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.
Sturdily built, robust, sinewy, nearly square, (length of body equal to height at shoulders). Expression keen and attitude alert. Correct conformation is of more importance than colour or purely ‘beauty’ points.
Strong, vigorous dog capable of great endurance.
Alert, reliable and intelligent. Primarily a companion dog.
Head and skull
Head strong and of good length, narrowing from ears to eyes and then gradually forward toward end of nose. Upper part of the head (occiput to the base of the forehead) moderately broad between ears. Flat, creaseless forehead; well-muscled but not too strongly developed cheeks. Medium stop to accentuate prominent eyebrows. Powerful muzzle ending in a moderately blunt line, with bristly, stubby moustache and chin whiskers. Ridge of nose straight and running almost parallel to extension of forehead. Nose black with wide nostrils. Lips tight but not overlapping.
Medium sized, dark, oval, set forward with arched bushy eyebrows.
Neat, V-shaped, set high and dropping forward to temple.
Jaws strong, with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.
Moderately long, strong, and slightly arched; skin close to throat; neck set cleanly on shoulders.
Shoulders flat and well laid. Forelegs straight viewed from any angle. Muscles smooth and lithe rather than prominent; bone strong, straight and carried well down to feet; elbows close to body and pointing directly backward.
Chest moderately broad; deep with visible, strong breastbone reaching at least to height of elbow and rising slightly backward to loins. Back strong and straight, slightly higher at shoulder than at hindquarters, with short, well-developed loins. Ribs well sprung. Length of body equal to height from top of withers to ground.
Thighs slanting and flat but strongly muscled. Hindlegs (upper and lower thighs) at first vertical to the stifle; from stifle to hock in line with the extension of the upper neck line; from hock, vertical to ground.
Short, round, cat-like, compact with closely arched toes, dark nails, firm black pads, feet pointing forward.
Previously customarily docked.
Docked: Set on and carried high, customarily docked to three joints.
Undocked: Set on and carried high, of moderate length to give general balance to the dog. Thick at root and tapering towards the tip, as straight as possible, carried jauntily.
Free, balanced and vigorous, with good reach in forequarters and good driving power in hindquarters. Topline remains level in action.
Harsh, wiry and short enough for smartness. Closer on neck and shoulders; clean on throat, skull and ears. Harsh hair on legs. Dense undercoat essential.
Pure black (white markings on head, chest and legs undesirable) or pepper and salt. Pepper and salt shades range from dark iron grey to light grey; good pigmentation. Hairs banded dark/light/dark. Facial mask to harmonise with corresponding coat colour.
Ideal height at withers: dogs: 48 cms (19 ins); bitches: 45.7 cms (18 ins). Any variations of more than 2.5 cms (1 in) in these heights undesirable.
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.