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, well balanced, moderately thick set with great dignity and quality. Any signs of respiratory distress for any reason or inability to move soundly are unacceptable and should be heavily penalised. Not excessively coated.


Leonine in appearance. Alert and intelligent expression.


Fearless, loyal, aloof, not timid or aggressive.

Head and skull

Head fairly large, proportionately wider than deep. Skull moderately broad, wide and flat between ears, not domed, wide between eyes. Nose not too short, broad, nostrils large and open. A slight wrinkle, preferably broken, may extend from the cheeks to the bridge of the nose in a wide inverted ‘v’. This must never adversely affect or obscure eyes or nose. Pinched nostrils and heavy over-nose wrinkles are unacceptable and should be heavily penalised. Muzzle must be evident, but may be relatively short and wide. Firm underjaw. Lips not obscuring a well-defined chin. Defined stop. Black pigment essential on nose, lips and eye rims.


Clear, round, dark lustrous and not too large. Free from obvious eye problems.


Leather heart shaped, set level with the skull, carried close to the head, and not coming below line of muzzle. Long profuse feathering.


Level lips. Must not show teeth or tongue. Firm underjaw essential.


Relatively short and thick.


Relatively short, thick, heavily boned forelegs. Bones of forelegs may be slightly bowed between pasterns and elbows accommodating ribs. Elbows should be close to the body. Shoulders laid back and fitting smoothly into the body. Standing well up on feet, not down on pasterns, which should be strong and not too close together. Absolute soundness essential.


Relatively short. Distinct waist. Broad chest and well-sprung ribs slung between forelegs. Level topline.


Hindlegs strong and well muscled but moderately lighter than forequarters. Excessively narrow hindquarters to be heavily penalised. Moderate angulation. Well-defined stifles. Firm, low hocks. Strong rear pasterns, parallel when viewed from the rear. Absolute soundness essential.


Large and flat, not round. Front feet may be slightly turned out. Excessively turned out feet to be heavily penalised. Hind feet point straight ahead.


Set high, carried tightly, slightly curved over back to either side. Long feathering.


Typically slow, dignified, rolling gait in front. Typical movement must not be confused with a roll caused by slackness of shoulders or with other indications of unsoundness. Any slackness of shoulders and elbows, and any indication of unsoundness in feet and pasterns to be heavily penalised. Movement not to be hindered by excessive body coat.


Moderately long, straight, with mane, not extending beyond shoulders, forming a cape around neck. Top coat coarse with thick, softer undercoat. Feathering on ears, back of legs, tail and toes. Length and volume of coat should neither impair the activity of the dog nor obscure the shapeliness of body. Excessive coat must be heavily penalised.


All colours and markings are permissible and of equal merit, except albino, liver or merle. Parti-colours evenly broken.


Ideal weight not exceeding 5 kgs (11 lbs) for dogs and 5.4 kgs (12 lbs) for bitches. Dogs should look small but be surprisingly heavy when picked up; heavy bone and a sturdy well-built body are essentials of the breed.


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.