A Breed Standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament and appearance of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function with soundness essential. Breeders and judges should at all times be mindful of features which could be detrimental in any way to the health, welfare or soundness of this breed.
BRIEF HISTORICAL SUMMARY
This dog of ancient Italian origin used for bird hunting has modelled itself and developed over the ages; from the hunting of yester years by means of hunt and shooting. Frescoes from the 14th century are proof of the indisputable timelessness of the Italian pointer over the centuries, regarding his morphology or his hunting aptitudes as a pointing dog. Selected for great ability in fast and wide trot and by nature an excellent retriever.
Of strong and harmonious construction, powerful appearance. The preferred subjects are those with lean limbs, well developed muscles, well defined lines with a markedly sculpted head and a very obvious lower orbital chiselling, elements which all contribute to give distinction to this breed.
Length of the body is the same or a little more than the height at the withers. Length of head is equal to 4/10 of the height at the withers; its width, measured at the level of the zygomatic arches, is less than half its length. Skull and muzzle are of equal length.
Tough and adapted to all types of hunting, reliable, endowed with an excellent ability to understand, docile and easy to train.
Angular and narrow at the level of the zygomatic arches; the length of the skull equals the length of the muzzle. The upper longitudinal axes of the skull and muzzle are divergent, i.e. if extending the top line of the muzzle the latter must emerge in front of the occipital protuberance, ideally at mid-length of the skull.
Skull: Seen in profile, the skull is in the shape of a very open arch. Seen from above, it forms lengthwise an elongated ellipse. The width of the skull, measured at the level of the zygomatic arches, should not exceed half of the length of the head. The bulge of the forehead and the supraorbital ridges are perceptible. The frontal groove is visible and ends at mid-length of the skull. The interparietal crest is short and not very prominent. The occipital protuberance is pronounced.
Stop: Not pronounced.
Nose: Voluminous, with large well-opened nostrils, protruding slightly over the lips with which it forms an angle. Colour is more or less pink – to flesh-coloured or brown, depending on the colour of the coat.
Muzzle: Either slightly arched or straight. Its length is equal to half of the length of the head and its depth measures 4/5 of its length. Seen from the front, the lateral sides of the muzzle converge slightly, still presenting a foreface of good width. The chin is not very apparent.
Lips: Upper lips well developed, thin and floppy without being flaccid, covering the jaw; seen in profile, they overlap the lower jaw slightly. Seen from the front, they form an inverted « V » below the nose; the corner of the lips must be marked without being droopy.
Jaws/Teeth: Dental arches well adapted, with the teeth square set to the jaw; scissor bite. A pincer bite is also acceptable.
Eyes: Semi-lateral position with a soft and submissive expression, neither deep set nor prominent. Eyes fairly large, eyelids oval-shaped and close fitting (no entropion or ectropion). The iris is of a more or less dark ochre or brown colour depending on the coat colour.
Ears: Long, they should reach the tip of the nose without being stretched. Their width is at least equal to half their length; raised only very slightly; base rather narrow, set rather backwards at level of zygomatic arches; a supple ear with a front rim well turned inwards and really close to the cheek is appreciated; the tips are slightly rounded.
Powerful, in truncated cone shape, length not less than 2/3 of the length of the head, well detached from the nape. The throat shows a soft double dewlap.
Topline: The topline presents two lines: one, almost straight, slopes from the withers to the 11th dorsal vertebra; the other is slightly arched, joining with the line of the rump.
Withers: Well defined, with the points of the shoulder blades well separated.
Loin: Wide lumbar region, muscled, short and slightly convex.
Croup: Long (about 1/3 of the height at the withers), broad and well muscled; the ideal pelvic angulation (angle formed by the pelvic girdle with a horizontal line) is 30°.
Chest: Broad, deep and well let down to the elbows, without forming a keel, with well-sprung ribs, particularly in the lower part.
Underline and belly: Lower profile almost horizontal along the ribcage rising slightly at the abdomen.
Thick at the base, straight, with a slight tendency to taper; hair short. When the dog is in action and especially when questing, it is carried horizontally or nearly. The natural tail should not extend below the hock and have the above-mentioned features. If docked, for hunting purposes and in compliance with health and animal welfare, the tail must have a length of 15–25 cm from the root.
[*refer note below]
General appearance: Very free in movement.
Shoulder: Strong, well muscled, long and sloping.
Upper arm: Sloping, fitting to the ribcage.
Elbow: The point of the elbow should be on perpendicular line from the rear point of the shoulder blade to the ground.
Forearm: Strong, straight, with strong and well marked sinews.
Metacarpus (Pastern): Well proportioned, lean, of good length and slightly sloping.
Forefeet: Strong, slightly oval shaped; well arched with tight toes and strong nails well curved towards the ground. Colour of nails is white, yellow or brown, of a more or less dark shade depending on the colour of the coat; pads elastic and lean.
Thigh: Long, parallel, muscular, with a rear edge almost straight.
Stifle (Knee): Well angulated.
Lower thigh: Strong.
Hock joint: Broad.
Metatarsus (Rear pastern): Relatively short and lean.
Hind feet: With all the characteristics of the forefeet: they have dewclaws, the absence of which is not a fault. Double dewclaw is tolerated.
GAIT / MOVEMENT
Extended and fast trot, with powerful propulsion from the hindquarters, head raised and nose held high in such a way that, when hunting, the nose is higher than the topline.
Tough but elastic; finer on the head, the throat, the armpits and on the lower parts of the body. The visible pigmentation must be of a corresponding colour with the coat, and never show black spots. The pigmentation of the mouth is pink; in the roans or white and chestnut coloured dogs they sometimes show brown or pale chestnut spotting.
Hair: Short, dense and glossy, finer and shorter on the head, the ears, front part of the legs and feet.
Colour: White. White with patches of varied size of an orange or more or less dark amber colour. White with more or less large brown patches. White speckled with pale orange, i.e. orange roan. White speckled with brown, i.e. liver roan. In this last combination, a metallic sheen is appreciated, and a warm shade of brown is preferred, recalling the colour of a monk’s frock. A symmetrical facial mask is preferred, but the absence of a mask is tolerated.
SIZE AND WEIGHT
Height at the withers: 55 – 67 cm. Preferred size for males: 58 – 67 cm. Preferred size for females: 55 – 62 cm. Weight: Between 25 and 40 kg depending on size.
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 on its ability to perform its traditional work.
SEVERE FAULTS ·
Accentuated undershot mouth. · Excessive amount of skin causing an exaggerated dewlap or an un-divided dewlap and too many wrinkles on the head. · Size, 2 cm above or below the standard height at the withers. · An upturned tail is highly undesirable.
Aggressive or overly shy dogs. · Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified. · Split nose. · Convergence of cranio-facial axes. · Overshot mouth. · Wall eye. · Coat black, white and black, tricolour, fawn, hazel, unicolour and tan markings. · Absence of pigmentation (Albinism). · Pigmentation of skin and annexes with traces of black.
Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum. · Only functionally and clinically healthy dogs, with breed typical conformation, should be used for breeding.
*Regardless of the provisions of the current KUSA-adopted standard, docked and formerly docked breeds may be shown at all FCI- and KUSA-licensed shows in South Africa, whether their tails are docked, or natural. Under no circumstances are judges permitted to discriminate against exhibits on the grounds of docked, or natural tails and equal consideration for awards must be given to either.