Standard for Restricted Breed Dogs in Victoria
This is an approved standard for the purposes of section 3(3) of the Domestic Animals Act 1994.
Pursuant to section 3(1) of the Domestic Animals Act 1994 a restricted breed dog (RBD) is a dog that is any one of the following breeds – American Pit Bull Terrier (or Pit Bull Terrier), Dogo Argentino, Fila Brasileiro, Japanese Tosa, Perro de Presa Canario (or Presa Canario).
Under section 3(3) of the Domestic Animals Act 1994 a dog that falls within this approved standard for a breed of dog specified above is to be taken to be a dog of that breed.
Note: Whilst this standard is based on a fully mature animal it would be expected that an individual puppy would reach the prescribed height and overall balance desired by the age of approximately 9 months. However body maturity and strength would not be achieved until much later – maybe two to three years plus. If possible the bitch and sire should be evaluated when considering the possibility of a puppy meeting this standard.
Part 1. American Pit Bull Terrier (APBT, Pit Bull Terrier)
A dog that meets the description of a dog in this Part is an American Pit Bull Terrier; except a dog in respect of which the owner has one of the following certificates stating that the dog is an American Staffordshire Terrier—
- a pedigree certificate from the Australian National Kennel Council;
- a pedigree certificate from a member body of the Australian National Kennel Council;
- a pedigree certificate from a national breed council registered with the Australian National Kennel Council;
- A certificate signed by a veterinary practitioner (as per Victorian Government Gazette on 10th February 2012)..
General appearance & characteristics
The American Pit Bull Terrier is a medium sized dog and is strongly built with well defined muscles. The breed is noted for its climbing ability and subsequent strength in its hindquarters.
The overall outline of the breed indicates it to be slightly longer in length (point of shoulder to buttocks) than height (withers to ground). Bitches may be slightly longer than males.
A distance from withers to the elbow and the elbow to the ground is generally equal.
The head is proportionate to the dog. Viewed from above, the general shape of the head is that of a blunt wedge, large and broad.
Viewed from the side, the skull and muzzle are on parallel plains separated by a moderately deep stop. Arches over the eyes are well defined but not pronounced (refer figure 3).
Muzzle: Slightly shorter in length to the skull (i.e. 2:3 ratio for muzzle:skull). It is broad, deep and powerful with a slight taper to the nose and falls away slightly under the eyes (refer figure 4).
Figure Female head
Figure 6 male head
Skull: Large, fairly flat, broad and deep, slightly tapering towards the stop. There is a deep median furrow reducing in depth from stop to occiput. Cheek muscles are prominent but free of wrinkles. When the dog is alerted wrinkles will form on the forehead.
Lips: Clean and tight
Teeth: Large and a complete scissor bite i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth and set square to the jaws.
Nose: Large with wide open nostrils and may be of any colour.
Eyes: Medium in size, round in shape and set low in the head – not prominent. Eyes can be all colours except blue. The eye rims are the same colour as the skin colour.
Ears: The shape and carriage of the ears will vary from dog to dog. Generally they are set fairly high on the skull, not large and may be half pricked or rose shaped (i.e. folding backwards and exposing the inner burr of the ear).
Whilst ear cropping in Victoria is a prohibited procedure, a dog should not be ruled out of being an APBT if its ears are cropped as internationally it is common in this breed.
Moderate length and with great strength, tapering from the head into the shoulders. A slight arch over the crest. The neck must be free from loose skin or dewlap (loose, pendulous skin under the throat).
Strong forelegs, well boned and muscular with elbows fitting close to the body. Viewed from the front the forelegs are set moderately well apart and in a straight line to the ground.
The pasterns are short and fairly straight but with flexibility. Viewed from the side, the legs are straight with some flexibility in the pasterns.
Powerfully built with a deep chest of moderate width.
Forechest: Should not extend far beyond the point of shoulder or below the elbow. Well ribbed back with moderate tuck up (concave underline of the body curving upwards from end of the ribs to waist).
Back: Broad, strong, firm and level and with a slight incline at the withers.
Loin: Short and deep with a slight slope to the croup.
Strong and muscular hindquarters that are in balance with the forequarters. Thighs are well developed and muscular.
The hock joint should be well bent and the rear pasterns close to the ground, perpendicular and parallel to each other.
The feet are round and in balance with the size of the dog, well arched and tight. The pads are hard and well cushioned. Nails are strong. Dewclaws may be removed.
The tail is set in line with the back and tapers to a point. At rest the tail is carried low and when excited may be carried raised but never curled over the back. The length of the tail should reach approximately to the hock joint.
The coat is short, smooth, glossy and of a harsh texture, free of undercoat.
All colours and combination of colours are acceptable, with the exception of blue merle and pure white. White feet and a splash of white on the chest are not uncommon on solid coloured dogs.
Height and Weight
|Height at withers:||Bitches & Dogs||43 cm – 53 cm|
|Weight:||Bitches & Dogs||14 kgs – 36 kgs|
The disparity between height and weight is considerable and importance should be placed on the overall consideration of the assessment of the dog rather than adhering absolutely to the guidelines on height.
Part 2: Dogo Argentino (Argentinean Mastiff)
2. A dog that meets the description of a dog in this Part is a Dogo Argentino.
General appearance & Characteristics
The Dogo Argentino is a large athletic dog that has powerful muscles which stand out under the consistent and elastic skin.
The height at the withers is equal to the height at the croup.
The depth of the thorax is half of the measurement of the height at the withers.
The length of the body is slightly longer than the height at the withers.
The head looks strong and powerful, without abrupt angles or distinct chiselling. Its profile shows an upper line which is: convex at the skull (because of the prominence of its masticatory muscles) and nape; and slightly concave at the foreface.
The head joins the neck forming a strong muscular arch.
Skull: Compact, convex in the front to back and transverse direction. The occipital bone is not very prominent. The median furrow of the skull is slightly noticeable and the stop is slightly defined.
Muzzle: As long as the skull. The upper line is slightly concave.
Jaws/Teeth: Strong jaws with big teeth firmly implanted with a pincer bite, or scissor bite possible.
Nose: Large nostrils slightly elevated forwards, black pigmentation.
Lips: Moderately thick, short and tight with free edges.
Cheeks: Large and relatively flat.
Eyes: Dark or hazel coloured, almond-shaped.
Ears: Set high, broad, thick, flat and rounded at the tip and covered with smooth hair. Whilst ear cropping in Victoria is a prohibited procedure, a dog should not be ruled out of being an RBD if its ears are cropped as internationally it is common in this breed.
Medium length, strong and erect, well muscled, with a slightly convex upper line. It joins the head in a muscular arch.
As a whole, they form a sturdy and solid structure of bones and muscles. They are straight and vertical when seen from the front or in profile.
The pasterns are broad and in line with the forearm, the feet rounded; with short, sturdy, very tight toes.
The length of the body (from the point of the shoulder to the point of the buttock) exceeds the height at the withers.
Chest: Broad and deep. Tip of the breastbone level with the tip of the shoulder joint and the sternal line of the thorax is level with the elbow line.
Upper line: The withers and the pin bones of the croup are at the same height.
Back: Large and strong, with fully developed muscles forming a slight slope towards the loins.
Loins: Strong and hidden by the developed lumbar muscles which form a median furrow along the spine.
Strong, sturdy and parallel. The lower thigh is generally slightly shorter than the upper thigh.
Set medium high, sabre- shaped, thick and long and reaching to the hocks.
Uniform, short, plain and smooth to the touch, with an average length of 1.5 to 2 cm. Variable density and thickness according to different climates and it may present an undercoat.
Completely white although there may be a black or dark coloured patch around the eye.
Height at the withers: 60 - 68 cm
Part 3: Fila Brasileiro (Brazilian Mastiff, Brazilian Guard Dog, Cao de Fila)
A dog that meets the description of a dog in this Part is a Fila Brasileiro.
General Appearance & Characteristics
A large dog that is rectangular and compact in structure.
The head is big and heavy but proportionate to the whole body. From a top view it resembles a trapezoid figure into which a pear shape is inserted.
Skull: A smooth curve from the stop to the occiput, which is well defined and especially protuberant in puppies.
Stop: From a front view it is practically non existent. The median groove is slight. Seen from the side, the stop is only slightly pronounced.
Muzzle: The muzzle is slightly shorter than the skull.
Lips: The upper lip is thick and pendulous and overlaps the lower lip in a curve; the lower lip is tight and firm to the teeth and from there on it is loose.
Teeth: The teeth are wider than long, most likely a scissor bite but a level bite is possible.
Nose: Broad nostrils, black.
Eyes: Almond shaped, medium to deep set, generally dark brown to yellow, always in accordance to the colour of the coat. Individuals may present with drooping lower eyelids.
Ears: Pendant, large, thick, V-shaped. Broad at the base and tapering to the ends with rounded tips.
Strong and muscled giving the impression of a short neck. Slightly curved at the upper side and well detached from the skull. Dewlaps at the throat.
The length of the leg, from the ground to the elbow, is much shorter than from the ground to the withers.
Forearm: Limbs parallel with straight bones and slightly sloping pasterns.
Strong, broad and deep, and covered by thick loose skin. The thorax is longer than the abdomen.
Chest: Deep and broad chest reaching to the level of the elbows.
Back: Withers are set lower than the croup. After the withers, the upper line changes direction, ascending smoothly to the croup.
Very wide at the root, medium set, tapering rapidly to reach the hocks.
Hindquarters: Less heavily boned than forelegs.
Thick, loose skin over the whole body, chiefly at the neck forming pronounced dewlaps that can extend to the brisket and abdomen. Some individuals present a fold at the sides of the head, also at the withers running down to the shoulders.
Well arched toes not too close together. Back feet may be a little more oval than the forefeet.
Short, smooth, dense and close to the body.
Solid colours or brindles with a solid coat and dark stripes. A black mask may or may not be present, and there may be white marks on the feet, chest and tip of the tail.
Size and Weight
Height at withers: 60 - 75 cm
Weight: Males: minimum 50 kgs, Bitches: minimum 40 kgs
Part 4: Japanese Tosa (Tosa Inu, Tosa Ken, Tosa Fighting Dog, Japanese Fighting Dog, Japanese Mastiff)
A dog that meets the description of a dog in this Part is a Japanese Tosa.
General appearance & characteristics
Large-sized dog with hanging ears, short hair, a square muzzle and hanging tail thick at the root.
HeadSkull: Broad with an abrupt stop and long muzzle.
Teeth: Scissor bite.
Nose: Large and black.
Eyes: Small, generally dark brown in colour.
Ears: Small, rather thin, set high on the side of the skull and hanging close to the cheeks.
Muscular, with a dewlap.
Forearm: Straight, moderately long and strong.
Pastern: Slightly inclining and robust.
Back: Level and straight with a slightly arched croup
Thick at the root, tapering towards the tip, reaching the hocks when let down.
Short, hard and dense.
Generally red, fawn, apricot, black, brindle. May have white markings on chest and feet.
Height at withers varies females minimum height is 55 cm and males 60 cm.
Part 5: Perro De Presa Canario (Presa Canario)
A dog that meets the description of a dog in this Part is a Perro De Presa Canario.
General appearance and characteristics
The Perro de Presa Canario is a large dog with a black mask. The body is longer than the height at the withers, with this characteristic being more noticeable in the female.
Large and covered with supple, loose skin. The shape tends towards a slightly elongated cube.
Skull: Skull-foreface proportion is 60-40%. The width of the skull is 3/5 of the total length of the head. The skull is slightly convex and the frontal bone tends to be flat. The width is almost identical tothe length. There is a pronounced zygomatic arch.
Stop: The stop is pronounced and the furrow between the frontal lobes is well defined and is about two thirds the size of the skull.
Muzzle: Shorter than the skull, normally about 40% ofthe total length of the head. The width is 2/3 of that of the skull.
Lips: The upper lip is pendulous, seen from the front, the upper and lower lips come together to form an inverted V. The inside of the lips are generally a dark colour.
Teeth: Scissor or pincer-bite and may be slightly undershot.
Nose: Wide, black pigmentation.
Eyes: Slightly oval in shape, from medium to large in size. Set well apart, but neither sunken nor protruding. Eyelids are black and tight-fitting, never sagging. The colour varies from dark to medium brown, depending on the colour of the coat.
Ears: Medium sized, set well apart, with short and fine hair. They fall naturally on each side of the head. If folded, they do so in the shape of a rose. They are set on slightly above eye level. Whilst ear cropping in Victoria is a prohibited procedure, a dog should not be ruled out of being an RBD if its ears are cropped, as internationally it is common in this breed.
Shorter than the length of the head. Skin on the underside is loose, forming a slight dewlap. Solid and straight, it tends to be cylindrical and muscular.
Elbows: The distance from elbow to ground about half of the height at the withers for males and a little less for females.
Pasterns: Very solid and slightly sloping.
Longer than the height at the withers, with a straight topline rising slightly from the withers to the croup.
Strong and parallel, without deviation.
Cat feet with rounded toes, not too close together.
Thick base, tapering to the tip, down to the hock.
Thick and elastic. Loose on and around the neck. When alert, the skin on the head forms symmetrical wrinkles which fan out from the furrow between the front lobes.
Short, coarse, flat with no undercoat (may have undercoat around neck and behind the thighs). Rather coarse to the touch.
All shades of brindle, or fawn to sandy. May have white marks on the chest, neck or throat, forefeet and toes of hind feet, and a black mask.
Height and Weight
Height at the withers: 56 to 65 cm.
Weight: Varies. Generally not less than 50 kg for males and 40 kg for females.