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 section of the Kennel Club website here http://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/services/public/breed/watch 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.
Sturdy, tough, mobile, capable of endurance. Long in proportion to height, terminating in fox-like brush, set in line with body.
Alert, active and intelligent.
Alert, intelligent, steady, not shy or aggressive.
Head and Skull
Head foxy in shape and appearance, skull wide and flat between ears tapering towards eyes above which it is slightly domed. Moderate stop. Length of foreface in proportion to head 3 to 5, muzzle tapering moderately towards nose which projects slightly and in no sense blunt. Under-jaw clean cut. Strong but without prominence. Nose black.
Medium size, clear, giving kindly, alert but watchful expression. Rather widely set with corners clearly defined. Preferably dark, to blend with coat, eye rims must be black. One or both eyes pale blue, blue or blue flecked, permissible only in blue merles.
Erect, proportionately rather large to size of dog. Tips slightly rounded, moderately wide at base and set about 8 cms (31/2 ins) apart. Carried so that tips are slightly wide of straight line drawn from tip of nose through centre of eyes, and set well back so that they can be laid flat along neck.
Teeth strong, with scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to the jaws.
Muscular, well developed, in proportion to dog’s build, fitting into well sloping shoulders.
Shoulders well laid, angulated at approximately 90 degrees to upper arm; muscular, elbows close to sides. Strong bone carried down to feet. Legs short but body well clear of the ground, forearms slightly bowed to mould round the chest. Feet turned slightly outwards.
Chest moderately broad with prominent breast bone. Body fairly long and strong, with deep brisket, well sprung ribs. Clearly defined waist. Topline level.
Strong, well angulated and aligned with muscular thighs and second thighs, strong bone carried down to feet, legs short; when standing, hocks vertical, viewed from side and rear.
Round, tight, rather large and well padded.
Like a fox’s brush, set in line with the body and moderately long (to touch or nearly touch ground). Carried low when standing but may be lifted a little above body when moving, not curled over back.
Free and active, elbows fitting close to sides, neither loose nor tied. Forelegs reaching well forward without too much lift, in unison with thrusting action of hindlegs.
Short or medium of hard texture. Weather-proof, with good undercoat. Preferably straight.
Acceptable colours are blue merle, brindle, red, sable, tri colour with brindle points and tri colour with red points.
All of the above with or without the typical white markings on head, neck, chest, underparts, legs and feet, white tail tip. White should not predominate on body or head where it should never surround the eyes. Nose and eye rims must be black. Liver and dilute colours highly undesirable.
Height: ideal 30 cms (12 ins) at shoulder. Weight in proportion to size with overall balance the prime consideration.
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.