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 Breed Watch section of the Kennel
Club website here
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.
GENERAL APPEARANCE: Small,
long-haired working dog of great beauty, free from cloddiness and
coarseness, action lithe and graceful. Outline symmetrical so that no part appears out of
proportion to whole. Abundant coat, mane and frill, shapeliness of head
and sweetness of expression combine to present the ideal.
CHARACTERISTICS: Alert, gentle,
intelligent, strong and active.
TEMPERAMENT: Affectionate and
responsive to his owner, reserved towards strangers, never nervous.
HEAD AND SKULL: Head refined and
elegant with no exaggerations; when
viewed from top or side a long, blunt wedge, tapering from ear to nose.
Width and depth of skull in proportion to length of skull and muzzle. Whole to be
considered in connection with size of dog. Skull flat, moderately wide
between ears, with no prominence of occipital bone. Cheeks flat,
merging smoothly into well rounded muzzle. Skull and muzzle of equal
length, dividing point inner corner of eye. Topline of skull parallel to
topline of muzzle, with slight but definite stop. Nose, lips and eye
rims black. The characteristic expression is obtained by the perfect
balance and combination of skull and foreface, shape, colour and
placement of eyes, correct position and carriage of ears.
EYES: Medium size obliquely set,
almond-shape. Dark brown except in the case of merles, where one or both
may be blue or blue flecked.
EARS: Small, moderately wide at
base, placed fairly close together on top of skull. In repose, thrown
back; when alert brought forward and carried semi-erect with tips
MOUTH: Jaws level, clean, strong
with well-developed underjaw. Lips tight. Teeth sound with a perfect,
regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping
lower teeth and set square to the jaws. A full complement of 42 properly
placed teeth highly desired.
NECK: Muscular, well arched, of
sufficient length to carry head proudly.
FOREQUARTERS: Shoulders very well
laid back. At withers, separated only by vertebrae, but blades sloping
outwards to accommodate desired spring of ribs. Shoulder joint well
angled. Upper arm and shoulder blade approximately equal in
length. Elbow equidistant from ground and withers. Forelegs straight
when viewed from front, muscular and clean with strong, but not heavy, bone. Pasterns
strong and flexible.
BODY: Slightly longer from point of
shoulder to bottom of croup than height at withers. Chest deep, reaching
to point of elbow. Ribs well sprung, tapering at lower half to allow
free play of forelegs and shoulders. Back level, with graceful sweep
over loins, croup slopes gradually to rear.
HINDQUARTERS: Thigh broad and
muscular, thigh bones set into pelvis at right angles. Stifle joint has
distinct angle, hock joint clean cut, angular, well let down with strong
bone. Hocks straight when viewed from behind.
FEET: Oval, soles well padded, toes
arched and close together.
TAIL: Set low; tapering bone
reaches to at least hock; with abundant hair and slight upward sweep.
May be slightly raised when moving but never over level of back. Never
GAIT/MOVEMENT: Lithe, smooth and graceful with drive from
hindquarters, covering the maximum amount of ground with the minimum of
effort. Pacing, plaiting, rolling, or stiff, stilted, up and down
movement highly undesirable.
COAT: Double; outer coat of long
hair, harsh-textured and straight. Undercoat soft, short and close. Mane
and frill very abundant, forelegs well feathered. Hind legs above hocks
profusely covered with hair, below hocks fairly smooth. Face smooth.
The coat should fit the body and not dominate or detract from the
outline of the dog. Smooth-coated specimens highly undesirable.
SABLE: clear or shaded, any colour
from pale gold to deep mahogany, in its shade, rich in tone. Wolf-sable
and grey undesirable.
TRICOLOUR: intense black on body, rich tan markings preferred.
BLUE MERLE: clear silvery blue, splashed and marbled with black.
Rich tan markings preferred but absence not penalised. Heavy black
markings, slate or rusty tinge in either top or undercoat highly
undesirable; general effect must be blue.
BLACK AND WHITE, AND BLACK AND TAN: also recognised colours.
White markings may appear (except on black
and tan) in blaze, collar and chest, frill, legs and tip of tail. All or
some white markings are preferred (except on black and tan) but absence
of these markings not to be penalised. Patches of white on body highly
SIZE: Ideal height at withers:
dogs: 37 cms (14.5 ins); bitches: 35.5 cms (14 ins). More than 2.5 cms (1 in) above or below
these heights highly undesirable.
FAULTS: 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.
NOTE: Male animals should have two
apparently normal testicles fully descended
into the scrotum.