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.
Distinguished appearance, sturdily built but not cumbersome. Body length exceeds height. Thick coated.
Versatile worker, capable in field, forest and water. Tractable and easy to train.
Head and skull
Rectangular in profile, moderately long and lean, without wrinkle. Marked rise over the eyes with visible median furrow and moderate stop. Prominent occiput. Muzzle straight. Length of skull equal to length of muzzle. Moderately thick, close fitting, dark lips. Nose large and dark.
Almond shaped, well set with intelligent expression. Amber coloured in adults. In young dogs the eyes may be blue.
Rather long, broad at the base, rounded. Set above the level of the eye.
Jaws strong with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.
Well muscled, of medium length, lean and without dewlap. Proudly held, giving high head carriage.
Withers marked, fitting smoothly into the topline. Shoulders sloping and well laid back. Forelegs strong and straight. Pasterns strong, almost vertical and comparatively short.
Length from point of shoulder to point of buttock is greater than height, in the ratio of 10 to 9 in the male and 10 to 8 in the female. Forechest well developed. Ribcage long and broad, oval in cross section. Ribs well sprung, carried well back and reaching to the elbow. Topline level. Well-muscled back. Moderate tuck up.
Broad, well angulated, with well developed first and second thighs. Hocks well let down.
Well arched with dark pads and nails.
Docked: to half length. Medium strong, moderately high set. Hanging down at rest, carried level with back when moving.
Undocked: Medium strong, moderately high set. Hanging down at rest, carried level with back when moving.
Balanced and lively, ground covering, with good reach and drive. Topline held on the move and head carried high.
Double coated. Short, fine undercoat which is usually shed in the summer. Harsh, straight, protective outer coat approximately 4 cms long. Short, dense hair on forehead, skull and cheeks. Softer on mouth, lips and chin, forming a beard. Marked eyebrows. Hair on the ears softer. Tail is well covered. Skin grey, moderately thick, elastic, without wrinkle.
Base colour is grey of any shade, with or without contrasting grey patches. Evenly speckled grey roan is accepted. White markings on the legs and chest are acceptable. Head and ears are often of a lighter shade.
Height at withers: Male 62-68cms (24½ - 27 ins). Female 57-64cms (22½ - 25 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.