If it is the Caucasians' aggression that sets them apart emotionally from the other heavily-furred mastiffs, then it is the Caucasian's head that sets them apart physically. The breed standard for the U.S., which conforms to the current standard for the breed in Russia, describes the head as massive, with a broad skull and strongly developed cheekbones. High-set ears, oblique eyes and a deep, wedge-shaped, muzzle complete the picture of a majestic, intelligent visage. Coats are double-layered and slightly off-standing, with three acceptable coat lengths: short, medium and long, which has excessive "fringing" on pantaloons and tail. The distinctive black mask and "spectacles" around the eyes are desirable. The outer coat, or guard-hairs, are black, with the undercoat ranging in color from steel-gray to straw-colored, to red. Another coloration typically seen is the "clear fawn", wherein the black guard hair coloration is partially or totally suppressed genetically, resulting in a solid fawn coat, with or without a black mask. The "brindle" pattern may occur in any of the color combinations and consists of lighter or darker flecks or stripes on the solid background. "Ticking" is also present in the breed, and consists of darker "freckles" of color on a white background, usually on the muzzle and/or legs. Also present in any of the color combinations, are varying amounts of white patching from white socks or chest up to extreme white piebalds. The occasional all-white dog is seen, but not favored. Solid black, Rottweiler black-and-tan, or Saint Bernard red-and-white coloration indicate mixed parentage within a recent generation, and are not acceptable colors. The standard calls for the height at withers to be a minimum of 26", preferably larger. In the U.S., males are typically 120 lbs. or heavier, and 30" or taller at the shoulder. Females are smaller at 90-120 lbs., and in the U.S. are usually 28" or taller at the shoulder. The neck is powerful and short, chest is broad and deep, and the abdomen is moderately tucked, resulting in a powerful, athletic dog, sturdy and well-boned in proportion to height. The tail is highset, hanging downward, and carried as a sickle-shaped hook or ring when raised in excitement and when gaiting. Gender type is well expressed, with bitches lighter in build, slightly smaller, and more feminine. The characteristic gait is a short prancing trot, free and unhurried, transitioning to a rather heavy gallop as the dog gains speed. The overall appearance at maturity should be of noble courage, majesty, and powerful strength, bearing a visage reminiscent less of a dog than of an ancient bear-like or wolf-like creature...
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