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.
Small, active and alert. Well balanced in general outline, slightly longer in body than height at withers.
Gay and assertive, highly intelligent, aloof with strangers.
Alert, loyal but independent.
Head and skull
Small in proportion to body, carried proudly. Masculine in dogs but free from coarseness. Skull slightly domed, moderate width and length. Stop slight but defined. Medium length of muzzle, blunt with cushioning, free from wrinkle. Chin showing some depth and width. Nose: black preferred.
Dark brown, oval, bright and expressive, medium size, set fairly well apart but forward looking. Rims black.
Medium size, pendant, well feathered in adults, set fairly high. Slight lift from the skull desirable but must not fly. Large, heavy, low set ears untypical.
Slightly undershot. Teeth evenly placed and the lower jaw wide between the canine teeth. Full dentition desirable. Teeth and tongue not showing when mouth closed.
Moderately short, strong and well set on. Covered with a mane or ‘shawl’ of longer hair, more pronounced in dogs than bitches.
Moderate bone. Forelegs slightly bowed but firm at shoulder. Shoulder well laid.
Slightly longer from withers to root of tail than the height at withers, good spring of rib, level back.
Well made and strong, hocks well let down, straight when viewed from behind. Moderate turn of stifle.
Harefoot. Small and neat with feathering between toes often extending beyond the feet. Round cat-feet undesirable.
Set high, richly plumed and carried in gay curl over back when moving. (Not to be penalised for dropping tail when standing.)
Quick moving, straight, free, positive
Top coat silky in texture, smooth on face and front of legs, of moderate length on body, but lying rather flat. Undercoat fine and dense. Ears and back of forelegs nicely feathered, tail and buttocks well furnished with longer hair. Not overcoated, bitches tend to carry less coat and mane than dogs.
All colours and mixture of colours, except merle, permissible.
Height about 25 cms (10 ins). Ideal weight: 4-7 kgs (9-15 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.