Last updated October 2015

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

Medium-sized, grey with light eyes. Presents a picture of power, stamina and balance.


Hunting ability of paramount concern.


Fearless, friendly, protective, obedient and alert.

Head and skull

Moderately long, aristocratic; moderate stop, slight median line extending back over forehead. Rather prominent occipital bone. Measurement from top of nose to stop equal to measurement from stop to occipital prominence. Flews moderately deep, enclosing powerful jaw. Foreface straight, and delicate at the nostrils. Skin tightly drawn. Nose grey.


Medium-sized, round. Shades of amber or blue-grey. Placed far enough apart to indicate good disposition, not too protruding or deeply set. Expression keen, kind and intelligent.


Long, lobular, slightly folded, set high. When drawn alongside jaw, should end approximately 2.5 cms (1 in) from point of nose.


Jaws strong with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws. Lips and gums of pinkish, flesh colour. Complete dentition highly desirable.


Clean-cut and moderately long.


Forelegs straight and strong. Measurement from elbow to ground equal to distance from elbow to top of withers.


Length from point of shoulder to point of buttock should be greater than the height at withers, in the approximate proportions of 12:10. Topline level, with slightly sloping croup. Chest well developed and deep. Ribs well sprung, ribcage extending well back to short, firm loin. Abdomen firmly held, moderately tucked-up flank. Brisket should drop to elbow.


Moderately angulated, with well turned stifle. Hocks well let down, turned neither in nor out. Musculation well developed.


Firm, compact. Toes well arched, pads close, thick. Nails short, grey or amber in colour.


Previously customarily docked. Docked: Customarily docked so that remaining tail covers scrotum in dogs and vulva in bitches. Thickness of tail in proportion to body. Should be carried in a manner expressing confidence and sound temperament. In long-haired, tip of tail may be removed. Undocked: Moderately set, thickness in proportion to body. Reaching down to hocks and tapering towards the tip. Carried below level of back when relaxed; may be raised when animated. Not curled over back. Good hair cover.


Effortless, ground covering, indicating smooth co-ordination. Seen from rear, hind feet parallel to front feet. Seen from side, topline remains strong and level.


Short, smooth and sleek. In long-haired variety, coat from 2.5-5 cms (1-2 ins) long on body, somewhat longer on neck, chest and belly. Tail and back of limbs, feathered.


The only correct colour is grey. Silver grey preferable. Shades of mouse or roe grey are acceptable; blending to lighter shade on head and ears. Dark eel stripe frequently occurs along back. Whole coat gives an appearance of metallic sheen. Small white mark permissible on chest. White spots resulting from injuries not penalised. Any other colour, including blue, highly undesirable (see introductory paragraph).


Height at withers: dogs: 61-69 cms (24-27 ins); bitches: 56-64 cms (22-25 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.