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 information related to this breed 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 highly undesirable, it must not be rewarded in the show ring.
Strong, well-balanced, powerful hunting dog, of noble appearance. Almost square, well muscled, with deep chest. Distinctive, sculpted head with chiselling under eyes.
Strong and untiring, working in all types of terrain. Excellent scenting abilities. Dignified and intelligent.
Hardy and adaptable, gentle and even tempered.
Head and skull
Long, angular and narrow at the zygomatic arches. Cheeks lean. Seen from the front, sides of muzzle converge slightly. Foreface of good width. Pronounced occiput and slight stop. Median line visible to mid skull. Measurement from nose to stop equal to that from stop to occiput. In profile, muzzle deep, straight or slightly arched. Well chiselled below the eyes. Viewed from side, the planes of the muzzle and skull are divergent. Nose large and spongy, protruding slightly over thin lips. Corners of lips marked but not pendulous.
Soft expression, fairly large, oval, with close fitting eyelids. Neither protruding nor too deep set. Dark ochre or brown, depending on coat colour.
Set on level with corner of eyes. Leathers extend to tip of nose. Supple and folded inwards. Base rather narrow, widening out but lying close to cheeks. Slightly rounded tips.
Jaws strong, with perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.
Powerful, well rounded, moderately short, widening towards the shoulders, with unexaggerated dewlap.
Strong. Shoulders long, well muscled and well laid back. Well-defined withers. Top of shoulder blades well separated. Forelegs strong and straight with good, oval bone and well-defined tendons. Pasterns of good length, slightly sloping. Point of elbow lies directly below top of withers.
Overall appearance almost square. Length of body, measured from point of shoulder to point of buttock, equal to or very slightly longer than height at withers. Chest broad, deep, reaching to the level of elbows. Well sprung ribs. Loin wide and slightly arched, short and well muscled. Topline slopes very slightly down from raised withers to middle of back, without dipping, rising slightly to broad, muscular croup. Slight tuck-up.
Thighs long, parallel, muscular with rear edge almost straight. Good bend of stifles. Rear pasterns relatively short and lean with good width between the hocks.
Strong, slightly oval, tight and well arched. Nails tone with coat colour. Dewclaws acceptable and double dewclaws tolerated.
Previously customarily docked.
Docked: Covers genitals. Set on as continuation of croupline. Thick at base. Straight with a tendency to taper. When moving, carried horizontally or slightly lower.
Undocked: Carried horizontally. May be slightly curved but never held high or carried bent over the back.
True moving with powerful drive from hindquarters. Capable of untiring, extended fast trot. Head carried raised above topline.
Short, dense and glossy. Shorter and finer on head, ears and front part of legs and feet. Skin tough, but elastic. Pigment of skin, eyelids, nose, lips and pads - pale pink to dark brown, depending on coat colour, but never black.
White. White with orange, amber or chestnut markings. White may be speckled. Roan with solid markings. If chestnut, a warm shade with a metallic sheen is preferred. Symmetrical facial mask preferred, absence tolerated. Tricolour highly undesirable.
Height at withers: dogs 58-67 cms (22¾-26¼ ins), bitches 55-62 cms (21¾ -24½ ins). Weight 25-40 kgs (55-88 lbs), in proportion to height.
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.