Azerbaijan Mountain Dog

He is not recognized by the F.C.I.

Origin
Azerbaijan
Translation
Francis Vandersteen
This breed is also known as
Azarbaycan Ovtcharka

Usage

Shepherd and guard dog.

Brief historical summary

The Azerbaijani Shepherd Dog is very closely related to the Armenian Gamprs and generally considered a variant of the Caucasian Shepherd Dog, although it is descended from two distinct types, like the Gampr. Light and short-haired, these steppe dogs are very similar to certain Central Asian dog lines, while the heavy mountain type is not very different from the typical Caucasian dogs.
This old breed is a working dog in its region, both for protecting livestock and guarding property. The steppe type has a long history as a fighting dog, as well as a bait dog. Being a remarkably resilient hound, the Azerbaijani Shepherd Dog lives comfortably outdoors, and because of its aggressiveness, does not make a good companion dog.

General appearance

The Azerbaijani Shepherd Dog is a harmoniously built, large, powerful dog with good bone structure and well-developed muscles; its shape is slightly rectangular. Sexual dimorphism is pronounced. Males have a marked masculine type, with well-developed withers and a larger head than females. They are also more massive, taller and often have a shorter body than females. Dogs with a longer coat have a pronounced mane.

Important proportions

Body length exceeds height at withers by 3 - 8%.
Foreleg length averages 50 - 52% of height at withers.
The ratio of skull length to muzzle length is 3:2.

Behaviour / temperament

Balanced, active, self-confident, courageous and independent. The Azerbaijani Shepherd Dog is devoted to its master, making it an excellent watchdog.

Head

Cranial region

Head
The head is large, massive and broad at the zygomatic region. Viewed from above, the head resembles a wedge with a broad base.
Skull
Massive and broad; the forehead is almost flat with a visible but not deep furrow. The superciliary arches are developed but not prominent. The occipital protuberance is not visible.
Stop
Visible but not clearly marked.

Facial region

Nose
Broad, black and with properly opened nostrils: viewed from the side, it does not extend beyond the muzzle. In single-colored, spotted or magpie dogs, a black nose is desirable but not mandatory (a genetic blue or brown nose is not permitted).
Muzzle
Broad and high, tapering gradually to the nose; with strong jaws and chin; deep and well filled under the eyes. The top of the muzzle is broad. Upper lines of muzzle and skull parallel.
Lips
Strong, tight and well pigmented.
Jaws and teeth
Teeth should be healthy, white and strong, with incisors close together and aligned. Scissor bite or edge to edge with complete dentition (42 teeth). Damaged, broken or pulled incisors or canines that do not affect bite are not penalized, nor is the absence of PM1.
Cheeks
Well developed, accentuated by pronounced masseter muscles.
Eyes
Medium-sized, oval-shaped, not too deep-set, set wide apart and oblique. Brown in various shades from dark brown to hazel.
Ears
Medium-sized, thick, triangular, naturally hanging, set high and wide apart. The inside of the ear lies against the cheek. In the country of origin, ears are traditionally cropped. Uncropped ears have the same value.

Neck

Medium length, powerful, carried low; round cross-section. The crest is pronounced, especially in males.

Body

Body
Very well developed in all dimensions; broad, well muscled and well proportioned.
Withers
Well pronounced, moderately long. Height at withers slightly greater than height at croup.
Back
Broad, straight, well supported.
Loin
Short, broad, slightly arched.
Croup
Moderately long, broad, rounded, sloping slightly toward the base of the tail.
Chest
Long, broad, well sprung, high and deep; broad and oval in cross-section. Well sprung ribs; long false ribs. Pronounced chest.
Underline and belly
Moderately tucked up at the back.

Tail

Set high, sickle-shaped or ring-shaped. At rest, it falls down to the hock. When the dog is alert, it can be carried above the topline.

Limbs

Forequarters

Generality
Well muscled. Viewed from the front, the forelegs are straight, parallel and set wide apart.
Shoulders
Strongly muscled. Moderately long, broad, sloping to form an angle of about 100° with the upper arm. The shoulder blade lies close to the ribcage.
Upper arm
Strong and muscular, well positioned against the ribcage.
Elbows
Set well back and parallel, turning neither in nor out.
Forearm
Straight, massive, moderately long, well muscled; round in cross-section.
Pastern
Short, massive; almost straight when viewed from the front and in profile.
Forefeet
Large, rounded, well arched and tight.

Hindquarters

Generality
Seen from behind, straight and parallel, moderately open. Seen in profile, stifle and hock joints sufficiently angulated. Must not be arched in the hindquarters.
Upper thigh
Broad, well muscled and moderately long.
Lower thigh
Broad, well-muscled and moderately long.
Stifle
Sufficiently angulated.
Metatarsus
Long, massive steps; seen from the front and in profile, almost straight.
Hock
Hock joint wide and dry, sufficiently well angulated: solid, turning neither in nor out.
Hind feet
Large, rounded, well arched and tight.

Gait and movement

Free, elastic, quietly paced, with good propulsion from the hindquarters. Stable joints and well-coordinated movement. Typical gait is trot. Withers and croup should be level, and the topline should remain relatively sustained.

Skin

Thick, sufficiently elastic, without folds or wrinkles.

Coat

Hair
Straight, coarse, spread coat with well developed undercoat. The length of the topcoat and undercoat must not be less than 5 cm. On the head and forelegs, the hair is shorter and denser. On the whole tail, the hair is dense, giving the appearance of thick fur. The long topcoat forms tufts on the ears, a mane around the neck and breeches on the back of the thighs.
Colour
Any uniform, piebald or spotted color, except black, diluted black, black in any combination, and genetic liver brown or blue.

Size and weight

Height at withers
Males ideal height 72 - 75 cm, minimum 68 cm. Females ideal height 67 - 70 cm, minimum 64 cm.
Larger sizes are acceptable as long as the whole is harmonious.
Weight
Males minimum 50 kg, females minimum 45 kg.

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 its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog and its ability to perform its traditional work.
• Faults listed should be in degree of seriousness.

Serious faults

 Construction too light or too coarse.
 Lack of confidence.
 Deviations from sexual dimorphism.
 Head small in relation to body; head light, narrow, long, coarse, heavy or apple-shaped.
 Stop too pronounced.
 Muzzle drooping, concave or pointed.
 Teeth too small, too far apart; incisors not aligned; any deviation from dental formula (except absence of PM1).
 Zygomatic not sufficiently pronounced.
 Eyes large, prominent; too pale in color; conjunctiva visible, eyelids loose.
 Ears large; thin or set too low.
 Topline swayed or arched; loins long, sunken or harped; croup higher than withers.
 Body square, too "cob"; too long; narrow in front and behind; limbs too long; chest too short, flat or not sufficiently deep; croup short or swallowed.
 Very short tail.
 Weak bones, muscles and joint ligaments.
 Incorrect angulations.
 Arched forearms.
 Irregular gait.
 Lack of propulsion of hindquarters.
 Coat too soft; wavy; topcoat too short or lack of undercoat.

Disqualifying faults

 Aggressive or timid dog.
 Any deviation of the required bite.
 Incomplete dental formula (absence of any teeth except M3 or PM1).
 Entropion.
 Eyes minnows; dark blue; greenish or eyes of different colors.
 Cut tail.
 Constant amble or inability to appreciate gaits.
 Black color in all combinations: uniform, piebald, spotted or coat (except mask).
 Genetic blue in any suit or shade.
 Blue-gray pigmentation on nose, lips or eyelids.
 Genetic brown of any combination or shade.
 Genetic brown pigmentation on nose, lips or eyelids.
 Tan markings on black, blue or brown coats.
 Height below minimum height.
 Strong deviations from sexual dimorphism in males.

NB :

• Any dog clearly showing physical or behavioural abnormalities shall be disqualified.
• The above mentioned faults when occurring to a highly marked degree or frequently are disqualifying.
• 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.

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