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FCI Standard ¹ 343 / 12.03.99 / GB
UTILIZATION: Watch, protection,
police, and track dog.
FCI CLASSIFICATION: Group 2. Pinscher
and Schanuzer - Molossoid breeds - Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs
Section 2.1 Molossian type, Mastiff type. Without Working Trial
BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY: Its
direct ancestor is the "Canis Pugnax" (the old Roman Molossian)
of which he is the light version employed in the hunting of large
wild animals and also as an "auxiliary warrior" in battles.
For years he has been a precious companion of the Italic populations.
Employed as property, cattle and personal guard dog and used for
hunting purposes too. In the past this breed was common all over
Italy as an ample iconography and historiography testify. In the
recent past he has found a excellent preservation area in Southern
Italy, especially in Puglia, Lucania and Sannio. His name derives
from the Latin "Cohors" which means "Guardian",
GENERAL APPEARANCE: Medium-big
size dog, strongly built but elegant, with powerful and long muscles,
very distinguished, he expresses strength, agility and endurance.
The general conformation is that of a mesomorphic animal whose body
is longer than the height at the withers, harmonious as regards
the form and disharmonious as regards the profile.
IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS: The length
of the body is about 11% over the height at the withers. The total
length of the head reaches 3.6/10 of the height at the withers.
The length of the muzzle is equal to 3.4/10 of the total length
of the head. The height of the thorax is 5/10 of the height at the
withers and it is equal to the height of the limb at the elbows.
BEHAVIOUR AND TEMPERAMENT: Intelligent,
active and even-minded, he is an unequaled watch and protection
dog. Docile and affectionate with the owner, loving with children
and with the family, if necessary he becomes a terrible and brave
protector of people, house and property. He is easily trained.
HEAD: Brachycephalic. Its total
length reaches 3.6/10 of the height at the withers. The bizygomatic
width, which is equal to the length of the skull, is more than half
the total height of the head, reaching 6.6/10. The upper longitudinal
axes of the skull and of the muzzle are slightly convergent. The
perimeter of the head, measured at the cheek-bones, is more than
twice the total length of the head even in the females. The head
is moderately sculptured with zygomatic arches stretched outwards.
The skin is firm and sticking to the tissues underneath, it is smooth
and quite stretched.
Skull: Seen from the front it
is wide and slightly curved, seen from the side it draws an irregular
curve that, accentuated in the subregion of the forehead, becomes
flat along the external saggital crest. Seen from the top, it looks
square because of the outstretching of the zygomatic arches and
the powerful muscles swathing it. Frontal sinuses well developed
and stretched forward, deep forehead hollow and visible median furrow.
Occipital crest not much developed. Supraorbital fossae slightly
Nose: It is on the same line as
the nose pipe. Seen from the side it mustn't stick out from the
front vertical margin of the lips but be, with its front, on the
same vertical line as the front of the muzzle. It has to be voluminous,
rather flat on top, with wide nostrils, opened and mobile, wet and
cool. The pigmentation is black.
Muzzle: Very broad and deep. The
width of the muzzle must be almost equal to its length which reaches
3.4/10 of the total length of the head. Its depth is more than 50%
the length of the muzzle. Due to the parallels of the muzzle sides
and to the fullness and the width of the whole jaw, the anterior
face of the muzzle is flat and square. The nasal bridge has a rectilinear
profile and it is rather flat. The lower side profile of the muzzle
is determined by the upper lips, the suborbital region shows a very
Lips: Rather firm. Seen from the
front, the upper lips form at their disjunction an upside down "U"
and, seen from the side, hang moderately. The commisure is rightly
evident and it always represents the lowest point of the lower side
profile of the muzzle. The pigmentation is black.
Jaws: Very wide, strong and thick,
with a very slight shortening of the upper jaw with a subsequent
light prognathism (undershot mouth). The branches of the lower jaw
are very strong and, seen from the side, are quite curved, the body
of the lower jaw, well accentuated forward, points out well the
marked chin. The incisors are firmly placed on a straight line.
Cheeks: The masseter region is
full and evident, but not hypertrophic.
Teeth: White, big, complete in
growth and number. The lower jaw incisors pass only slightly (about
1/2 cm) their correspondent ones on the upper arch, so the bite
is slightly undershot.
Eyes: Of medium size compared
to the size of the dog, in a sub-frontal position, well spaced.
Rima palpebrarum nearly oval, eyeballs slightly protruding, adherent
eyelids with the borders pigmented with black, the eye mustn't let
the sclera be seen. Third eyelid strongly pigmented. Iris as dark
as possible according to the colour of the coat. Look intelligent
Ears: Of medium size in
relation to the volume of the head and to the size of the dog; covered
with short hair, of triangular shape, with rather pointed apex and
thick cartilage, in a high position, much above the zygomatic arch,
with a wide bottom, hanging, they stick to the cheeks without coming
down to the throat. Quite outstretched and slightly protruding at
the joint, they become semi-erect when the dog is watchful. They
usually get amputated in a equilateral-triangular shape.
Top line: Slightly arched.
Length: 3.6/10 of the height at
the withers, that is equal to the total length of the head.
Shape: Of oval section, strong,
very muscular, with a marked disjunction form at the nape. The perimeter,
at half length of the neck, is about 8/10 of the height at the withers.
Harmoniously joined with the withers, shoulder and chest, the neck
has its ideal direction at 45° from the ground and at right angle
with the shoulder.
Skin: The lower margin of the
neck is practically without dewlap.
BODY: Compact, strong and very
muscular. Its length is 11% over the height at the withers, with
allowance of ±1%.
Top line: The back region is rectilinear
with a slightly lombar convexity.
Withers: They clearly rise on
the dorsal line and over the rump level, are high, long, wide. They
are lean and joint harmoniously to the neck and to the back.
Back: It is wide, very muscular
as the whole upper line of the trunk, slightly climbing from the
back to the front and with a strictly rectilinear profile. Its length
is approx. 32% of the height at the withers.
Loins: The lumbar region has to
be short, wide, well joined to the to the back and to the rump,
very muscular, very solid and, seen from the side, slightly convex.
Its length, slightly higher than its width, is equal to 20% of the
height at the withers.
Croup: It is long, wide, quite
round due to the considerable growth of the muscles. The length,
measured from the ridge of the hip to the ridge of the nates is
equal to 32% of the height at the withers. Its average width is
equal to 23% of the height at the withers, its inclination on the
horizontal line, on the basis of the ilium-ischiatic line is of
28°/30°, on the basis of the line from the ridge of the hip to the
insertion of the tail is of 15°/16°. Therefore the rump is slightly
Chest: Wide, well inclined and
open, with well grown muscles. Its width, in close relation with
the width of the thorax, reaches 35% of the height to the withers,
the breast-bone is at the same height as the tip of the shoulders.
Seen from the side, the chest is outstretched forward between the
fore legs and slightly convex.
Thorax: It has to be well grown
in the three dimensions with long, oblique, wide and well hoped
ribs with wide intercostal spaces. The 4 false ribs are long, oblique
and open. The thorax reaches down at the elbow and its height is
equal to half the height at the withers. Its width, measured at
half of its height, is equal to 35% of the height at the withers
and decreases slightly towards the sternum region without forming
a carina. The depth (saggital diameter) is equal to 55% the height
at the withers. Its perimeter is over 35% the height at the withers.
Underline and belly: The sternum
region is lean, long, wide and seen from the side it outlines a
semicircle with a wide radius which caudally goes up smoothly to
the abdomen. The abdomen region is neither hollowed nor relaxed
and, seen from the side, rises up from the sternum edge to the groins
with a smooth curve. The hollow on the side is not very marked.
Tail: It is inserted quite high
on the rump line, it's thick at the root and not too tapering at
the tip, and if stretched is not too much over the hock. When not
in action is low. Otherwise is horizontal or slightly higher than
the back, it must never be bent to form a ring or in a vertical
position. It gets amputated at the 4th vertebrae.
seen from the front or in profile. The height of the limbs at the
elbows is equal to 50% of the height at the withers. Well proportioned
to the size of the dog. Strong and powerful.
Shoulder: Long, oblique,
strong, equipped with long, powerful and well divided muscles, is
adherent to the thorax but free in the movements. Its length, from
the top of the withers to the ridge of the shoulder, is equal to
30% of the height at the withers and its inclination on the horizontal
line is between 48°/50°. In relation to the median plane of the
body the ridges of the shoulder-blades are slightly swerved.
Arm: It is slightly
longer than the shoulder, strong, with very well grown bones and
muscles, well joined to the trunk in its top 2/3, measured from
the ridge of the shoulder to the tip of the elbow, it has a length
equal to 31/32% of the height at the withers and an inclination
with the horizontal line of approx 58°/60°. Its longitudinal direction
is parallel to the median plane of the body. The angle between the
shoulder-blades and the humerus is between 106° and 110°.
Elbows: The elbows,
long and protruding, adherent but not too close to the ribcage,
covered with lean skin, must be like the humeri, on a strictly parallel
plane to the sagittal plane of the trunk. The tip of the elbow (olecranon
epiphysis) is located on the vertical line lowered from the caudal
(or back) angle of the shoulder-blade to the ground.
Forearm: It is perfectly
vertical, oval section, with several muscles, in particular in the
top-third, with a very strong and compact bone structure. Its length,
from the tip of the elbow to the one of the arm is equal to 32/33%
of the height at the withers. Its perimeter, measured straight underneath
the elbow, is equal to 39% of the height at the withers; the carpus-cubital
groove is quite marked.
Carpal joint: Seen
from the front, it follows the straight vertical line of the forearm;
it is lean, wide, mobile, thick. Its perimeter reaches 26% of height
at the withers, at its top margin the pisiform bone is strongly
projected backwards. Pastern - It is quite smaller than the forearm,
is very strong, lean, elastic, slightly flexed (it forms with the
ground an angle of approx. 75°). Its length must not be over one
sixth of the height of the forelimb at the elbow. Seen from the
front, it follows the perpendicular line of the forearm and of the
Forefeet: They have
a round shape, with very arcuated and gathered toes (cat's foot).
Lean and hard soles. The nails are strong, curved and pigmented;
there is a good pigmentation also in the plantar and digital pads.
seen from the front or in profile. Well proportioned to the size
of the dog, strong and powerful.
Thigh: It is long
and wide, with prominent muscles, therefore the nate ridge is well
marked. Its length is over 33% of the height at the withers and
the width is never lower than 25% of such height. The thigh-bone
axis, quite oblique from the top to the bottom and from the back
to the front, has an inclination of 70° on the horizontal line and
forms with the coxal axis an angle which is slightly more than right
Second thigh: It
is long, lean, with a strong bone and muscle structure, has a well
marked muscular groove. Its length is equal to 32% of the height
at the withers and its inclination from the top to the bottom and
from the front to the back is of approx. 50° on the horizontal line.
Stifle: The angle
of the stifle joint, is of approx. 120°. Its direction is parallel
to the median plane of the body.
Hock joint: It is
wide, thick, clean, with well marked bone. The protruding hock ridge
shows clearly the continuation of the leg groove. The distance from
the ridge of the hock to the sole of the foot (to the ground) shouldn't
be over 26% of the height at the withers. Its direction, in relation
to the median plane of the body is parallel. The tibio-metatarsal
angle is of approx 140°.
It is very thick, lean, rather short, cylindrical, and is always
perpendicular to the ground, seen from the side and from the back,
its length is equal to approx 15% of the height at the withers (tarsus
and foot excluded). Its internal side has to present itself without
Hindfeet: They have
a slightly more oval shape than the fore ones and a less arched
GAIT / MOVEMENT:
Long steps, stretched trot, some steps of gallop, but with inclination
to stretched trot.
SKIN: It is,
rather thick, has limited subcutaneous connective tissue and therefore
is adherent everywhere to the layers underneath. The neck is practically
without dewlap. The head mustn't have wrinkles. The pigment of the
mucous membranes is black. The pigment of the soles and the nails
must be dark.
Hair: Short hair
but not smooth, with vitreous texture, shiny, adherent, stiff, very
dense, with a light layer that becomes thicker in winter (but never
crops up on the covering hair). Its average length is approx. 2/2.5
cm. On the withers, the rump, the back margin of the thighs and
on the tail it reaches approx. 3 cm without creating fringes. On
the muzzle the hair is very short, smooth, adherent and is not more
than 1/1.5 cm.
Colour: Black, plumb-grey,
slate, light grey, light fawn, deer fawn, dark fawn and tubby (very
well marked stripes on different shades of fawn and grey). In the
fawny and tubby subjects there is a black or grey mask only on the
muzzle and shouldn't go beyond the eye line. A small white patch
on the chest, on the feet tips and on the nose bridge is accepted.
HEIGHT AND WEIGHT:
Height at the withers:
For males from 64 cm to 68 cm.
For females from 60 cm to 64 cm.
With allowance of ± 2 cm.
Males from 45 to 50 Kg. ratio weight/size 0.710 (Kg/cm).
Females from 40 to 45 Kg. ratio weight/size 0.680 (Kg/cm).
FAULTS: Any departure
from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness
with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion
to its degree and diffusion.
parallelism of the axes of the skull and the muzzle. Very marked
converging axes of the skull and the muzzle. Converging side lines
of the muzzle. Scissors bite. Pronounced and disturbing undershot
Nose: Partial depigmentation.
Tail: Forming a ring
or in a vertical position.
Size: Oversize or
Gait / movement:
Diverging axes of the skull and the muzzle. Overshot mouth. Nosebridge
resolutely hollow or ram-like.
Partial and bilateral palpebral depigmentation. Wall-eye. Bilateral
organs: Monorchidism. Cryptorchidism. Obvious incomplete
growth of one or both testicles.
Tailless, short-tail, artificial or congenital.
Semi-long, smooth, fringed.
All colors not prescribed, white patches too wide.
Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended
into the scrotum.