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.
Sturdy, muscular, wiry, with fine bone. Whole well covered with long (according to age), profuse corded coat. Long hair overshadows eyes like an umbrella. Viewed from side, trunk and limbs should present square figure.
Herding dog, medium-sized, nimble and extremely intelligent.
Lively, wary of strangers, but not displaying nervousness or unprovoked aggression.
Head and skull
Disregarding hair, head small and fine with slightly domed skull. From front it appears round, from side almost elliptical. Muzzle one-third length of head, with well-defined stop, not snipey but bluntly rounded. Arches of eye socket well defined, nose relatively large and black, eye rims and flews black in all colours.
Medium size, dark brown with lively expression.
Set slightly below level of skull, V-shaped, pendant, of medium size, covered with long hair. Length of ears about half length of head. Ears do not appear noticeable, even when alert.
Roof uniformly dark or variegated with deep pigmented spots on dark base. Flews tight and black. Tongue bright red. Jaws and teeth strong with perfect scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.
Set at an angle of 45 degrees to horizontal, of medium length, tight skinned and muscular. When fully coated, neck appears to merge with body.
Shoulders well laid. Elbows tight. Forelegs straight and muscular, and viewed from any angle, vertical.
Withers slightly higher than level of back, which is of medium length. Loin short and broad, belly slightly tucked up. Ribs deep, rib cage broadening from behind elbows and well sprung. Rump short and slightly sloping but this is not obvious because of tightly curled tail.
Strong, and well muscled. Pelvis forming an angle of 90 degrees with thighbone. Well-bent stifle. Hocks set fairly low. When viewed from the rear, the legs should be parallel, with feet turning neither in nor out. Wide pelvis desirable, especially in bitches.
Short, round, tight. Hindfeet slightly longer than forefeet. Nails strong, black or slate grey. Pads springy, dark grey in colour.
Medium length, curled tightly over rump-loin area; long hair of tail mixes indistinguishably with similar hair of rump so that tail does not appear separate.
Stride not far-reaching. Gallop short. Typical movement short- stepping, very quick, in harmony with lively disposition. Movement never heavy, lethargic or lumbering.
Correct proportion of top and undercoat creates, naturally, the desired cords. Matting and felting to be avoided, and a combed coat is as undesirable as a neglected one. Coat generally longest on hindquarters, shortest on head and feet. Some dogs will grow a floor-length coat.
- Black, with or without intermingling of white hairs
- Black with rusty or grey shading.
- Grey in various shades.
- Fawn (known as ‘fako’ in its country of origin) preferably with a distinct black mask. All shades of fawn.
- Grey or fawn may have an intermingling of black or white hairs with black or grey tips on tail and ears.
- White without any yellow markings.
The overall appearance of all variants must be that of a solid colour. A white patch at the forechest not exceeding 5 cms (2 ins) in diameter and a few white hairs on feet are permissible. Skin well pigmented, black or slate grey. Any colour or marking deviating from the above is undesirable.
Height: dogs: 40-44 cms (16-17½ ins); bitches: 37-41 cms (14½-16 ins). Weight: dogs: 13-15 kgs (29-33 lbs); bitches: 10-13 kgs (22-28½ lbs).
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.