Cane da Pastore di Oropa

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

Origin
Italy
Translation
Francis Vandersteen
Group
Group 1 Sheepdogs and Cattle Dogs (except Swiss Mountain and Cattle Dogs)
Section
Section 1 Sheepdogs
Working
No working trial

Usage

The typical sheepdog of the Biella region has been used for centuries and selected according to the attitude and morphology of shepherds and breeders.

Brief historical summary

The history of the Oropa sheepdog is inevitably linked to that of other breeds of domestic animals native to the Alps, whose dogs were gregarious, useful drivers and guardians: the Biella and Bergamo sheep, the Aosta Valley and Oropa simmental cattle breeds, all of which are united by decades of selection that has improved their ability to adapt to a particular environment such as that of the Pre-Alps and the Alps, characterized by a particularly variable, humid and often very cold mountain climate, where for a good part of the year the high altitude pabular resources are covered by a blanket of snow. Unfortunately, the massive abandonment of the mountains and the sudden change in agricultural criteria following the agricultural revolution of the 1950s led to a net decrease in numbers, if not the complete extinction of all these local animal populations, often replaced by the few remaining farmers with the most popular and productive non-native breeds and commercial hybrids.

The Alpine Shepherd Dog (Dog Oropa Shepherd) has its origins in an ancient Italian breed widespread in the Alps and Pre-Alps and used as a herding dog to drive cattle. Even today, it's possible to see these dogs at work accompanying herds on their seasonal passage from the plains to the mountains, and herds of cattle grazing both on the plains and in the pastures. It's easy to appreciate their natural aptitudes as sheep and cattle herders and excellent animal guardians in huts and on farms.

General appearance

A strong, hardy dog with a particularly agile, active body. Oropa Cane are medium-bodied, harmoniously proportioned dogs that combine elegance and power. They are medium-sized, with strong, lean muscles and a squared-off trunk.

Important proportions

Relation between height at withers and length of trunk = 0.9.
Relationship between length of skull and length of muzzle = 1.

Behaviour / temperament

They are well-balanced and good-natured, but if need be, they can act with determination and courage, without being reckless. Their intelligence, moderation and patience make them perfect shepherds, guards and utility dogs for a wide variety of uses, which they learn to handle with ease.

Head

Cranial region

Head
The head is proportionate to the body. The upper lines of the skull and muzzle are parallel to each other.
Skull
The skull is as long as the muzzle and as wide as half the total length of the head. Slightly rounded.
Stop
Clear, but not too pronounced.

Facial region

Nose
Large, pronounced black nose.
Muzzle
Straight muzzle.
Lips
Lips tightly closed, black like the palate.
Jaws and teeth
Strong jaws with complete masseter. Complete dentition (lack of PM1 tolerated). Scissor bite (claws tolerated).
Eyes
Cautious, lively expression. Circular in shape, with darker or lighter brown irises depending on coat color. In merle subjects, one eye may be blue (gazzuolo).
Ears
Erect or semi-small triangular shape. Attack well above the zygomatic arch.

Neck

The neck is prominent, straight and well muscled, gradually widening towards the shoulder and free of dewlap. Semi-long coat, thicker at the roots.

Body

Topline
The upper profile of the back is straight.
Withers
High on the back line.
Back
Strong.
Loin
Short, strong lumbar region.
Croup
Croup often slightly higher than the withers. Broad, muscular, slightly sloping.
Chest
Broad and deep to the elbows. Broad chest.
Side
Compact flanks.
Underline and belly
Toned, well-supported abdomen.

Tail

Inserted high. Large and robust at the root, tapering gradually to the tip. The length should not exceed the hock. At rest, it should be "scimitar-like", whereas when the dog is in action, the tail flaps but does not curve the back. Anuran or brachyuran dogs are preferred.

Limbs

Forequarters

Generality
Solid but not heavy frame, lean, strong musculature, forelegs aligned on all sides and perfectly parallel when viewed from the front.
Shoulders
Long, sloping shoulder blade, well attached.
Upper arm
Long, sufficiently oblique upper arm.
Elbows
Elbow firm, neither in nor out.
Forearm
Long, straight forearm.
Carpal
Very firm carpus.
Pastern
Strong, short pastern, as far as possible perpendicular to the ground or only very slightly inclined forward.
Forefeet
Round, cat feet, tightly curved toes, thick, elastic pads, thick, curved nails.

Hindquarters

Generality
Powerful, but not heavy, in profile, hindquarters aligned and often slightly arched.
Upper thigh
Medium length, broad and strongly muscled.
Lower thigh
Medium length, broad and muscular.
Stifle
Approximately at the bottom of the hip, normal angle.
Metatarsus
Strong and short. Spurs usually single or double.
Hock
Close to the ground, broad and muscular, moderately sloping.
Hind feet
Slightly oval, tightly curved toes, thick, elastic pads, thick, dark nails.

Gait and movement

Trot. Amble at low speed.

Skin

Close-fitting and in all cases elastic.

Coat

Hair
On average short or semi-long, hard, silky or woolly. The hair is short on the head, the outside of the ears and the lower part of the legs. Abundant undercoat.
Colour
Spotted gray (blue merle), black (with accent on eyes), tricolor, gray with spots, fawn, fawn carbonate. All colors may have white areas with a total surface area of less than 50% of the total coat surface.

Size and weight

Height at withers
Height at withers 45 to 60 cm.
Weight
Weight 18 to 35 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.

General faults

 Croup supported.
 Presence of dewlap.

Serious faults

 Inversion of sexual characteristics.

Disqualifying faults

 Enognathism, prognathism, incomplete dentition.
 Shy, aggressive, bad, nervous.
 Insufficient typicality.
 Severe defects in structure, coat and color.
 Depigmented nose.

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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