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 undesirable or highly undesirable, it is strongly recommended that it should not be rewarded in the show ring.
A bright, active dog of medium size with an intelligent expression, showing power without lumber, and raciness without weediness.
Generously endowed with natural gundog ability, optimism and friendliness demonstrated by enthusiastic tail action.
Confident and kindly.
Head and skull
Head, long and nicely moulded. Skull, flat and moderately broad with a slight stop between eyes, in no way accentuated, avoiding a down or dish-faced appearance. Nose of good size, with open nostrils. Jaws long and strong, capable of carrying a hare or pheasant.
Medium size, dark brown or hazel, with a very intelligent expression (a round prominent eye highly undesirable). Not obliquely placed.
Small and well set on, close to side of head.
Jaws strong with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws. Teeth sound and strong.
Head well set in neck, the latter reasonably long and free from throatiness, symmetrically set and obliquely placed in shoulders, running well into the back to allow for easy seeking of trail.
Chest deep and fairly broad, with well-defined brisket, on which elbows should move cleanly and evenly. Forelegs straight, with bone of good quality throughout.
Foreribs fairly flat. Body well ribbed up showing a gradual spring and well arched in centre but rather lighter towards quarters. Loin short and square. Open couplings highly undesirable.
Muscular. Moderate bend of stifle and hock, latter well let down. Should stand true all round. Cowhocks highly undesirable.
Round and strong with toes close and well arched. Soles thick and strong.
Short, straight and well set on, gaily carried, but never much above level of back.
Free and flowing, straight and true as seen from front and rear.
Dense, of fine to medium texture and good quality, as flat as possible. Legs and tail well feathered. Full furnishings on maturity complete the elegance of a good dog.
Black or liver only.
Preferred height: dogs: 58-61 cms (23-24 ins); bitches: 56-58 cms (22-23 ins). Preferred weight in hard condition: dogs: 27-36 kgs (60-80 lbs); bitches: 25-32 kgs (55-70 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.