Australian Cobberdog Preliminary Breed Standard
ABOUT BREED STANDARDS (BREED DESCRIPTIONS)
A breed standard or breed description is an articulate document which describes in detail how the ideal specimen in a specific dog breed, should look and behave. It is designed to provide a consistent, logical and enduring standard of excellence, intended to preserve the qualities of the breed, which make it suitable for the original purpose for which it was created. Adherence to the breed standard by breeders and show judges forms the guardianship of the breed’s future.
In the case of a developing pure breed, what is known as a ‘preliminary breed standard’ is presented to the national kennel club monitoring the breed in the country of origin, taking into account that the emerging pure breed may still be passing through developmental changes which may require additions or amendments over time. The parent club is the only entity which is entitled to submit a preliminary breed standard and any future submissions for proposed changes or amendments. In the case of the Australian Cobberdog, its country of origin is Australia, and the kennel club body with the authority to accept or decline its preliminary breed standard as well as any proposed amendments or additions, is the Master Dog Breeders and Associates (MDBA)
which is an international pure breed dog registry with its headquarters in Australia.
Whilst a number of individuals and Labradoodle-specific registering bodies have designed their own varying breed standards over the past few years, unity is of the utmost importance and therefore a third party registering body is essential for the safeguarding of the breed’s final acceptance as a recognised pure breed. The MDBA has sole autonomy to preside over the future of the Australian Cobberdog by way of its breed description as well as breeding protocols and ethics for its member breeders.
The Australian Cobberdog preliminary breed description places heavy emphasis on discouraging exaggeration of any feature of the dog. If for example, a feature is described as being ‘broad’ then ‘broader’ is deleterious and is penalised.
AUSTRALIAN COBBERDOG PRELIMINARY BREED DESCRIPTION 2013
© The Australian and International Australian Cobberdog Club (AIACC)
1. General Appearance:
A gracefully athletic and balanced dog, free of exaggeration, with a luxurious non-shedding coat which gives it ready access for its purpose as an assistance dog and therapy dog into places that may refuse entry to dogs with shedding coats. It’s gentle nature, unique intuition which enables it to sense the emotional and physical needs of human beings and to act accordingly, together with its innate desire and aptitude for training, are expressed through its sociable and friendly nature, its desire for close human companionship and in its eyes which seek intimate contact with human eyes, and which should never be hidden by an overhang of its coat.
2. Size, Proportion and Substance:
Slightly off square, being a little longer than tall when measured from the point of the shoulder to the rearmost projection of the upper thigh (point of buttocks). Boning is neither heavy nor fine but is sufficient to allow the dog to carry out the duties required of an assistance dog, with the
least wear and tear on its body.
Miniature: 15ins – 18ins (38.1cm – 45.7cm)
Medium: 19ins – 22ins (48.3cm – 55.9cm)
Standard: 23ins – 26ins (58.4cm – 66cm)
Slightly square, free from exaggerations and in proportion to the size of the dog. Length from tip of nose to the inner corner of the eyes only slightly shorter than from the inner corner of the eyes to the point of the occiput. Nasal bones are broad and flat, with frontal bones a similar width to the side bones which have flat muscling giving a sculptured appearance. Skull gently rounded and of similar width to the frontal bones of the face.
Stop: blunt but well defined with a very slightly indented brow between the eyes.
Eyes: A Distinct Feature. Expression of the eyes is open, gentle, confident, and friendly. Round or oval, with long sweeping eyelashes and set well apart but not to the extreme side of the head. Expression and seeking intimate contact with human eyes is more important than exact shape. Eye colour and rich pigmentation of the rims blend with the surrounding coat.
Muzzle more broad than narrow, but not to excess. Lips firmly fitting and rims lined with unbroken pigment.
Bite: scissor or level bite
Teeth: strong and white with no discolouration or signs of wear.
Nose: A DistinctFeature. Noticeably large and fleshy with open nostrils and rich pigment.
Ears: Pendulous with long silky furnishings and a slightly elevated set-on at the base, which is only slightly above the outside corner of the eyes. Leather fine and pliable, with its tip at least mid way down the face, but not extending below the nose. Furnishings may extend below this point. Ear canals free from thick hair.
4. Neck, Topline and Body
Neck: Elegant, with firm skin and a gentle arch. Flows naturally into the withers on the top, and down into the point of sternum on the under side without the appearance of being ‘stuck on’.
Topline: Level with a slight rise over the loins to allow maximum reach and drive from the hindquarters.
Body: Free from exaggerations. Nothing should attract attention. Chest neither broad nor narrow, with brisket level with or slightly above the point of elbow. Ribs sufficiently well sprung to allow adequate heart and lung room. The back is level and strong from withers to the start of the flanks, with a slight rise of muscle over the loins to permit a long reaching drive from the hindquarters when
gaiting. Tuck up is sufficient to enable the hind legs to reach well forward beneath the body when gaiting. The Croup only slightly tapers to the set on of tail.
Tail: Medium set on, plumed, sabre shaped without kinks and carried happily. The last two thirds may be above the dog’s back when excited or in movement.
Shoulder blades are flat and layered with muscle. Angulation of the shoulders is symmetrical to that of the femur and tibia bones in the hindquarters, with sufficient slope to allow maximum extension of the front limbs when trotting. The point of shoulder is in line with the pro sternum. Upper arms are well muscled, with elbows neither pinched into the sides not protruding. Front legs are parallel to one another and straight to the ground with no deviation whether viewed from the front or the side. Cannons are strong and straight and only slightly longer than the relatively short and springy pasterns.
Feet: compact, either round or oval, with thick pads, well arched toes and short strong nails. Dewclaws are permitted on the front feet.
Angulation of the femur and tibia bones is symmetrical to that of the scapula and humerus bones in the shoulders with sufficient slope to allow a long reaching propelling stride from the hind feet, which commences well forward beneath the body of the dog.
Thighs: upper thighs are broad, tapering only slightly into the second thigh. When viewed from the rear, the thighs are in a direct line behind the forearms of the front legs and are free of bowing or curvature.
Stifles: length is similar to that between point of elbow and pastern joint on the forequarters with sufficient angulation to smoothly transmit impulsion from the rear of the dog through to the front limbs.
Hock joint: strong, sinewy and broader than long
Hocks: strong and shorter rather than long. Close to the same length as the pasterns on the forequarters. Hocks are parallel to one another and straight to the ground when viewed from the rear or the side.
Feet: slightly more oval than the front feet. Compact, with thick pads, well arched toes and short strong nails. No dewclaws on the hind feet.
A Distinct Feature. Single (no undercoat) non-shedding coat in either wool or fleece, with fleece preferred.
Fleece: soft and luxurious to the touch, and ripples when the dog moves. Is not hair textured, not fuzzy curly or frizzy. Flows freely in soft waves of similar length and density up to approximately four inches (10.2 cm) long on the body, legs, head and face, and with a profusely plumed tail. The face is trimmed between and slightly above the eyes, the beard and coat on the cheeks are rounded off, with the areas beneath the ears, under the jaw and around the throat clipped short to permit adequate air flow. Paws are clipped out to the ankles, with the overhang hiding the clipped area and trimmed level with the ground. Clipping around the anal area beneath the tail is permitted in the interests of hygiene.
Wool: soft and luxurious to the touch and covers the entire body legs and head to about two inches (5.1 cm) in length, with fluffy curls which need trimming or clipping several times a year to be kept neat. The plumed tail is less curly than the rest of the dog. The face is trimmed between and slightly above the eyes, the beard and coat on the cheeks are rounded off, with the areas beneath the ears, under the jaw and around the throat clipped short to permit adequate air flow. Paws are clipped out to the ankles, with the overhang hiding the clipped area and trimmed level with the ground. Clipping around the anal area beneath the tail is permitted in the interests of hygiene.
Both coat types are expected to show discolouration and bleaching over the top coat, referred to as ‘sunning’ or ‘weathering’ as this
breed is an active dog who enjoys the outdoors, and whose service work often requires him to spend a lot of time outside in all weathers. Discolouration of the top coat, or broken coat on the extremities are not penalised in the conformation show ring or other forms of competition. True colour can be determined by parting the coat with the hands and examining the colour the first two inches (5.1 cm) closest to the skin.
All colours are acceptable with the exception of Merles. Parti – Colours have the same coloured eye and lip rims, and eye colour as their predominating colour.
Black dogs have black eye and lip rims, black noses and dark brown to black eyes
Silver dogs have black eye and lip rims, black noses and dark brown to black eyes
Cream dogs have black eye and lip rims, black noses and shades of brown eyes
Apricot dogs have black eye and lip rims, black noses and dark brown eyes
Red dogs have either black or red eye and lip rims and noses, and dark brown eyes
Chocolate, Café and Parchment dogs have liver eye and lip rims and noses, and hazel to amber eyes
Caramel dogs have liver eye and lip rims, noses, and hazel to amber eyes
Blue dogs appear black but have blue skin, and blue eye and lip rims. Eyes brown
Lavender is extremely rare and has pinkish to mauve skin, eye and lip rims and nose. Eyes hazel.
9. Gait: A Distinct Featur
Movement is the showcase of this breed’s suitability as an active assistance or service dog where it is required to work for long periods without fatigue, and its movement is characterised by a joyous bearing, with a light footed, airy and tireless, long reaching and effortless stride that appears to float above the ground and to be going somewhere with purpose. The full trot is a true two-time action with no sign of ambling or pacing and the hocks do not wobble or bump together when viewed from the rear but move directly forward in line with the front legs. Seen from the side, the topline remains level with a minimum of up and down movement and the head and neck are extended rather than being unduly raised. Prancing mincing or high stepping are strongly penalised and each of the four legs steps forward long and low without dishing or plaiting.
10. Temperament and Nature:
Distinct Features of Equal Importance
Temperament: happy, confident and sociable, extremely clever, calm, observant, easily trained, and adapts well to new situations and environments when handled with positive training techniques, but is easily discouraged by harsh training methods. Early training is quickly and keenly absorbed and is essential to avoid owners being outsmarted.
Nature: fun loving and clown-like with a keen sense of humour, sensitive and responsive to human emotion and physical incapacity, appears to be stubborn, when confused. Is happiest when living in close proximity to human family members and when it believes that it is serving them.
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 its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and upon its ability to carry out the functions for which it was created.