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.
Tricoloured. Medium sized Swiss herding dog. Solidly built, longer than high.
Agile, alert, clever, high spirited.
Self assured and fearless. Good natured, devoted to family but may be slightly suspicious of strangers.
Head and skull
Head in proportion to body, clean and slightly wedge shaped. Length of muzzle slightly shorter than length of skull. Planes of muzzle and skull almost parallel. Skull flat, broadest between ears, tapering gently towards the muzzle. Slight furrow and stop without prominent occiput. Lips close fitting with black pigmentation. Prominent, black nose.
Medium sized, round, dark brown to hazel, well-fitting eyelids, eye rims black, lively expression.
Set on high. Medium sized, pendulous, triangular in shape, relatively wide at base, well rounded at tip. Lying flat in repose. When alert slightly raised and brought forward.
Jaws strong with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite. Level bite tolerated.
Moderate length, muscular, strong and clean, merging smoothly into shoulders.
Shoulders long, strong, sloping and well muscled, forming a distinct angle with upper arm which appears approximately equal in length to shoulder. Elbows set close to body and positioned vertically below withers. Forearm well boned, straight when viewed from all sides. Slight slope to relatively short pastern.
Length from point of shoulder to point of buttock slightly greater than height at withers. Forechest well developed. Broad, oval chest, well-sprung ribs with brisket reaching at least to the elbow, with slight tuck up to underline. Back strong, level with broad, well-muscled loin.
Croup long, broad and gently sloping. Well developed first and second thigh with moderate bend of stifle. Hock joint strong and distinctly angulated. Hocks well let down. Viewed from behind, legs not too close together, straight and parallel.
Round and compact with well-arched toes, turning neither in nor out. Pads thick and strong.
Set on of tail follows the line of the gently sloping croup, or natural bobtail, both equally acceptable, hanging straight down when at rest, never kinked. In motion or when alert can be elevated but not curled over the back. Ring tail highly undesirable.
Free, easy movement with good drive from the hindquarters.
Double coated. Topcoat short, close fitting, harsh and shiny, dense undercoat. Slight wavy hair on withers and/or back tolerated but not desirable.
Tricolour, predominant colour black, with symmetrical tan markings and clean white markings.
Tan markings: above the eyes, on cheeks, muzzle, throat, either side of chest and on all four legs. Tan markings on the legs are between the black and the white.
White markings: a distinct blaze which runs without break from top of head over bridge of nose, wholly or partially covering muzzle from under jaw to chest. White on all four feet. On full length tail a white tip is desirable. Small white patch on nape of neck is undesirable but tolerated.
Ideal height at withers: dogs 44-50 cms (17½-19¾ ins); bitches 42-48 cms (16½-19 ins). An upper size tolerance of 2 cms (¾ in) acceptable.
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.