Last updated March 1994

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.

General appearance

Symmetrical and well built all over, general outline a series of graceful curves. A strong but lissom appearance.


Aristocratic. Alert with appearance of strength, endurance and speed.


Kind, even disposition.

Head and skull

Skull of medium breadth, in proportion to length of foreface, stop well defined, pronounced occipital bone. Nose and eye rims dark, but may be lighter in the case of a lemon and white coloured dog. Nostrils wide, soft and moist. Muzzle somewhat concave, ending on level with nostrils, giving a slightly dish-faced appearance. Slight depression under eyes, cheek bones not prominent, well developed soft lip.


Same distance from occiput as from nostrils, bright and kindly in expression. Either hazel or brown according to colour of coat. Neither bold nor staring, not looking down the nose.


Leathers thin, set on fairly high, lying close to head, of medium length, slightly pointed at tips.


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


Long, muscular, slightly arched, springing cleanly from shoulders and free from throatiness.


Shoulders long, sloping and well laid back. Chest just wide enough for plenty of heart room. Brisket well let down, to level with elbows. Forelegs straight and firm, with good oval bone, with back sinews strong and visible. Knee joint flat with front leg and protruding very little on inside. Pasterns lengthy, strong and resilient. Slightly sloping.


Well sprung ribs carried well back gradually falling away at strong muscular and slightly arched loins. Short coupled. Haunch bones well spaced and prominent, not above level of back.


Very muscular. Well-turned stifles. Good expanse of first and second thigh. Hocks well let down.


Oval, well-knit, arched toes, well cushioned.


Medium length, thick at root, tapering gradually to a point. Well covered with close hair, carried on a level with back, with no upward curl. In movement, tail should lash from side to side.


Smooth, covering plenty of ground. Driving hind action, elbows neither in nor out. Definitely not a hackney action.


Fine, short, hard and evenly distributed, perfectly smooth and straight with decided sheen.


Usual colours are lemon and white, orange and white, liver and white, and black and white. Self colours and tricolours are also correct.


Desirable heights at withers: dogs: 63-69 cms (25-27 ins); bitches: 61-66 cms (24-26 ins).


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.