Breed Standard

Last updated September 2015

A Breed Standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament and appearance including the correct colour of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function. Absolute soundness is essential. Breeders and judges should at all times be careful to avoid obvious conditions or exaggerations which would be detrimental in any way to the health, welfare or soundness of this breed. From time to time certain conditions or exaggerations may be considered to have the potential to affect dogs in some breeds adversely, and judges and breeders are requested to refer to the Breed Watch section of the Kennel Club website here http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/services/public/breed/watch for details of any such current issues. If a feature or quality is desirable it should only be present in the right measure. However if a dog possesses a feature, characteristic or colour described as undesirable or highly undesirable it is strongly recommended that it should not be rewarded in the show ring.

General Appearance

Active and lively, bone and strength in small compass, never cloddy or coarse. Neither leggy nor too short in the leg, standing like a well made, short-backed hunter, covering a lot of ground.

Characteristics

Alert, quick of movement, keen of expression, on tiptoe of expectation.

Temperament

Friendly, forthcoming and fearless.

Head and Skull

Skull flat, moderately narrow, gradually decreasing in width to eyes. A little stop apparent, cheeks never full, jaws, upper and lower, strong and muscular, falling away only slightly below eyes. This portion of foreface moderately chiselled out, so as not to go down in a straight line like a wedge. Nose black.

Eyes

Dark, moderately small, as near as possible circular in shape but not prominent. Expression bright and intelligent.

Ears

Small, V-shaped and dropping forward close to cheek, not hanging by side of head. Fold of ear above level of skull. Leather of moderate thickness.

Mouth

Jaws strong with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.

Neck

Clean and muscular, without throatiness, of fair length and gradually widening to shoulders.

Forequarters

Shoulders long and sloping, well laid back, fine at points, cleanly cut at withers. Legs from any angle must be straight showing little or no appearance of an ankle in front. They should be strong in bone throughout.

Body

Chest deep, not broad. Back short, level and strong without slackness. Loin powerful, very slightly arched. Foreribs moderately sprung, back ribs deep.

Hindquarters

Strong and muscular, quite free from droop or crouch; thighs long and powerful, hocks well let down, good turn of stifle.

Feet

Small, round and compact. Soles hard and tough, toes moderately arched, and turning neither in nor out.

Tail

Previously customarily docked.

Docked: Set on rather high and carried gaily but not over back or curled. Of good strength.

Undocked: Set on rather high and carried gaily but not over back. As straight as possible. Tail of moderate length to give balance to the dog.

Gait/Movement

Fore- and hindlegs carried straight forward and parallel. Elbows move perpendicular to body, working free of sides, stifles neither turning in nor out and hocks not close. Good drive coming from well flexing hindquarters.

Coat

Straight, flat, smooth, hard, dense and abundant. Belly and underside of thighs not bare.

Colour

White should predominate, all white, white with tan, black and tan or black markings. Brindle, red or liver markings highly undesirable.

Size

Height at withers not exceeding 39 cms (15 ½ ins) in dogs, bitches slightly less.

Weight: dogs 7.5-8 kgs (16-18lbs), bitches 7-7.5 kgs (15-17 lbs).

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 on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.

Note

Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

*Note for prospective puppy buyers

Size – the Kennel Club Breed Standard is a guide and description of the ideal for the breed; the Size as described does not imply that a dog will match the measurements given (height or weight). A dog might be larger or smaller than the Size measurements stated in the Breed Standard.


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