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Breed Standard


GENERAL APPEARANCE: Well balanced, impresses with strength and great activity. Massive bone throughout, but not giving heavy inactive appearance. Noble, majestic and powerful.


CHARACTERISTICS: Large draught and water dog, with natural life-saving instinct and devoted companion.


TEMPERAMENT: Exceptionally gentle, docile nature.


HEAD & SKULL: Head broad and massive, muzzle deep and moderately short. Eyes - small, deep set, wide apart - colours dark brown in black, lighter shades permitted in brown dogs.


EARS: Small set well back, square with the skull, lying close to the head. When the ear of an adult dog is brought forward it reaches to the inner corner of the eye on the same side.


MOUTH: Scissor bite preferred, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth and set square to the jaws, but level bite accepted.


NECK: strong, muscular, well set in the shoulders, long enough to permit dignified head carriage.


BACK: Broad


CHEST: Broad, full and deep, with good spread of ribs.


FOREQUARTERS: The forelegs are straight and parallel also when the dog is walking or slowly trotting.


SHOULDERS: very well muscled well laid back.


ELBOWS: Close to the chest


FEET: large, well rounded and tight. Webbing of toes is present. Splayed or turned out feet most undesirable.


HINDQUARTERS: Very strong, broad.


GAIT/MOVEMENT: Free, slight rolling gait. When in motion slight toe-ing in at front acceptable.


TAIL: Moderate length, reaching a little below the hock. When standing hangs downward when moving straight out with slight upward curve but never over the back nor curved inward between the legs most undesirable.


COAT: Double coat, outer coat is moderately long and straight with no curl, slight wave is permissable. The undercoat is soft and dense. The hair on the head, muzzle and ears is short and fine. The front and rear legs are feathered. The tail is completely covered with long dense hair but does not form a flag.


COLOUR: Only permitted colours are Black (dull jet black, but slight tinge of sunburn is permissible. Splash of white on chest, toes and tip of tail acceptable) Brown (can be chocolate or bronze. again splash white acceptable) White/Black (white with black markings only. Black head with narrow blaze, evenly marked saddle, black rump extending to tail. Beauty in markings to be taken greatly into consideration. Ticking undesirable)


SIZE: (Average height at shoulders) Dogs- 71cm (28 inches); Bitches-66cm(26 inches)
Average weight: Dogs-60 kg; bitches- 54 kg



General appearance: Legginess, lack of substance
General bone structure: sluggish appearance, fine bone
Character: aggressiveness, shyness
Head: Narrow
Muzzle: Snipy or long
Eyes: Round, protruding, yellow eyes showing pronounced haw
Forequarters: down in the pastern, splayed toes, lack of webbing.
Hindquarters: Straight stifles, cowhocks, barrel legs, pigeon toes.
Gait/movement: Mincing, shuffling, crabbing, too close moving, weaving, crossing over in front, toeing out or distinctly toeing-in in front, pacing.


ELIMINATING FAULTS: bad temperament, overshot/undershot bite, wry mouth, short and flat coat. Markings of any other colour than white on a black or brown dog. Any other colour than black, white and black or brown. Male dogs should have 2 apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.


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