Last updated October 2009

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, cobby, active dog, with sharp foxy expression.


Intensely lively and alert.


Amenable, intelligent and faithful.

Head and skull

Skull not round, but fairly broad, flat, with little stop. Muzzle moderate in length, fine but not weak, well filled under eyes. Nose black and small.


Dark brown, more oval than round, not full; bright, most expressive.


Moderate length, not too broad at base, tapering to a point. Carried stiffly erect and strong enough not to be bent otherwise than lengthways.


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


Strong and full, rather short, set broad on shoulders, slightly arched.


Shoulders muscular and sloping. Legs perfectly straight, well under the body, bone in proportion to the body.


Chest broad and deep in brisket. Back short, straight and strong. Loins powerful, well drawn up from brisket.


Lighter compared with forequarters; muscular and well-developed thighs, well-rounded rump. Legs strong, muscular, hocks well let down.


Small, cat-like, and standing well on the toes.


Previously customarily docked or may be born tailless or with partial length or full tail.

Docked: Very short.

Naturally tailless – no discernible tail.

Undocked: Full length tail tightly curled, carried over the back. Well covered with hair.

Fully coated partial length tail permissible but not desirable.


Short, brisk stride, moving true fore and aft.


Abundant, dense and harsh; smooth on head, ears and legs; lying close on back and side; erect and thick round neck, forming a mane and frill; with good culottes on the back of thighs.


Usually black but other whole colours permissible.


Weight about 5.5-7.5 kgs (12-16 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.