Last updated April 2012

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

Gives impression of grace, symmetry and of great speed and endurance, coupled with strength and activity.


Great variation in type due to wide geographical area of origin. There are both feathered and smooth varieties. The expression should be dignified and gentle with faithful far-seeing eyes. Light flowing movement.


Reserved with strangers but not nervous or aggressive. Dignified, intelligent and independent.

Head and skull

Head long and narrow, skull moderately wide between ears, not domed, stop not pronounced, whole showing great quality. Nose black or liver.


Dark to hazel, bright, large and oval, not prominent.


Long and mobile, not too low set, covered with long silky hair, hanging close to skull. Bottom tip of leather reaches to corner of mouth when brought forward. Provided ear is covered with silky hair which may grow only from top half, the standard is complied with but longer hair also correct.


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


Long, supple and well muscled.


Shoulders sloping and set well back, well muscled without being coarse. Chest deep and moderately narrow, when viewed from front not an inverted V. Forelegs straight and long from elbow to wrist. Pasterns strong and slightly sloping. Not round boned. Humerus sloping slightly backwards.


Back fairly broad, muscles slightly arched over loin, but never roached backed. Brisket long and deep, not barrel-ribbed or slab-sided, with good cut up. Sufficient length of loin important.


Strong hip bones set wide apart. Stifle moderately bent with well-developed first and second thigh. Hocks low to ground.


Strong, supple, of moderate length, toes long and well arched, not splayed out, but at the same time not cat footed. Feathered between the toes (except the smooth variety). Front feet may point outwards at a very slight angle when standing.


Set on low from long and gently sloping pelvis. Carried naturally in curve. Well feathered on underside but not bushy. In adults not carried above line of back except in play. Tip reaching to hock.


Smooth, flowing and effortless. Light and lifting, showing both reach and drive without hackney action or pounding.


Smooth and of soft silky texture, feathering on legs and back of thighs, puppies may have slight woolly feathering on thighs and shoulders. Feathering may occur on throat. In the smooth variety the coat is the same but without feathering.


Any colour or combination of colours permissible, other than brindle or blue, which are highly undesirable.


Dogs: 58-71 cms (23-28 ins) at shoulders; Bitches: proportionately smaller.


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.