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.
Well balanced, smooth coated, medium size with elegant and flowing outlines but strong and well muscled.
Alert, good-natured, playful. Loyal, watchful and fearless.
High spirited and self possessed.
Head and skull
Seen from above and side resembles a blunt wedge. Strong but not heavy, elongated without pronounced occiput. Overall length in proportion to back (from withers to base of tail) is approximately 1:2. Top of muzzle parallel with extended line of unwrinkled flat forehead; slight but distinct stop. Cheek muscles strong but not prominent. Deep muzzle. Nose full and black; in reds, nose of corresponding shade. Lips tight and dark. Snipiness undesirable.
Dark, of medium size, oval and directed forward. Eye rims tight.
Set high. V-shaped, folded down close to head.
Jaws strong with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.
Elegant and strong. Neither short nor stout. Nape well arched. Skin of throat tight without dewlap.
Well-laid shoulder with good but flat muscle. Forelegs straight viewed from all sides, parallel elbows are close to body.
Chest moderately wide with flat ribs. Brisket extends below elbow. Forechest extends beyond point of shoulder. Compact and short coupled. Length of body approximately equal to height at withers. Back short and slightly sloping. Slightly rounded croup.
Seen from behind parallel, with sufficient width. Upper thigh slanted and strongly muscled. Good length and bend of stifle, hocks turning neither in nor out.
Well arched, compact and cat-like with dark nails. Turning neither in nor out. Tough, hard pads.
Previously customarily docked.
Docked: Docked to three joints. Set and carried high.
Undocked: Set and carried high with an upward sweep. In overall balance with the rest of the dog.
Free, well balanced and vigorous with good reach in front and strong rotary driving action from rear. Front and hind legs should not be thrown outwards. Topline should remain strong and firm. Hackney movement undesirable.
Short and dense, smoothly fitting, glossy without bald spots.
All solid colours from fawn (Isabella) to stag red in various shades. Black and blue with reddish/tan markings. In bi-coloured dogs sharply marked red/tan markings desirable. Markings distributed as follows: at cheeks, lips, lower jaw, above eyes, at throat, at forechest as two triangles separated from each other, at metatarsus, forelegs, feet, inner side of hindlegs and vent region.
Height at withers 43-48 cms (17-19 ins).
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.