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.
Vigorous, robust, squarely built dog of solid construction. Strong bone, well-developed muscles. Rough coated. Has a kind, almost human expression.
An intrepid and untiring hunt, point and retrieve breed. Hardy and adaptable to any terrain including water. Remarkable capability for an extended and fast trot.
Sociable, docile, affectionate and patient.
Head and skull
The head planes when seen in profile are divergent. The skull is equal in length from occiput to gently sloping stop, and from stop to end of nose, which protrudes over the lips. Width of skull not to exceed half the total length of head, preferably less. A lean skull of oval shape, sides gently sloping downwards, rooflike. Well-pronounced occiput. Well defined median furrow. Muzzle of good depth, in profile straight or slightly arched, square when viewed from the front. The upper lips, slightly rounded, covering the lower lips and reaching the corner of the mouth in a visible fold. Nose large, spongy in appearance with large nostrils.
Kind, almost human expression. Large, open, almost round and set well apart. Neither protruding nor deep set and on the same frontal plane. Eyelids close fitting. Iris ochre, depth of colour compatible with coat colour.
Pendulous, triangular, slightly rounded at the tip, pliable and fine. Covered with dense hair mixed with longer, scattered hairs which become thicker at the edges. Carried low with little erectile power. Forward edge touching cheek. Set on level with corner of eye, long, but not more than 5 cms below throat line.
Jaws strong with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws, is preferred. Level bite tolerated.
Powerful and well muscled. Comparatively short in relation to length of head, showing a marked crest from the nape. Merging smoothly into the shoulders with unexaggerated dewlap.
Shoulders strong, muscular and well laid back. Top of shoulder blades set well apart. Upper arm well angulated, muscular and of equal length to shoulder blade. Forelegs, when viewed from front and side should be straight, with strong, oval bone and well-defined tendons. Elbows turning neither in nor out. Pasterns strong and slightly sloping. Dewclaws should be present.
Length from point of shoulder to point of buttocks equal to height at withers. Withers not too raised. Topline, which must not be exaggerated, slopes gently downwards from the withers and then rises to a slightly arched, broad, strong and well-muscled loin. Croup then slopes slightly to set on of tail. Chest broad and deep, reaching at least to the level of the elbows, with prominent breastbone. Ribs are open, well sprung and carried well back. Minimal tuck up.
The croup is broad, muscular and slightly sloping. Thighs long, broad, muscular and strong with good bend of stifle. Tendons clearly visible. Broad hocks well let down leading to strong rear pasterns, which when viewed from behind are vertical on extension of the buttock line. Dewclaws may be present.
Front feet large, round and compact with thick pads. Toes well arched, covered in dense hair. Hind feet showing all the same characteristics as the front feet but slightly more oval.
Previously customarily docked.
Docked: To half its length. Thick, particularly at the base, set on as a continuation of the croup and carried horizontally or down. No fringes.
Undocked: Thick, particularly at the base, set on as a continuation of the croup and carried horizontally or down. No fringes.
Free, relaxed and capable of fast trot. In motion the characteristic topline is maintained.
Skin is close fitting, thick and leathery. Coat coarse, dense and rather flat, 4-6 cms in length with a lack of undercoat. Thicker, longer hair forms eyebrows, moustache and beard. On backs of legs the hair is a rough brush, but never with fringes.
Only permitted colours are white, white and orange, orange roan, white and brown and brown roan. Lips, nose, eye rims, nails and pads should be pigmented according to coat colour, ranging from flesh pink in whites, through to brown in brown roans.
Height: dogs 60-70 cms (23½ - 27½ ins); bitches 58-65 cms (22¾ - 25½ ins). Weight: dogs: 34-39 kgs (75-86 lbs); bitches: 29-34 kgs (64-75 lbs).
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.