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.
Small, dainty, compact.
Alert little dog; swift moving with brisk, forceful action and saucy expression.
Gay, spirited and intelligent, neither snappy nor withdrawn.
Head and skull
Well-rounded ‘apple dome’ skull, cheeks and jaws lean, muzzle moderately short, slightly pointed. Definite stop.
Large, round, but not protruding; set well apart; centre of eye is on a plane with lowest point of ear and base of stop; dark or ruby. Light eyes in light colours permissible.
Large, flaring, set on at an angle of approximately 45 degrees; giving breadth between ears. Tipped or broken down highly undesirable.
Jaws strong, with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.
Slightly arched, medium length.
Shoulders well laid; lean, sloping into slightly broadening support above straight forelegs, set well under chest giving freedom of movement without looseness.
Level back. Body, from point of shoulder to rear point of croup, slightly longer than height at withers. Well-sprung ribs, deep brisket.
Muscular; hocks well let down, with good turn of stifle, well apart, turning neither in nor out.
Small and dainty, turning neither in nor out; toes well divided but not spread, pads cushioned, fine, strong, flexible pasterns. Neither hare- nor cat-like, nails moderately short.
Medium length, set high, carried up and over back (sickle tail). When moving never tucked under or curled below the topline. Furry, flattish in appearance, broadening slightly in centre and tapering to point.
Brisk, forceful action, neither high-stepping nor hackney; good reach without slackness in forequarters, good drive in hindquarters. Viewed from front and behind legs should move neither too close nor too wide, with no turning in or out of feet or pasterns. Topline should remain firm and level when moving.
Long Coat: soft texture (never coarse or harsh to touch) either flat or slightly wavy. Never tight and curly. Feathering on ears, feet and legs, pants on hindquarters, large ruff on neck desirable. Tail long and full as a plume.
Any colour or mixture of colours - but never merle (dapple).
Weight: up to 2.7 kgs (6 lbs), with 1.8 - 2.7 kgs (4-6 lbs) preferred.
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.