Breed Standard

Last updated September 2016

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

Medium size, cobby, strong, muscular, fairly long, thick coat.

Characteristics

Lively but self-controlled, watchful, bright, clever, perceptive with excellent memory. Easy to train, works as a herding and watch dog.

Temperament

Alert, equable.

Head and Skull

Medium size, proportionate to body, not too heavy, carried moderately low. Profuse hair on forehead, cheeks and chin make head appear larger than it is. Proportions of occiput to stop and stop to nose approximately equal, but muzzle may be fractionally shorter. Skull moderately broad, slightly domed, furrow from stop to occiput apparent when handled. Well defined stop. Nose blunt, wide opened nostrils, colour dark as possible.

Eyes

Medium size, lively penetrating gaze, oval-shaped. Colour hazel to brown. Eye rims as dark as possible, closely fitting and showing no haw.

Ears

Medium size, heart-shaped, large at base and set moderately high, drooping with fore edge close to cheeks.

Mouth

Jaws strong with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closing overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws. Strong and evenly placed teeth. Lips tightly closed and as dark as possible.

Neck

Strong, muscular, medium length without dewlap.

Forequarters

Shoulders well placed with good lay-back, muscular. Legs when viewed from front or side, straight with slightly slanting pastern.

Body

Rectangular rather than square when viewed from side. Deep brisket with moderate spring of rib, neither flat nor barrel shaped. Withers distinctly marked; back level, muscular, with broad loin. Belly slightly drawn up. Croup short and slightly sloping. Proportions – height to length as 9:10.

Hindquarters

Well angulated, with broad and well muscled thigh. From behind, legs straight, turning neither in nor out. Hocks strong and distinctly angled.

Feet

Oval, slightly arched but tightly fitting toes, with hard pads, nails dark.

Tail

Previously customarily docked. Docked: Previously customarily docked if not born tailless or stumpy. Undocked: Any length acceptable, longer tails well covered with hair. Tail set is a continuation of croup. Carried high and slightly curved over back when alert. Never curled over back. At rest, tail hangs low.

Gait/Movement

Smooth walking or trotting. Inclined to amble.

Coat

Whole body covered with long dense, shaggy thick coat of harsh texture with soft undercoat, but never impeding the dog’s movement/action. Long/profuse hair on head, falling forward over the eyes in a characteristic manner, but not impeding the dog’s vision. Slight wave permissible. No loose skin anywhere on body. No evidence of coat trimming to enhance or change the natural outline of the dog.

Colour

All colours other than merle acceptable.

Size

Height: dogs: 45-50 cms (17 3/4 -19 3/4 ins); bitches: 42-47 cms (16 1/2 -18 1/2 ins).

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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