Breed Standard

Last updated February 2017

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 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

Sturdy, medium-sized, long-haired, generally square outline. Balanced, without exaggeration.


Lively, good-natured. Loyal companion dog with many engaging ways.


Outgoing, alert, intelligent and game; neither fierce nor pugnacious. Sparing of affection to strangers.

Head and Skull

Skull of medium length, neither broad nor coarse, narrowing slightly from ear to eye, neither domed nor absolutely flat between ears. Zygomatic arch curved, but not overdeveloped so as to bulge. Marked stop, but not exaggerated. Muzzle strong; well developed lower jaw. Length from eye to tip of nose equal to length from eye to occiput. Nose black. Head well furnished with long hair, falling forward but not affecting the dog's ability to see. Lower jaw carrying small, but not exaggerated amount of beard. In all giving a resolute expression.


Large, round, dark brown, neither prominent nor sunken; set fairly wide apart. Eye rims black.


Pendant, carried not too close to head, V-shaped, not too large, set fairly high on the side of the skull, heavily feathered.


Scissor or reverse scissor bite. Incisors set in slight curve, evenly spaced and set perpendicular to jaw. Full dentition desirable.


Strong, muscular, medium length, allowing head to be carried above level of back and giving overall balanced appearance. Flowing into well placed shoulders.


Heavily furnished. Shoulders well laid; with good length and slope of upper arm. Legs straight and parallel; pasterns slightly sloping.


Well muscled, compact and powerful. Length from point of shoulder to root of tail equal to height at withers. Fair spring of rib with depth of brisket to elbow. Ribbed well back. Top line level, loin short, slightly arched; croup level.


Heavily furnished, well muscled. Well bent stifles and low set hocks giving level topline and drive.


Large, round, heavily furnished with hair between toes and pads. Standing well down on pads; no arch in feet.


Medium length, set on fairly high and carried in a gay curl over back. Very well feathered. Kink near tip often occurring and permissible.


Smooth; effortless stride with good reach; powerful drive. When walking or trotting hindlegs should track neither inside nor outside the front legs.


Double coat. Undercoat fine and woolly. Top coat profuse, fine but neither silky nor woolly; long; either straight or waved but not curly.


White, golden, cream, grey or smoke, black, parti-colour and tricolours; in fact any colour except chocolate, liver or merle permissible.


Height at shoulder: dogs: 36-41 cms (14-16 ins); bitches: slightly smaller.


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.


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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