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A Breed Standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics,
temperament and appearance 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 Kennel Club website for details of any such current
issues. If a feature or quality
is desirable it should only be present in the right measure.
Active, compact, short-coupled and essentially well balanced, leonine in
appearance, proud, dignified bearing; well knit frame; tail carried well over
back. Should always be able to move freely and must not have so
much coat as to impede activity or cause distress in hot weather.
Quiet dog, good guard, bluish-black tongue; its distinctive short-striding gait
allows it to move freely, never lumbering and with excellent endurance.
Independent, loyal, yet aloof.
Head and Skull
Skull flat, broad; stop not pronounced, well filled out under eyes. Muzzle
moderate in length, broad from eyes to end (not pointed at end like a fox).
Nose, large and wide in all cases, black with exception of cream
and near white in which case a lighter coloured nose permissible, and in blues
and fawns a self-coloured nose (but black preferable in all cases).
Dark, oval shaped, medium sized and clean. A matching coloured eye permissible
in blues and fawns. Clean eye, free from entropion, never being penalised for
sake of mere size.
Small, thick, slightly rounded at tip, carried stiffly and wide apart but
tilting well forward over eyes and slightly towards each other, giving peculiar
characteristic scowling expression of the breed. Scowl never to be achieved by
loose wrinkled skin of head.
Teeth strong and level, jaws strong, with a perfect, regular and complete
scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set square to
the jaws. A solid black mouth including the roof and flews,
with a bluish black tongue is ideal. However, some dilution may be evident in
the gums of blues and fawns and this dilution may be more pronounced in creams
Strong, full, not short, set well on shoulders and slightly arched. Of
sufficient length to carry the head proudly above the topline.
Shoulders muscular and sloping. Elbows equidistant between withers and ground.
Forelegs perfectly straight with good bone.
Chest broad and deep. Ribs well sprung but not barrelled. The distance from
withers to elbow is equal to the distance from elbow to ground. Back short,
level and strong. Loins powerful.
In profile the foot is directly under the hip joint. Well developed first and
second thigh with only slight bend of stifle. Hocks well let down. From hocks
downwards to appear straight, never flexing forward.
Small, round, cat-like, standing well up on toes.
Set high, carried well over back.
Relatively short striding, hind feet not lifted high, appearing to skim the
ground, resulting in pendulum like action when seen in profile. Forelegs and
hindlegs moving parallel to each other and straight forward.
Dogs should always be able to move freely and soundly without any sign of
Either rough or smooth. Any artificial shortening of the coat which alters the
natural outline or expression should be penalised, with the exception of feet
which may be tidied.
Rough: profuse, abundant, dense, straight and stand-off, but not excessive in
length. Outer coat coarse, with soft woolly undercoat. Especially thick round
neck forming mane or ruff and with good culottes
or breechings on back of thighs.
Smooth: coat short, dense, straight, upstanding, not flat, plush-like in
Whole coloured black, red, blue, fawn, cream or white, frequently shaded but not
in patches or parti-coloured (underpart of tail and back of thighs frequently of
a lighter colour).
Dogs: 48-56 cms (19-22 ins) at shoulder. Bitches: 46-51 cms (18-20 ins) at
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.
Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into
the scrotum.Last updated : October
Reprinted with the
kind permission of
the Kennel Club