The goal of the Lupine Dog development programme is to re-create the health and vitality of the naturally evolved wolf, removing all symptoms of physical extremism yet with a more developed social canine nature. – a ‘dog in wolf’s clothing’.
The size is larger than most other dog breeds when compared to the relatively lean body size, its head strongly resembles the head of a wolf. The skull is powerful and wedge-shaped, flattened on top with a very mild stop. The skull is broadest at the ears, narrowing slightly at the eyes. There should be a good length of muzzle and the width at the ears should be at least two-thirds of the total length of the skull and muzzle.
The muzzle is noticeably long, straight with a flattened upper surface, moderately pointed and tapering smoothly into the head with close tight fitting lips and a strong jaw. The end of the muzzle should be blunt, but not square or pinched.
Adults should possess a full 42 compliment of strong, evenly-set white teeth that meet with an even or scissors bite. They should be neither under nor over shot.
The ears must be fully erect and well furred on the inside and out. The ears are short and small to medium in comparison to the skull. They should be deep and cone shaped. Total ear length should be no longer than the distance from the inner base of the ear to the upper corner of the eye. The ears have rounded tips and side, and are set on the back, outside edges of the skull. The ears join the skull on a line with the upper corner of the eye.
The eyes are to be alert, clear, almond in shape, and obliquely set with corner-lines intersecting toward the nose. Eyes should appear to be small in proportion to the head. They should never be round or protruding. The preferred colours are yellow/green through to amber. Hazel or light to medium brown eyes are acceptable. Blue eyes are considered a fault.
Black is the preferred colour. Large nostrils.
The neck is strong, long, graceful, well muscled clearly defining the nape. Highly mobile, the neck is held either extended upward, so as to elevate the head and emphasize an alert posture, or hung low when relaxed/stalking. It is usually carried lower in movement to elevate the topline. It is well furred, beginning with the cheek ruff, extending and blending into the shoulders and chest.
The shoulders are set close together at the withers and long with a slightly narrow view from the top, good angulation is essential, forming a near ninety degree angle with the forearm. Good extension is essential during movement.
The back is long, well muscled yet flexible, with a level top line, well sprung across the loins. The back should be relatively narrow when viewed from the top, and should taper cleanly into the ribs. During movement, the back may demonstrate a supple undulating motion at the walk, although this same motion is not apparent at a trot.
The chest should be narrow, keel shaped with a prominent, angulated breastbone. The ribs are moderately well sprung, long and flattened on the sides. The rib cage should have visible length; point of brisket to the last rib should encompass no less than two-thirds the total body length and should reach to the point of the elbow.
The forelegs should be straight, strong and parallel to each other, well up under the brisket. Bone should be moderate in structure and oval or flattened rather than round. The forelegs should show great length, at least equal to or greater than the depth of the chest.
The thighs and hindquarters are muscular, powerful and streamlined. The femur and tibia should be parallel to the humerus and tibia respectively. They are rather long and moderately angulated, giving the dog a powerful drive.
Long, strong and well let down, hocks are slightly behind the body and parallel at trot. In some higher content individuals, the narrowness of the build may give the hocks a slightly ‘cow-hocked’ look at rest, but this is never at the expense of power and elevation during movement.
The tail is moderately low set and follows the spinal column down off the croup smoothly. It is well furred (bush tailed), carried low while at rest and is moderately short, the bone should end above the hock joint. The tail should be straight with a black tip. May be lifted when excited to the upright or sickle positions. Kinked or curly tails are considered a fault.
Turned slightly outward, feet are long in proportion to the total size of the dog. They have elongated well arched and well spaced toes. The toes may be webbed with large durable pads and are protected by hair between the toes. Toenails are strong and preferably black in colour.
Fluid movement and soundness are extremely important in this breed. When trotting the dogs gait should be sound, yet fluid. When viewed from the front, the legs are straight and never out at the elbow. The neck is extended forward so the head is carried nearly level to the withers. As the dog accelerates, it commonly single tracks with smooth, flowing, elastic strides. It should have great reach, powerful drive and move in an even beat. At a trot the top line stays straight and near level, and never rolls or bounces, and there is a degree of elevation (the wolf, after all, has evolved to move through dense undergrowth and deep snow). The walk is also unique to this breed and as in the trot, is always fluid and elastic.
The coat should be thick ( double ) with a coarse standing guard coat, not soft, not open and never curly. The undercoat is very dense and should appear woolly, though guard hairs and undercoat vary with the seasons. Coat thickens around the neck with a prominent ruff. The coat is moderately long around the neck and over the croup. The coat is slightly shorter down the back and the sides of the body. The hair is very short on the fore face and front of the legs.
The colour should be of neutral, natural shades and may range from black phase through various shades of wolf grey, sable and fawn to white phase. Guard hairs are exemplified by agouti or grizzled colouration. Well blended facial masks are desirable on all but black or white phase.
A large breed in size with a minimum height of 26” for males and 24” for females. Body length should be slightly longer than the height.
Can be aloof and reserved with strangers but generally friendly and outgoing, with no aggressive tendencies. Can be energetic in play and highly intelligent. They are highly pack orientated and when socialised appropriately, can get along well with other dogs and animals. They bond for life with their human family pack, are loyal, loving and happy as long as they are with them. As a result, they can be destructive if left unattended and unoccupied for lengths of time.
NOTE: All males should have two apparently normal testicles descended into the scrotum.