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.
A graceful, lithe, muscular dog, with no signs of either weakness or coarseness. Whole head pear or wedge-shaped, and expression in repose mild and gentle.
Spirited and game, full of confidence. An intelligent companion with strong sporting instincts.
Good tempered, having an affectionate nature, dignified, not shy or nervous. Mild in repose but full of courage when roused.
Head and skull
Skull narrow, but deep and rounded; covered with profuse silky ‘top knot’ which should be nearly white. Jaw long and tapering. There must be no ‘stop’, the line from occiput to nose end straight and unbroken. Well filled up beneath eye, close fitting lips, without flew. Nostrils large and well defined.
Relatively small and bright. Ideal eye has appearance of being triangular. Blues have a dark eye; blue and tans have a lighter eye with amber lights, livers and sandies have a light hazel eye.
Moderately sized, filbert shaped, set on low, and hanging flat to cheek. Thin and velvety in texture; covered with short fine hair with fringe of whitish silky hair at tip.
Teeth large and strong. Scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.
Long and tapering, deep base with no tendency to throatiness. Springs well up from shoulders, and head carried rather high.
Forelegs straight, wider apart at chest than at feet. Pasterns long and slightly sloping without weakness. Shoulders flat and sloping.
Muscular and markedly flexible. Chest deep and fairly broad. Flat ribbed, deep through brisket which reaches to elbow. Back has natural arch over loin creating a definite tuck-up of underline. Body slightly greater in length than height.
Muscular and moderate length, arched loin with curved topline immediately above loins. Hindlegs have appearance of being longer than forelegs. Hocks strong and well let down, turning neither in nor out. Moderate turn of stifle.
Long hare feet with thick and well-closed-up pads. Pads sound and free from cracks or horny excrescences.
Moderate length, thick at root, tapering to a point and gracefully curved. Set on low, never carried over back.
Capable of galloping at high speed and have appearance of being able to do so. Action very distinctive, rather mincing, light and springy in slower paces and slight roll when in full stride.
Very distinctive. Thick and linty, standing well out from skin, but not wiry. A distinct tendency to twist, particularly on head and face.
Blue, liver, or sandy with or without tan. Darker pigment to be encouraged. Blues and blue and tans must have black noses; liver and sandies must have brown noses.
Height: about 41 cms (16 ins) at withers. This allows for slight variation below in the case of a bitch and above in the case of a dog. Weight: 8-10 kgs (18-23 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.