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.
Free moving, active, balanced and of great substance in small compass. General outline oblong, not square.
Sturdy, game and workmanlike.
Alert and fearless but of friendly disposition.
Head and skull
Skull slightly domed and wide between ears. Cheek bones not prominent. Punishing square jaw, powerful and long. Nose black.
Dark, well set, round, of medium size. Dark, pigmented eye rims preferred but unpigmented tolerated.
Medium- sized, slightly rounded at tip and carried at side of cheek.
Teeth level and strong with canines fitting well into each other and long for size of dog. Jaws strong with regular scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.
Fairly long, thick and muscular on well-laid shoulders.
Forelegs short, strong and as straight as possible consistent with chest being well let down. Point of shoulder in line with point of elbow which should be close to side of chest.
Medium in length, level and flexible with ribs well sprung. Chest broad and deep, well let down between forelegs.
Notably powerful for size of dog. Thighs deep and muscular with well-bent stifle. Hocks strong, well bent and parallel to each other.
Round and cat-like with thick pads. Feet pointing directly forward.
Previously customarily docked.
Docked: Medium length. Thick with a rounded tip. Set in line with back and carried erect. Quarters should protrude beyond set of tail.
Undocked: Medium length of tail to give a general balance to the dog. Thick at root and tapering towards tip. Ideally carried erect, but not excessively over the back, and with no curl or twist. Quarters should protrude beyond set of tail.
Brisk and vigorous with plenty of drive.
Long, hard and wiry topcoat with weather-resistant undercoat.
All white or white with lemon, brown, blue or badger pied markings on head and ears. Much black and heavy ticking undesirable.
Height should not exceed 31 cms (12 ins) at shoulder. Ideal weight: dogs approximately 9 kgs (20 lbs); bitches approximately 8 kgs (18 lbs). General conformation, overall balance, type and substance are main criteria.
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.