- Watch, protection, police, and track dog.
CLASSIFICATION - Working group 1, dogs like Argentine
Dogo and Black Russian Terrier.
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
population. Employed as property, cattle and personal
guard dog. They were also used for hunting purposes. In
the past this breed was common all over Italy as an ample
iconography and historiography testify. In the recent
past, he has found an 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-to large size dog, strongly
built but elegant, with powerful 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.
Get additional information from comments to standard.
IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS - The length of the body
is about ll% over the height at the withers. The total
length of the head reaches 1/3 of the height at the withers.
The length of the muzzle is equal to1/3 of the total length
of the head. The height of the thorax is ½ of the height
at the withers and it is equal to the height of the limb
at the elbows.
BEHAVIOUR AND TEMPERAMENT - Intelligent, active, even-minded,
an unequaled watch and protection dog. Docile and affectionate
with owner, loving with children and with 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 1/3
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 2/3. 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 sticking to the tissues underneath, it is smooth
and quite stretched.
CRANIAL REGION -
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
Stop - Very marked because of the very developed
and bulging frontal sinuses and because of the prominent
FACIAL REGION -
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 but
can be blue (gray) on blue or formentino dogs
Muzzle - Very broad and deep. The width of the muzzle
must be almost equal to its length, which reaches 1/3
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 in the shape of a trapezoid widest at the base. The
nasal bridge has a rectilinear profile and it is rather
flat. The upper lips determine the lower side profile
of the muzzle; the sub orbital region shows a very slight
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
Jaws - Very wide, strong and thick, with a very slight
shortening of the upper jaw. 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.
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 (1/4 inch max)
their correspondent ones on the upper arch, so the bite
is slightly undershot. The canines should be slightly
divergent creating a serated bite. The inscissors should
be in a straight line between the canines. Scissors and
level bite should be tolerated on subjects that otherwise
exhibit good type-correct head to muzzle ratio, short
deep wide muzzle, parallel sidelines of the muzzle. The
dentition should be full.
Eyes - Of medium size compared to the size of the
dog, in a sub-frontal position, well spaced. Rima palpebrarum
nearly almond shaped eyes, adherent eyelids with the borders
pigmented with black, the eye must not allow the sclera
be seen. A minimal haw should be tolerated. Third
eyelid strongly pigmented. The Iris as dark as possible
according to the color of the coat. A brindle subject
the eye color should match the darkest part of the coat.
Look intelligent and alert.
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
an equilateral-triangular shape. Uncropped ears should
not be faulted.
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 part of the neck allows for minimal
dewlap or elastic skin though not reminiscent of the Neapolitan
BODY - Compact, strong and very muscular. Its
length is 11% over the height at the withers, with allowance
Top line - The back region is rectilinear with a slightly
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 inclined.
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 breastbone 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
FOREQUARTERS - Perpendicular, 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
Pastern - It is quite smaller than the forearm, is
very strong, lean, slightly flexed (it forms with the
ground an angle of approx. 72-73°). 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 carpus.
Forefeet - They have a round shape, with very arcuated
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.
HINDQUARTERS - Perpendicular, 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 (coxo-femural angle).
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.
Its inclination from the top to the bottom and from the
front to the back is of approx. 50° on the horizontal
Hock joint - It is wide, thick, and clean with a well-marked
bone. The protruding hock ridge shows clearly a continuation
of the leg groove. The distance from the ridge of the
hock to the sole of the foot (to the ground) should not
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. 130°.
Hock (Metatarsus) - 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
Hind feet - They have a slightly more oval shape than
the fore ones and less arched toes.
GAIT/MOVEMENT - They move in long steps, stretched
trot, some steps of gallop, but with an inclination to
stretched trot. The movement should be free flowing and
powerful, yet effortless. The front legs should reach
with long strides. The rear should thrust with great drive
and extension. When viewed from the front, the legs should
move parallel to each other and cover a great deal of
ground with each step. When viewed from the side, the
top line should remain on a level plane with a minimum
roll or bounce and should converge as to single track.
The dog should move with a great deal of ease and confidence.
SKIN - It is, rather thick, has limited subcutaneous
connective tissue and therefore, is adherent everywhere
to the layers underneath. The head must not have wrinkles.
The pigment of the mucous membranes is black. The pigment
of the soles and the nails must be dark.
COAT - 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.
¾" to 1"inch. On the withers, the rump, the back margin
of the thighs and on the tail it reaches approx. 3 cm
without creating fringes. The hair on the muzzle is very
short, smooth, and adherent and is not more than 3/8".
Color - Black, blue, chestnut brindle, fawn, red and
or brindling of any of these colors. With fawn and red
subjects there is a black or gray mask on the muzzle only
and should not go beyond the eye line. A small white patch
on the chest and feet tips is accepted.
HEIGHT AND WEIGHT
Height at the withers - For males from 24 to 27 inches.
For females from 23 to 26 inches.
Weight - For males from 107 to 132 lbs. For females
90 to 115 lbs. There is a 5% plus or minus tolerance on
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.
SEVERE FAULTS -
Accentuated parallelism of the axes of the skull and the
Very marked converging axes of the skull and the muzzle.
Converging sidelines of the muzzle.
Pronounced and disturbing undershot or overshot mouth.
Forming a ring or in a vertical position.
Oversize or undersize.
DISQUALIFYING FAULTS -
Diverging axes of the skull and the muzzle.
Nose bridge resolutely hollow or ram-like.
Partial and bilateral palpebral depigmentation.
Obvious incomplete growth of one or both testicles.
Semi-long, smooth, and fringed.
All colors not prescribed, white patches too wide.
(A few hairs do not qualify as a patch)
Blue/tan and black/tan color pattern (Rottweiler markings)
Note - Males should have
two apparent normal testicles fully descended into the