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.
Medium sized, well muscled. Solid but without being heavy or coarse. Elegant both standing and moving. Slightly longer than high, rugged in appearance with a crisp, harsh, semi-long coat and high set ears.
Lively and alert shepherd dog. Rugged in appearance.
Even tempered, neither aggressive, shy nor nervous. Obedient, fearless, a natural herder and good guard for home and family.
Head and skull
In proportion to size of dog. Seen in profile, skull and muzzle of equal length with parallel planes. Foreface delicately chiselled but not pointed. Seen from front, forehead should not be flat but slightly convex, with the furrow between brow ridges blending smoothly into muzzle. Slightly defined stop midway from occiput to nose. Distinct long eyebrows but not covering the eye. Foreface strong with beard and moustache with thin, tight fitting lips. Nose large, black with well-opened nostrils.
Horizontally set. Medium size, oval in shape, not prominent. Dark, blending with coat colour, but never lighter than hazel.
High set, of moderate size, broad base with slightly rounded tips. Always carried naturally erect.
Jaws strong with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. Upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.
Clean, strong and muscular. Of moderate length, blending smoothly into the shoulders, to allow proud head carriage.
Shoulders long and sloping. Elbows well under and close to body. Forearms straight and well muscled. Pasterns sloping slightly.
Length of the body, from point of shoulder to point of buttock should be marginally longer than the height at the withers. Bitches proportionately slightly longer than dogs.
Chest reaches elbow which is equidistant from withers and ground. Level topline with well-sprung ribs, strong loin and slightly sloping croup. Underline with slight tuck up.
Well muscled, moderately angulated. Hind feet positioned just behind a perpendicular line dropped from the point of the rump. Hindlegs parallel when viewed from behind.
Rounded, short and compact. Firm pads. Dark nails.
Reaching at least to the hock, with slight curve at tip
May be carried high but never over the back. Coat on tail of same length and texture as on body.
Fluid, effortless and free, with moderate reach, covering the ground efficiently.
Harsh, neither flat nor curled. Crisp to the touch with fine, dense undercoat. Semi-long (5-6 cms over all the body including the tail).
Fawn with or without dark overlay;
Slight white mark on forechest and end of feet permitted.
Large white patches undesirable.
Dogs: 60-65cms (23½-25½ ins); Bitches: 55–60cms (21¾-23½ 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.