The breed


FCI group 2, with Working Trial

Its  direct  ancestor  is  the  old Roman  Molossian.  Formerly  scattered  all  over  Italy, in  the  recent past,  the  breed  was  only  prevalent  in  the  province of  Apulia  and  in the  adjacent  regions  of  Southern  Italy.  His  name  derives  from  the Latin “cohors”, which means “protector, guardian of the farmyard”.


Height at the withers:   

Males:     64 cm – 68 cm.

Females: 60 cm – 64 cm.

With a tolerance of 2 cm, more or less taller. 


Males: 45 – 50 kg.

Females: 40 – 45 kg.

Weight according to the size of dog.


GENERAL  APPEARANCE:  Medium  to  large  sized.  Robust  and sturdy  dog,  nevertheless  with  some  elegance.  Lean  and  powerful muscles.

IMPORTANT PROPORTIONS: The dog is rectangular in outline and is slightly longer than tall. (The length of the dog is 11% greater than the height  of the  dog).  The length  of  the  head the height at the withers. 

BEHAVIOUR/TEMPERAMENT: Guardian  of  property,  family and livestock; extremely agile and responsive. In the past, it has been used for herding cattle and hunting big game.

HEAD:  Large  and typically  molossoid. The  upper longitudinal  axes of  the  skull  and  the  muzzle  are  slightly  convergent  without  evident



Skull: Broad at the zygomatic arches the width is equal to the length. Convex  in  front,  it  becomes  flat  behind  the  forehead  as  far  as  the occiput.  The  medio-frontal  furrow  is  visible,  beginning  at  the  stop and ending at about the middle of the skull.

Stop: Well defined, with prominent frontal sinuses.


Nose:  Black.  A  grey  mask  may  have  a  nose  colour  of the  same nuance.  Large  nose  with  ample  open  nostrils.  Nose  placed  on  the same line as the nasal bridge. Muzzle:  Strong,  square,  noticeably  shorter  than  the  skull,  ratio muzzle  :  skull  approximately  1  :  2.  The  front  part of  the  muzzle  is flat;  the  lateral  surfaces  are  parallel;  the  muzzle  is  as  broad  as  it  is long. Seen from the side it is deep. The profile of the nasal bridge is straight.

Lips:  The  upper  lips;  seen  from  the  front,  form  an inverted  ”U”  at their meeting point; seen from the side hangs moderately. They cover

the  lower  jaw  and  determine  the  profile  of  the  lower  part  of  the muzzle.


Jaws/Teeth: Jaws are very large thick and curved. Slightly undershot but no more than 5 mm. Level bite tolerable but not sought after.

Cheeks: The masseter region is fully evident, but not bulging.

Eyes:  Medium-sized,  slightly  protruding,  but  never exaggerated. Close  to  ovoid  in  shape,  set  well  apart  in  an  almost  sub-frontal position.  Eyelids  close  fitting.  The  colour  of  the iris  is  as  dark  as possible  but  according  to  the  coat  colour.  Expression  is  keen  and


Ears: Triangular, drooping, of medium size. With a wide set-on that is much above the zygomatic arches. Ears are un-cropped.


Strong, muscular, as long as the head


The body is somewhat longer than the height at the withers. Sturdy built but not square. Withers: Pronounced, rising above the level of the

croup. Back: Straight, very muscular and firm. Loin: Short and strong. Croup: Long and wide, slightly inclined. Chest: Well developed all through reaches to the elbow.


Natural.  Set  on  fairly  high;  very  broad  at  the  root.  In  action carried high, but never erect or curled. 


Shoulder: Long, oblique, very muscular. Upper arm: Strong. Forearm: Straight, very strong. Carpus (Wrist): Elastic. Metacarpus (pastern): Elastic and just slightly sloping. Forefeet: Cat feet.


Thigh: Long, broad, back line of thigh convex. Lower thigh: Strong, not fleshy. Stifle (Knee): Solid, moderately angulated.

Hock joint: Moderately angulated.

Metatarsus (Rear pastern): Thick and dry.

Hind feet: Slightly less compact than the forefeet.


Long  stride,  extended  trot;  the  preferred  gait is the trot.


Fairly thick, rather close fitting.


Hair:  Short,  shiny,  very  dense  with  a  slight  undercoat  of  vitreous texture. Colour:  Black,  lead-grey,  slate-grey,  light  grey,  in light  fawn; dark fawn  and  stag  red;  dark  wheat  colour  (stripes  on  different  shades  of fawn  or  grey);  in  fawn  coloured  and  brindle  dogs  the  black  or  grey mask  on  the  muzzle  should  not  go  beyond  the  line  of  the  eyes.  A small  white  patch  on  the  chest,  on  the  tip  of  the  toes  and  on  the bridge of the nose is acceptable.


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.


Axes  of  muzzle  and  skull  parallel  or  very  marked  converging; lateral surfaces of the muzzle converging.

Partial depigmentation of the nose.

Scissor bite; undershot bite more than 5 mm.

Ringed tail, tail in vertical position.

Permanent amble when trotting.

Over-or under size.

Presence of dewclaws


Aggressive or overly shy dogs.

Any  dog  clearly  showing  physical  or  behavioural  abnormalities shall be disqualified.

Axes of muzzle and skull diverging.

Total depigmentation of the nose.

Bridge of nose concave or convex (Roman nose).

Overshot mouth.

Partial  or  complete  palpebral  depigmentation.  Wall eye  (blue flecked); strabism (squinted).

Tailless, too short tail.

Semi-long, smooth or fringed hair.

All colours not indicated in the standard; large white patches. 

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.

Team Tornado c/o Monica Lindström, SWEDEN 


Phone + 46 704 177838