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.
Energetic, small sheepdog. Medium to long coated with windswept appearance. Alert and lean with racy outline. Body slightly longer than height at withers.
Highly intelligent, strong herding instinct. Tremendous energy and stamina for size.
Alert, lively, mischievous and inquiring, but may be wary of strangers. Neither nervous nor aggressive.
Head and skull
Head almost triangular when viewed from above. Ratio of muzzle length to skull length 2:3. Length of skull equal to its widest point, almost flat on top with a slight central furrow and occiput very slightly pronounced. Side of skull slightly rounded, muzzle tapering evenly to nose. Foreface and skull almost parallel with minimal stop. Nose black with open nostrils. Lips and roof of mouth darkly pigmented.
Expressive, almond to oval in shape, wide open, not bulging or sunken. Dark brown, but one or both may be blue or flecked blue in merle coloured dogs. Eye rims black. Eyes never obscured by coat.
Fairly short, triangular, fine and moderately wide at the base. Placed on top of head but neither too close nor wide apart. Bottom part of the ear erect and mobile with top ideally hanging forward or to the side when alert but laid back in repose.
Strong teeth, scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.
Rather long, muscular, and set well into shoulder.
Forelegs lean, sinewy and straight when seen from front with single dewclaws. From side, pasterns slope gently and are flexible. Shoulders fairly long and well angulated with upper arm well laid back. Withers prominent.
Lean, strong and muscular without heaviness. Ribs slightly rounded and extending well back. Brisket reaching to elbow. Length of foreleg greater than depth of body. Loin short, strong and slightly arched.
Croup short and sloping to fairly low set tail. Thigh strong and well muscled, second thigh well developed and long with well angulated stifle. Hocks low set. May sometimes stand close behind. Single or double dewclaws are acceptable as is their absence.
Lean, rather flat, oval shape. Dark pads and nails, well furred between pads.
Previously customarily docked.
Sometimes born with a short or stump tail.
Set low, reaching to the hock with upward hook at end. Well covered with hair. When the dog is alert, the tail should not rise much above the topline.
Walks with fairly short strides, trots freely with vigour. Smooth gait, feet never raised very high. At a gentle trot, the head is carried fairly high; when speed increases, the head is carried in line with the back. Good angulation ensures effortless gait.
Long or semi long. Fairly harsh, dense almost flat or slightly wavy, denser and more woolly on rump and thighs. In some dogs the mixture of coarse and woolly hair can produce cords or felted mats. Hair on muzzle short, longer on face and cheeks, where it grows away from the nose and eyes.
Semi long coats have shorter hair with fringing on forelegs and short hair below the hocks.
Various shades of fawn may be overlaid with black. There may be a little white on the chest and feet. Light to dark grey, often with white on the head, chest and legs. Blue merle, brindle, black or black and white. Solid colours are preferred. Large areas of white, predominance of white or black and tan undesirable.
Height: Dogs 42–48 cms (16.5–19 ins); Bitches: 40–46 cms (16–18 ins). A tolerance of + or – 2 cms allowed.
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.