Breed Standard

Last updated January 2010

A Breed Standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament and appearance 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.the-kennel-club.org.uk/services/public/breeds/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

Strongly built dog, smaller than medium size. Body slightly longer than height at withers. Coat long and profuse.

Characteristics

Tendency to herd.

Temperament

Intelligent, brave, calm, faithful. Suitable as companion and watch dog.

Head and Skull

Strong featured, comparatively broad, bitches more refined, forehead slightly rounded; stop clearly defined. Muzzle shorter than skull, straight and slightly tapering when viewed from both above and side. Nose and eye rims as dark as compatible with coat colour.

Eyes

Oval shaped, dark brown or harmonising with coat colour. Expression soft and friendly.

Ears

Erect or semi-erect. Medium size, set well apart, broad at base and very mobile.

Mouth

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

Neck

Medium long, strong, covered with thick hair.

Forequarters

Shoulder and upper arm of approximately equal length. Shoulder moderately laid back and forming a rather open angle with upper arm. Legs well boned, strong, straight and parallel. Elbow placed slightly lower than the lower edge of brisket. Pasterns of medium length, flexible and slightly sloping.

Body

Firm. Back strong, straight and broad. Moderate spring of rib. Brisket deep and long almost reaching the level of the elbow. Depth of body slightly less than half the height at withers. Forechest clearly defined, of moderate width. Loin short and muscular. Slight tuck up. Croup medium length, well defined and slightly sloping. The body, measured from point of shoulder to point of buttock, slightly longer than height at withers.

Hindquarters

Strong boned, powerful, straight and parallel when viewed from behind. Moderate angulation. Muscular thighs. Hocks relatively low set.

Feet

Well arched, oval, covered with thick hair.

Tail

Medium length, high set, covered with profuse, long hair. Carried curved over the back or side when the dog is moving. May hang when the dog is at rest. Tip of tail may have a ‘J’ formed hook.

Gait/Movement

Effortless, brisk, agile and straight. Medium length of stride, changing easily from trot to gallop.

Coat

Profuse. Outer coat long, coarse and straight. Shorter on the head and front of legs. Undercoat soft and dense. Males should have a more abundant mane.

Colour

All colours allowed but main colour must dominate. Markings differing from the main colour are permitted on head, neck, chest, legs, tail and underside of body.

Size

Ideal height at withers, dogs 49cm (19.25 ins); bitches 44cm (17½ ins), with an allowance of 3cm (1¼ ins) either way. Type is more important than size.

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.

Note

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


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