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.
Small, powerful, sturdily built, alert energetic worker.
Works cattle but has terrier instincts when rabbiting and ratting.
Courageous, happy, affectionate to owner.
Head and skull
In proportion to body. Skull flat and wide between ears, tapering towards eyes which are set wide apart. Moderate stop equidistant between nose and occiput. Tapering continues towards nose. Skull and muzzle to be on parallel planes.
Almond-shaped, medium size, dark colour except in liver where they may be lighter to match coat colour.
Showing alert lift, or erect. Drop ears showing no lift undesirable.
Lips firm. Scissor bite – jaws strong with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws. Under or overshot to be discouraged.
Moderate length, well laid into shoulders.
Well-laid shoulder, elbows firm against ribs. Amply boned. Pasterns allow feet to turn slightly outwards, but not enough to cause weakness or affect freedom of movement.
Well-sprung ribbing, extending well back with close coupling. Firm, level topline, never dipping at withers or falling at croup. Approximately 2.5 cms (1 in) longer than height at withers. (Measured from withers to set on of tail).
Muscular, with well-turned stifles, hocks well let down. From rear should be parallel, when moving or standing. Never bandy or cowhocked.
Small, firm and well padded.
Set on high, left natural. Carried over back in a slight curve when alert, but not forming a complete ring.
Smart and brisk. Natural, free movement.
Fine undercoat is covered throughout by weather resistant, short, thick, hard, flat topcoat. Topcoat slightly longer on neck. Undercoat should not show through topcoat nor allow any longer hair at the mane to stand off. Long or excessively wavy coat hightly undesirable.
Black and tan or liver and tan with pigment to tone with coat colour, with rich tan spots on cheeks and often above eyes. Rich tan on muzzle and chest and from knees downwards, inside hind legs and under tail. A distinct black or liver mark (thumb mark), according to coat colour, immediately above front feet is desirable. Richness of tan may fade with age. White to be discouraged. A small white spot on forechest, although permissible is undesirable.
Ideal height at shoulder: dogs: 30 cms (12 ins); bitches: 25 cms (10 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.