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.
Strongly built, short coupled, very active; broad in skull; broad and deep through chest and ribs; broad and strong over loins and hindquarters.
Good tempered, very agile (which precludes excessive body weight or excessive substance). Excellent nose, soft mouth; keen love of water. Adaptable, devoted companion.
Intelligent, keen and biddable, with a strong will to please. Kindly nature, with no trace of aggression or undue shyness.
Head and skull
Skull broad with defined stop; clean-cut without fleshy cheeks. Jaws of medium length, powerful not snipy. Nose wide, nostrils well developed.
Medium size, expressing intelligence and good temper; brown or hazel.
Not large or heavy, hanging close to head and set rather far back.
Jaws and teeth strong with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.
Clean, strong, powerful, set into well-placed shoulders.
Shoulders long and well laid back, with upper arm of near equal length, placing legs well under body. Forelegs well boned and straight from elbow to ground when viewed from either front or side.
Chest of good width and depth, with well-sprung barrel ribs - this effect not to be produced by carrying excessive weight. Level topline. Loins wide, short-coupled and strong.
Well developed, not sloping to tail; well-turned stifle. Hocks well let down, cow hocks highly undesirable.
Round, compact; well-arched toes and well-developed pads.
Distinctive feature, very thick towards base, gradually tapering towards tip, medium length, free from feathering, but clothed thickly all round with short, thick, dense coat, thus giving ‘rounded’ appearance described as ‘Otter’ tail.
May be carried gaily but should not curl over back
Free, covering adequate ground; straight and true in front and rear.
Distinctive feature, short dense without wave or feathering, giving fairly hard feel to the touch; weather-resistant undercoat.
The only correct colours are wholly black, yellow or liver/chocolate. Yellows range from light cream to red fox. Small white spot on chest and the rear of front pasterns permissible.
Ideal height at withers: dogs: 56-57 cms (22-22½ ins); bitches: 55-56 cms (21½-22 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.