, judges should also beware of putting a premium on showiness.
Approved November 12, 1991
Effective December 31, 1991
FROM THE BEGINNING OF MAN’S RELATIONSHIP WITH CANIS FAMILIARIS, ancient cultures all over the world created giant dogs of heavy bone with a large head and short muzzle. While in times past they were used in battle, these breeds have evolved to protect and guard and today serve as family companions. The Neapolitan Mastiff, or Mastino, is one of these dogs—the giant guard dog of Italy. Like its cousin, the English Mastiff, the modern Neapolitan Mastiff is an estate guard dog.
Instrumental in creating this breed was none other than Alexander the Great. In the fourth century B.C., Alexander was known to have crossed the giant Macedonian and Epirian war dogs with shorthaired Indian dogs to create the Molossus. The Molossus was a notable creature characterized by a wide, short muzzle and a heavy dewlap. Alexander used it to fight tigers, lions, elephants, and men in battle.
When the Romans set out to conquer the world, they adopted the Molossus and used them in battle, on the hunt, and in the arena. The Roman conquest of Britain in 54 B.C. gave them access to the even larger giant dogs there. The several different breeds descended from these dogs have many traits in common: They are large, powerful animals; are devoted to their masters; and are superior defenders of person and property.
Over the centuries, the farmers in the Neapolitan area of southern Italy focused on breeding Mastini that retained the giant size; heavy, loose skin; and dewlap of their ancestors. They created an animal that was a stay-at-home type and was good with the family, although still adept at detecting unwanted intruders and deterring. Indeed, many say that the Neapolitan Mastiff was developed purposely as an alarmingly ugly dog, whose looks alone were enough to repulse any intruder.
After World War II this breed was recognized as a national treasure, and several Italians began to organize the breed. Six Neapolitan Mastiffs were presented at the first exhibition in Naples in 1946. Dr. Piero Scanziani codified the standard in 1948, and in the following year the breed was first officially recognized. By the early 1970s the breed had representatives in most European countries and had acquired significant footholds in America, where a few fanciers became fascinated by the art of breeding this distinctive-looking and uniquely moving dog.
The first and possibly most important feature of the Neapolitan Mastiff is that it must appear massive—so much so that even though physically smaller than the English Mastiff, it often appears more massive because of the heaviness of the bones, the width of the trunk, and the awe-inspiring head.
Next most important is the head, which is massive in and of itself, and which must appear large in relation to the rest of the dog. Covered with wrinkles and folds, eyes deep set with the haw drooping, the lips sagging pendulously below the chin, and a characteristic dewlap, the head is simply astonishing.
The third key to Neapolitan Mastiff breed type is the wrinkles and loose skin over the whole body. The thick skin can be seen sloshing and rolling as the dog moves. While the skin is most obviously abundant over the head, it is also loose and plentiful over the whole body. When the dog sits, the skin can be seen to sag toward the buttocks and tail.
The most common color of the Mastino is blue (light or dark gray). Also acceptable are black, tawny, and mahogany, all colors with or without a slight tan brindling. Small white marks are allowed on the chest and on the feet. The ears are often cropped short, and the tail is usually cropped by one-third. These practices, begun in ancient times, are traditional but not required for show dogs. The Mastino was created by common folk of Italy who treasured their guard dogs and wanted to make sure that everyone else would be astonished upon seeing them, too. And so they created a dog that draws the eye. The observer should never be bored or left unmoved upon seeing these dogs!
When protecting home and family and repelling unwanted intruders, the dog often walks in a typically slow and shuffling gait and may deceptively appear indolent and lazy. Yet, also typical of the Mastino is that, lethargic though it may seem, it can when needed explode into the action necessary to do his job.
OFFICIAL STANDARD FOR THE NEAPOLITAN MASTIFF
General Appearance—An ancient breed, rediscovered in Italy in the 1940’s, the Neapolitan Mastiff is a heavy-boned, massive, awe inspiring dog bred for use as a guard and defender of owner and property. He is characterized by loose skin, over his entire body, abundant, hanging wrinkles and folds on the head and a voluminous dewlap. The essence of the Neapolitan is his bestial appearance, astounding head and imposing size and attitude. Due to his massive structure, his characteristic movement is rolling and lumbering, not elegant or showy.
Size, Proportion, Substance—A stocky, heavy boned dog, massive in substance, rectangular in proportion. Length of body is 10%–15% greater than height. Height: Dogs: 26 to 31 inches, Bitches: 24 to 29 inches. Average weight of mature Dogs: 150 pounds; Bitches: 110 pounds; but greater weight is usual and preferable as long as correct proportion and function are maintained. The absence of massiveness is to be so severely penalized as to eliminate from competition.
Head—Large in comparison to the body. Differentiated from that of other mastiff breeds by more extensive wrinkling and pendulous lips which blend into an ample dewlap. Toplines of cranium and the muzzle must be parallel. The face is made up of heavy wrinkles and folds. Required folds are those extending from the outside margin of the eyelids to the dewlap, and from under the lower lids to the outer edges of the lips. Severe Faults: Toplines of the cranium and muzzle not parallel. Disqualifications: Absence of wrinkles and folds. Expression: Wistful at rest, intimidating when alert. Penetrating stare. Eyes: Set deep and almost hidden beneath drooping upper lids. Lower lids droop to reveal haw. Eye Color: Shades of amber or brown, in accordance with coat color. Pigmentation of the eye rims same as coat color. Severe Faults: Whitish-blue eyes; incomplete pigmentation of the eye rims. Ears: Set well above the cheekbones. May be cropped or uncropped, but are usually cropped to an equilateral triangle for health reasons. If uncropped, they are medium sized, triangular in shape, held tight to the cheeks, and not extending beyond the lower margin of the throat. Skull: Wide flat between the ears, slightly arched at the frontal part, and covered with wrinkled skin. The width of the cranium between the cheekbones is approximately equal to its length from occiput stop. The brow is very developed. Frontal furrow is marked. Occiput is barely apparent. Stop: Very defined, forming a right angle at the junction of muzzle and frontal bones, and the sloping back at a greater angle where the frontal bones meet the frontal furrow of the forehead. Nose: Large with well-opened nostrils, and in color the same as the coat. The nose is an extension of the topline of the muzzle and should not protrude beyond nor recede behind the front plane of the muzzle. Severe Faults: Incomplete pigmentation of the nose. Muzzle: It is 1⁄3 the length of the whole head and is as broad as it is long. Viewed from the front, the muzzle is very deep with the outside borders parallel giving it a “squared” appearance. The top plane of the muzzle from stop to tip of nose is straight, but is ridged due to heavy folds of skin covering it. Severe Faults: Top plane of the muzzle curved upward or downward. Lips: Heavy, thick, and long, the upper lips join beneath the nostrils to form an inverted “V.” The upper lips form the lower, outer borders of the muzzle, and the lowest part of these borders is made by the corners of the lips. The corners turn outward to reveal the flews, and are in line with the outside corners of the eyes. Bite: Scissors bite or pincer bite is standard; slight undershot is allowed. Dentition is complete. Faults: More than 1 missing premolar. Severe Faults: Overshot jaw: pronounced undershot jaw which disrupts the outline of the front plane of the muzzle; more than 2 missing teeth.
Neck, Topline, and Body—Neck: Slightly arched, rather short, stocky and well-muscled. The voluminous and well-divided dewlap extends from the lower jaw to the lower neck. Disqualification: Absence of dewlap. Body: The length of the dog, measured from the point of the shoulder to the point of buttock is 10–15 percent greater than the height of the dog measured from the highest point of the shoulder to the ground. Depth of the ribcage is equal to half the total height of the dog. Ribs are long and well sprung. Chest: Broad and deep, well muscled. Underline and tuckup: The underline of the abdomen is practically horizontal. There is little or no tuckup. Back: Wide and strong. Highest part of shoulder blade barely rising above the strong, level topline of the back. Loin: well-muscled, and harmoniously joined to the back. Croup: Wide, strong, muscular and slightly sloped. The top of the croup rises slightly and is level with the highest point of the shoulder. Tail: Set on slightly lower than the topline, wide and thick at the root, tapering gradually toward the tip. It is docked by 1⁄3. At rest, the tail hangs straight or in slight “S” shape. When in action, it is raised to the horizontal or a little higher than the back. Severe Fault: Tail carried straight up or curved over the back. Kinked tail. Disqualification: Lack of tail or short tail, which is less than 1⁄3 the length from point of insertion of the tail to the hock-joint.
Forequarters—Heavily built, muscular, and in balance with the hindquarters. Shoulders: Long, well-muscled, sloping and powerful. Upper arms: Strongly muscled, powerful. In length, almost 1⁄3 the height of the dog. Elbows: Covered with abundant and loose skin; held parallel to the ribcage, neither tied in nor loose. Forelegs: Thick, straight, heavy bone, well muscled, exemplifying strength. About the same length as the upper arms. Set well apart. Pasterns: Thick and flattened from front to back, moderately sloping forward from the leg. Dewclaws: Front dewclaws are not removed. Feet: Round and noticeably large with arched, strong toes. Nails strong, curved and preferably dark-colored. Slight turn out of the front feet is characteristic.
Hindquarters—As a whole, they must be powerful and strong, in harmony with the forequarters. Thighs: About the same length as the forearms, broad, muscular. Stifles: Moderate angle, strong. Legs: Heavy and thick boned, well-muscled. Slightly shorter than thigh bones. Hocks: Powerful and long. Rear pasterns: (metatarsus) Heavy thick bones. Viewed from the side, they are perpendicular to the ground. Viewed from the rear, parallel to each other. Rear dewclaws: Any dewclaws must be removed. Hind feet: Same as the front feet but slightly smaller.
Coat—The coat is short, dense and of uniform length and smoothness all over the body. The hairs are straight and not longer than 1 inch. No fringe anywhere.
Color—Solid coats of gray (blue), black, mahogany and tawny, and the lighter and darker shades of these colors. Some brindling allowable in all colors. When present, brindling must be tan (reverse brindle). There may be solid white markings on the chest, throat area from chin to chest, underside of the body, penis sheath, backs of the pasterns, and on the toes. There may be white hairs at the back of the wrists. Disqualifications : White markings on any part of the body not mentioned as allowed.
Gait—The Neapolitan Mastiff’s movement is not flashy, but rather slow and lumbering. Normal gaits are the walk, trot, gallop, and pace. The strides are long and elastic, at the same time, powerful, characterized by a long push from the hindquarters and extension of the forelegs. Rolling motion and swaying of the body at all gaits is characteristic. Pacing in the show ring is not to be penalized. Slight paddling movement of the front feet is normal. The head is carried level with or slightly above the back.
Temperament—The Neapolitan Mastiff is steady and loyal to his owner, not aggressive or apt to bite without reason. As a protector of his property and owners, he is always watchful and does not relish intrusion by strangers into his personal space. His attitude is calm yet wary. In the show ring he is majestic and powerful, but not showy.
Faults—The foregoing description is that of the ideal Neapolitan Mastiff. Any deviation from the above described dog must be penalized to the extent of the deviation.
Absence of wrinkles and folds.
Absence of dewlap.
Lack of tail or short tail, which is less than 1⁄3 the length from point of insertion of the tail to the hock.
White markings on any part of the body not mentioned.
Approved January 13, 2004
Effective May 1, 2004
THERE IS MUCH UNCERTAINTY ABOUT THE ORIGIN OF THE NEWFOUNDLAND breed. Some say that the ancestors are a combination of indigenous Indian dogs interbred with others such as the Great Pyrenees dogs brought to the coast of Newfoundland by the Basque fishermen or dogs brought to North America by the Vikings. At any rate, a breed evolved that was particularly suited to its island of origin.
Newfoundlands were large dogs, with sufficient size and strength to perform the tasks required of them. They had heavy coats for protection against the long winters and icy waters surrounding their native island. Strong and partially webbed feet have enabled them to travel easily over marshes and shores. The breed was admired for its physical prowess and attractive disposition, and as a result, some specimens were taken to England where they were bred extensively. Most Newfoundlands, even those in Newfoundland, are descended from forebears born in England. Today’s Newfoundland is admired and bred in many countries worldwide.
The breed standard describes a true working dog, one that is essentially as much at home in water as on land. Canine literature gives us stories of brave Newfoundlands that have rescued men and women from the sea. There are also stories of shipwrecks made less terrible by dogs that carried lifelines to stricken vessels and of Newfoundlands rescuing children who had fallen into deep water. We find other accounts of dogs whose work was less spectacular but equally valuable, as they helped fishermen with heavy nets and performed other tasks necessary to the owners’ occupations. Although this is a superior water dog, Newfoundlands have been and are still used as working dogs, pulling carts or carrying burdens as a pack animal.
In order to perform these duties, Newfoundlands must be large dogs, big enough to bring even a drowning adult to shore. They must have powerful hindquarters and lung capacity enabling them to swim great distances. Their heavy coat is needed for protection from the icy waters. In short, they must be strong, muscular, and sound so that they are able to do the work for which they have become justly famous. Above all, Newfoundlands must have intelligence, loyalty, and a sweet nature, which are their best-known traits. Upon command, they must be willing and able to help their owners perform any necessary tasks, and they must also have the intelligence to act independently with responsibility when rescue work demands it.
In this country, where the Newfoundland is kept not as an active worker but largely as a companion, we particularly appreciate the sterling traits of the true Newfoundland disposition. Here we have the great size and strength that make the breed an effective guardian, combined with the gentleness that makes them safe companions. For generations, Newfoundlands have been the traditional children’s protector and playmate. Not as easily hurt by small tugging fingers—as a small dog may be—of their own accord Newfoundlands undertake without training the duties of nursemaid.
We know of no better description of Newfoundland character than the famous epitaph on the monument at Lord Byron’s estate, at Newstead Abbey, England:
Near this spot
Are deposited the Remains of one
Who possessed Beauty without Vanity,
Strength without Insolence,
Courage without Ferocity,
And all the Virtues of Man without his Vices.
This Praise, which would be unmeaning Flattery
If inscribed over human Ashes,
Is but a just tribute to the Memory of
Boatswain, a Dog,
Who was born in Newfoundland May 1803
And died at Newstead Nov. 18th, 1808.
OFFICIAL STANDARD FOR THE NEWFOUNDLAND
General Appearance—The Newfoundland is a sweet-dispositioned dog that acts neither dull nor ill-tempered. He is a devoted companion. A multipurpose dog, at home on land and in water, the Newfoundland is capable of draft work and possesses natural lifesaving abilities.
The Newfoundland is a large, heavily coated, well balanced dog that is deep-bodied, heavily boned, muscular, and strong. A good specimen of the breed has dignity and proud head carriage.
The following description is that of the ideal Newfoundland. Any deviation from this ideal is to be penalized to the extent of the deviation. Structural and movement faults common to all working dogs are as undesirable in the Newfoundland as in any other breed, even though they are not specifically mentioned herein.
Size, Proportion, Substance—Average height for adult dogs is 28 inches, for adult bitches, 26 inches. Approximate weight of adult dogs ranges from 130 to 150 pounds, adult bitches from 100 to 120 pounds. The dog’s appearance is more massive throughout than the bitch’s. Large size is desirable, but never at the expense of balance, structure, and correct gait. The Newfoundland is slightly longer than tall when measured from the point of shoulder to point of buttocks and from withers to ground. He is a dog of considerable substance which is determined by spring of rib, strong muscle, and heavy bone.
Head—The head is massive, with a broad skull, slightly arched crown, and strongly developed occipital bone. Cheeks are well developed. Eyesare dark brown. (Browns and Grays may have lighter eyes and should be penalized only to the extent that color affects expression.) They are relatively small, deep-set, and spaced wide apart. Eyelids fit closely with no inversion. Earsare relatively small and triangular with rounded tips. They are set on the skull level with, or slightly above, the brow and lie close to the head. When the ear is brought forward, it reaches to the inner corner of the eye on the same side. Expressionis soft and reflects the characteristics of the breed: benevolence, intelligence and dignity.
Forehead and face are smooth and free of wrinkles. Slope of the stop is moderate but, because of the well developed brow, it may appear abrupt in profile. The muzzleis clean-cut, broad throughout its length, and deep. Depth and length are approximately equal, the length from tip of nose to stop being less than that from stop to occiput. The top of the muzzle is rounded, and the bridge, in profile, is straight or only slightly arched. Teeth meet in a scissors or level bite. Dropped lower incisors, in an otherwise normal bite, are not indicative of a skeletal malocclusion and should be considered only a minor deviation.
Neck, Topline, Body—The neckis strong and well set on the shoulders and is long enough for proud head carriage. The backis strong, broad, and muscular and is level from just behind the withers to the croup. The chest is full and deep with the brisket reaching at least down to the elbows. Ribs are well sprung, with the anterior third of the rib cage tapered to allow elbow clearance. The flank is deep. The croup is broad and slopes slightly. Tail—Tail set follows the natural line of the croup. The tail is broad at the base and strong. It has no kinks, and the distal bone reaches to the hock. When the dog is standing relaxed, its tail hangs straight or with a slight curve at the end. When the dog is in motion or excited, the tail is carried out, but it does not curl over the back.
Forequarters—Shoulders are muscular and well laid back. Elbows lie directly below the highest point of the withers. Forelegs are muscular, heavily boned, straight, and parallel to each other, and the elbows point directly to the rear. The distance from elbow to ground equals about half the dog’s height. Pasterns are strong and slightly sloping. Feet are proportionate to the body in size, webbed, and cat foot in type. Dewclaws may be removed.
Hindquarters—The rear assembly is powerful, muscular and heavily boned. Viewed from the rear, the legs are straight and parallel. Viewed from the side, the thighs are broad and fairly long. Stifles and hocks are well bent and the line from hock to ground is perpendicular. Hocks are well let down. Hind feet are similar to the front feet. Dewclaws should be removed.
Coat—The adult Newfoundland has a flat, water-resistant, double coat that tends to fall back into place when rubbed against the nap. The outer coat is coarse, moderately long, and full, either straight or with a wave. The undercoat is soft and dense, although it is often less dense during the summer months or in warmer climates. Hair on the face and muzzle is short and fine. The backs of the legs are feathered all the way down. The tail is covered with long dense hair. Excess hair may be trimmed for neatness. Whiskers need not be trimmed.
Color—Color is secondary to type, structure and soundness. Recognized Newfoundland colors are black, brown, gray, and white and black.
Solid Colors—Blacks, Browns, and Grays may appear as solid colors or solid colors with white at any, some, or all, of the following locations: chin, chest, toes and tip of tail. Any amount of white found at these locations is typical and is not penalized. Also typical are a tinge of bronze on a black or gray coat and lighter furnishings on a brown or gray coat.
Landseer—White base coat with black markings. Typically, the head is solid black, or black with white on the muzzle, with or without a blaze. There is a separate black saddle and black on the rump extending onto a white tail.
Markings, on either Solid Colors or Landseers, might deviate considerably from those described and should be penalized only to the extent of the deviation. Clear white or white with minimal ticking is preferred. Beauty of markings should be considered only when comparing dogs of otherwise comparable quality and never at the expense of type, structure and soundness.
Disqualifications—Any colors or combinations of colors not specifically described are disqualified.
Gait—The Newfoundland in motion has good reach, strong drive, and gives the impression of effortless power. His gait is smooth and rhythmic, covering the maximum amount of ground with the minimum number of steps. Forelegs and hind legs travel straight forward. As the dog’s speed increases, the legs tend toward single tracking. When moving, a slight roll of the skin is characteristic of the breed. Essential to good movement is the balance of correct front and rear assemblies.
Temperament—Sweetness of temperament is the hallmark of the Newfoundland; this is the most important single characteristic of the breed.
Any colors or combinations of colors not specifically described are disqualified.
Approved May 8, 1990
Effective June 28, 1990
PORTUGUESE WATER DOG
THE PORTUGUESE WATER DOG ONCE EXISTED ALL ALONG PORTUGAL’S coast, where it was taught to herd fish into the nets, to retrieve lost tackle or broken nets, and to act as a courier from ship to ship, or ship to shore. Portuguese Water Dogs rode in bobbing trawlers as they worked their way from the warm Atlantic waters of Portugal to the frigid fishing waters off the coast of Iceland, where the fleets caught saltwater codfish to bring home.
In Portugal, the breed is called Cao de Agua (pronounced Kown-d’Ahgwa ). Cao means dog, de Agua means of water. In his native land, the dog is also known as the Portuguese Fishing Dog. Cao de Agua de Pelo Ondulado is the name given the wavy-coated variety, and Cao de Agua de Pelo Encaradolado is the name for the curly-coated variety.
A spirited, intelligent breed of fine temperament, rugged and robust, with a profuse waterproof coat (sometimes tolerated by individuals with allergies) and webbed feet, he is an ideal outdoor dog, capable of limitless work. He stands 20 to 23 inches (17 to 21 for bitches) and weighs between 42 and 60 pounds (35 and 50 for bitches)—a variation explained for by the fact that small dogs were more practical for small boats, and larger dogs for the larger boats.
He is shown in either of two clips—the lion clip, with the middle, hindquarters, and muzzle clipped short and the rest of the coat left long, and in the working-retriever clip. Adherents of the lion clip say it shows off a good rear and displays the muscles better, while advocates of the retriever clip like the fact that it is easy to care for, and prepares the dog for all sorts of outdoor adventure.
Some belief exists that the breed traces as far back as 700 B.C. to the wild Central-Asian steppes, near the Chinese-Russian border, terrains and waters guaranteed to encourage ruggedness. The early people who lived here raised cattle, sheep, camels, or horses, depending upon where they lived. They also raised dogs to herd them. Isolated from the rest of the world, these dogs developed into a definite type very much like the heavier long-coated Portuguese Water Dog.
One theory of these long-perished times is that some of the rugged Asian herding dogs were captured by the fierce Berbers. The Berbers spread slowly across the face of North Africa to Morocco. Their descendants, the Moors, arrived in Portugal in the eighth century, bringing the water dogs with them.
Another theory purports that some of the dogs left the Asian steppes with the Goths, a confederation of German tribes. Some (the Ostrogoths) went west and their dogs became the German pudel. Others (the Visigoths) went south to fight the Romans, and their dogs became the Lion Dog. In A.D. 400, the Visigoths invaded Spain and Portugal (then known only as Iberia) and the dogs found their homeland.
These theories explain how the Poodle and the Portuguese Water Dog may have developed from the same ancient genetic pool. At one time the Poodle was a longer-coated dog, as is one variety of the Portuguese Water Dog. The possibility also exists that some of the long-coated water dogs grew up with the ancient Iberians. In early times, Celtiberians migrated from lands which now belong to south-western Germany. Swarming over the Pyrenees, circulating over the whole of Western Europe, they established bases in Iberia, as well as in Ireland, Wales, and Brittany. The Irish Water Spaniel is believed to be a descendant of the Portuguese Water Dog.
Cloistered along remote cliffs of the rugged coast of southern Portugal, the breed remained in its rough form for centuries. But early in the twentieth century, as the agricultural country experienced social upheaval, the dog shared the fate of the Portuguese fishermen who were quickly vanishing from the coastline.
In the 1930s, a wealthy Portuguese shipping magnate and dog fancier, Dr. Vasco Bensuade, took it upon himself to save the breed. The Clube dos Cacadores Portuguese was reorganized, the breed was exhibited in shows, a standard was written, and the breed was classified as a Working Dog by the Clube Portuguese de Caniculture.
In 1954, a few Portuguese Water Dogs were exported from Portugal to England. The Kennel Club (England) recognized the breed as a Working Dog. Though accepted, the breed languished in the British Isles and there were no registrations after 1957.
Interest began in the United States in 1958, when Mr. and Mrs. Harrington, of New York, received a pair from England as part of a trade of rare breeds. Among those taking an early interest in the breed were Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Miller, of Connecticut, who acquired the first direct import to this country from Portugal— a puppy bitch purchased from Senhora Branco, a former lady bullfighter who had inherited Dr. Bensuade’s kennels in Portugal.
On August 13, 1972, sixteen people involved with the breed met at the Miller home to form the Portuguese Water Dog Club of America. At the time there were only twelve known dogs of the breed in America, but the breeders worked dedicatedly, and by September 1982 the number of dogs had grown to over 650, located in forty-one states, and there were over fifty serious breeders. The Portuguese Water Dog was admitted to the AKC Miscellaneous class on June 3, 1981. Three months later, the breed had its first obedience champion, Spindrift Kedge. The Portuguese Water Dog was accepted for AKC registration on August 1, 1983, and became eligible to compete as a member of the Working Group, on January 1, 1984.
OFFICIAL STANDARD FOR THE PORTUGUESE WATER DOG
General Appearance—Known for centuries along Portugal’s coast, this seafaring breed was prized by fishermen for a spirited, yet obedient nature, and a robust, medium build that allowed for a full day’s work in and out of the water. The Portuguese Water Dog is a swimmer and diver of exceptional ability and stamina, who aided his master at sea by retrieving broken nets, herding schools of fish, and carrying messages between boats and to shore. He is a loyal companion and alert guard. This highly intelligent utilitarian breed is distinguished by two coat types, either curly or wavy; an impressive head of considerable breadth and well proportioned mass; a ruggedly built, well-knit body; and a powerful, thickly based tail, carried gallantly or used purposefully as a rudder. The Portuguese Water Dog provides an indelible impression of strength, spirit and soundness.
Size, Proportion, Substance—Size—Heightat the withers: Males, 20 to 23 inches. The ideal is 22 inches. Females, 17 to 21 inches. The ideal is 19 inches. Weight—For males, 42 to 60 pounds; for females, 35 to 50 pounds. Proportion—Off square; slightly longer than tall when measured from prosternum to rearmost point of the buttocks, and from withers to ground. Substance—Strong, substantial bone; well developed, neither refined nor coarse, and a solidly built, muscular body.
Head—An essential characteristic; distinctively large, well proportioned and with exceptional breadth of topskull. Expression—Steady, penetrating, and attentive. Eyes— Medium in size; set well apart, and a bit obliquely. Roundish and neither prominent nor sunken. Black or various tones of brown in color. Darker eyes are preferred. Eye rims fully pigmented with black edges in black, black and white, or white dogs; brown edges in brown dogs. Haws are dark and not apparent. Ears—Set well above the line of the eye. Leather is heart shaped and thin. Except for a small opening at the back, ears are held nicely against the head. Tips should not reach below the lower jaw.
Skull—In profile, it is slightly longer than the muzzle, its curvature more accentuated at the back than in the front. When viewed head-on, the top of the skull is very broad and appears domed, with a slight depression in the middle. The forehead is prominent, and has a central furrow, extending two-thirds of the distance from stop to occiput. The occiput is well defined. Stop—Well defined. Muzzle—Substantial; wider at the base than at the nose. Jaws—Strong and neither over nor undershot. Nose— Broad, well flared nostrils. Fully pigmented; black in dogs with black, black and white, or white coats; various tones of brown in dogs with brown coats. Lips—Thick, especially in front; no flew. Lips and mucous membranes of the roof of the mouth, under tongue, and gums are quite black, or well ticked with black in dogs with black, black and white, or white coats; various tones of brown in dogs with brown coats. Bite— Scissors or level. Teeth—Not visible when the mouth is closed. Canines strongly developed.
Neck, Topline, Body—Neck—Straight, short, round, and held high. Strongly muscled. No dewlap. Topline—Level and firm. Body—Chest is broad and deep, reaching down to the elbow. Ribs are long and well-sprung to provide optimum lung capacity. Abdomen well held up in a graceful line. Backis broad and well muscled. Loin is short and meets the croup smoothly. Croup is well formed and only slightly inclined with hip bones hardly apparent. Tail—Not docked; thick at the base and tapering; set on slightly below the line of the back; should not reach below the hock. When the dog is attentive the tail is held in a ring, the front of which should not reach forward of the loin. The tail is of great help when swimming and diving.
Forequarters—Shoulders are well inclined and very strongly muscled. Upper arms are strong. Forelegs are strong and straight with long, well muscled forearms. Carpus is heavy-boned, wider in front than at the side. Pasterns are long and strong. Dewclaws may be removed. Feet are round and rather flat. Toes neither knuckled up nor too long. Webbing between the toes is of soft skin, well covered with hair, and reaches the toe tips. Central pad is very thick, others normal. Nails held up slightly off the ground. Black, brown, white, and striped nails are allowed.
Hindquarters—Powerful; well balanced with the front assembly. Legs, viewed from the rear, are parallel to each other, straight and very strongly muscled in upper and lower thighs. Buttocks are well developed. Tendons and hocks are strong. Metatarsus long, no dewclaws. Feet similar in all respects to forefeet.
Coat—A profuse, thickly planted coat of strong, healthy hair, covering the whole body evenly, except where the forearm meets the brisket and in the groin area, where it is thinner. No undercoat, mane or ruff.
There are two varieties of coat:
Curly—Compact, cylindrical curls, somewhat lusterless. The hair on the ears is sometimes wavy.
Wavy—Falling gently in waves, not curls, and with a slight sheen.
No preference will be given to coat type, either curly or wavy.
Clip—Two clips are acceptable:
Lion Clip—As soon as the coat grows long, the middle part and hindquarters, as well as the muzzle, are clipped. The hair at the end of the tail is left at full length.
Retriever Clip—In order to give a natural appearance and a smooth unbroken line, the entire coat is scissored or clipped to follow the outline of the dog, leaving a short blanket of coat no longer than one inch in length. The hair at the end of the tail is left at full length.
No discrimination will be made against the correct presentation of a dogin either Lion Clip or Retriever Clip.
Color—Black, white, and various tones of brown; also combinations of black or brown with white. A white coat does not imply albinism provided nose, mouth, and eyelids are black. In animals with black, white, or black and white coats, the skin is decidedly bluish.
Gait—Short, lively steps when walking. The trot is a forward striding, well balanced movement.
Temperament—An animal of spirited disposition, self-willed, brave, and very resistant to fatigue. A dog of exceptional intelligence and a loyal companion, it obeys its master with facility and apparent pleasure. It is obedient with those who look after it or with those for whom it works.
Summary Statement—The Portuguese Water Dog is spirited yet obedient, robust, and of unexaggerated, functional conformation; sure, substantially boned and muscled, and able to do a full day’s work in and out of the water.
Faults—Any deviation from the described ideal is a fault. However, those inherent characteristics that are imperative for the maintenance of proper type, and therefore cannot be overlooked, are listed as Major Faults.
Temperament—Shy, vicious or unsound behavior.
Head—Unimpressive; small in overall size; narrow in topskull; snipy in muzzle.
Substance—Light or refined in bone; lacking in muscle.
Coat—Sparse; naturally short, close-lying hair, partially or over all; wispy or wiry intexture; brittle; double-coated.
Tail—Other than as described. Extremely low set. Heavy or droopy in action.
Pigment—Any deviation from described pigmentation; other than black or various tonesof brown eye color; pink or partial pigmentation in nose, lips, eyes, or eye rims.
Bite—Overshot or undershot.
Approved January 15, 1991
Effective February 27, 1991
HE ORIGIN OF THE ROTTWEILER IS NOT DOCUMENTED. ACTUAL HISTORY, tempered by reasonable supposition, indicates the likelihood that this breed is descended from one of the drover dogs indigenous to ancient Rome. This drover has been described by various accredited sources as being of the mastiff type: a dependable, rugged, willing worker, possessing great intelligence and a strong guarding instinct.
The transition from Roman herding dog to the Rottweiler we know today can be attributed to the desire of Roman emperors to conquer Europe. Vast armies were required for these expeditions, and the logistics of feeding the legions became a major consideration. No refrigeration existed, so meat had to be on the hoof and travel with the troops. A dog had to keep the herd intact during the long march, and the mastiff type described above was admirably suited to that job and the additional responsibility of guarding the supply dumps at night.
Roman military campaigns varied in scope, but the one of concern to us took place in approximately A.D. 74. Its route across the Alps terminated in what is now southern Germany. There is much evidence supporting the vital role played by the fearless Roman drover dog on this trek from Rome to the banks of the Neckar River.
We have no reason to doubt that through the next two centuries, descendants of the original Roman drover dogs continued to guard the herds. Agriculture and trading cattle remained prime occupations, ensuring further need for the dogs.
In about 700, the local duke ordered that a Christian church be built on the site of the former Roman baths. Excavations unearthed the red tiles of Roman villas. The site was named das Rote Wil (“the red tile”). This, of course, is recognizable as the derivation of the present name, Rottweil. Rottweil’s dominance as a cultural and trade center increased unabated. In the middle of the twelfth century an all-new town with elaborate fortifications was built. This security attracted and increased commerce in cattle. Butchers concentrated in the area, and more dogs were needed to drive the cattle to and from market.
The descendants of the Roman drover dog plied their trade without interruption until the middle of the nineteenth century, at which time cattle driving was outlawed. The Rottweiler Metzgerhund, or Butcher Dog, then fell on hard times, as their function had been severely curtailed. In those days, dogs earned their keep or there was no reason for their existence. The number of Rottweilers declined so radically that in 1882 the dog show in Heilbronn, Germany, reported just one poor example of the breed.
The annals of cynology make no further mention of the breed until 1901, when a combined Rottweiler and Leonberger club was formed. This club was short-lived but important because it produced the first Rottweiler standard. It is noteworthy that the general type advocated in that standard has not changed substantially, and the character called for has not changed at all.
From 1901 to 1907, the Rottweiler again found favor as a police dog. Several clubs were organized, as dissension was common. In 1921, the Allgemeiner Deutscher Rottweiler Klub (ADRK) was formed. By then, 3,400 Rottweilers had been registered by three or four separate clubs. Duplications and confusion ended in 1924, when the ADRK published its first studbook. The ADRK has remained intact since its inception, despite the difficulties encountered during and in the aftermath of World War II.
The Rottweiler was admitted to the AKC Stud Book in 1931, and the standard was adopted in 1935. An American Rottweiler won an obedience title for the first time in 1939, and the first championship was earned in 1948. The American Rottweiler Club (ARC), organized in 1971, is the AKC parent club for the breed. The ARC was approved for its first specialty show in 1981.
The standard calls for a compact and muscular dog, with a medium- to large-size body that enables Rottweilers to efficiently perform their original functions: pull carts, herd stock for farmers, and assist police in apprehending criminals. The short, docked tail is a distinctive characteristic of the Rottweiler. The only acceptable color is solid black with tan- to rust-colored markings. Rottweilers must be calm, confident, and courageous, but not unduly aggressive. This strong-willed, powerful breed is not for everyone, but with proper breeding, socializing, and training Rottweilers are very gentle and totally devoted to their families.
OFFICIAL STANDARD FOR THE ROTTWEILER
General Appearance—The ideal Rottweiler is a medium large, robust and powerful dog, black with clearly defined rust markings. His compact and substantial build denotes great strength, agility and endurance. Dogs are characteristically more massive throughout with larger frame and heavier bone than bitches. Bitches are distinctly feminine, but without weakness of substance or structure.
Size, Proportion, Substance—Dogs—24 inches to 27 inches. Bitches—22 inches to 25 inches, with preferred size being mid-range of each sex. Correct proportion is of primary importance, as long as size is within the standard’s range.
The length of body, from prosternum to the rearmost projection of the rump, is slightly longer than the height of the dog at the withers, the most desirable proportion of the height to length being 9 to 10. The Rottweiler is neither coarse nor shelly. Depth of chest is approximately fifty percent (50%) of the height of the dog. His bone and muscle mass must be sufficient to balance his frame, giving a compact and very powerful appearance.
Serious Faults—Lack of proportion, undersized, oversized, reversal of sex characteristics (bitchy dogs, doggy bitches).
Head—Of medium length, broad between the ears; forehead line seen in profile is moderately arched; zygomatic arch and stop well developed with strong broad upper and lower jaws. The desired ratio of backskull to muzzle is 3 to 2. Forehead is preferred dry, however, some wrinkling may occur when dog is alert. Expressionis noble, alert, and self-assured. Eyesof medium size, almond shaped with well fitting lids, moderately deep-set, neither protruding nor receding. The desired color is a uniform dark brown. SeriousFaults—Yellow (bird of prey) eyes, eyes of different color or size, hairless eye rim. Disqualification—Entropion. Ectropion. Earsof medium size, pendant, triangular in shape; when carried alertly the ears are level with the top of the skull and appear to broaden it. Ears are to be set well apart, hanging forward with the inner edge lying tightly against the head and terminating at approximately mid-cheek. SeriousFaults— Improper carriage (creased, folded or held away from cheek/head). Muzzle—Bridge is straight, broad at base with slight tapering towards tip. The end of the muzzle is broad with well developed chin. Nose is broad rather than round and always black. Lips— Always black; corners closed; inner mouth pigment is preferred dark. SeriousFaults— Total lack of mouth pigment (pink mouth). BiteandDentition—Teeth 42 in number (20 upper, 22 lower), strong, correctly placed, meeting in a scissors bite—lower incisors touching inside of upper incisors. SeriousFaults—Level bite; any missing tooth. Disqualifications—Overshot, undershot (when incisors do not touch or mesh); wry mouth; two or more missing teeth.
Neck, Topline, Body—Neck—Powerful, well muscled, moderately long, slightly arched and without loose skin. Topline—The back is firm and level, extending in a straight line from behind the withers to the croup. The back remains horizontal to the ground while the dog is moving or standing. Body—The chest is roomy, broad and deep, reaching to elbow, with well pronounced forechest and well sprung, oval ribs. Back is straight and strong. Loin is short, deep and well muscled. Croup is broad, of medium length and only slightly sloping. Underline of a mature Rottweiler has a slight tuck-up. Males must have two normal testicles properly descended into the scrotum. Disqualification—Unilateral cryptorchid or cryptorchid males. Tail—Tail docked short, close to body, leaving one or two tail vertebrae. The set of the tail is more important than length. Properly set, it gives an impression of elongation of topline; carried slightly above horizontal when the dog is excited or moving.
Forequarters—Shoulder blade is long and well laid back. Upper arm equal in length to shoulder blade, set so elbows are well under body. Distance from withers to elbow and elbow to ground is equal. Legs are strongly developed with straight, heavy bone, not set close together. Pasterns are strong, springy and almost perpendicular to the ground. Feet are round, compact with well arched toes, turning neither in nor out. Pads are thick and hard. Nails short, strong and black. Dewclaws may be removed.
Hindquarters—Angulation of hindquarters balances that of forequarters. Upper thigh is fairly long, very broad and well muscled. Stifle joint is well turned. Lower thigh is long, broad and powerful, with extensive muscling leading into a strong hock joint. Rear pasterns are nearly perpendicular to the ground. Viewed from the rear, hind legs are straight, strong and wide enough apart to fit with a properly built body. Feet are somewhat longer than the front feet, turning neither in nor out, equally compact with well arched toes. Pads are thick and hard. Nails short, strong, and black. Dewclaws must be removed.
Coat—Outer coat is straight, coarse, dense, of medium length and lying flat. Undercoat should be present on neck and thighs, but the amount is influenced by climatic conditions. Undercoat should not show through outer coat. The coat is shortest on head, ears and legs, longest on breeching. The Rottweiler is to be exhibited in the natural condition with no trimming. Fault—Wavy coat. SeriousFaults—Open, excessively short, or curly coat; total lack of undercoat; any trimming that alters the length of the natural coat. Disqualification—Long coat.
Color—Always black with rust to mahogany markings. The demarcation between black and rust is to be clearly defined. The markings should be located as follows: a spot over each eye; on cheeks; as a strip around each side of muzzle, but not on the bridge of the nose; on throat; triangular mark on both sides of prosternum; on forelegs from carpus downward to the toes; on inside of rear legs showing down the front of the stifle and broadening out to front of rear legs from hock to toes, but not completely eliminating black from rear of pasterns; under tail; black penciling on toes. The undercoat is gray, tan or black. Quantity and location of rust markings is important and should not exceed ten percent of body color. SeriousFaults—Straw-colored, excessive, insufficient or sooty markings; rust marking other than described above; white marking any place on dog (a few rust or white hairs do not constitute a marking). Disqualifications—Any base color other than black; absence of all markings.
Gait—The Rottweiler is a trotter. His movement should be balanced, harmonious, sure, powerful and unhindered, with strong forereach and a powerful rear drive. The motion is effortless, efficient and ground-covering. Front and rear legs are thrown neither in nor out, as the imprint of hind feet should touch that of forefeet. In a trot the forequarters and hindquarters are mutually coordinated while the back remains level, firm and relatively motionless. As speed increases the legs will converge under body towards a center line.
Temperament—The Rottweiler is basically a calm, confident and courageous dog with a self-assured aloofness that does not lend itself to immediate and indiscriminate friendships. A Rottweiler is self-confident and responds quietly and with a wait-and-see attitude to influences in his environment. He has an inherent desire to protect home and family, and is an intelligent dog of extreme hardness and adaptability with a strong willingness to work, making him especially suited as a companion, guardian and general all-purpose dog.
The behavior of the Rottweiler in the show ring should be controlled, willing and adaptable, trained to submit to examination of mouth, testicles, etc. An aloof or reserved dog should not be penalized, as this reflects the accepted character of the breed. An aggressive or belligerent attitude towards other dogs should not be faulted.
A judge shall excuse from the ring any shy Rottweiler. A dog shall be judged fundamentally shy if, refusing to stand for examination, it shrinks away from the judge. A dog that in the opinion of the judge menaces or threatens him/her, or exhibits any sign that it may not be safely approached or examined by the judge in the normal manner, shall be excused from the ring. A dog that in the opinion of the judge attacks any person in the ring shall be disqualified.
Summary—Faults—The foregoing is a description of the ideal Rottweiler. Any structural fault that detracts from the above described working dog must be penalized to the extent of the deviation.
Entropion, ectropion. Overshot, undershot (when incisors do not touch or mesh); wrymouth; two or more missing teeth. Unilateral cryptorchid or cryptorchid males. Long coat. Any base color other than black; absence of all markings. A dog that in the opinion of the judge attacks any person in the ring.
Approved May 8, 1990
Effective June 28, 1990
SHROUDED IN LEGEND AND THE MISTS OF TIME, THE ORIGIN OF THE SAINT Bernard is subject to many theories.
It seems most probable that the Saint Bernard developed from stock that resulted from the breeding of heavy Asian Molosser (Canis molossus ), brought to Helvetia (Switzerland) by Roman armies during the first two centuries A.D., with native dogs which undoubtedly existed in the region at the time of the Roman invasions.
During the following centuries, these dogs were widely used in the valley farms and Alpine dairies for a variety of guarding, herding, and drafting duties. Referred to as Talhund (Valley Dog) or Bauernhund (Farm Dog), they were apparently well established by 1050, when Archdeacon Bernard de Menthon founded the famous hospice in the Swiss Alps as a refuge for travelers crossing the treacherous passes between Switzerland and Italy.
Just when dogs were first brought to the hospice is debatable, since the building was destroyed by fire in the late sixteenth century, and, soon after, a large part of the hospice archives were lost. The first notation concerning the dogs was not until 1707. This, however, was merely a casual reference to dogs at the hospice and carried the implication that their rescue work at the Saint Bernard Pass was a fact well known at the time. From a digest of early references, it appears that the dogs were first brought to the hospice sometime between 1660 and 1670. It is likely that the monks recruited large dogs from the valley to serve as watchdogs and companions during the long winter months, when the hospice was almost completely isolated.
This isolation of the hospice no doubt resulted in inbreeding of the original stock which soon produced the distinctive strain of Hospice Dog. It also follows that only those animals with the strongest instincts for survival in the extremely adverse conditions at the hospice were to leave their genetic imprint upon the breed during those early years.
The lonely monks, who took the dogs along on their trips of mercy, soon discovered the animals were excellent pathfinders in the drifting snow, and the dogs’ highly developed sense of smell made them invaluable in locating helpless travelers overcome during storms. Thus began this working together of monk and dog which made many pages of romantic canine history.
During the three centuries that Saint Bernards were used in rescue work at the hospice, it is estimated that they were responsible for the saving of well over 2,500 human lives. Although the building of railroad tunnels through the Alps has lessened foot and vehicular travel across the Saint Bernard Pass, the monks continued until 2004 to maintain these fine dogs for companionship and in the honor of the hospice tradition.
We are told that Saint Bernards required no training for their work since generations of service in this capacity seemed to have stamped the rescuing instinct indelibly upon their character. It would be more accurate to say that the dogs’ rescue instincts were used as the basis for training by the monks. In the company of the monks, young dogs were taken on patrols with a pack of older dogs in search of possible traveler casualties. When the dogs came upon a victim, they would lie down beside him to provide warmth and lick the person’s face to restore consciousness. In the meantime, one of the patrol dogs would be on his way back to the hospice to give the alarm and guide a rescue party to the scene.
In addition to their pathfinding capabilities and keen sense of smell that enables them to locate human beings buried under the snow, the dogs are reputed to possess an uncanny sixth sense which warns them of approaching avalanches. Instances have been reported where a dog would suddenly change position for no apparent reason a few seconds before an avalanche came hurtling down across the spot where he had stood, burying it under tons of snow and ice.
Although it was well known that a special type of dog did rescue work at the hospice by 1800, the breed at that time had been given no name other than Hospice Dogs. Between 1800 and 1810, Barry, perhaps the most celebrated dog in history, lived at the hospice. For fully half a century after his death, the hospice dogs in certain parts of Switzerland were called Barryhund (Barry dog) in his honor.
Barry is credited with saving forty lives. Although legend has it that he was killed by the forty-first person he attempted to rescue, who mistook his bulk for that of a wolf, this tale is only an interesting story. As a matter of fact, Barry was given a painless death in Bern, Switzerland, in 1814, after he had attained a ripe old age. His mounted remains are preserved in the Natural History Museum in Bern.
The years 1816 to 1818 were seasons of uncommonly severe weather at the hospice, and, as a result, many of the leading hospice strains perished. It was easy at that time, however, to get good animals of like breeding from the lower valleys, and within a few years, the dog situation at the hospice was again satisfactory. Confronted by a similar situation in 1830, coupled with the fact that their breed was considerably weakened by inbreeding and disease, the monks resorted to an outcross to give added size and new vigor to their dogs. The Newfoundland, which at that time was larger than the Saint Bernard and shared strong rescuing instincts, was the breed decided upon to give the new blood. Results of this cross showed all of the desired objectives and, at the same time, did not destroy the Saint Bernard type and characteristics. Due to this crossing, however, the first longhaired Saint Bernards appeared—before 1830 all Saint Bernards were shorthaired.
At first it was believed that the longhaired variety might have an advantage in the snow and icy conditions existing at the hospice. Unfortunately, ice clung to the coat and made the longhaired dogs unsuited to the tasks of the rescue. The monks gave the longhaired dogs as gifts to friends and benefactors in the valley areas, and only the shorthaired dogs were kept at the hospice.
The English, who as early as 1810 imported some of the hospice dogs to replenish their Mastiff blood, referred to the breed for a number of years as Sacred Dogs. In Germany, around 1828, the name Alpendog was proposed. In 1833, writer Daniel Wilson first spoke of the so-called Saint Bernard dog, but it was not until 1865 that this name definitely appeared, and only since 1880 has it been recognized as the official designation for the breed.
During the last half of the 1800s, breeding of both the longhaired and shorthaired Saint Bernards continued in the valleys of Switzerland, and eventually the breed spread across Germany and other continental European countries and England.
In 1887 at Zurich, an International Congress was guided by Swiss authorities on the breed. At this congress, an international standard for the perfection of the breed was developed.
The Saint Bernard Club of America was organized in the year following the Zurich Congress, and the international standard was adopted by it. This club continues to function for the interests of the Saint Bernard and is one of the oldest specialty clubs in the United States.
OFFICIAL STANDARD FOR THE SAINT BERNARD
General—Powerful, proportionately tall figure, strong and muscular in every part, with powerful head and most intelligent expression. In dogs with a dark mask the expression appears more stern, but never ill-natured.
Head—Like the whole body, very powerful and imposing. The massive skull is wide, slightly arched and the sides slope in a gentle curve into the very strongly developed, high cheek bones. Occiput only moderately developed. The supra-orbital ridge is very strongly developed and forms nearly a right angle with the long axis of the head. Deeply imbedded between the eyes and starting at the root of the muzzle, a furrow runs over the whole skull. It is strongly marked in the first half, gradually disappearing toward the base of the occiput. The lines at the sides of the head diverge considerably from the outer corner of the eyes toward the back of the head. The skin of the forehead, above the eyes, forms rather noticeable wrinkles, more or less pronounced, which converge toward the furrow. Especially when the dog is alert or at attention, the wrinkles are more visible without in the least giving the impression of morosity. Too strongly developed wrinkles are not desired. The slope from the skull to the muzzle is sudden and rather steep.
The muzzle is short, does not taper, and the vertical depth at the root of the muzzle must be greater than the length of the muzzle. The bridge of the muzzle is not arched, but straight; in some dogs, occasionally, slightly broken. A rather wide, well-marked, shallow furrow runs from the root of the muzzle over the entire bridge of the muzzle to the nose. The flews of the upper jaw are strongly developed, not sharply cut, but turning in a beautiful curve into the lower edge, and slightly overhanging. The flews of the lower jaw must not be deeply pendant. The teeth should be sound and strong and should meet in either a scissors or an even bite; the scissors bite being preferable. The undershot bite, although sometimes found with good specimens, is not desirable. The overshot bite is a fault. A black roof to the mouth is desirable.
Nose (Schwamm)—Very substantial, broad, with wide open nostrils, and, like the lips, always black.
Ears—Of medium size, rather high set, with very strongly developed burr (Muschel) at the base. They stand slightly away from the head at the base, then drop with a sharp bend to the side and cling to the head without a turn. The flap is tender and forms a rounded triangle, slightly elongated toward the point, the front edge lying firmly to the head, whereas the back edge may stand somewhat away from the head, especially when the dog is at attention. Lightly set ears, which at the base immediately cling to the head, give it an oval and too little marked exterior, whereas a strongly developed base gives the skull a squarer, broader and much more expressive appearance.
Eyes—Set more to the front than the sides, are of medium size, dark brown, with intelligent, friendly expression, set moderately deep. The lower eyelids, as a rule, do not close completely and, if that is the case, form an angular wrinkle toward the inner corner of the eye. Eyelids which are too deeply pendant and show conspicuously the lachrymal glands, or a very red, thick haw, and eyes that are too light, are objectionable.
Neck—Set high, very strong and when alert or at attention is carried erect. Otherwise horizontally or slightly downward. The junction of head and neck is distinctly marked by an indentation. The nape of the neck is very muscular and rounded at the sides which makes the neck appear rather short. The dewlap of throat and neck is well pronounced: too strong development, however, is not desirable.
Shoulders—Sloping and broad, very muscular and powerful. The withers are strongly pronounced.
Chest—Very well arched, moderately deep, not reaching below the elbows.
Back—Very broad, perfectly straight as far as the haunches, from there gently sloping to the rump, and merging imperceptibly into the root of the tail.
Hindquarters—Well-developed. Legs very muscular.
Belly—Distinctly set off from the very powerful loin section, only little drawn up.
Tail—Starting broad and powerful directly from the rump is long, very heavy, ending in a powerful tip. In repose it hangs straight down, turning gently upward in the lower third only, which is not considered a fault. In a great many specimens the tail is carried with the end slightly bent and therefore hangs down in the shape of an “f.” In action all dogs carry the tail more or less turned upward. However it may not be carried too erect or by any means rolled over the back. A slight curling of the tip is sooner admissible.
Upper Arms—Very powerful and extraordinarily muscular.
Lower Leg—Straight, strong.
Hind legs—Hocks of moderate angulation. Dewclaws are not desired; if present, they must not obstruct gait.
Feet—Broad, with strong toes, moderately closed, and with rather high knuckles. The so-called dewclaws which sometimes occur on the inside of the hind legs are imperfectly developed toes. They are of no use to the dog and are not taken into consideration in judging. They may be removed by surgery.
Coat—Very dense, shorthaired (stockhaarig), lying smooth, tough, without however feeling rough to the touch. The thighs are slightly bushy. The tail at the root has longer and denser hair which gradually becomes shorter toward the tip. The tail appears bushy, not forming a flag.
Color—White with red or red with white, the red in its various shades; brindle patches with white markings. The colors red and brown-yellow are of entirely equal value. Necessary markings are: white chest, feet and tip of tail, noseband, collar or spot on the nape; the latter and blaze are very desirable. Never of one color or without white. Faulty are all other colors, except the favorite dark shadings on the head (mask) and ears. One distinguishes between mantle dogs and splash-coated dogs.
Height at Shoulder—Of the dog should be 271⁄2 inches minimum, of the bitch 251⁄2 inches. Female animals are of finer and more delicate build.
Considered as Faults—Are all deviations from the Standard, as for instance a swayback and a disproportionately long back, hocks too much bent, straight hindquarters, upward growing hair in spaces between the toes, out at elbows, cowhocks and weak pasterns.
The longhaired type completely resembles the shorthaired type except for the coat which is not shorthaired (stockhaarig) but of medium length plain to slightly wavy, never rolled or curly and not shaggy either. Usually, on the back, especially from the region of the haunches to the rump, the hair is more wavy, a condition, by the way, that is slightly indicated in the shorthaired dogs. The tail is bushy with dense hair of moderate length. Rolled or curly hair or a flag tail, is faulty. Face and ears are covered with short and soft hair; longer hair at the base of the ear is permissible. Forelegs only slightly feathered; thighs very bushy.
Approved April 13, 1998
Effective May 31, 1998
DOG OF THE AGES, WITH A HISTORY AND TRADITION AS FASCINATING AS THE breed itself! The legend runs that from the plateau of Iran, man’s first earthly habitat, as the sons of man multiplied, the mightier tribes drove the lesser ones, with their families, their herds, and their dogs, farther and farther away in order that the natural food found there might be ample for those remaining. Onward and still farther north through Mongolia, then the center of the world’s culture, on and on, went the lesser tribes, until eventually the Samoyed peoples, of the family of Sayantsi, reliably described as in the “transition stages between the Mongol pure and the Finn,” found themselves safely entrenched behind bulwarks of snow and ice in the vast stretches of tundra reaching from the White Sea to the Yenisei River. Here for generations they lived a nomadic life, dependent upon their reindeer herds and upon their dogs as reindeer shepherds, sledge dogs, and household companions.
Here, through the centuries, the Samoyed has bred true. Of all modern breeds, the Samoyed is most nearly akin to the primitive dog—no admixture of wolf or fox runs in the Samoyed strain. The Arctic suns and snows have bleached the harsh stand-off coat and tipped the hairs with an icy sheen. The constant companionship with man through the years has given an almost uncanny “human” understanding, while generations of guarding reindeer, requiring always a protector, never a killer, has developed through the ages in the breed a disposition unique in the canine world.
Nor has the long human association made the stalwart Samoyed a pampered pet. As work dogs, Samoyeds of the great Arctic and Antarctic expeditions have a record of achievement unexcelled in the canine world. The sledge dogs of early polar explorer Fridtjof Nansen (nineteen males averaging 58.7 pounds each, and nine bitches averaging 50.5 pounds), working day after day under conditions of utmost hardship, drew one and a half times their own weight of supplies and worked with the joyous abandon and carefree air typical of the breed. Each new expedition—Jackson-Harmsworth, the Duc d’Abruzzi, Borchgrevink, Shackleton, Scott, and, most notably, Roald Amundsen in his successful reach of the South Pole in 1911—added new luster to the breed’s history.
Introduced in England about a hundred years ago, practically every show sees the Samoyeds in the forefront. Queen Alexandra was an ardent fancier, and the descendants of her dogs are found today in many English and American kennels. The dog is found in every region—Samoyeds born in northern Siberia have safely crossed the equator and remained in healthy condition to work in Antarctic snows. Dogs from Antarctic expeditions have survived the suns of Australia to return to England and start great kennels there.
Excitingly eye-arresting, the big white dog with the “smiling face” and dark, intelligent eyes, with a strong, sturdy, muscular body on legs built for speed—the Samoyed is for many the most beautiful breed in existence. An excellent watchdog, yet gentle and companionable. Never a troublemaker, yet able to hold his own when forced into a fight. With an independence born of unusual intelligence, yet marked with a loyalty to a loved owner that wins hearts.
His noble characteristics evidence themselves even in puppies—the “little white teddy bears.” Dependable guardian, gentle, kind, sturdy, adaptable, the Samoyed carries in its face and heart the spirit of Christmas the whole year through.
OFFICIAL STANDARD FOR THE SAMOYED
General Appearance—The Samoyed, being essentially a working dog, should present a picture of beauty, alertness and strength, with agility, dignity and grace. As his work lies in cold climates, his coat should be heavy and weather-resistant, well groomed, and of good quality rather than quantity. The male carries more of a “ruff” than the female. He should not be long in the back as a weak back would make him practically useless for his legitimate work, but at the same time, a close-coupled body would also place him at a great disadvantage as a draft dog. Breeders should aim for the happy medium, a body not long but muscular, allowing liberty, with a deep chest and well-sprung ribs, strong neck, straight front and especially strong loins. Males should be masculine in appearance and deportment without unwarranted aggressiveness; bitches feminine without weakness of structure or apparent softness of temperament. Bitches may be slightly longer in back than males. They should both give the appearance of being capable of great endurance but be free from coarseness. Because of the depth of chest required, the legs should be moderately long. A very short-legged dog is to be deprecated. Hindquarters should be particularly well developed, stifles well bent and any suggestion of unsound stifles or cowhocks severely penalized. General appearance should include movement and general conformation, indicating balance and good substance.
Substance—Substance is that sufficiency of bone and muscle which rounds out a balance with the frame. The bone is heavier than would be expected in a dog of this size but not so massive as to prevent the speed and agility most desirable in a Samoyed. In all builds, bone should be in proportion to body size. The Samoyed should never be so heavy as to appear clumsy nor so light as to appear racy. The weight should be in proportion to the height.
Height—Males—21 to 231⁄2 inches; females—19 to 21 inches at the withers. An oversized or undersized Samoyed is to be penalized according to the extent of the deviation.
Coat (Texture and Condition)—The Samoyed is a double-coated dog. The body should be well covered with an undercoat of soft, short, thick, close wool with longer and harsh hair growing through it to form the outer coat, which stands straight out from the body and should be free from curl. The coat should form a ruff around the neck and shoulders, framing the head (more on males than on females). Quality of coat should be weather resistant and considered more than quantity. A droopy coat is undesirable. The coat should glisten with a silver sheen. The female does not usually carry as long a coat as most males and it is softer in texture.
Color—Samoyeds should be pure white, white and biscuit, cream, or all biscuit. Any other colors disqualify.
Gait—The Samoyed should trot, not pace. He should move with a quick agile stride that is well timed. The gait should be free, balanced and vigorous, with good reach in the forequarters and good driving power in the hindquarters. When trotting, there should be a strong rear action drive. Moving at a slow walk or trot, they will not single-track, but as speed increases the legs gradually angle inward until the pads are finally falling on a line directly under the longitudinal center of the body. As the pad marks converge the forelegs and hind legs are carried straight forward in traveling, the stifles not turned in nor out. The back should remain strong, firm and level. A choppy or stilted gait should be penalized.
Rear End—Upper thighs should be well developed. Stifles well bent—approximately 45 degrees to the ground. Hocks should be well developed, sharply defined and set at approximately 30 percent of hip height. The hind legs should be parallel when viewed from the rear in a natural stance, strong, well developed, turning neither in nor out. Straight stifles are objectionable. Double-jointedness or cowhocks are a fault. Cowhocks should only be determined if the dog has had an opportunity to move properly.
Front End—Legs should be parallel and straight to the pasterns. The pasterns should be strong, sturdy and straight, but flexible with some spring for proper let-down of feet. Because of depth of chest, legs should be moderately long. Length of leg from the ground to the elbow should be approximately 55 percent of the total height at the withers—a very short-legged dog is to be deprecated. Shoulders should be long and sloping, with a layback of 45 degrees and be firmly set. Out at the shoulders or out at the elbows should be penalized. The withers separation should be approximately 1 to 11⁄2 inches.
Feet—Large, long, flattish—a hare-foot, slightly spread but not splayed; toes arched; pads thick and tough, with protective growth of hair between the toes. Feet should turn neither in nor out in a natural stance but may turn in slightly in the act of pulling. Turning out, pigeon-toed, round or cat-footed or splayed are faults. Feathers on feet are not too essential but are more profuse on females than on males.
Conformation—Skull is wedge-shaped, broad, slightly crowned, not round or apple-headed, and should form an equilateral triangle on lines between the inner base of the ears and the central point of the stop. Muzzle—Muzzle of medium length and medium width, neither coarse nor snipy; should taper toward the nose and be in proportion to the size of the dog and the width of skull. The muzzle must have depth. Whiskers are not to be removed. Stop—Not too abrupt, nevertheless, well defined. Lips—Should be black for preference and slightly curved up at the corners of the mouth, giving the “Samoyed smile.” Lip lines should not have the appearance of being coarse nor should the flews drop predominately at corners of the mouth. Ears—Strong and thick, erect, triangular and slightly rounded at the tips; should not be large or pointed, nor should they be small and “bear-eared.” Ears should conform to head size and the size of the dog; they should be set well apart but be within the border of the outer edge of the head; they should be mobile and well covered inside with hair; hair full and stand-off before the ears. Length of ear should be the same measurement as the distance from inner base of ear to outer corner of eye. Eyes—Should be dark for preference; should be placed well apart and deep-set; almond shaped with lower lid slanting toward an imaginary point approximately the base of ears. Dark eye rims for preference. Round or protruding eyes penalized. Blue eyes disqualifying. Nose—Black for preference but brown, liver, or Dudley nose not penalized. Color of nose sometimes changes with age and weather. Jaws and Teeth—Strong, well-set teeth, snugly overlapping with scissors bite. Undershot or overshot should be penalized.
Expression—The expression, referred to as “Samoyed expression,” is very important and is indicated by sparkle of the eyes, animation and lighting up of the face when alert or intent on anything. Expression is made up of a combination of eyes, ears and mouth. The ears should be erect when alert; the mouth should be slightly curved up at the corners to form the “Samoyed smile.”
Neck—Strong, well muscled, carried proudly erect, set on sloping shoulders to carry head with dignity when at attention. Neck should blend into shoulders with a graceful arch.
Chest—Should be deep, with ribs well sprung out from the spine and flattened at the sides to allow proper movement of the shoulders and freedom for the front legs. Should not be barrel-chested. Perfect depth of chest approximates the point of elbows, and the deepest part of the chest should be back of the forelegs—near the ninth rib. Heart and lung room are secured more by body depth than width.
Loin and Back—The withers forms the highest part of the back. Loins strong and slightly arched. The back should be straight to the loin, medium in length, very muscular and neither long nor short coupled. The dog should be “just off square”—the length being approximately five percent more than the height. Females allowed to be slightly longer than males. The belly should be well shaped and tightly muscled and, with the rear of the thorax, should swing up in a pleasing curve (tuck-up). Croup must be full, slightly sloping, and must continue imperceptibly to the tail root.
Tail—The tail should be moderately long with the tail bone terminating approximately at the hock when down. It should be profusely covered with long hair and carried forward over the back or side when alert, but sometimes dropped when at rest. It should not be high or low set and should be mobile and loose—not tight over the back. A double hook is a fault. A judge should see the tail over the back once when judging.
Disposition—Intelligent, gentle, loyal, adaptable, alert, full of action, eager to serve, friendly but conservative, not distrustful or shy, not overly aggressive. Unprovoked aggressiveness is to be severely penalized.
Any color other than pure white, cream, biscuit, or white and biscuit.
Approved August 10, 1993
Effective September 29, 1993
THE SIBERIAN HUSKY WAS ORIGINATED BY THE CHUKCHI PEOPLE OF NORTH-EASTERN Asia as an endurance sled dog. When changing conditions forced these seminomads to expand their hunting grounds, they responded by developing a unique breed of sled dog, which met their special requirements and upon which their very survival depended. The Chukchis required a sled dog capable of traveling great distances at a moderate speed, carrying a light load in low temperatures, with a minimum expenditure of energy. Research indicates that the Chukchis maintained the purity of their sled dogs through the nineteenth century and that these dogs were the sole and direct ancestors of the breed known in the United States today as the Siberian Husky.
Shortly after 1900, Americans in Alaska began to hear accounts of this superior strain of sled dog in Siberia. The first team of Siberian Huskies made its appearance in the All-Alaska Sweepstakes Race of 1909. The same year, a large number of them were imported to Alaska by Charles Fox Maule Ramsay. His team, driven by John “Iron Man” Johnson, won the grueling 400-mile Sweepstakes in 1910. For the next decade, Siberian Huskies, particularly those bred and raced by Leonhard Seppala, captured most of the racing titles in Alaska, where the rugged terrain was ideally suited to the endurance capabilities of the breed.
In 1925, the city of Nome was stricken by a diphtheria epidemic. Supplies of antitoxin were urgently needed. Many sled dog drivers, including Seppala, were called upon to relay the lifesaving serum to Nome by dog team. This heroic “serum run” focused attention upon Siberian Huskies, and Seppala brought his dogs to the United States on a personal appearance tour. While here, he was invited to compete in sled dog races in New England, where the sport had already been introduced. The superior racing ability and delightful temperament of Seppala’s Siberian Huskies won the respect and the hearts of sportsmen from Alaska to New England. It was through the efforts of these pioneer fanciers that the breed was established in the United States and that AKC recognition was granted in 1930. Many Siberian Huskies were assembled and trained at Chinook Kennels in New Hampshire for use on the Byrd Antarctic Expeditions. Dogs of the breed also served valiantly in the Army’s Arctic Search and Rescue Unit during World War II.
The Siberian Husky is naturally friendly and gentle in temperament. He possesses at times an independent nature, and although very alert, in many cases he lacks the aggressive or protective tendencies of a watchdog. He is by nature fastidiously clean and free from the body odors that many dense-coated breeds have. Although remarkable for his adaptability to all kinds of living conditions, his natural desire to roam makes a measure of control necessary at all times. The understanding owner will find the Siberian Husky an enjoyable companion in country or city. He has endeared himself to dog fanciers everywhere by his versatility, striking beauty, and amiable disposition.
OFFICIAL STANDARD FOR THE SIBERIAN HUSKY
General Appearance—The Siberian Husky is a medium-sized working dog, quick and light on his feet and free and graceful in action. His moderately compact and well furred body, erect ears and brush tail suggest his Northern heritage. His characteristic gait is smooth and seemingly effortless. He performs his original function in harness most capably, carrying a light load at a moderate speed over great distances. His body proportions and form reflect this basic balance of power, speed and endurance. The males of the Siberian Husky breed are masculine but never coarse; the bitches are feminine but without weakness of structure. In proper condition, with muscle firm and well developed, the Siberian Husky does not carry excess weight.
Size, Proportion, Substance—Height—Dogs, 21 to 23 1⁄2 inches at the withers. Bitches, 20 to 22 inches at the withers. Weight—Dogs, 45 to 60 pounds. Bitches, 35 to 50 pounds. Weight is in proportion to height. The measurements mentioned above represent the extreme height and weight limits with no preference given to either extreme. Any appearance of excessive bone or weight should be penalized. In profile, the length of the body from the point of the shoulder to the rear point of the croup is slightly longer than the height of the body from the ground to the top of the withers. Disqualification—Dogs over 231⁄2 inches and bitches over 22 inches.
Head—Expressionis keen, but friendly; interested and even mischievous. Eyesalmond shaped, moderately spaced and set a trifle obliquely. Eyes may be brown or blue in color; one of each or parti-colored are acceptable. Faults—Eyes set too obliquely; set too close together. Earsof medium size, triangular in shape, close fitting and set high on the head. They are thick, well furred, slightly arched at the back, and strongly erect, with slightly rounded tips pointing straight up. Faults—Ears too large in proportion to the head; too wide set; not strongly erect. Skullof medium size and in proportion to the body; slightly rounded on top and tapering from the widest point to the eyes. Faults— Head clumsy or heavy; head too finely chiseled. Stop—The stop is well-defined and the bridge of the nose is straight from the stop to the tip. Fault—Insufficient stop. Muzzle of medium length; that is, the distance from the tip of the nose to the stop is equal to the distance from the stop to the occiput. The muzzle is of medium width, tapering gradually to the nose, with the tip neither pointed nor square. Faults—Muzzle either too snipy or too coarse; muzzle too short or too long. Nose black in gray, tan or black dogs; liver in copper dogs; may be flesh-colored in pure white dogs. The pink-streaked “snow nose” is acceptable. Lipsare well pigmented and close fitting. Teethclosing in a scissors bite. Fault—Any bite other than scissors.
Neck, Topline, Body—Neckmedium in length, arched and carried proudly erect when dog is standing. When moving at a trot, the neck is extended so that the head is carried slightly forward. Faults—Neck too short and thick; neck too long. Chest deep and strong, but not too broad, with the deepest point being just behind and level with the elbows. The ribs are well sprung from the spine but flattened on the sides to allow for freedom of action. Faults—Chest too broad; “barrel ribs”; ribs too flat or weak. Back—The back is straight and strong, with a level topline from withers to croup. It is of medium length, neither cobby nor slack from excessive length. The loin is taut and lean, narrower than the rib cage, and with a slight tuck-up. The croup slopes away from the spine at an angle, but never so steeply as to restrict the rearward thrust of the hind legs. Faults—Weak or slack back; roached back; sloping topline.
Tail—The well furred tail of fox-brush shape is set on just below the level of the topline, and is usually carried over the back in a graceful sickle curve when the dog is at attention. When carried up, the tail does not curl to either side of the body, nor does it snap flat against the back. A trailing tail is normal for the dog when in repose. Hair on the tail is of medium length and approximately the same length on top, sides and bottom, giving the appearance of a round brush. Faults—A snapped or tightly curled tail; highly plumed tail; tail set too low or too high.
Forequarters—Shoulders—The shoulder blade is well laid back. The upper arm angles slightly backward from point of shoulder to elbow, and is never perpendicular to the ground. The muscles and ligaments holding the shoulder to the rib cage are firm and well developed. Faults—Straight shoulders; loose shoulders. Forelegs—When standing and viewed from the front, the legs are moderately spaced, parallel and straight, with the elbows close to the body and turned neither in nor out. Viewed from the side, pasterns are slightly slanted, with the pastern joint strong, but flexible. Bone is substantial but never heavy. Length of the leg from elbow to ground is slightly more than the distance from the elbow to the top of withers. Dewclaws on forelegs may be removed. Faults—Weak pasterns; too heavy bone; too narrow or too wide in the front; out at the elbows. Feetoval in shape but not long. The paws are medium in size, compact and well furred between the toes and pads. The pads are tough and thickly cushioned. The paws neither turn in nor out when the dog is in natural stance. Faults—Soft or splayed toes; paws too large and clumsy; paws too small and delicate; toeing in or out.
Hindquarters—When standing and viewed from the rear, the hind legs are moderately spaced and parallel. The upper thighs are well muscled and powerful, the stifles well bent, the hock joint well-defined and set low to the ground. Dewclaws, if any, are to be removed. Faults—Straight stifles, cow-hocks, too narrow or too wide in the rear.
Coat—The coat of the Siberian Husky is double and medium in length, giving a well furred appearance, but is never so long as to obscure the clean-cut outline of the dog. The undercoat is soft and dense and of sufficient length to support the outer coat. The guard hairs of the outer coat are straight and somewhat smooth lying, never harsh nor standing straight off from the body. It should be noted that the absence of the undercoat during the shedding season is normal. Trimming of whiskers and fur between the toes and around the feet to present a neater appearance is permissible. Trimming the fur on any other part of the dog is not to be condoned and should be severely penalized. Faults—Long, rough, or shaggy coat; texture too harsh or too silky; trimming of the coat, except as permitted above.
Color—All colors from black to pure white are allowed. A variety of markings on the head is common, including many striking patterns not found in other breeds.
Gait—The Siberian Husky’s characteristic gait is smooth and seemingly effortless. He is quick and light on his feet, and when in the show ring should be gaited on a loose lead at a moderately fast trot, exhibiting good reach in the forequarters and good drive in the hindquarters. When viewed from the front to rear while moving at a walk the Siberian Husky does not single-track, but as the speed increases the legs gradually angle inward until the pads are falling on a line directly under the longitudinal center of the body. As the pad marks converge, the forelegs and hind legs are carried straightforward, with neither elbows nor stifles turned in or out. Each hind leg moves in the path of the foreleg on the same side. While the dog is gaiting, the topline remains firm and level. Faults—Short, prancing or choppy gait, lumbering or rolling gait; crossing or crabbing.
Temperament—The characteristic temperament of the Siberian Husky is friendly and gentle, but also alert and outgoing. He does not display the possessive qualities of the guard dog, nor is he overly suspicious of strangers or aggressive with other dogs. Some measure of reserve and dignity may be expected in the mature dog. His intelligence, tractability, and eager disposition make him an agreeable companion and willing worker.
Summary—The most important breed characteristics of the Siberian Husky are medium size, moderate bone, well balanced proportions, ease and freedom of movement, proper coat, pleasing head and ears, correct tail and good disposition. Any appearance of excessive bone or weight, constricted or clumsy gait, or long, rough coat should be penalized. The Siberian Husky never appears so heavy or coarse as to suggest a freighting animal; nor is he so light and fragile as to suggest a sprint-racing animal. In both sexes the Siberian Husky gives the appearance of being capable of great endurance. In addition to the faults already noted, the obvious structural faults common to all breeds are as undesirable in the Siberian Husky as in any other breed, even though they are not specifically mentioned herein.
Dogs over 231⁄2 inches and bitches over 22 inches.
Approved October 9, 1990
Effective November 28, 1990
OF THE THREE SCHNAUZER BREEDS, THE MEDIUM-SIZED STANDARD SCHNAUZER is the oldest. It is the prototype for the Miniature and Giant. Originating in the farming and cattle-raising area of Bavaria, now part of Germany, the breed’s roots can be traced to the Middle Ages, and breed likenesses can be found in paintings and statues from that period. During the following centuries dogs much like today’s Standard Schnauzer performed household and farm duties in Germany: guarding the family and its possessions, ridding the farmyard of vermin, driving livestock, and protecting owners as they traveled to market. These rough-coated, medium-sized dogs descended from early European herding and guarding breeds and should not be confused with the superficially similar but unrelated terriers of Britain.
In the mid-nineteenth century, German dog fanciers began to take an interest in this useful native breed. Crosses were made with the gray Wolfspitz and black German Poodle to produce the distinctive salt-and-pepper and black colors seen in today’s Schnauzers. At this time, the medium-sized dogs were also crossed with other breeds to develop the Miniature and, later, the Giant Schnauzer.
The breed was originally known as the Wire-haired Pinscher, and was first exhibited in Germany in the mid-1870s. By the turn of the century, the breed was becoming universally known as the Schnauzer. We do not know whether this name is a reference to the breed’s hallmark, a muzzle (schnauze in German) sporting a bristly beard and mustache, or to an early show winner of that same name. In 1907, the German Schnauzer Klub published a breed standard that described a dog remarkably similar to today’s Standard Schnauzer.
Standard Schnauzers first entered the United States around 1900, but it was not until after World War I that the breed reached significant numbers here. In 1925, the Schnauzer Club of America was formed to include both Standard and Miniature Schnauzers, and the first national specialty show was held two years later. The first breed standard, for both varieties, was adopted in 1929. In 1933, the AKC parent club separated into the Standard Schnauzer Club of America and the American Miniature Schnauzer Club. At that time, the AKC approved a written standard of perfection describing the ideal Standard Schnauzer. This standard has been revised several times since to further clarify the picture of the ideal dog.
Today’s Standard Schnauzer is a working breed in the Schnauzer-Pinscher family. A robust, square, athletic build and a dense, harsh, wiry coat of black or salt-and-pepper, which sheds only minimally, characterize the breed. Standard Schnauzers have an energetic, intelligent temperament and are sociable, alert, affectionate, protective, and reliable, with a good sense of humor. Standard Schnauzers are generally healthy, sturdy, and long-lived, with few hereditary illnesses. The breed is of true medium size. Males stand 18 to 20 inches at the shoulder and weigh 40 to 45 pounds. Females are 17 to 19 inches and weigh 35 to 40 pounds. The AKC standard allows dogs to be shown with either cropped or natural ears.
Standard Schnauzers are not for those who want a slow, placid dog or one that can be fed and forgotten. Schnauzers insist on being part of family activities and develop best when treated in this manner. Outstanding companions known for their devotion and love of family, they are not one-person dogs but rather become true family members. Standard Schnauzers, being playful and tolerant, are particularly good with children. At the same time, they are alert to any intruder who might threaten their home and family. But Standards are very intelligent and can be strong willed and determined. Owners must be prepared to train the new puppy from the beginning. Kindergarten puppy training, and regular obedience classes later on, are the best approach.
Many Standards participate in conformation as well as obedience and agility events, where their trainability, alertness, and enthusiasm serve them well. These same characteristics also allow Standards to serve successfully as therapy dogs, service dogs for the disabled, search-and-rescue dogs, and drug- or bomb-detection dogs. One growing interest among Standard Schnauzer owners is herding, for which most dogs show considerable talent. The AKC has recently accepted Standard Schnauzers for competition in herding trials.
OFFICIAL STANDARD FOR THE STANDARD SCHNAUZER
General Appearance—The Standard Schnauzer is a robust, heavy-set dog, sturdily built with good muscle and plenty of bone; square-built in proportion of body length to height. His rugged build and dense harsh coat are accentuated by the hallmark of the breed, the arched eyebrows and the bristly mustache and whiskers. Faults—Any deviation that detracts from the Standard Schnauzer’s desired general appearance of a robust, active, square-built, wire-coated dog. Any deviation from the specifications in the Standard is to be considered a fault and should be penalized in proportion to the extent of the deviation.
Size, Proportion, Substance—Ideal height at the highest point of the shoulder blades, 181⁄2 to 191⁄2 inches for males and 171⁄2 inches to 181⁄2 inches for females. Dogs measuring over or under these limits must be faulted in proportion to the extent of the deviation. Dogs measuring more than one half inch over or under these limits must be disqualified. The height at the highest point of the withers equals the length from breastbone to point of rump.
Head—Head strong, rectangular and elongated; narrowing slightly from the ears to the eyes and again to the tip of the nose. The total length of the head is about one half the length of the back measured from the withers to the set-on of the tail. The head matches the sex and substance of the dog. Expressionalert, highly intelligent, spirited. Eyesmedium size; dark brown; oval in shape and turned forward; neither round nor protruding. The brow is arched and wiry, but vision is not impaired nor eyes hidden by too long an eyebrow. Earsset high, evenly shaped with moderate thickness of leather and carried erect when cropped. If uncropped, they are of medium size, V-shaped and mobile so that they break at skull level and are carried forward with the inner edge close to the cheek. Faults—Prick, or hound ears. Skull(Occiput to Stop) moderately broad between the ears with the width of the skull not exceeding two thirds the length of the skull. The skull must be flat; neither domed nor bumpy; skin unwrinkled. There is a slight stop which is accentuated by the wiry brows. Muzzlestrong, and both parallel and equal in length to the topskull; it ends in a moderately blunt wedge with wiry whiskers accenting the rectangular shape of the head. The topline of the muzzle is parallel with the topline of the skull. Nose is large, black and full. The lips should be black, tight and not overlapping. Cheeks—Well developed chewing muscles, but not so much that “cheekiness” disturbs the rectangular head form.
Bite—A full complement of white teeth, with a strong, sound scissors bite. The canine teeth are strong and well developed with the upper incisors slightly overlapping and engaging the lower. The upper and lower jaws are powerful and neither overshot nor undershot. Faults—A level bite is considered undesirable but a lesser fault than an overshot or undershot mouth.
Neck, Topline, Body—Neckstrong, of moderate thickness and length, elegantly arched and blending cleanly into the shoulders. The skin is tight, fitting closely to the dry throat with no wrinkles or dewlaps. The toplineof the back should not be absolutely horizontal, but should have a slightly descending slope from the first vertebra of the withers to the faintly curved croup and set-on of the tail. Back strong, firm, straight and short. Loin well developed, with the distance from the last rib to the hips as short as possible.
Body compact, strong, short-coupled and substantial so as to permit great flexibility and agility. Faults—Too slender or shelly; too bulky or coarse.
Chest of medium width with well-sprung ribs, and if it could be seen in cross section would be oval. The breastbone is plainly discernible. The brisket must descend at least to the elbows and ascend gradually to the rear with the belly moderately drawn up. Fault—Excessive tuck-up. Croup full and slightly rounded. Tailset moderately high and carried erect. It is docked to not less than one inch nor more than two inches. Fault— Squirrel tail.
Forequarters—Shoulders—The sloping shoulder blades are strongly muscled, yet flat and well laid back so that the rounded upper ends are in a nearly vertical line above the elbows. They slope well forward to the point where they join the upper arm, forming as nearly as possible a right angle when seen from the side. Such an angulation permits the maximum forward extension of the forelegs without binding or effort. Forelegs straight, vertical, and without any curvature when seen from all sides; set moderately far apart; with heavy bone; elbows set close to the body and pointing directly to the rear. Dewclaws on the forelegs may be removed. Feet small and compact, round with thick pads and strong black nails. The toes are well closed and arched (cat’s paws) and pointing straight ahead.
Hindquarters—Strongly muscled, in balance with the forequarters, never appearing higher than the shoulders. Thighs broad with well bent stifles. The second thigh, from knee to hock, is approximately parallel with an extension of the upper neck line. The legs, from the clearly defined hock joint to the feet, are short and perpendicular to the ground and, when viewed from the rear, are parallel to each other. Dewclaws, if any, on the hind legs are generally removed. Feet as in front.
Coat—Tight, hard, wiry and as thick as possible, composed of a soft, close undercoat and a harsh outer coat which, when seen against the grain, stands up off the back, lying neither smooth nor flat. The outer coat (body coat) is trimmed (by plucking) only to accent the body outline.
As coat texture is of the greatest importance, a dog may be considered in show coat with back hair measuring from 3⁄4 to 2 inches in length. Coat on the ears, head, neck, chest, belly and under the tail may be closely trimmed to give the desired typical appearance of the breed. On the muzzle and over the eyes the coat lengthens to form the beard and eyebrows; the hair on the legs is longer than that on the body. These “furnishings” should be of harsh texture and should not be so profuse as to detract from the neat appearance or working capabilities of the dog. Faults—Soft, smooth, curly, wavy, or shaggy; too long or too short; too sparse or lacking undercoat; excessive furnishings; lack of furnishings.
Color—Pepper and salt or pure black.
Pepper and Salt—The typical pepper and salt color of the topcoat results from the combination of black and white hairs, and white hairs banded with black. Acceptable are all shades of pepper and salt and dark iron gray to silver gray. Ideally, pepper and salt Standard Schnauzers have a gray undercoat, but a tan or fawn undercoat is not to be penalized. It is desirable to have a darker facial mask that harmonizes with the particular shade of coat color. Also, in pepper and salt dogs, the pepper and salt mixture may fade out to light gray or silver white in the eyebrows, whiskers, cheeks, under throat, across chest, under tail, leg furnishings, under body, and inside legs.
Black—Ideally the black Standard Schnauzer should be a true rich color, free from any fading or discoloration or any admixture of gray or tan hairs. The undercoat should also be solid black. However, increased age or continued exposure to the sun may cause a certain amount of fading and burning. A small white smudge on the chest is not a fault. Loss of color as a result of scars from cuts and bites is not a fault.
Faults—Any colors other than specified, and any shadings or mixtures thereof in the topcoat such as rust, brown, red, yellow or tan; absence of peppering; spotting or striping; a black streak down the back; or a black saddle without typical salt and pepper coloring—and gray hairs in the coat of a black; in blacks, any undercoat color other than black.
Gait—Sound, strong, quick, free, true and level gait with powerful, well-angulated hindquarters that reach out and cover ground. The forelegs reach out in a stride balancing that of the hindquarters. At a trot, the back remains firm and level, without swaying, rolling or roaching. When viewed from the rear, the feet, though they may appear to travel close when trotting, must not cross or strike. Increased speed causes feet to converge toward the centerline of gravity.
Faults—Crabbing or weaving; paddling, rolling, swaying; short, choppy, stiff, stilted rear action; front legs that throw out or in (east and west movers); hackney gait, crossing over or striking in front or rear.
Temperament—The Standard Schnauzer has highly developed senses, intelligence, aptitude for training, fearlessness, endurance and resistance against weather and illness. His nature combines high-spirited temperament with extreme reliability.
Faults—In weighing the seriousness of a fault, greatest consideration should be given to deviation from the desired alert, highly intelligent, spirited, reliable character of the Standard Schnauzer. Dogs that are shy or appear to be highly nervous should be seriously faulted and dismissed from the ring. Vicious dogs shall be disqualified.
Males under 18 inches or over 20 inches in height. Females under 17 inches or over 19inches in height.