Last updated September 2016

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.

General appearance

Small, sturdy, slightly longer in body than height at withers. Profusely coated, tail carried in plume over back.


Lively, affectionate and intelligent.


Friendly, outgoing.

Head and skull

Nose to stop and stop to occiput to be equal in length, skull broad, slightly rounded, moderate stop. Muzzle not snipy or blunt, cheeks flat. Nose and lips solid black, although for brown shades the pigment may be brown.


Dark, large, almond shaped, gentle expression, eye rims black. In brown shades eyes can be a slightly lighter colour, eye rims brown.


Moderately pointed and dropped, set on just above eye level, slightly raised, neither fly away nor framing the cheeks.


Jaws strong with perfect regular scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth and set square to the jaws.


Medium length.


Legs straight, medium bone. Shoulders well laid.


Equal in height from withers to elbow as from elbow to ground. Slightly longer from point of shoulder to point of buttock than height at withers, level topline, slight rise over loin, well-sprung ribs, with good tuck-up.


Medium boned, moderate angulation.


Small, tight, hare foot.


Set high, carried over the back; profusely feathered with long silky hair.


Free with a springy step, legs moving parallel along the line of travel.


Soft, silky, wavy or slightly curled, full coated with an undercoat.


Any colour or combination of colours permissible. Merle is not acceptable.


Ideal height 23-28 cms (9-11 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.