Breed Standard

Last updated September 2007

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

Well balanced, smooth coated, medium size with elegant and flowing outlines but strong and well muscled.

Characteristics

Alert, good-natured, playful. Loyal, watchful and fearless.

Temperament

High-spirited and self-possessed.

Head and Skull

Seen from above and side resembles a blunt wedge. Strong but not heavy, elongated without pronounced occiput. Overall length in proportion to back (from withers to base of tail) is approximately 1:2. Top of muzzle parallel with extended line of unwrinkled flat forehead; slight but distinct stop. Cheek muscles strong but not prominent. Deep muzzle. Nose full and black; in reds, nose of corresponding shade. Lips tight and dark. Snipiness undesirable.

Eyes

Dark, of medium size, oval and directed forward. Eye rims tight.

Ears

Set high. V-shaped, folded down close to head.

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

Elegant and strong. Neither short nor stout. Nape well arched. Skin of throat tight without dewlap.

Forequarters

Well laid shoulder with good but flat muscle. Forelegs straight viewed from all sides, parallel elbows are close to body.

Body

Chest moderately wide with flat ribs. Brisket extends below elbow. Body Forechest extends beyond point of shoulder. Compact and short coupled. Length of body approximately equal to height at withers. Back short and slightly sloping. Slightly rounded croup.

Hindquarters

Seen from behind parallel, with sufficient width. Upper thigh slanted and strongly muscled. Good length and bend of stifle, hocks turning neither in nor out.

Feet

Well arched, compact and cat-like with dark nails. Turning neither in nor out. Tough, hard pads.

Tail

Previously customarily docked.

Docked: Docked to three joints. Set and carried high.

Undocked: Set and carried high with an upward sweep. In overall balance with the rest of the dog.

Gait/Movement

Free, well balanced and vigorous with good reach in front and strong rotary driving action from rear. Front and hind legs should not be thrown outwards. Topline should remain strong and firm. Hackney movement undesirable.

Coat

Short and dense, smoothly fitting, glossy without bald spots.

Colour

All solid colours from fawn (Isabella) to stag red in various shades. Black and blue with reddish/tan markings. In bi-coloured dogs sharply marked red/tan markings desirable. Markings distributed as follows: at cheeks, lips, lower jaw, above eyes, at throat, at forechest as two triangles separated from each other, at metatarsus, forelegs, feet, inner side of hindlegs and vent region.

Size

Height at withers 43-48 cms (17-19 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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