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
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.
gentle, intelligent, strong and active.
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
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 falling forward.
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.
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 kinked.
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
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 undesirable.
SIZE: Ideal height at
withers: dogs: 37 cms (14½ ins); bitches: 36 cms (14 ins)More than 2½
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
NOTE: Male animals should
have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.