Last updated March 2014

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

Elegant, racy yet strong without coarseness, square proportions capable of sustained effort over long distances. A dignified hound with fine skin marked by its muscular leanness.


Quiet, of dignified bearing. Noble, haughty and loyal with the instinct of a hunting hound.


Reserved, aloof with strangers. Neither nervous nor aggressive. Affectionate with family.

Head and skull

Long, refined, an elongated wedge showing strength but not excessively angular. Skull flat, fairly broad. Clearly rounded at back of skull and curving smoothly into sides. Slightly marked frontal bone and pronounced occiput. Muzzle refined without exaggeration, about equal in length to skull. Slight stop. Nose and lips black, may be slightly lighter in dilute colours.


Large, dark to dark amber, oval, set slightly obliquely. Expression gentle, rather sad and wistful, eye rims pigmented.


Flat: not too large, triangular in shape but with rounded tips. Usually folding down and carried close to head, set level with, or slightly above eye but may be carried away from the skull.


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


Strong yet very elegant in proportion to body. Moderately long with good arch. Skin showing fine pleats under throat.


Shoulder blades long and set obliquely onto body. Flat bone and well muscled. Upper arm of moderate length. Pasterns supple and strong.


Chest not broad. Prominent sternum. Slightly sprung ribs giving fairly flat appearance, reaching almost to point of elbow. Reasonably well-ribbed back with definite tuck up. Loin short, broad and muscular, and slightly arched. Topline almost level. Relatively short croup, obliquely set. Pin bones evident.


Strongly muscled. Fairly flat appearance with moderate angulation, Second thigh long and well-developed. Hocks well let down.


Lean, elongated oval or hare foot, fairly well arched.


Fine and well set on without fringes or long hair. Strong curve at end which preferably reaches to point of hock. Set in line with croup as a continuation of topline. When moving never carried higher than level of back.


Free, smooth, effortless gait, head carriage not too high. Without exaggerated extension.


Fine and short. Undercoat may grow during winter. No feathering.


Light to red sand with or without black mask;

Brindle with or without black mask;

Black mantle with sand or brindle points;

Small white mark on chest permissible but undesirable.


Height at withers: dogs 66-72cms (26-28¼ ins); bitches 61-68cms (24-27 ins) encompassing finer desert and heavier mountain types.


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.